Performers will include Thomas Pandolfi, City of Angels Saxophone Quartet, Motion Trio Ensemble
– The 2015 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles will celebrate the legacy of former Paso Robles resident, Ignacy Jan Paderewski – virtuoso pianist, composer, international politician, local landowner, grower and winemaker – with four days of concerts and special events featuring internationally-renowned performers and young pianists from California’s Central Coast. The festival will also present a piano master class, film screening, lecture on Paderewski, and numerous opportunities for wine tasting. The festival will be held in several venues throughout Paso Robles, California, from Nov.5-8.
Admission ranges from free to $30; Friends of Paderewski Festival Passes with preferred seating at all events are $200. Tickets may be purchased online at www.paderewskifest.com or by calling (805) 235-5409.
This year’s Saturday, Nov.7 Gala Concert performer, American pianist Thomas Pandolfi, will present works by Chopin, Paderewski, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (1927 solo piano version) at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. On Friday, Nov. 6, Mr. Pandolfi will also conduct an afternoon piano master class, free and open to piano students and the general public at the historic Park Ballroom in downtown Paso Robles.
The festival opens Thursday, Nov. 5 at Cass Winery in Paso Robles with City of Angels Saxophone Quartet. Winners of the prestigious Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music Competitions, the Quartet will present a concert illustrating the history of the saxophone with a repertoire of classics, jazz and a Polish connection. A gourmet meal accompanied by wines from Cass Winery is available for purchase prior to the concert.
On Friday, Nov. 6, Paderewski’s birthday will be celebrated with Motion Trio, a dynamic ensemble at the forefront of an accordion renaissance taking place in Poland in both classical and popular music. Motion Trio visits Paso Robles on their U.S. tour and their program, which ranges from contemporary to jazz and world music, spotlights modern Polish composers. The concert will be held in the Park Ballroom in Paso Robles.
The festival seeks to, “Promote music appreciation among young members of the community and foster growth of the local talent.” It was a stated wish of Paderewski to establish a music school in Paso with free tuition to all its students. Although his plans did not materialize during Paderewski’s lifetime, since 2007 the festival has organized a Youth Piano Competition for pianists residing in four Central Coast counties. Winners of this year’s auditions (to be held on Oct. 24) will be presented during a Festival recital on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 7. The Paso Robles Inn Ballroom will be the venue for this showcase of budding Central Coast talent; admission is free.
Since 2009, the Paderewski Festival and the Province of Tarnów in Poland have hosted their International Cultural Exchange Program in alternating years in Paso Robles and at Paderewski’s manor house in Kąśna Dolna, Poland. Winners of the Youth Piano Competition in Paso Robles traveled to Poland in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015, while their Polish counterparts visited Paso Robles to perform at the Festival in 2010, 2012 and 2014. The Festival’s concluding event at Cass Winery on Sunday, November 8 will feature a free recital by pianists Daniel Ha and Kannan Freyaldenhoven, participants in this summer’s cultural exchange. During the event, Festival Board members Marek Zebrowski and Joel Peterson will discuss Festival history and perspectives for the Cultural Exchange Program.
The Festival also will feature a free Saturday, Nov. 7 morning documentary film screening of “Please find—Henryk Mikołaj Górecki,” directed by Violetta Rotter-Kozera.
To purchase tickets, and for information about Ignacy Jan Paderewski and the non-profit Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, go to www.paderewskifest.com.