The Ignacy Jan Paderewski festival, dedicated to the memory of the world-famous Polish pianist, composer, politician, and humanist, has just ended in Paso Robles.
After the pandemic break, the musicians returned to the town. On Saturday evening, the works of Fryderyk Chopin and Ignacy Paderewski were played by virtuoso Kevin Kenner. The American pianist is a laureate of the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1990.
After the covid break, the annual piano competition was also held for children and teenagers.
During the festival, the streets of Paso Robles were decorated with Polish flags throughout the weekend.
Paderewski, a pianist and diplomat, is not only one of those who established Polish independence in 1918, he is also an American pioneer. He came to California after successful concerts in New York. The train journey from San Francisco to San Diego or Los Angeles took 12 hours. The hardships associated with covering distances of thousands of kilometres did not discourage Paderewski. Between 1914 and 1939, he travelled to the western states of the USA many times. During his stay in San Diego, he played a concert at the Fisher’s Opera House, one of the most modern concert halls in America at the time.
Paderewski had a great influence on the development of Paso Robles, where he not only stayed for a long time but also bought a ranch and established a vineyard.