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Discovering Paderewski Festival Returns to Lviv
Jerzy Maksymiuk, photo: Wiktor Wałkow / courtesy of the Szymanowski Philharmonic in Kraków
Jerzy Maksymiuk, photo: Wiktor Wałkow / courtesy of the Szymanowski Philharmonic in Kraków

The Fifth International Discovering Paderewski Festival, the most important and biggest Polish-Ukrainian music event, will start in Lviv on 11th November 2016. At the festival, an opera by Ignacy Jan Paderewski entitled Manru with a new arrangement by Jerzy Maksymiuk will have its premiere in the form of a concert – a unique Polish-Ukrainian coproduction.

This is a special year for the festival, not only because it’s the fifth anniversary edition but also because of other important anniversaries – the 75th anniversary of Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s death and the 100th of an extraordinarily important concert by its patron. On 22nd February 1922 Ignacy Jan Paderewski gave a concert in the White House in Washington in the presence of President Woodrow Wilson. The concert changed the president’s opinion about Poland’s independence. Paderewski influenced the president to give a speech in the US senate with the widely remembered words:

All the politicians agree that an independent, united Poland must exist.


The greatest event of the festival will be a new arrangement of Manru, the only opera written by Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Its libretto was based on the novel Chata Za Wsią (Cottage Behind the Village) by Józef Ignacy Kraszewski. The world premiere took place on 29th May 1901 in Dresden, where it was performed in German. The Polish premiere took place in Lviv on 8th June 1901. A year later it was presented in the Warsaw National Opera and its American premiere took place on 14th February 1902 – it was presented on the Metropolitan Opera’s stage. Paderewski’s piece is still the only Polish composition ever presented at the MET.

The opera will be presented on 12th November 2016 in Lviv Philharmonic Hall. The new arrangement of the masterpiece was created by Jerzy Maksymiuk. The maestro himself is going to personally conduct the performance of the opera.


Ulana – Magdalena Schabowska
Manru – Maciej Komandera
Urok – Łukasz Motkowicz
Oros – Zbigniew Wunsch
Aza – Monika Ledzion
Jagu – Robert Dymowski

Paderewski and Chopin, Latoszyński and Szymanowski

The festival will be inaugurated with a concert by Leszek Możdżer, a courageous experimenter with the borders of music. He will perform jazz interpretations of the music of Chopin and Paderewski. The concert will take place on 11th November 2016.

On 12th November in Lviv Philharmonic Hall, Polish music will meet Ukrainian music. Karol Radziwonowicz, Marianna Humetska, Aneta Łukaszewicz, Natalia Martynowoji, and the FENIKS String Quartet will perform pieces by Karol Szymanowski, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, born in Tymoszówka – a village currently situated in Ukraine. In addition to this, music by Karol Latoszyński – the father of contemporary Ukrainian music, born in Żytomierz – will be presented.

On 14th November in Lviv Philharmonic Hall, a concert with music by Krzesimir Dębski with Aneta Łukaszewicz, young musicians from Poland and Ukraine, and the INSO-Lviv Orchestra directed by Wolodymir Sywokchip will take place. A selection of Paderewski’s songs and Missa Brevis by Krzesimir Dębski will be performed.

An accompanying event – a concert of Krzesimir Dębski’s music – will take place on 15th November in Kamianets-Podilskyi.

Paderewski statuettes

Paderewski statuettes are awarded to institutions or individual people from Poland and Ukraine for special contributions to building good relations between Poland and Ukraine or engagement in actions leading to Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation, as well as for promoting the artistic output of Ignacy Jan Paderewski and other significant Poles. The author of the statuette is sculptor Andrzej Renes. The awards ceremony will take place on 12th November in Lviv Philharmonic Hall.

In 2012, this prestigious award was received by Wołodymyr Sywokchip, general director of Lviv Philharmonic; Jerzy Lach, director of Warsaw Chamber Opera; Jerzy Maksymiuk, conductor; Krzysztof Świderek, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Winnica; and Myrosław Marynowycz, vice-chancellor of the Ukrainian Catholic University.

In 2013, the award was given to the organiser of the 23rd Lviv International Book Fair and Literature Festival, Ołeksandra Kowal; member of National Union of Composers of Ukraine Jurij Laniuk; creator of culture and director of the legendary DZYGA from Lviv, Markijan Iwaszczyszyn; and journalist, publicist, and translator Andrij Pawłyszyn.

In 2014, its laureates were the editor of JI magazine Taras Woźniak, former director of the Polish Institute in Kiev Jarosław Godun, American composer Richard Wargo, and Iryna Podolak and Janina Andrejczuk, volunteers at the Dajmy Nadzieję (Giving Hope) Foundation which helps children with cancer.

In 2015, the award was given to Jarosław Drozd, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Lviv; Polish translator Wiktor Dmytruk; and Leonid Finberg, sociologist and director of the Centre for Studies of the Culture and History of Eastern European Jews in Kiev.

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Source: press materials, translated by BR