2010: Sesquecentenial Celebration

Paderewski At 150

 

Thursday, November 4, 2010 | 7:30 p.m.
Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC (see AHF on campus map)
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Reception to follow the concert

Thursday, November 4, 2010 | 5:30 p.m.
Paderewski, The Modern Immortal – Exhibit Opening & Reception

Treasure Room, Doheny Memorial Library, USC (see DML on campus map)
3550 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0185

Friday, November 5, 2010 | 2:30 p.m.
Pianist, Humanitarian & PoliticianWhat Makes A Man Immortal? A Panel Discussion of Paderewski’s Legacy with Prof. Kevin Starr, Prof. Nick Cull, Dr. Małgorzata Perkowska-Waszek, Jonathan Plowright
Friends’ Hall, Doheny Memorial Library, USC (see DML on campus map)
3550 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0185

 

Admission to all events is FREE and open to the public
Enter USC Gate #3 at McCarthy Way & Figueroa St (Parking Structure X) or Gate 4 is located at Jefferson Blvd & Royal St (Parking Structure D)


Performers: Dr. Małgorzata Perkowska-Waszek, lecturer; Jonathan Plowright, pianist

Lecture subject: “Paderewski and His Muses”

Program: piano works by Paderwski and Chopin

Events organized by the Polish Music Center at USC’s Thornton School of Music and the USC Libraries


Paderewski Celebrations In CA– Nov 2010 Preview

From September 2010 PMC Newsletter

2010 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941)—pianist, composer, humanitarian, Prime Minister of Poland, pioneer developer of California’s wine and oil industries, and USC Honorary Doctorate recipient (1923). The anniversary will be celebrated during the “Paderewski at 150” throughout California in November. Below is a preview of the exciting events that will take place.

Los Angeles, CA – USC

In honor of Paderewski’s multi-faceted legacy, USC will host internationally recognized scholars and artists for the Paderewski Sesquicentennial Celebration. These events are made possible by a collaboration between the Polish Music Center in the Thornton School of Music, the USC Libraries, the History Department, and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

These events will bring together prominent scholars and musicians from around the world to celebrate the legacy of Paderewski. A musicologist and researcher at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Dr. Małgorzata Perkowska is the world’s leading scholar on Paderewski and she will give several lectures and panel discussions on the subject. British pianist Jonathan Plowright has become known as one of the leading interpreters of Polish romantic repertoire, in particular Paderewski and his student Stojowski, and he will be the gala performer in both Los Angeles and Paso Robles. Pulling from his extensive writings as “California’s historian,” panelist Dr. Kevin Starr will shed light on how Paderewski’s influence changed the face of the state and nation that he considered an adopted home. Dr. Nicholas Cull, a historian and scholar of public diplomacy, will delve into Paderewski’s impact as a politician and a diplomat, and the melding of skills in music and statesmanship that Paderewski embodied.


Paderewski Celebrations In CA

From October 2010 PMC Newsletter

The 35th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in October 2009 accepted a resolution to include Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s name on the list of persons with outstanding achievements in fostering international cultural dialogue. In 2010, the 150th anniversary of his birth, Paderewski’s historical contributions will be officially recognized worldwide. California, one of Paderewski’s many homes away from his homeland, is no exception to the festivities.

Special concerts, lectures, exhibitions and panel discussions will take place in Los Angeles and Paso Robles during the “Paderewski at 150” celebrations in November. These events will commemorate not only Paderewski’s close ties to California but also his universal legacy as a great musician, statesman, patriot and humanitarian.

Los Angeles:

On November 4-5, events will take place at the University of Southern California, where Paderewski received an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 1923 (pictured at right in front of Bovard Auditorium with USC President von Kleinschmidt). These events are made possible through a collaboration between the Polish Music Center USC in the Thornton School of Music, the USC Libraries, the USC Department of History and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.


USC Celebrates Paderewski At 150

From November 2010 PMC Newsletter
By Marek Zebrowski

Several events commemorating Paderewski’s 150th birthday anniversary were held on November 4-5, 2010 at the University of Southern California. Together with the USC Libraries, the Polish Music Center in the Thornton School of Music prepared an exhibit of Paderewski’s memorabilia. Entitled “Paderewski: The Modern Immortal,” it was officially opened by Catherine Quinlan, Dean of the USC Libraries, on November 4 at 5:30 p.m. Organized around the topics including Paderewski’s life in music, political career, links to California, and private life, the exhibit also features a short display on Poland’s history and Paderewski’s impact on popular culture. Many extraordinarily rare and never-before seen items—including personal possessions, correspondence, photographs, and Paderewski’s concert programs—are on display in the Treasure Room of Doheny Library until May 31, 2011.

