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FC Aleksander Wielhorski.jpg

November 26, 1890 in Złocze (Wołyń) - October 19, 1952 in Białystok


Polish pianist and composer, born November 26, 1890 in Złocze (Wołyń), died October 19, 1952 in Białystok. He had his initial musical education in Zhytomyr. Then he studied law at university in Kiev. In 1911, he began his musical studies at the Moscow Conservatory in the piano class of Konstanty Igumnov and the composition of Sergei Taneyev. It was then that he became known as an outstanding pianist and author of several published piano compositions. He graduated from the conservatory in 1913 with the title of "liberated artist". He soon gave concerts in Paris and London, "dazzling listeners with his deep, soulful playing." In 1914, at the invitation of Józef Hofmann, he went to the United States to improve his playing under his supervision. In 1919, he took over the piano class at the Higher School of Music. Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw, he also taught at the Warsaw Conservatory (1929-1939).

In the interwar years, he often performed in Polish cities and in the provinces (he took part in concerts of the Musical Movement Organization). He played Chopin's Andante spianato and the Great Polonaise in E flat major with great delight, often juxtaposing this piece with the Polish Fantasy, Op. 10 of his own making. During World War II, he performed at secret concerts and was involved in teaching at the Nazi-controlled Staatliche Musikschule in Warschau. In one of the roundups in Warsaw, he was imprisoned by the Gestapo, but was released after some time. In 1946 he went on a tour of the United States. After one of the performances, a journalist from "The Chicago Sun" wrote that "he is one of the most outstanding Polish musicians. The pianist has a wonderful technique and performs pieces requiring subtlety and poetry in a charming and melodious manner. Wielhorski gave a great interpretation of Szymanowski's Preludes and Chopin's Mazurkas. His own songs have a lot of subtlety and charm.” After arriving from the USA, he accepted a job as a general piano teacher at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw (today the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music). His repertoire included almost all of Chopin's works and many works by Polish composers, which he tried to popularize. He ended his recitals with Chopin's compositions, claiming that only they could crown the performance. He valued his recitals the most in Chopin's birthplace in Żelazowa Wola. He wrote articles about Polish music, wanting to draw attention to its values. He composed over 60 opuses, which include symphonic, chamber, vocal (choral, solo songs) and piano works, but unfortunately some of them burned down during the Warsaw Uprising. For pedagogical purposes, he published several dozen works by various composers under his editorship. His student was, among others, Bolesław Woytowicz

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