Kevin Starr—world-famous historian, chronicler of California and distinguished USC Professor—died in San Francisco on January 14, 2017 at 76 years old. The Polish Music Center had the great pleasure to host Professor Starr in 2010 in connection with our Ignacy Jan Paderewski sesquicentennial celebrations at USC, which included a panel discussion on Paderewski—the pianist, composer, politician and humanitarian and his substantial links to California (pictured above). Prof. Starr’s encyclopedic knowledge of California’s history greatly enriched the discussion of Paderewski’s links to the Golden State, from his first visit in 1895 to his last in 1939. Prof. Starr’s wit and his luminous, good-natured presence will be sorely missed. We feel truly honored to have crossed paths with such a remarkable scholar and a great human being. Requiescat in pace, Professor Starr… Non omnis moriar.
Kulenty graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. As a saxophonist he collaborated both with symphony orchestras and choirs, big bands and jazz ensembles. He performed at numerous jazz and contemporary music festivals in Poland and abroad, including in Japan with cellist Yo-Yo Ma as a part of his “Silk Road” project, and released over 40 albums. Critics have referred to him as “the Poet of Saxophone” and the “Polish Garbarek”.
The artist composed theatre and film music. He worked in the Polish Radio as an advisor and was a member of several professional music organizations, including the Society of Authors and Composers ZAiKS, Association of Polish Artists Musicians (SPAM), Union of Performing Artists STOART and others.
The memorial service and the funeral was held on January 9, 2017 at 10.15 am at the Powązki Military Cementery in Warsaw.