Ignacy Paderewski was in his time the richest artist in the world. He received dizzying royalties from Steinway, the piano manufacturer and organizer of Paderewski’s concerts in the USA. Already the first tour in 1891 brought a “modest” income of today’s 1.9 million dollars, in addition the artist earned money from occasional recitals for millionaires and the sale of music editions of his own compositions. The famous Minuet in G major was published in the USA in one million copies. Ignacy Paderewski earned huge money, but he knew how to share it. His contemporaries pointed to his generosity and generous nature, his friends claimed that helping others gave him the greatest joy. He donated the income from his concerts to many causes, including the House of St Casimir in Paris, veterans of the January Uprising, famine victims in Galicia and Polish children in Września. He helped the indigent Polish community in America, student organizations, poor artists in the USA and in Poland, funded scholarships for young musicians and young composers, donated $28,600 as the largest single donation to help American war invalids.There were so many donations that it is impossible to mention them. During his first tour of America, Paderewski donated over four thousand dollars to the George Washington Arch in New York City. After a concert in Warsaw, gave 26,314 rubles to poor students of the University of Warsaw, junior and high school students, students of the Music Institute, the Society for the Care of Poor Mothers and Children, poor families, the Children’s Hospital in Warsaw, and the Orchestra and Choir of the Grand Theatre. Ignacy Paderewski supported activities that were to perpetuate in the consciousness of his compatriots the figure and works of F. Chopin. On October 14th, 1894, a monument with a bust of the composer was unveiled in Zelazowa Wola. This would not have been possible if it had not been for a donation of two thousand francs made by Paderewski. Large sum also was contributed to the fund for the construction of the monument of Frederic Chopin in the Royal Łazienki Park.
In 1919, when Paderewski became a Prime Minister of the free Polish government, he founded and supported the independent daily newspaper “Rzeczpospolita”. He also donated money for the construction of a Sanatorium for lung patients in Zakopane, the Bristol Hotel and the Warsaw Philharmonic. In Cracow Paderewski founded the Grunwald Monument. although the idea of sacrificing a huge fortune to build the monument seemed to be a pipe dream to many. No one but the artist-founder and at the same time an incorrigible idealist would do such a thing. He also founded the Pulaski Monument in Washington, D.C., the Kosciuszko Monument in Chicago, the Mickiewicz Monument in Lvov, financed camps for Polish volunteers from the United States to join the emerging Polish army in France. Paderewski was one of the co-founders of the Committee to Aid Poles in Paris, together with Henryk Sienkiewicz founded the Swiss General Committee for Aid to War Victims in Poland. On June 28, 1919 Ignacy Paderewski took part in signing the Treaty of Versailles, the main peace treaty ending World War I. The Treaty restored Poland to the map of Europe after 123 years of captivity. Ignacy Paderewski’s achievements also include financial participation in the creation of the panorama Golgotha (Crucifixion) by Jan Styka. The panorama is considered the largest religious painting in the world. The number of charity concerts throughout Ignacy Paderewski’s career is staggering; his devotion to his country, philanthropy and the enormous sums he donated to charity are thought-provoking and serve as a model and inspiration for future generations.
The online concert will premiere on June 29 at 8pm CET and 2pm EST. The event is organized in cooperation with the Roman Dmowski & Ignacy Paderewski Institute for the Heritage of National Thought, Paderewski Center in Kąśna Dolna, International Chopin Festival in Duszniki Zdrój, Jozef Pilsudski Institute of America, Polish Museum in America, Polish Community Association and Łazienki Królewskie in Warsaw.
Fundacja Kultury i Sztuki