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.
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