September 26, 1899 in Inowrocław - June 1, 1989, Warsaw
Irena Stanisława Aniela Dubiska was born on September 26, 1899 in Inowrocław - as she herself recalled - "a small town under the Prussian partition, close to the border of the Russian partition". So she was a Kujawian, which she considered a source of pride, especially since many interesting artists came from these old Polish lands, including Kasprowicz and Przybyszewski. She was born into an intelligentsia family where music was present on a daily basis. Edward and Władysława's parents, née Jewasińska, loved music, they played music actively and cared very much about their children's musical education. And all of them (Ludomira, Aleksander, Irena) showed above-average musical abilities.
Everyone in my house was interested in music. My father and brother Aleksander played the violin, and my sister Ludomira, 14 years older than me, played the piano. So I was in a musical atmosphere since I was born. They say that when I cried, it was enough to put me on the piano and play something to calm me down.
Ludomira attended the Music School in Bydgoszcz, and after graduating she continued her education at the Conservatory. Juliusz Stern in Berlin. She graduated from the piano class of the then famous pianist, prof. Dreyschok, and then she was engaged as a piano teacher at the same school. After marrying a mining engineer, Stanisław Grabianowski, she left for Katowice. For many years, she performed together with Irena at Polish concerts in Berlin, Silesia and Poznań. Her son died in the Mauthausen concentration camp.
Irena's brother, Aleksander Dubiski, after graduating from high school in Inowrocław, began medical studies in Berlin, and received his medical degree in Munich. Although he was not professionally involved in music - he worked as a surgeon in Ostrów Wielkopolski - his passion for music remained with him until the end of his life. Already as a doctor and hospital director, he founded a string quartet composed of amateurs - music lovers. He had cordial relations with his sister Irena. They often played two violins. He died in 1939, shot by the Nazis for his underground activities.
Irena began learning to play the violin at the age of five with a local teacher, Oskar Anderlik.
As a five-year-old girl, I started learning to play the violin. At first, I wasn't too keen on exercising. At first, I really wanted to play the piano. I was interested in harmony and chord formation. But my mother decided that since there is already one pianist in the house, it would be good to have a violinist. At first it was fun to play, then it got boring. There are no ready-made sounds on the violin, you have to look for them, which is difficult. What made me start playing more willingly? The competition of older friends who faked. Mom said: you show them how to play clean. So I started practicing and it got easier. I played as much as I wanted.
Irena's father was convinced of his daughter's talent from the beginning. Soon, the teacher also realized that Irena had special musical talents and advised her mother to continue her musical education in Berlin. And so, at the age of six, she moved there with her mother.
So my mother packed all our belongings and we moved to Berlin, where my sister Ludomira was already living and studying. In Inowrocław, only my brother, who was still studying in junior high school, stayed on the lodgings. But when he finished school, he joined us and began studying medicine in Berlin.
Irena began her studies at the Music Conservatory of Juliusz Stern, first in Laura Helbling-Lafont's class, then in prof. Max Grünberg. Laura Heblina–Lafont – according to Dubiska's words:
she was a very talented violinist. Her ability was evidenced by the fact that shortly before my arrival she performed all of Bach's suites and sonatas for solo violin, including the famous Chaconne. They are very difficult. As a teacher, she was very energetic and demanding. I made rapid progress with her, the notes showed the highest marks, of which I was very proud. Unfortunately, after some time, my teacher fell out with the principal and left the school. However, she offered me private lessons and for a while I had two teachers - one at school and one privately. Of course, in the long run, such double learning was not possible, because I had to choose someone. […] My first teacher was always an authority for me, I was friends with her and we had a very good relationship. And for a student, in my opinion, the first teacher is the most important. The one who establishes the foundation of skill.
At the age of thirteen, Irena Dubiska graduated from the Berlin Conservatory in the master class of prof. M. Grünberg, obtaining a diploma with a gold medal. She also received a violin as a prize. However, she decided to continue her education. In the years 1917-1919 she completed supplementary studies under the supervision of Bronisław Huberman.
