The Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles continues to grow from strength to strength. Each year there are more events presenting various facets of Polish culture and celebrating Ignacy Jan Paderewski, an extraordinary pianist, composer, politician, and humanitarian.
The highlight of this year’s Festival will be South Korean pianist Zheeyoung Moon, the featured performer at this year’s Gala Concert on Saturday, November 8. Held in the Ballroom of the Historic Paso Robles Inn, Ms. Moon’s program will include works by Chopin, Paderewski and Liszt, among others. Winner of the First Prize at the 2013 Paderewski International Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Zheeyoung Moon will also lead a Master Class for all interested pianists on Friday, November 7.
The Festival will be held in various venues in and around Paso Robles from November 6-9. Other highlights of this year’s Festival include a celebration of Paderewski’s birthday with Cassandra Tarantino and Cuesta College North County Chorus; a recital of violin and piano music with a winner of the Paganini Competition in Italy, violinist Mariusz Patyra and pianist Krzysztof Herdzin (below); the Youth Piano Competition Winners’ recital; and recitals by students from Poland and Ukraine participating in the Festival’s cultural exchange program. Film screenings, dance performances and exhibits of Paderewski memorabilia will also accompany concerts presented during the 2014 Festival.
The other important aspect of the Paderewski Festival is its Youth Piano Competition and the 8th annual auditions will be held in Paso Robles on Saturday, October 25. The application deadline is Friday, October 3. The contest is open to piano students competing in two groups: Juniors (ages 10-14) and Seniors (ages 15-18). All contestants must currently study with an established piano teacher and reside within the following counties: San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Barbara. Residents of other California counties and professional pianists may not apply.
(L) Krzysztof Herdzin (R) Mariusz Patyra
All participants in the 2014 auditions will receive a certificate. Prizes ranging from $200-$750 will be awarded to the best performers in each category who will be invited to perform during the 2014 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles. The Competition Jury will be headed by pianist and composer, Marek Zebrowski, Director of the Polish Music Center at USC and Artistic Director of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles. Awards will be made at the discretion of the Jury, whose verdict shall be final. The Jury reserves the right to withhold a prize or prizes in each age group and its decisions will not be subject to appeal.
The 2014 Youth Competition Winners’ Concert will be held in the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom on Saturday, November 8, 2014. Selected winners may also have an opportunity to travel to Poland in summer of 2015 on a Festival-sponsored exchange program that includes piano workshops, master classes, and concert performances at Kąśna Dolna, Paderewski’s estate in southern Poland, and at the historic Jagiellonian University in Kraków.
More information on the Festival, tickets, and Youth Competition can be found at: www.paderewskifest.com