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Zygmunt Stojowski

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(1870 – 1946)

Zygmunt Denis Antoni Jordan de Stojowski (May 4, 1870 – November 5, 1946) was a Polish Romantic pianist and composer.

Born near the city of Kielce, Stojowski began his musical training with his mother Marie and Polish composer Władysław Żeleński. In Kraków, as a seventeen-year-old student, he made his debut as a concert pianist performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the local orchestra.

At the age of eighteen he moved to Paris and studied piano with Louis Diemer and composition with Léo Delibes. Two years later at the Paris Conservatoire, he would win first prizes in piano performance, counterpoint and fugue. According to Stojowski, however, in a December 1901 interview that appeared in a Warsaw magazine, the teachers who had the most profound influence on him as a musician were the Polish violinist-composer Wladyslaw Gorski and pianist-composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

Stojowski’s music was found worthy enough to be included in the first concert of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, on 5 November 1901. His Symphony in D minor, Op. 21, which was featured in that first concert conducted by Emil Mlynarski, had won first prize (1000 rubles) in a Paderewski Music Competition in Leipzig on 9 July 1898. Besides having his symphony performed at that first prestigious concert, Stojowski appeared as a recitalist in December and again as the soloist in Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 4 in January 1902.

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