I was noticed by Bronisław Huberman, a famous Polish violinist. He said he didn't give lessons, but he would try to teach me. For a long time, I was his only student. I had the opportunity to listen to this brilliant violinist practice. It gave me the most. From him I learned that you can't play everything in one tone and not everything vibrato. Sometimes there must be a "naked tone"
In the summer, lessons were held outdoors.
Since he suffered from insomnia, the doctors advised him to walk on the wet sand, sleep would come. So, on one of the islands of the North Sea, he sought rest after a long work, after numerous travels. It didn't help much, but outdoor lessons were very enjoyable.
Their mutual relationship was extraordinary:
I used to go to him as a performing artist. He treated me very friendly.
Soon they started performing together - they played in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Poland.
When I finished a certain stage of my studies, he proposed to me to perform together. It was of course a great honor for me. We played a Bach concerto for two violins. We were together in the Netherlands. In The Hague, I had my recital, and Huberman played with me a Bach concerto with a chamber orchestra. In Amsterdam it was the other way around – he had a recital and I played in his concert.
Irena Dubiska had one more teacher - after 1920, she was consulted by the outstanding violinist and teacher Carl Flesch.
Artistic debut and commencement of concert activity
Irena Dubiska's artistic debut took place in 1908 in Wittenberg.
I was 9 years old at the time and I was playing Mendelssohn's Concerto in E minor. But it wasn't really my first public performance, because already in school you performed at least every six months. But no one has written a review. Contact with listeners, with the audience encourages you to work. An intelligent musician or student can use a public performance to evaluate their work and as a stage for further development.
Since then, she has performed in Berlin and many other cities, performing e.g. Rondo Capriccioso by C. Saint-Saëns or Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor by N. Paganini. Her performances were well received by the audience and critics.
In 1910, Irena Dubiska's first concert took place in Inowrocław, her hometown. The violinist was accompanied by her sister Ludomira Dubiska, 14 years her senior.
As a student of B. Huberman, she made her debut in December 1919 during a concert with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. She received excellent reviews.
Interwar period - intensive concert activity
After Poland regained independence, concert life began to flourish in Warsaw. The director of the Philharmonic, Opera and Conservatory is Emil Młynarski. In the mid-1920s, Karol Szymanowski and his family moved to Warsaw, and in 1930 he became the first rector of the Higher School of Music (former State Conservatory of Warsaw). In 1919, Irena Dubiska also settled in Warsaw with her mother. Equipped with a letter of recommendation from B. Huberman to Emil Młynarski, she soon found herself on posters announcing an extraordinary symphonic concert with her participation.
Huberman was not only a teacher, but he also helped me a lot in starting my career. There were no competitions then. You had to go to the impresario, who organized concerts for a fee. Reviewers of all newspapers came to them and assessed the performance - they wrote reviews. Based on the reviews, you got engagement.
At the Warsaw Philharmonic, she performed the Violin Concerto in D major op. 77 by J. Brahms, just prepared under the direction of Huberman. According to press reports, Irena played this concert perfectly: she developed all the advantages of her excellent playing, colossal technique, strong tone, expression and extraordinary, strictly masculine bravado. The orchestra conducted by E. Młynarski also sounded excellent.
I had excellent reviews. I really had a great time playing. Młynarski also liked my concert. He marveled at my musicality and suggested starting a string quartet.
The "Kurier Warszawski" of April 6, 1919 wrote: "The young virtuoso immediately presented herself to us as a talent of the first order, with such a complete violin technique, so thoroughly musical and such a high artistic culture that we put her in the ranks without hesitation the most outstanding contemporary violinists and we are sure that she will soon be famous. Brahms' Concerto in D major , conceived and rendered with a rare 'purity' of style, could have sufficed as an examination of musical maturity '.