The festive exhibit opening and reception was followed by the annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital, held just next door in Newman Recital Hall. Dr. Małgorzata Perkowska-Waszek, a preeminent Paderewski scholar and author of numerous books on his life and works, delivered a lecture entitled “Paderewski and His Muses.” Based on the newly-discovered correspondence of young Paderewski, Dr. Perkowska-Waszek drew a fascinating portrait of Paderewski’s relationships with several women to whom he dedicated his compositions. Her lecture was illustrated with slides from the collection of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, where she has worked as musicologist for the past 35 years.

The second half of the Newman Hall event was filled by British-born pianist, Jonathan Plowright. His program included the rarely-heard Miscellanea, Op. 16 by Paderewski and Chopin’s towering Fantaisie, Op. 49. Mr. Plowright’s repertoire thus paid homage not only to Paderewski’s anniversary, but also to Chopin’s bicentennial as well. Mr. Plowright’s sparkling virtuosity and solid musicianship elicited a standing ovation from the audience.

On Friday, November 5, a panel discussion entitled “What Makes a Man Immortal?” examined Paderewski’s legacy as pianist, composer, politician and humanitarian. Held in the Friends of the USC Libraries Memorial Hall, it featured Professor Kevin Starr—an eminent California historian and scholar, Nick Cull—Professor of Public Diplomacy at USC’s Annenberg School, Dr. Perkowska-Waszek and pianist Jonathan Plowright. Presentations by the four panelists were followed by lively discussion and a repartee of questions and answers with the assembled audience.


Paderewski Celebrated In California

From December 2010 PMC Newsletter
By Marek Zebrowski

In honor of Paderewski’s 150th birthday anniversary, the first two weeks of November 2010 were filled with a variety of Paderewski-themed events in California. The great Polish pianist and composer as well as a prominent statesman and philanthropist was commemorated locally with concerts, lectures, exhibits, and a continuation of a cultural exchange program with the Province of Tarnów in Poland, where Paderewski resided at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Paderewski at 150 Celebration began with the festive opening of “Paderewski: The Modern Immortal,” an exhibit of memorabilia on display at the Treasure Room of the Doheny Memorial Library on the USC Campus in Los Angeles. Arranged by themes—Life in Music, Career in Politics, California Connections, Private Life, and In the Public Eye—the USC exhibit features original documents, correspondence, photographs, and many extremely rare personal items that belonged to Paderewski and his wife, Helena, and are now part of the Polish Music Center’s Paso Robles Collection. Dean Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries officially opened the exhibit on Thursday, November 4 and it will run through May 31, 2011.

Dr. Małgorzata Perkowska-Waszek, PMC Director Marek Zebrowski, and USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan. Photo courtesy of USC Libraries

Later that same evening, the next Paderewski at 150 event on the USC campus took place—the 2010 Paderewski Lecture-Recital, held in the Newman Recital Hall. Honoring today’s greatest figures in Polish music, the Paderewski Lecture-Recital has been held annually since 2002, however this is the first time the event has been devoted entirely to the music of the series’ namesake. This year’s event opened with Dr. Małgorzata Perkowska-Waszek from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, who presented a fascinating lecture entitled “Paderewski and His Muses” exploring the subject of women to whom Paderewski dedicated his compositions. Dr. Perkowska-Waszek’s latest research into the previously unknown correspondence of young Paderewski provided the assembled audience with a fascinating glimpse into Paderewski’s personal life. Having written dozens of books and articles about Paderewski and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Collected Works of Paderewski, Dr. Perkowska-Waszek is considered the world’s foremost expert on Paderewski’s music and life. In the second half of the evening, British pianist Jonathan Plowright, a specialist in Polish late Romantic piano music, presented a beautiful rendition of Paderewski’s Miscellanea, Op. 16 and Chopin’s towering Fantasy in F minor, Op. 49. Plowright’s recital program appropriately focused on this year’s dual anniversary—Chopin’s bicentennial and Paderewski’s sesquicentennial.

On the afternoon of Friday, November 5 in Doheny Library, a panel of experts gathered to discuss “What Makes a Man Immortal?” for the concluding event of the Celebration events at USC. The panel—including the prominent California historian and USC professor Kevin Starr, professor Nick Cull from USC’s Annenberg School, Dr. Perkowska-Waszek, and pianist Jonathan Plowright—examined all sides of Paderewski’s varied career, from the musical to the agricultural to the political and humanitarian. The panelists provided many fascinating insights into American and European history, California’s rapid development on the cusp of the 20th century, and Paderewski’s role in shaping the political discourse of the times.

