Historical interpretations of Friderick Chopin works

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Zygmunt  Dygat - biography


Zygmunt Dygat, a Polish pianist, was born on 2 October 1894 in Krakow, and died on 14 October 1977 in Paris. He began playing the piano being only a few years old with Klara Czop-Umlauf, who gave him private lessons until 1908 when he became a student of The Musical Institute, founded by Czop-Umlauf in Krakow. In 1917 he began studies in philology and art history at the Jagiellonian University, but soon resigned and left for Vienna in the same year. Due to his advanced pianistic skills he was accepted into the third year of Jerzy Lalewicz's piano class at the Academy of Music. Additionally, he was privately tutored by Emil von Sauer. He completed his studies with honours in 1919, and left for Paris, where he was invited to play a recital at the Salle des Agriculteurs, non-existing today. The performance won enthusiastic acclaim from both music lovers and critics, one of them wrote: "we have not heard such an accomplished pianist since Paderewski's debut." An avalanche of invitations to play other concerts followed, and in 1920 he settled in Paris. In February 1925 he debuted in Warsaw and three months later in Krakow. In 1928 he performed a series of concerts in France and toured in the United States. During summer months from 1928 to 1932 he came to Morges, where he was a private pupil of Jan Paderewski. Before the outbreak of World War II, he regularly played at the Parisian Théâtre des Champs Elysées, and renowned concert halls of The Hague, Warsaw, Krakow, Lvov (now L'viv) and other cities. His audiences praised him for the inspired interpretation of Chopin and Debussy, and for his masterly performances of works by contemporary composers such as Szymanowski, Granados, Ravel, Poulenc and Paderewski. In the aftermath of World War II, Dygat resumed his international career, touring the biggest cities in the United States over three months in 1948. A year later, on the centenary of Chopin's death, he played many Chopin recitals, including galas in Paris and London. He also took an active interest in chamber music playing with the violinists Eugenia Umińska and Henryk Szeryng. After his wife's death, he retired from his stage career. In 1958 he began teaching both as a private tutor and as a professor of higher piano courses at the Rachmaninoff Conservatory in Paris. In the period between the world wars, he co-founded the Organization of Musical Movement in Poland, and he actively took part, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, at concerts whose aim was to promote music in small remote towns. After the Second World War he was President of the Association of Young Polish Musicians in Paris.

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