Indeed, Młynarski soon founded a string quartet, to which he invited Irena Dubiska (1st violin), Mieczysław Fliederbaum, concertmaster of the Philharmonic (2nd violin), and Eli Kochański, concertmaster of the Philharmonic, professor of the Warsaw Conservatory (cello). Młynarski himself played the viola part, but soon had to resign from the quartet, and his place was taken by the violist Mieczysław Szaleski. The quartet was active in the years 1919–1921. “This wonderful ensemble – recalled Kazimierz Wiłkomirski – existed for a short time, but within one or two seasons it managed to give a large number of concerts in Warsaw with rich, interesting programmes. The Polish premieres of two such outstanding works as the String Quartet in G minor [op. 10] Debussy iPiano Quintet in G minor [op. 34] by Zarębski, performed with the participation of Józef Turczyński, who was the first to introduce this work to Polish stages.
The following years were full of numerous solo and chamber performances, both in Poland and abroad. In the Łódź press, we find a report from Dubiska's concert, which delighted the audience when she performed on November 28, 1921 with the orchestra conducted by Walerian Bierdjajew. The program of the concert consisted of Poème op. 25 by Chausson and Concert Suitefor Taniejew's violin: 'Irena Dubiska, a young artist - a violinist, known abroad from the stage, was the subject of an extraordinary ovation. The artist quickly reaches the heights of art and collects well-deserved laurels on the stage - not only at home, but also abroad. (…) Right at the outset, she took the audience by storm, which found it difficult to part with the violinist, apart from her playing, which was captivating with its superficiality, nice and graceful. (…) The numerous audience did not spare the performer signs of sincere satisfaction, giving Dubiska a hurricane of unmistakable applause and forcing her to continuous encores”.
Mirosław Dąbrowski, a pianist, teacher and social activist, had the honor, as a fourteen-year-old student of the Conservatory in Poznań, to actively participate in Irena Dubiska's recital - he was engaged to turn the sheet music of the pianist accompanying the violinist. He was… Claudio Arrau. “As a very shy boy, I was terribly scared,” recalls Dąbrowski, “but what was I supposed to do. On the day of the concert, on the recommendation of my professor [Gertruda Konatkowska], I reported to the artists' room next to the university hall and my knees buckled with fear and admiration. Irena Dubiska seemed to me like an angel in an elegant white dress. The artist was standing in front of the mirror and the whole room was brightened by the whiteness reflected additionally in the mirror. She didn't pay the slightest attention to me while the pianist in an elegant gleaming tuxedo smiled pleasantly and casually indicated the place in the notes where the pages should be turned, as if I were a routine expert in knowledge of notes. Soon the artists took to the stage to a storm of applause, and I clumsily followed them across the shiny floor as if through a mirror. My hands and legs were shaking. I followed the violin part closely, because it was easier, and I consoled myself that somehow I was fulfilling my role. But when a longer part of the piano itself followed, I was disgracefully lost. Fortunately, Arrau pointed his head at me when the moment of overturn was about to occur. Never in my life would I be able to perform on such a great stage - I thought. I looked with admiration at the artists, at Mrs. Irena. as if I were a routine expert in the knowledge of notes. Soon the artists took to the stage to a storm of applause, and I clumsily followed them across the shiny floor as if through a mirror. My hands and legs were shaking. I followed the violin part closely, because it was easier, and I consoled myself that somehow I was fulfilling my role. But when a longer part of the piano itself followed, I was disgracefully lost. Fortunately, Arrau pointed his head at me when the moment of overturn was about to occur. Never in my life would I be able to perform on such a great stage - I thought. I looked with admiration at the artists, at Mrs. Irena. as if I were a routine expert in the knowledge of notes. Soon the artists took to the stage to a storm of applause, and I clumsily followed them across the shiny floor as if through a mirror. My hands and legs were shaking. I followed the violin part closely, because it was easier, and I consoled myself that somehow I was fulfilling my role. But when a longer part of the piano itself followed, I was disgracefully lost. Fortunately, Arrau pointed his head at me when the moment of overturn was about to occur. Never in my life would I be able to perform on such a great stage - I thought. I looked with admiration at the artists, at Mrs. Irena. that I somehow fulfill my role. But when a longer part of the piano itself followed, I was disgracefully lost. Fortunately, Arrau pointed his head at me when the moment of overturn was about to occur. Never in my life would I be able to perform on such a great stage - I thought. I looked with admiration at the artists, at Mrs. Irena. that I somehow fulfill my role. But when a longer part of the piano itself followed, I was disgracefully lost. Fortunately, Arrau pointed his head at me when the moment of overturn was about to occur. Never in my life would I be able to perform on such a great stage - I thought. I looked with admiration at the artists, at Mrs. Irena.
