Paderewski, Ignace Jan

Paderewski, Ignace Jan pădˌərĕfˈskē, Pol. ēnyäsˈ yän pädĕrĕfˈskē [key], 1860–1941, Polish pianist, composer, and statesman; studied at the Warsaw Conservatory and later with Theodor Leschetizky. Following debuts in Vienna (1887) and Paris (1888), his brilliant, sensitive playing won him worldwide popularity exceeding that of any performer since Franz Liszt. In 1890 he made the first of many concert tours of the United States. An ardent patriot, he briefly headed Polish governments in 1919 and 1940–41 (the latter in exile). He amassed a large fortune, most of which he donated to the service of Poland and the benefit of needy musicians and Jewish refugees. Paderewski died shortly after returning to the United States to plead Poland's cause once again. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery until 1992, when his body was returned to Poland. In addition to the famous Minuet in G for piano, his works include some orchestral music, an opera, a cantata, a violin sonata, and piano pieces and songs. He established (1900) the Paderewski Fund to forward musical composition in the United States.

See his memoirs, ed. by M. Lawton (1938); biographies by A. Gronowicz (1943), Charles Phillips (1934, repr. 1978), and M. Drozdowski (1983).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: History, Composers, and Performers: Biographies