Paderewski Piano Competition, Bydgoszcz, Poland 3 - 17 November 2013

Ignacy Jan Paderewski (18 November 1860 - 29 June 1941)

If you have strayed onto this page in error details for the 2013 competition are at:

Click on photographs to enlarge - a far superior image results

Kazimiersz 'The Great' University Bydgoszcz, Poland

The Aula (Assembly Hall) of the Kazimiersz 'The Great' University Bydoszcz, Poland

I have neglected this blog recently simply because of the pressure of finishing the biography of my great-uncle the Australian pianist Edward Cahill which is still ongoing after two and a half years of solid work. The reason it is taking so long and is such an arduous task is because it is being written entirely from primary source material - unsorted letters, clippings, photographs, private recordings, journals and  essays inherited by me in a huge cabin trunk. I have reached the year 1947. He died at Monaco in 1975 so I have yet to cover his courageous period in apartheid South Africa (1950-1961) and his declining years in Monaco.

I was invited this weekend (Polish Independence Day November 11th) to Bydgoszcz (Bromberg) in Poland for a concert to celebrate the 152nd anniversary of the birth of the great Polish composer, pianist, statesman and philanthropist Ignacy Paderewski (18 November 1860 - 29 June 1941). It was held in the Aula of the  Kazimierz 'The Great' University.

Henryk Martenka, the Director of the Paderewski Piano Competition has kindly invited me to provide the streamed Internet commentary in English over the period of two weeks for the 9th Paderewski Piano Competition which will run from 3rd - 20th November 2013. The visit was a form of early orientation as I had never been to Bydgoszcz. Henryk was particularly hospitable recommending facilities and showing me around the city.

For all the details, enrolment procedure, repertoire and history of this remarkable competition dedicated to the memory of a quite extraordinary human being:

I love Paderewski's music and you should really make the effort to search it out, in particular the superb Piano Concerto and Polish Fantasy. The great Canadian virtuoso Janina Fialkowska has made a wonderful recording of this romantic concerto with Antony Wit conducting the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice.

I leave you with a few snaps of Bydgoszcz and whilst on the train returning to Warsaw.

Incidentally I had the most marvellous Independence Day breakfast in a particularly stylish hotel called Hotel Bohema which I highly recommend if you ever come to Bydgoszcz as a tourist.

I also had a superb dinner at a restaurant called Restauracja Maestra in the Opera Nova. Arguably the best restaurant in Bydgoszcz.

Prices in both establishments are moderate compared to Warsaw.

The Arte con Brio Quartet with Mariusz Klimsiak (piano) who performed excellent interpretations of the magnificent Piano Quintet in G Minor by the Polish composer Juliusz Zarebski (1854-1885 - no mistake in the dates, this musical genius died tragically young). They followed this with the fine Piano Quintet by the Pole Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969) and Piano Quintet Musica a cinque' cz.3,4 by another Pole Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986)

The canal running through Bydgoszcz

Detail of the half-timbered walls of the Granaries and Mills, characteristic of Bydgoszcz

An unknown Polish beauty and Girl Scout, Independence Day, Bydgoszcz, Poland. The scouting movement in Poland is the strongest in Europe and holds closely to Baden-Powell's original principles particularly concerning uniforms, badges and activities of social and community good works.

Regeneration proceeds apace at Bydgoszcz on the River Brda near an old mill

Atmospheric old streets in Bydgoszcz. Many buildings with fine Art Nouveau facades survive as Bydgoszcz was not bombed during WW II although the Nazis murdered some 50,000 citizens of the town 

The Ignacy Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic Hall (1954-58) with a rather brutal sculpture of Fryderyk Chopin. I have it on the best authority (Henryk Martenka) that the hall possesses 'the best acoustics in Europe'.

11 November, Independence Day - Bydgoszcz, Poland

The exceptionally picturesque and dilapidated station at Aleksandrow Kujawski about 18 kms south-east of Torun and near Bydgoszcz. The building is surprisingly still in active use despite the lack of glass panes in the central door!

Returning by train to Warsaw from Bydgoszcz, 11 November, Independence Day, Poland

Popular posts from this blog

Elisey Mysin recital - XVII International Piano Forum - Bieszczady Without Borders - Sanok, Poland

78th International Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland. August 4-12, 2023

The Polish Romantic Guitar - The Polish Musical Renaissance - National Chopin Institute Recording Review