Ciechocinek was on the map of concert tours, where in July 1926 Dubiska performed at the Summer Theatre, performing Karłowicz's Violin Concerto in A major . A critic of Zdrój Ciechociński wrote: "Dubiska is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding violin talents, with great technique, beautiful, warm tone, beautiful, noble phrasing and exceptional musical culture." However, Dubiska played and was successful almost all over Europe.
I gave a lot of concerts, I traveled a lot, I saw different countries. I went to performances with Młynarski several times, among others we were in Scotland in Glasgow, where I played Beethoven. We also played Beethoven's concert at the Grand Theatre. It was very funny. Because the orchestra was downstairs, in its places, and I was standing alone on the stage. But Młynarski was right in front of me, only one floor below, in the sewer.
In the years 1921-1925 she performed in Stockholm, Vienna, Berlin, Prague, Bremen, The Hague. During concerts in Yugoslavia (then known as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) and Bulgaria, both monarchs - King Alexander I Karadziordzievi (Yugoslavia) and Tsar Boris III (Bulgaria) personally thanked her for the beautiful presentation of Polish music. She was the first performer of the Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 8 by Mieczysław Karłowicz - she achieved great success, playing it, among others in Vienna under the direction of Grzegorz Fitelberg, in Frankfurt am Main under the direction of Hans Rosbaud, in Bremen under the direction of Richter.
1927 - "The Year of Szymanowski"
The year 1927 marked the beginning of cooperation with Karol Szymanowski. The composer offered Irena Dubiska joint concerts during which his violin works were performed. Dubiska knew and admired them when Paweł Kochański performed them. Now she herself has become the second interpreter of all violin works by K. Szymanowski, with whom she has given concerts in Poland and abroad. The first concert took place on March 17, 1927 in Vilnius.
"Kurier Wileński" wrote: "This extraordinary concert rested on the shoulders of the great artist Irena Dubiska, whose playing was at the highest level of the art of reproduction. Beautiful, unusually deep tone and excellent technique place Mrs. Dubiska among the first-class virtuosos. More important is the spiritual side of the artist, who poured a huge dose of reverence and deep understanding of Szymanowski's talent into the performed works. I do not hesitate to say that Irena Dubiska is one of the few performers who stand on such an artistic level as K. Szymanowski's music requires. Mrs. Dubiska's talent covers an incredibly wide range of fields. The violinist presented the concert with complete technical freedom and clarity of musical understanding. With a soft, warm tone, she revealed the poetic charm of Szymanowski's work, easily realized the boldness of his technical ideas." The artists performed together until the end of 1927, e.g. in Riga, Milan, Rome, Geneva, and Dubiska, as an outstanding and tireless promoter of Szymanowski's music, contributed to the popularization of his work in Europe.
For some time I traveled together with Karol Szymanowski. He often said: "Irene, today I'm going to play the simplified composer's edition" and improvised a lot then. These are precious memories for me, because performing his own works together with such an outstanding composer is a wonderful and unique experience.
On May 22, 1927, an extraordinary event took place - the first broadcast concert of Szymanowski's compositions took place in the newly established Krakow Radio Station. Among the performers was Irena Dubiska, accompanied by the composer himself.
On January 14, 1930, Irena Dubiska gave a violin recital at the Music Conservatory in Vilnius. In the same year, she founded the Polish Quartet, later named in honor of the composer, the Kwartet im. Karol Szymanowski. It operated with great success until the outbreak of World War II. Its members – apart from Dubiska herself – included Mieczysław Fliederbaum (2nd violin), Mieczysław Szaleski (viola) and Zofia Adamska (cello).