(L-R) PMC Director Marek Zebrowski, PMC Manager Krysta Close and panelists: Jonathan Plowright, Małgorzata Perkowska-Waszek, Nicholas Cull, and Kevin Starr. Photo courtesy of Diane Plowright

November 6 marked the 150th birthday of Paderewski and, quite appropriately, a delegation from Poland representing the ongoing cultural exchange program that links California’s Paso Robles with the City and Province of Tarnów in Poland touched down at LAX. Two young pianists—Marian Michalski (aged 12) and Barbara Doroszuk (aged 14)—arrived that evening to participate in the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles. Before the two had a chance to perform for Paso’s audiences, the young musicians were hosted by the McClish family from Morro Bay and the Reed family in Paso Robles. A year earlier in June of 2009, two young pianists from the Central Coast, Rory McClish and Lindsay Reed, had participated in a week of piano workshops and master classes at Paderewski’s former manor house in Kąśna Dolna in the Tarnów region of Poland. Lindsay and Rory worked and performed in concert alongside Marian and Barbara at that time, and last month these young students were given the opportunity for more music-making, courtesy of the joint support of Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles and the City and Province of Tarnów.

Polish pianists Barbara Doroszuk and Marian Michalski (in cowboy hats) enjoying the Hearst Castle with their chaperone Beata Karpala (left) and host Lindsey Reed (right). Photo courtesy of Bill Reed

The Festival Prelude concert held in the Signature Room of the Vina Robles Winery kicked off the 2010 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles on November 10. The evening featured excellent performances by Marian Michalski and Barbara Doroszuk of works by Paderewski, Chopin, Bach, Haydn, Miśkiewicz, and Moszkowski, which were received by a deeply enthusiastic audience. A brand new Steinway, provided for the Festival by Sherman Clay Pianos and placed in a very attractive space at the Winery, added to the sense of occasion.

The following day, November 11, the Festival continued on Poland’s Independence Day. This date is very significant in the context of Paderewski’s fight for Poland’s independence that led to his homeland being recognized as a free and self-governing republic after World War I. Paderewski’s close friendship with the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson influenced the creation of Wilson’s 14-point plan for the political reconstruction of Europe, which included a claim for Polish sovereignty. Paderewski’s political foresight was demonstrated by arguing for a creation of a Polish Army that would fight along the Allies on the battlefields of World War I. He recruited soldiers from the ranks of Polish-Americans and tirelessly fundraised for the cause. To send his troops to battle in 1917 Paderewski wrote a stirring marching song Hej Orle Biały! [Hey, White Eagle!], which was, in fact, his last composition. This work—in a version arranged for wind band and chorus—was premiered at the Festival Opening Concert on November 11 at the historic Mission San Miguel, a few miles north of Paso Robles. The capacity crowd heard the Paso Robles High School Band, led by Santino Galvan, in a rousing overture that opened the concert, followed by extensive choral selections featuring vocal ensembles from Paso Robles High, directed by Mary Schmutz. The last section of the program was devoted to compositions by Paderewski, including his celebrated Menuet in G major and Legende in A-flat major, both expertly performed by the Midnight Winds. This quintet of LA-based musicians then joined the Paso High School band and combined choirs to close the program with Hej, Orle Biały, Paderewski’s stirring and patriotic tribute to Poland and Polish history.

The Paso Robles High School Band and combined Choirs, with Midnight Winds, after a triumphant performance in the sanctuary of Misson San Miguel. Photo courtesy of Chuck Bragg

On Friday, November 12, pianist Jonathan Plowright gave a well-attended afternoon master class at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. A number of students who have been involved with the Festival played selections from their repertoire for Mr. Plowright, who generously shared his insights on music with them and with the audience that included many piano teachers and educators. Central California piano teacher Lyn Bronson recorded his impression of this event in his Peninsula Reviews blog—read the full review here: www.peninsulareviews.com.

