Patrons and concertgoers who attend the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles may know of Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s former estate in Kąśna Dolna, which he owned between 1897 and 1903. Lovingly preserved, today this manor house and grounds are the only residence of this great pianist, politician and humanitarian that is still left standing.
Paderewski left a generous legacy in the area of Poland where his property was located, endowing a number of civic institutions in the county seat of Ciężkowice, a charming hilltop town a few miles from his estate. Thanks to Paderewski, Ciężkowice finally established its Volunteer Fire Brigade and a statue to its patron, Saint Florian was erected with Paderewski’s largesse on the main market square. Paderewski’s good deeds continued with organizing the Agricultural Club and the Social Club, the latter located in a townhouse that Paderewski purchased and equipped with a piano, billiard table, and a library of over two thousand volumes. Paderewski’s financial support also extended to building schools in Kąśna and Ciężkowice, contributing to an imposing Gothic-revival style church in town, and endowing a kindergarten in the settlement adjacent to his estate grounds. His last visit to the area in 1910 coincided with the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald/Tannenberg and with Paderewski funding a commemorative plaque in the nearby nature reserve. Today the town of Ciężkowice remembers its former patron with a street as well as a High School and Technical School named after him.
Recently, the residents of Ciężkowice decided to erect a monument to Paderewski in form of a bench with a life-sized cast of a master seated next to a piano. Thanks to a special built-in device, the piano will play Paderewski’s most famous composition, his Menuet Op. 14 no. 1. Positioned at the heart of the historical town square, the monument authored by Ewa Fleszar, alumna of the Fine Arts Academy in Poznań, will underscore Paderewski’s connections to Ciężkowice. The total cost of this project is $50,000. The town’s Mayor, Zbigniew Jurkiewicz, and Head of the City Council, Zdzisław Szczerba, are coordinating this effort. The funds for the monument will come from the county and from private donations. All donors will receive a certificate of honorary sponsorship and their names will be entered into the Founders’ Register. Donors will also be invited to the 3 May 2018 unveiling at the market square in Ciężkowice.
Foreign-based donors can send funds via bank transfer to:
Krakowski Bank Spółdzielczy/Oddział Ciężkowice
SWIFT (BIC) KRSPPLPK
Account number: PL 73 8591 0007 0290 0000 2118 0032
Note/Title of transfer: “DAROWIZNA – POMNIK”
More information and further details of this project can be obtained by contacting the County Secretary, Beata Weron-Białas at email@example.com or calling +48 14 628 5826 or +48 784 074 080.