Dr. Sławomir Dobrzański—a scholar, biographer of Maria Szymanowska, and professor of piano at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas—will deliver a lecture on the life and work of Wiktor Łabuński. Part of the KSU School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s ‘First Friday Series,’ this Zoom event takes place at 12 noon Central Time on Friday, December 4 and the public is invited to join by following this link: https://umsystem.zoom.us/j/94122622400.
Born in St. Petersburg to a Polish family, Wiktor Łabuński first studied music in St. Petersburg then relocated to Poland after World War I to study conducting and serve as Dean of Piano studies at the Kraków Conservatory from 1919 until 1928. After arriving in the U.S. in 1928 and making his debut at Carnegie Hall, Łabuński taught at the Nashville Conservatory until 1931 and later moved to Memphis, where he served as professor and director of Memphis College of Music until 1937. From there he moved on to join the piano faculty of the Kansas City Conservatory and, beginning in 1941, served as its director until his retirement 30 years later.
Earlier this year, Dr. Dobrzański released a world premiere recording of Wiktor Łabuński’s Complete Piano Works. This Acte Préalable CD (AP0474) features several charming piano miniatures, including Mazurek, Rigaudon, Menuet, Four Variations on a theme by Paganini, and a suite of Six Piano Pieces, among others. Since there is much more music by Wiktor Łabuński that is worth discovering (including a Piano Concerto and Symphony in G minor), Dr. Dobrzański’s lecture could prove very informative to all interested in this unjustly forgotten Polish émigré composer.
[Source: press release]