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Michał Kleofas Ogiński

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Michał Kleofas Ogiński (Lithuanian: Mykolas Kleopas Oginskis, Belarusian: Міхаіл Клеафас Агінскі) (Guzów, near Warsaw, October 7, 1765 - October 10, 1833, Florence, Italy) was a Polish-Lithuanian and later Russian statesman, insurrectionary and composer, best known for his polonaise, Pożegnanie Ojczyzny (English: Farewell to the Fatherland).

Ogiński was an ambassador, composer, Paymaster General of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. His father, Andrius, was governor of Trakai; his mother, Paulina, was a daughter of the magnate, Szembek. Ogiński was born in Guzów, near Warsaw. Taught at home, he excelled especially at music and foreign languages.

Being a well-known musician and a composer, Ogiński was fond of Italian and French Opera, played violin and clavichord.

He started composing marches and military songs in 1790’s and become popular among rebels in 1794. Some historians consider Oginski composed music for the song Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła (Poland has not yet perished), which became the Polish National Hymn later.

Living in Zalesie, present-day Zaleśsie (Belarus), and later Helenów (Poland), Ogiński devoted himself to music composing. During that period he composed music for the polonaise Pożegnanie Ojczyzny (Farewell to the Homeland).

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