Violinist and pedagogue, born on 26 September 1899 in Inowrocław, died on 1 June 1990 in Warsaw.
She started to learn violin when she was five. In 1912 she graduated from The Stern Conservatory in Berlin receiving her diploma with the golden medal. In the years 1917-1919 she completed complementary studies under Bronisław Huberman, and later consulted her works with Carl Flesch.
She debuted in 1908 in Wittenberg and had her first concert in Warsaw in 1919 performing Johaness Brahms's Violin Concert in D major, op. 77 with an orchestra under the baton of Emil Młynarski. Between 1919 and 1921 she played in a quartet combined of Mieczysław Fliederbaum (second violin), Emil Młynarski (alto) and Eli Kochański (cello). Up to 1939 she performed in many European countries, often with Bronisław Huberman in a repertoire for two violins. In 1922 in Vienna she successfully performed Mieczysław Karłowicz's Violin Concert in A major, op. 8. with an orchestra under the baton of Grzegorz Fitelberg. In 1927, a concert in Vilnius opened her cooperation with Karol Szymanowski. In 1930 she founded the Polish Quartet (Kwartet Polski), afterwards renamed as Karol Szymanowski Quartet, with Fliederbaum (violin), Mieczysław Szaleski (alto) and Zofia Adamska (cello). In the years 1945-1947 she concerted in a quartet with the violinist Wanda Wiłkomirska, the altocellist Mieczysław Szaleski and the cellist Kazimierz Wiłkomirski.
The artist spent World War Two in Warsaw where she played in Lardell's café and Bolesław Woytowicz's 'Salon Sztuki' alone or together with Szaleski (alto), Dezyderiusz Danczowski (cello) and Jerzy Lefeld (piano).
Irena Dubiska started to work as a pedagogue in 1913 with private lessons only at the beginning. In 1919, she started to teach in the Warsaw Conservatory and after the war also in the Higher School of Music in Łódź (1945-1951) and in Warsaw (1946-1969) where Dubiska became a professor in 1956. In the years 1957-1969 she was simultaneously a chief at the Department of String Instruments in Warsaw. During her educational career she managed to educate many exceptional violinists, including: Zenon Bąkowski, Zenon Brzewski, Maria Brylanka, Josef Hassid, Stefan Herman, Zenon Hodor, Igor Ivanov, Julia Jakimowicz, Piotr Janowski, Janusz Kucharski, Tomasz Michalak, Zenon Płoszaj, Stefan Rachoń, Edward Statkiewicz nad Wanda Wiłkomirska. Dubińska was often a member of juries in international competitions, including International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań (1935, 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, the last two times as the chief of jury), Scheveningen Competition (1948), Bach Competition in Leipzig (1950), George Enescu Competition in Bucharest (1958, 1961, 1970), Geneva Competition (1960, 1965) and Pyotr Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1970, 1978).
She was also an active person in the music environment, having many important responsibilities in the Association for Polish Music Artists (SPAM), the Warsaw Music Society and the Polish Union of Artist Violin Makers.
Since 1945 she had worked as an editor in violin literature – she elaborated on about fifty pieces of work, including: Johan Sebastian Bach's Violin Concert in E minor and Concert for Two Violins in D major, Mieczysław Karłowicz's Violin Concert in A major, Henryk Wieniawski's Violin Concert in F-sharp minor and Faust Fantasy, Karol Lipiński's Notions, Witold Lutosławski's Four Silesian Melodies, Aleksander Zarzycki's Mazurka in G major op.7 and Polonaise in A minor op. 8 nr 3, Roman Padlewski's Sonata for Violin Solo, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Violin Concert D major 'Adelaide' and many didactic pieces.
Irena Dubiska was awarded many prizes and decorations, including Golden Cross of Merit (1931), State Award Second Degree (1947), Order of Polonia Restituta (1956), The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Award (1964, 1969) and The Golden Badge of the Association for Polish Music Artists SPAM (1972).
Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Centre, Związek Kompozytorów Polskich, November 2007, translated by AW, November 2016.