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IgnacY Jan Paderewski

One of Paso Robles greatest citizens, Ignacy Jan Paderewski was the first Prime Minister of Poland, a pianist and composer and foreign minister during which he signed the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I.

Lifespan Timeline

1860           Born in Kurylowka, Podolie, a Polish province annexed by                               Russia 


1863-64      Uprising against Russia by the Poles. He witnessed the                                      arrest of his father who was taken into captivity by the                                    Cossacks for one year. 

1872           Admitted to the Warsaw Conservatory of Music 

1879           Became a professor at age 19 upon graduation from the                                   Conservatory


1879           Married fellow Conservatory student Antonina Korsak 

1880           His wife died in childbirth leaving a handicapped son, Alfred         

1882-84      Lived in Berlin while studying composition 

1885-87       Became student of Theodore Leschetizky in Vienna and                                    studied for career as a virtuoso 

1888            Early success as virtuoso pianist in Paris 


1889            Formal debut in Vienna followed by grand tours of Europe.                              and Russia 

1891            Debut at Carnegie Music Hall in New York; first of twenty                                triumphant tours across the U.S. 

1895            First visit to California; concerts in San Francisco and Los.                              Angeles. Met Herbert Hoover, then a student at Stanford                                  University, who arranged an ill-conceived concert at                                          Stanford which resulted in financial disaster for Hoover.                                  Paderewski waived his usual fee and settled for a small
                    percentage of the net. 


1897-1940  Resided at Riond-Bosson in Morges, Switzerland. His                                         second wife, Helene Gorska (married 1899), cared for his                                   son as she had for many years. 

1901           His son Alfred died of pneumonia at age 20 

1901           His only opera "Manru" opened in Dresden 


1909           Wrote his symphony "Polonia" while in Boston 


1913            First visit to Paso Robles in search of a cure for his neuritis                             at the mud and mineral baths 

1914            Purchased 2300 acres west and northwest of town,                                           "Rancho San Ignacio" where he planted almonds, walnuts,                               fruit trees and grapes 


1915-16       Purchased 320 acres on Adelaida Road which he named                                   "Rancho Santa Helena" in honor of his wife and an                                             additional 80 acres also on Adelaida Road 

1914-1940  Made regular visits to Paso Robles to rest after long                                           concert tours; occupied a suite at the Hotel EI Paso de                                       Robles, enjoyed the mud baths and hot springs, took long                                 walks in town and on his ranches, oversaw the                                                   management of his property with his resident foreman 

1915-18       His U.S. speeches inspired 15,000 young Poles to enlist                                     and fight with the Allies in the Great War 

1917.           Convinced President Woodrow Wilson to call for re-                                         establishment of Polish independence 

1918            Returned triumphant to independent Poland 


Jan. 1919    Named President of the Council of Ministers and Minister

                   of Foreign Affairs; negotiated the clauses relating to                                           Poland in the Treaty of Versailles at the Peace Conference                               in Paris 

Dec. 1919   Resigned his posts when he was unable to build a coalition                             government 

1920           Represented his country at the League of Nations in                                         Geneva 


1922            Resumed his prestigious musical career at age 62 with a                                   concert at Carnegie Hall 

1934           His second wife, Helene, died at Riond-Bosson 

1936           Made his film debut at age 76 playing himself in the                                           English film, "Moonlight Sonata" 

1939           Launched urgent appeal to the civilized world for help                                     after the German and Soviet invasion of Poland 

1939           Twentieth and final tour of the United States 

1940           Presided over the National Polish Council in Paris 

Sep. 1940   Left Switzerland for the U.S. to fight for the Polish cause                                   and appeal for funds 

1941            Gave his last speech before a joyous gathering of Polish-                                   American veterans in Oak Ridge, New Jersey 

June 1941   Died in New York at the age of 80 and was given a State                                   funeral. He was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery                             outside Washington, D.C. His dream of retiring to his                                       ranches and establishing a school in Paso Robles for                                         disadvantaged young musicians died with him. 

JuIy 1992   His remains were transferred with full honors to a free Poland 

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