Jonathan Plowright working with Marian Michalski (above), exchange student from Poland, and Gianna Zufall (below), 1st Place winner in the Junior Caetegory of the 2010 Youth Competition during the master class at California Polytechnic State University’s Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo. Photos courtesy of Chuck Bragg

The Paderewski Festival in Paso continued its “Paderewski at 150” celebrations on Friday night with a concert in the charming Barrel Room of Cass Winery. The casual yet musically spectacular atmosphere of the evening was set from the beginning with an impromptu opener by Jonathan Plowright, the pianist who had re-launched the Festival in 2006 in that same venue and was returning to headline the 2010 Festival Gala the following day in the Paso Robles Ballroom. The stars of the evening were two of the most prominent Polish musicians, Krzesimir Dębski and Anna Jurksztowicz, who dazzled the audience with a well-chosen selection of film and popular music. Guitarist John Storie shared the stage with the featured artists, providing gentle accompaniment to a very successful evening that was enthusiastically received by an overflow audience that included representatives from the Consulates of Poland in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Krzesimir Dębski, Marek Zebrowski, Anna Jurksztowicz, and John Storie perform a rousing finale at Cass Winery. Photo courtesy of Chuck Bragg

Saturday, November 13, featured three different Paderewski Festival events open to the public: an afternoon lecture by Dr. Perkowska-Waszek, the afternoon recital of young pianists—winners of the 2010 Youth Piano Competition, and the Festival Gala concert at night. Also, VIP passholders of the Festival enjoyed a private tour of Paderewski’s former vineyard, now Epoch Estate Wines, hosted by owners Bill and Liz Armstrong. To read more about Paderewski’s former land, visit: www.sanluisobispo.com.

Paderewski Youth Competition Senior Division winner Jordan Adams (center) poses with Festival Board Director, Joel Peterson (left), Consul General of Poland in Los Angeles, Hon. Joanna Kozińska-Frybes, and San Luis Obispo County Supervisor, Frank Mecham (right). Photo courtesy of Caria Tomczykowska

At 4 p.m. on Saturday, this year’s seven finalists of the 2010 Youth Piano Competition were heard in the Ballroom of the Paso Robles Inn. The winners—Daniel Ha (10-Hon. Mention, Junior Division), Evan Lin (13-3rd Place, Junior Division), Madeline Anderson (13-2nd Place, Junior Division), Gianna Zufall (13-1st Place, Junior Division), Max Eisendrath (17-3rd Place, Senior Division), Kevin Lin (15-2nd Place, Senior Division), and Jordan Adams (15-1st Place, Senior Division)—presented an hour-long program of Bach, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Scriabin, Prokofiev, and Paderewski. The historic Ballroom was filled with a very supportive audience of families, friends, and local music lovers. San Luis Obispo County Supervisor, Frank Mecham, served as the host of the event and, together with City Councilman Ed Steinbeck, awarded the medals and cash prizes to the participants after the concert. Several runners-up of the 2010 Youth Piano Competition—Brian Bekker (18), Lindsay Reed (15), Rory McClish (14), and Sydney Haughian (10)—were heard in another concert that afternoon as well, hosted by the Studios on the Park art center just across the City Park from the Inn.

As the sun set, Paso Robles’ annual Elegant Evening festivities had begun. A number of downtown businesses opened their doors to visitors, providing all kinds of entertainment and refreshments for the public strollers, many of them in period costumes. By 8 p.m. on November 13, a huge crowd of music lovers assembled at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom to hear a Gala Recital by pianist Jonathan Plowright. Please see the full review of Plowright’s stunning yet approachable performance below. An evening of superb music-making was followed by some in the audience with a festive meal of Polish cuisine specialties prepared for the occasion by the Chef of the Paso Robles Inn’s elegant restaurant.

Marian Michalski (aged 12) and Barbara Doroszuk (aged 14) solemnly deliver a final thank you to the Festival, their hosts, and the entire community after their concert at Pear Valley Winery. Photo courtesy of Chuck Bragg

Sunday, November 14 was the last day of the Festival. The sunny and warm weather that held throughout the week provided a splendid accompaniment to a concert and brunch at the Pear Valley Winery, another venue associated with a number of Paderewski Festival events during the past two years. Once again, the two young pianists from Poland gave a dazzling display of their talents to a full house that awarded Marian and Barbara with a long and occasionally tearful standing ovation when the music ended.

Honoring Paderewski’s important 150th anniversary, all concerts and lectures in this year’s Festival were free and open to the public. The 2010 Paderewski Festival in Paso was extensively covered by local press and also by TVP Channel 1, the main public television channel in Poland. Reports from the Festival were broadcasted by TV Polonia all over the world, and shown in the morning news and breakfast program, “Kawa czy herbata.” Since being re-established in 2006, the Paderewski Festival has grown rapidly from one-day event to a five-day celebration of Paso’s most famous resident and property owner. Internationally-acclaimed artists and scholars have given the Festival much prestige, and the current board of directors is already beginning to plan for the Paderewski Festival in November of 2011.

A view of Paderewski’s former vineyards, now Epoch Estate. Photo courtesy of Chuck Bragg

For more news and reviews of the Paderewski at 150 Celebrations in California, see: