Zbigniew Drzewiecki - biography
Zbigniew Drzewiecki, a Polish pianist, was born on 8 April 1890 in Warsaw, and died on 11 April 1971 also in Warsaw. He had his first piano lessons with his father, and later with such Warsaw teachers as Feliks Konopasek, Włodzimierz Oberfelt and Robert Becker. He also studied music theory and violin playing under Ignacy Pilecki. In 1909 he left Warsaw to commence technical studies in Vienna, where he occasionally attended piano classes under Carl Prohaska at the Academy of Music. He continued his education under Paul de Conne, and next, after he moved to Brno, under Heinrich Janoch. From 1911 to 1915 he lived in Vienna, where he was taught by the famous Marie Prentner, a pupil and assistant of Theodor Leschetizky. In 1915 Drzewiecki returned to Poland and began his stage career with a concert at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, at which he gave a recital of pieces by Bach-Szántó, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Sgambati and Liszt. After the event a critic wrote: "the outcome of the concert for Drzewicki was very beneficial, [...] he turned out to be not only a technically accomplished pianist, but a sensitive virtuoso too, well acquainted with all schools' styles; besides, he is a pianist of an extremely rare quality: when by the piano he thinks about the performed music rather than how to show off". In 1928, in Morges, he attended eight consultation sessions with Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Between the wars he gave acclaimed concerts in Poland, France, Austria, the Czech lands, Romania, Sweden, and Latvia. In 1916 he began teaching at the Warsaw Music Institute, and in 1931 he became a professor of higher piano courses at the Warsaw Conservatory. Added to this, he commuted to Lvov and Krakow to teach at the conservatories there. He was also involved in music journalism. During the period of the Second World War Drzewiecki lived in Warsaw giving underground concerts and music lessons. In 1945, in the aftermath of the war, he organised The State Higher School of Music in Krakow (now The Academy of Music in Krakow), where he held the position of Chancellor until 1950. From 1955, when he moved to Warsaw, he was also a professor of the piano department at The State Higher School of Music in Warsaw (now The Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw). He continued teaching in both academies until he retired in 1961. He sat on the jury of the International Chopin Competitions in 1927, 1932, and 1937, and he was the Chairman of the juries in 1949, 1955, 1960 and 1965. He was the editor of the publications of selected works by Scarlatti, Haendel, Mozart, Beethoven, Czerny, Lessel and Szymanowski. His piano classes mastered such concert pianists as Jan Bereżyński, Felicja Blumental, Jan Ekier, Roman Jasiński, Aleksander Kagan, Bolesław Kon, Michał Kondracki, Sergiusz Nadgryzowski and Tatiana Woytaszewska, and after the war Ryszard Bakst, Halina Czerny-Stefańska, Lidia Grychtołówna, Fou Ts’ong, Adam Harasiewicz, Waldemar Maciszewski, Włodzimierz Obidowicz, Teresa Rutkowska and Regina Smendzianka.