During the period of the greatest concert activity - that is, until the outbreak of World War II - Dubiska collaborated with many outstanding artists. She has performed with pianists of such caliber as: Claudio Arrau, Zbigniew Drzewiecki, Jerzy Lefeld, Egon Petri, Karol Szymanowski, Józef Turczyński. She has played with the most outstanding conductors, such as Hermann Abendroth, Walerian Bierdiajew, Emil Cooper (Kuper), Oskar Fried, Grzegorz Fitelberg, Zdzisław Górzyński, Willem Mangelberg, and Václav Talich. However, what she valued the most was cooperation with Emil Młynarski.
I have to say that Młynarski was the best conductor I've ever had in my life. He himself was an extremely musical violinist. Very alert, he accompanied with precision and quick reflexes. He immediately picked up the ideas, the nuances played by the soloist. I always fondly remember this outstanding musician.
The artist spent the years of the Second World War in Warsaw – she played and taught here, even though during the Nazi occupation Warsaw's musical life went underground. Fortunately, the Warsaw Conservatory of Music did not share the fate of other universities - it continued to function under the name Staatliche Musikschule in Warschau, because the Germans treated it as a vocational secondary school, preparing only orchestra musicians. However, the professors conducted clandestine teaching in the field of specialties not included in the curriculum established by the occupation authorities. (After the war, the Minister of Culture and Art issued an order according to which graduation from the Staatliche Musikschule was tantamount to graduation from higher education). The school - like many other institutions - was placed under the receivership, its director was Albert Hösl, a German musician, but his deputy was Kazimierz Sikorski, who was the actual head of the school at that time. The lecturers were mostly former teachers of the Warsaw Conservatory.
Kazimierz Sikorski – harmony, counterpoint, Irena Dubiska – violin, Stanisława Raube - piano, Wincent Laski - principles and solfege, Bronisław Rutkowski - organ, encyclopedia of music, Stanisława Zawadzka - singing, Józef Jarzębski - violin, Mieczysław Szaleski - viola, Dezyderiusz Danczowski - cello, Wincenty Śliwiński - double bass, Ludwik Kurkiewicz - clarinet , Seweryn Śnieckowski - oboe, Benedykt Górecki - bassoon, Andrzej Bromke - trumpet, Stakiewicz - trombone and tuba, Narkiewicz - harp, Jerzy Lefeld - piano, Jabłońska - piano, Paweł Lewiecki - piano, Zofia Buckiewicz - piano, Artur Taube - piano, Feliks Starczewski – piano, Zofia Bielewiczowa – vocals, Antonina Sankowska – vocals, Stefan Bielina-Skupiewski – vocals, Władysław Raczkowski – choir, Zygmunt Latoszewski – orchestra, Stanisław Kunat – trumpet, Mieczysław Kacperczyk – teaching methodology and teaching practice,Stefan Śledziński – history of music, Bartnikowski – flute.
Irena Dubiska took an active part in Warsaw's secret concert life, which developed in private homes and cafes. Cafes became a place where concerts of leading Polish singers and instrumentalists were organised. Lardelli's cafe and Bolesław Woytowicz's "Salon Sztuki" (Nowy Świat 27) became famous, where Dubiska appeared regularly from the autumn of 1942, when she replaced Eugenia Umińska in two chamber ensembles: in a trio that gave concerts every Sunday and in a quartet performed every Thursday (see: memories of Kazimierz Wiłkomirski). She also played in a quartet with Mieczysław Szaleski (viola), Dezyderiusz Danczowski (cello) and Jerzy Lefeld (piano).
I remember one concert in Aleja Róż. It was arranged in honor of Szymanowski, where I performed with prof. Lefeld, those pieces that I had previously played with the composer himself. Szymanowski's solo piano works were played by Zbigniew Drzewiecki.
Exposing herself to repression, Dubiska never agreed to any form of artistic cooperation with the occupant (the German Nazi occupiers). She rejected the proposal to go with a concert to Berlin, she rejected the proposal to perform at the Theater der Stadt Warschau organized by the Germans in the building of the Polish Theater. She also refused to participate in concerts organized by the Germans for Governor Hans Frank.
