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Polish pianist Godziszewski dies at 81

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 06.03.2016 10:46
Jerzy Godziszewski, one of the most prominent pianists of his generation in Poland, has died in the northern town of Bydgoszcz at the age of 81.
Photo: Flickr.com/Anton Vakulenko
Photo: Flickr.com/Anton Vakulenko

Godziszewski was born in Vilnius in 1935 into an artistic family. His mother was a pianist and his father a sculptor.

He studied piano in Poznań and Warsaw (with Stanisław Szpinalski and Maria Wiłkomirska), gaining a diploma with a distinction from the Warsaw Conservatory.

He was a finalist in the sixth International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1960.

Godziszewski carved out a career both as a soloist and chamber musician. Foreign tours took him to many European countries. He made numerous recordings for Polish Radio, as well as for the Polskie Nagrania and Wifon labels.

Godziszewski boasted a wide-ranging repertoire, including the complete piano output of Maurice Ravel and Karol Szymanowski, which he performed in a series of recitals to mark these composers’ centenaries in 1975 and 1982.

He also gave “composer portrait” concerts devoted to the work of Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Prokofiev, Bartók, and Messiaen.

In 1998 Godziszewski received an award from the Karol Szymanowski Foundation and his four-disk Polish Radio recording of Szymanowski’s entire piano output was named Record of the Year by Studio magazine and won a Fryderyk Award from the Polish recording industry.

He also received an award from the Minister of Culture and Art for his creative approach to Szymanowski’s music.

Godziszewski worked for many years as a professor at the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz, which in 2007 awarded him an honorary doctorate. (mk/pk)

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