Photographs of Paderewski


Every week there are newly-offered Paderewski items for sale on eBay. His long career yielded thousands and thousands of pieces of ephemera, programs, Paderewski postcards, Paderewski soap, tobacco cards, coins, candles, postage stamps, newspaper photos, piano rolls, sound recordings. For a long time, I wanted to acquire an old photograph of Ignaz Jan Paderewski. (Is it because I know Horowitz kept a Paderewski photo near his piano?) … [Read more...]

Sic transit pianisti


I return to Rotterdam, and it's as if no time has passed. Four years ago, I left very early in the morning, down a street with wood planks instead of a sidewalk. The construction is long finished, but I return to the thrill of that morning. It was October then too. I did a 2-day seminar in Rotterdam, at Codarts. Following that, something slightly crazy was on my schedule. I'd agreed to play, with several other pianists (Robert Levin, … [Read more...]



Near the beginning of T. S. Eliot's "Portrait of a Lady" there are these lines: "We have been, let us say, to hear the latest Pole Transmit the Preludes, through his hair and fingertips." Were those the celebrated red locks of Paderewski? Like many Poles playing the piano, he specialized in Chopin. There were so many Chopinists in the early years of the twentieth century -- just as sound recording really got going -- that, although we … [Read more...]