Once the commissioner [Albert Hösl] proposed to me, Szaleski and Danczowski his composition. He played the piano himself. So we practiced, but we stopped. After some time, we had to get back to working on this song again. Finally, I went to this German and asked what we were studying for. Then I heard with horror that this composition was to be presented to Governor Frank. Then I got up and said I wasn't going to play. There was a lot of noise. The commissioner wanted to take me to the Gestapo, that I was insubordinate, that I acted politically. And at the beginning I was suspended from artistic activities. Finally found a replacement. As a token of recognition that I was able to stand up for myself later, I received beautiful roses and ... a quarter of butter from my colleagues.
She spent the Warsaw Uprising "on the front line", by the cauldron with boiling barley soup, peeling potatoes for several hundred people. She played for the wounded in hospitals and during Sunday services. After the fall of the uprising, she managed to avoid going to work in Germany and reached Krakow with her miraculously saved violin (Guarnerius), where she found a roof over her head in the hospitable home of Władysława Markiewiczówna.
Post-war period - intensive pedagogical activity
Irena Dubiska began teaching very early, in 1913, when she was fourteen and gave private lessons. In 1919, Emil Młynarski, then director of the State Conservatory of Warsaw, offered her a job at the university, and thus Irena, as a twenty-year-old, young and talented violinist, took over the violin class.
In addition to concerts, playing, I was also involved in pedagogical work. As a teenage girl, I gave my first private lessons, because I just had to earn money somehow. Each of us had to think about the means of subsistence. My sister also taught piano as soon as she graduated. Shortly after arriving in Warsaw in 1919, Młynarski gave me a violin class at the conservatory. It was then that I began to be interested in young talents. I made a career myself, so I knew the mechanisms of its creation perfectly well. These are not only successes of flowers and applause. You have to work hard. Playing the violin is extremely difficult. Individual sounds are created, formed by oneself. Nothing is given, ready. Each hand creates different problems. There are a lot of details necessary to master in order to be tempted to do the whole work. Without these fundamental principles, it would not be possible to make music freely. In addition, the musician must give the impression that the game is very easy and costs him nothing. So technique is extremely important, but it should be invisible. However, skill cannot replace art, a violinist must remember that he is an artist.
In the interwar period, Dubiska's career was dominated by concert activity, and she worked at the Conservatory only in the years 1919–1921 and 1931–1936. After the end of the war, teaching became her main domain, to which she devoted herself entirely.
In the years 1945–1951 she taught violin and chamber ensembles at the State Higher School of Music in Łódź. Soon, she also took over the violin class at the PWSM in Warsaw. In 1946 she was appointed associate professor, and in 1956 - full professor. In the years 1957-1969 (i.e. until her retirement) she was the head of the Department of String Instruments at the Warsaw Academy. Her work was based on quite simple Work Regulations, which assumed three streams of activity: didactic, scientific and training and promotion of auxiliary staff. This program (slightly expanded) is still implemented today.
She also worked in lower-level schools: in the years 1981 - 1989 at the State Primary Music School No. 1. E. Młynarski, at the State Secondary School of Music (State Secondary School of Music) No. 1 them. J. Elsner (currently both schools are the Complex of State Music Schools No. 1), in the State Secondary School of Music (State Secondary School of Music) No. 2 im. F. Chopin and the State Music High School in Warsaw. For 70 years of teaching, she has educated a large group of violinists. Her students included: Zenon Bąkowski, Marek Bojarski, Maria Brylanka, Zenon Brzewski, Józef Chasyd, Zdzisław Draus, Jerzy Grzegorzewski, Stefan Herman, Zenon Hodor, Igor Iwanow, Julia Jakimowicz-Jakowicz, Piotr Janowski, Andrzej Kacperczyk, Jacek Klimkiewicz, Tadeusz Kochański, Sylwia Konopka, Daniel Krakowski, Witold Krotkiewski, Janusz Kucharski,
Her most outstanding student, Wanda Wiłkomirska, began learning to play the violin at the age of five under the guidance of her father. In 1942 she came to Warsaw, where at the age of thirteen she became a student of Eugenia Umińska. When Umińska, due to her safety, had to stop her official activities and disappear from the sight of the occupation authorities, Irena Dubiska took care of the talented girl. She led Wanda until she graduated from the PWSM in Łódź in 1947. In the years 1945–1947, they gave concerts together as members of a string quartet with the participation of the viola player Mieczysław Szaleski and the cellist Kazimierz Wiłkomirski. In 1946 they go to Geneva for the International Competition,attended by my best student Wanda Wiłkomirska, qualified as the only Polish violinist at the qualifying competition in Warsaw. They come back with the winner's prize.
