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Warsaw’s Chopin Museum receives a gift from Miami

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 19.10.2015 17:45
A Pleyel upright piano dating from 1847 and containing Chopin’s signature has been donated to the Chopin Museum in Warsaw by the Miami-based Chopin Foundation of the United States.
Curator of the Chopin Museum Maciej Janicki (back) with a guest and the Pleyel piano. Photo: PAP/Radek PietruszkaCurator of the Chopin Museum Maciej Janicki (back) with a guest and the Pleyel piano. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

The instrument has been on display in the Warsaw museum for the past few years as a deposit, but during Monday's ceremony the Chopin Foundation of the United States transferred the property rights to the Chopin Museum.

The piano was selected by Chopin himself at the Pleyel factory in Paris for one of his pupils and it was at that person’s request that the composer put his signature inside the instrument so that it could be easily recognized. In subsequent years, it found itself in Romania, Italy and the United States.

The Director of the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute, Artur Szklener, has described the gift as one of unique significance.

“It is an artefact which contains the composer’s signature and, being an instrument, it is an exhibit which has its musical soul,” he said.

“It is the centrepiece of the entire display,” he added.

In a letter read out during the ceremony, Blanka Rosenstiel, the founder of the Chopin Foundation of the United States and the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in Miami, wrote that her love for Chopin’s music prompted her to organize, back in 1975, the U.S. Chopin Piano Competition in Miami.

“Back then, not a single American pianist entered the event,” she recalled.

“Four decades on, I am proud to say, First and Second Prize winners of the Miami Competition (Eric Lu and Rachel Naomi Kudo) have been admitted, without a preliminary round, to the 17th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw.”

Among those taking part in the ceremony was Eva Rubinstein, the daughter of the legendary Polish-born pianist Artur Rubinstein. (mk/nh/rk)

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