In the words of the Count Adam Zamoyski: “Paderewski’s name was a household word to several generations. To people who knew nothing about music he was the archetype of the pianists; to those who knew nothing of Poland, he was the epitome of the flamboyant Pole; to those who had no clear idea of his political career he was a Mosaic leader of his people. He was the celebrity par excellence: the public could see and hear him in the concert hall and in the cinema, and they could read about him endlessly in the press.”
In the words of Henryk Martenka, the Director of the prestigious International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland: “Paderewski gained an unconditional respect from the American people, one attributed only to individuals of great success in fighting for the good of a nation, and is one of only a handful of Poles and Europeans that function permanently in the American cultural sphere. The live memory, perhaps even Paderewski’s legend, forever inspires the creation of something new and of great value.
We strongly believe the American Paderewski Piano Competition will qualify for the prize of that last statement.
Here is the answer to the posted above questions :
– a phenomenal pianist of his time;
– his classical music piano concerts drew the largest crowds ever, 3000 – 8000 audiences were typical, on February 8, 1932 he played at the Madison Square Garden to the crowd of 16000 people; in 1939 an audience of 18000 gathered to listen to the 78-year old pianist;
– in early 1900’ there were instances when the performances of his opera “Manru”, his Piano Concerto in A Major, and his piano recital coincided on the same day in three major music halls of New York City – all attended beyond the capacity of each venue;
– his ties with California began on February 6, 1896 with a piano recital in San Diego, and lasted more than 40 years – here in California, in Paso Robles, Paderewski established his home away from home;
– here in California in 1923, he received his honorary doctorate from the University of Southern California – in 2007 his life size bronze statue was erected there;
– In 1896, by a deed of trust, Paderewski established a fund of $10,000 (around $300,000 today), the interest from which was to be used for triennial prizes given “to composers of American birth without distinction as to age or religion” for works in the following categories: symphonies, concertos, and chamber music;
– for his contribution to American music, it is enough to name just a few recipients of the prize, such as Horatio Parker, Arthur Bird, Henry Hadley, or Arthur Shepherd;
– he supported financially young musicians, university and conservatory students on both sides of the Atlantic, orphanages, hospitals, war efforts to liberate and resurrect his native Poland, veterans of war in various countries, and innumerable individuals and organizations. With his wallet wide opened he commissioned or participated extensively in recognition of people, events, and venues that contributed significantly to the betterment of the world. Without his financial and personal involvement there wouldn’t exist monuments of Chopin in Żelazowa Wola (birth place); Liszt in Weimar; Beethoven in Bonn; Colonne and Debussy in Paris; Kościuszko in Chicago; President Wilson in Poznań (Poland), Col. House in Warsaw, Battle of Grunwald in Cracow (Poland), Washington Arch in New York, Styka’s panorama “Crucifixion” (permanently displayed at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California), and many, many others;
– streets, parks, plazas, clubs, and schools bear his name; coins and banknotes, plaques and medals show his image; various events throughout the world honor him every year as one of great luminaries of humanity; and statues adorn towns and cities;
– he was honest and highly regarded politician; instrumental in returning Poland on the map of the world after WWI; he became the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and a signee of Treaty of Versailles;
– he was friend of numerous presidents, monarchs, and heads of states;
– tireless champion of liberty;
– in 1932 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called Ignacy Paderewski: “Modern Immortal”;
– when he passed away on June 29, 1941 Ignacy Paderewski was honored, as one of only few foreign civilians, with the privilege of entombment at the Arlington National Cemetery;
– in 1992 his body was returned to free Poland, but his heart, according to his wishes, remained in the United States and was placed in a bronze crypt in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, a church in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where it is to stay forever;
– the short list of his orders includes: The Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, The Grand Cordons of the Legion d’Honeur (France), The Order of Leopold of Belgium, Italian order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, and Polish Virtuti Militari.
There’s more, much more…
We would like to encourage you to follow Paderewski’s example! Please support the Competition and the Society with your generous, tax-deductible donation.
We plan to organize a world-class competition but it will not happen without you. In these economically difficult times it is especially important that we support the arts, which usually are the first to suffer. Yet, it is also in difficult times that we realize even more strongly how important the arts are to our lives and how truly essential and indispensable they are if the artistic soul of us as a people is to be preserved.
Let us support the world’s best young pianists who will come to Los Angeles to compete. Let us celebrate music and the continuity of tradition.
Let us promote the simple goodness, dignity and generous humanity exemplified by the great Paderewski.
To make your donation using PayPal please go to the Donation page or click on the “Donate” button in the sidebar.
If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to the Paderewski Music Society and mail to: 1015 S. Weymouth Ave. San Pedro, California 90732.
Suggested, tax deductible, donation of one hundred dollars or more would be greatly appreciated and listed in the Competition program. Contributions of any amount will be sincerely valued.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Board of Directors
Paderewski Music Society