After retiring in 1969, she continued to teach the violin class at the PWSM in Warsaw, and from 1973 also at the PWSM in Łódź. She taught until her last days - she awarded her last student, Grzegorz Pytlak, a diploma at the age of 88. In the years 1976–1983 and 1985 she also lectured at master classes in Łańcut, which at that time were held under the aegis of SPAM.
The artist's pedagogical activity, which dominated in that period, significantly limited her concert activity, especially since the political conditions were not conducive to traveling abroad. It is worth noting, however, the great success of the performances in 1947 in Yugoslavia, when Irena Dubiska gave concerts together with Jerzy Lefeld, performing a program composed exclusively of Polish music, which was received there with extraordinary enthusiasm by both the audience and the critics. In the following years, she made numerous radio recordings, and her joint concerts with Eugenia Umińska, during which they performed works for two violins, were highly rated.
Irena Dubiska as a juror
Irena Dubiska has been repeatedly invited to the juries of international violin competitions. Until 1981 she was a juror of all the violin competitions named after them. H. Wieniawski in Poznań.
I remember the 1st Violin Competition. Henryk Wieniawski, arranged in 1935 by the nephew of the great violinist, Adam Wieniawski. My student, 11-year-old Józef Chadys from Suwałki, participated in this competition. A very talented boy. I was secretary of the Jury at that time. And I never missed any of the competitions - I was always on the Jury.
Let us add that the first edition of the Wieniawski Competition went down in history as a "tournament of giants" due to the fact that many outstanding violinists participated and the artistic level was "unimaginably high". Dubiska's student, Józef Hassid, received "only" an honorable mention because his game had too many typos. Nevertheless, many masters praised his talent, and Fritz Kreisler said: "a violinist like Heifetz is born once in 100 years, and a violinist like Hassid - once in 200 years". During the competition, Hassid played the violin that Kreisler had lent him. Unfortunately, a career was not in the cards for Józef - six years later in London he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He died at only 27 years old.
The next planned editions were interrupted by World War II. The next competition was organized seventeen years later, in 1952, in Poznań. And since then it has been held regularly every 5 years. The organizer is the Music Society of Henryk Wieniawski in the 5th Competition in 1967, the first prize was won by Dubiska's student, Piotr Janowski. During the 6th and 7th Competitions (1972 and 1977), Dubiska was the chairwoman of the jury. She was also a juror in the so-called Small Competition. Henryk Wieniawski in Lublin (in its current form it is the Karol Lipiński and Henryk Wieniawski International Competition for Young Violinists).
In addition, as a juror, she participated in the competition in Scheveningen in the Netherlands (1948), in the Bach Competition in Leipzig (1950), in the George Enescu in Bucharest (1958, 1961, 1970), in the competition in Geneva (1960, 1965), the Pyotr Tchaikovsky in Moscow (1970, 1978).
Irena Dubiska was active in the community of musicians. In 1954, on the initiative of her and several other people (including Andrzej Panufnik, Kazimierz Sikorski, Eugenia Umińska, Tadeusz Wroński, Wanda Wiłkomirska), the Association of Polish Artists Violin Makers was established, from 1980 operating under the name of the Association of Polish Artist Violin Makers. In the first term, I. Dubiska was the vice-president of the Peer Court, and for the next seven years (1958-1976) she was a member of the Board, acting as the treasurer. In recognition of her merits, she was awarded the title of Honorary Member.
