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Waldemar Maciszewksi

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May 21,1927 Warszawa - November 8, 1956 Świder k. Warszawy

Winner 3rd prize IV Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition in Warszawa (1949) – began systematic piano studies at the Karol Kurpiński Music School in Warszawa under Stanisław Osmołowski in 1937-1940. During World War II, he studied at the underground Warszawa Conservatory in Prof. Zbigniew Drzewiecki’s piano class and composition with Prof. Kazimierz Sikorski. After the war, he continued his studies in Kraków – at the State Music Academy – under Zbigniew Drzewiecki (1945-1948).

His first significant success as a pianist was winning the sixth award at the Béla Bartók International Musical Competition in Budapest (1948).

Waldemar Maciszewski began his concert career while he was still a student. He performed (in Warszawa and Kraków amongst others) piano concertos with orchestral accompaniment, gave recitals that included the works of various composers and ‘Chopin evenings’. In October 1949, at the Fourth Chopin Competition, he won third prize. That same year he toured in Bulgaria and Romania as well as – as part of the celebrations surround the 100th anniversary of Chopin’s death – taking part in a series of Chopin concerts held around Poland. One year later (1950), he won the third prize (ex aequo with Joerg Demus) at the J.S. Bach International Music Competition in Lipsk.

Waldemar Maciszewski had multifaceted musical talents. He was gifted with a sensitivity to sound, a sense of rhythm and musical form, a natural ease at the piano as well as improvisational skills. He could easily absorb a new repertoire, and felt comfortable in every musical style. He was equally successfully playing the works of Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Schumann, Debussy or Szymanowski. He was interested in everything that had to do with the world of sound. He didn’t have to practice very much as he possessed an ever-readiness to play and an in-born musicality that meant he always had a full catalogue of the best possible interpretations at the ready. Thus, aside from an enormous piano repertoire, he performed popular and jazz music – to varying degrees of success. He composed accompaniment music for the theatre, radio programmes, configured folk music for different combinations of instruments and wrote songs. From among his more ambitious works it is worth mentioning Concertino for piano and orchestra, Concertino for jazz piano and orchestra, ‘Small Suite’ for band as well as the Wielkopolska Suites for folk choir.

There is a popular saying that “those chosen by the gods die quickly” Maciszewski barely lived 29 years. He died tragically under the wheels of a train.

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