Association of Polish Music Artists
She was involved in the creation and activities of SPAM from the very beginning - she was its founding member. On June 11–13, 1956, the first organizational Congress of the Association took place. Irena Dubiska, together with Ewa Bandrowska-Turska, Eugenia Umińska, Wanda Wiłkomirska, Stefania Woytowicz, Walerian Bierdiajew, Jan Ekier, Stanisław Wisłocki, Władysław Kędra and Witold Rowicki, sat at the presidium table. The first elected authorities were represented by: Zbigniew Drzewiecki (president), Ludwik Kurkiewicz and Teodor Liese (vice-presidents), Teodor Zalewski (secretary), Tadeusz Wroński (treasurer), Zenon Hodor, Bronisław Rutkowski, Władysław Kędra, Wanda Wiłkomirska, Henryk Sztompka, Mieczysław Drobner, Henryk Olejniczak, Mateusz Stroka, Paweł Święty (members of the Main Board). In October 1957, Irena Dubiska became the chairwoman of the Qualification Committee and held this position until her death. The Committee's duties included examining applications for SPAM membership, and Dubiska was said to "hold the keys to the Association". In the years 1965–1968 and 1981–1988 she was a member of the Main Board. In the 5th term (1968–1971) she was the vice-president of Section I – Soloists and Conductors (N.B. the second vice-president of this Section was Wanda Wiłkomirska, and the chairman was Kazimierz Wiłkomirski). Since 1970, she has been actively involved in the work of committees dealing with seniors' issues. As an initiator, organizer and participant of spam concerts, she contributed to raising the prestige and importance of SPAM in the musical life of the country.
From 1945, Irena Dubiska was also involved in editorial activities. She has arranged many works, including: Violin Concerto in E major, Concerto in D minor for two violins by JS Bach, Caprice transcribed for violin and piano by G. Bacewicz, Etudes and caprices for solo violin op. 35 by J. Dont, Violin Concerto in A major by M. Karłowicz, Amorous Sorrows for violin and piano by F. Kreisler, Caprices for solo violin, op. 10, 27, 29 by K. Lipiński, Four Silesian Melodies by Witold Lutosławski, Mazur in G major op. 7 and Polonaise in D major, Op. 4 No. 1 by E. Młynarski, Violin Concerto in D major "Adelaide" by WA Mozart (with its own cadenzas), Sonatafor solo violin by R. Padlewski, 4 caprices for violin and piano by M. Popławski, Dumka, Krakowiak, Mazurka in F major op. 8 No. 2 and Mazurka in A minor, Op. 8 No. 3 by R. Statkowski, Two Kurpie Songs by K. Szymanowski, L'école moderne, etudes-caprices pour le violon seul op. 10, Two Mazurkas Op. 12 No. 1 and 2 for violin and piano, Violin Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 14 (with E. Umińska), Variations on a theme op. 15 for violin and piano, Etudes - caprices op.18 for two violins (with E. Umińska), Etudes - caprices op.18 for violin with accompaniment of second violin, Fantaisie brillante on themes from the opera "Faust" by Ch. Gounodop. 20 for violin and piano (with E. Umińska) by H. Wieniawski, Two salon mazurkas. Idyll in D major op. 12 No. 1, Polish Song in G minor, Op. 12 No. 2 from the collection The Most Beautiful Wieniawski for violin and piano, Romance for violin and piano, Mazurka in G major by A. Zarzycki, as well as other works by J. Brahms, J. Bruzdowicz, A. Jarzębski, A. Kątski, T. Paciorkiewicz, IJ Paderewski, N. Paganini, F. Schubert, O. Ševčik. She also prepared collections of violin works important from the point of view of instrumental pedagogy, which are still used in school curricula, e.g. Selection of etudes in the first position for violin, Collections of violin duets, volumes 1 and 2, School Concerto in A minor, Op. 62 for violin and piano by G. Hollander. (Vide: Editorial activities).
Prof. Irena Dubiska died suddenly on June 1, 1989 (see Memories of Andrzej Pytlak) a few days after a brutal attack in her own home.
To commemorate the outstanding violinist and teacher, three editions of the National Violin Music Interpretation Competition named after her were held in Łódź (2003, 2004, 2006). The competition was organized by the Pro Musica Foundation in cooperation with the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music. Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz in Łódź, the Polish Music Institute and the Łódź Philharmonic. Artur Rubinstein.