Polish Music Journal
Vol. 5, No. 2, Winter 2002. ISSN 1521 - 6039

The Life of Zygmunt Stojowski

by Joseph A. Herter [1]

Figure 1: Zygmunt Stojowski, ca. 1890.
See larger image


Researching the life of the pianist and romantic composer Zygmunt Stojowski,[2] whose music had disappeared from the standard concert hall repertoire, presented its own particular challenges. When research for this paper started in 1999, the last scholarly work that had been written about him in English was an article by Frank Cooper in 1970.[3] In the composer's native land of Poland, the situation was even worse. The last published work on Stojowski in Polish had been authored by Józef Reiss in 1949, although one year later, in 1950, an excellent master's thesis on Stojowski's piano works was penned by Maria Macharska-Wolańska, the late sister of the current Cardinal of Cracow.[4] To make matters more discouraging was an urban legend that had been circulating in Poland for years. Basically, it purported that all of Stojowski's manuscripts and correspondence had been accidentally thrown out in the USA, where Stojowski spent more than half of his life. When someone knowledgeable in Polish music history or a music librarian was questioned about Stojowski, often the answer would be, "Don't bother," with the apocryphal story once more repeated. If that were not bad enough, none of the composer's major works had ever been commercially recorded, and even a search on the Internet three years ago would only bring up a mere 30 hits or so. The exploratory processes to unearth information about Stojowski often took on the nature of detective work rather than scholarly research.

Because of the bewilderment caused by the number of contradictory sources giving the date of his birth, it was decided to start with Stojowski's death—a date that all the basic reference sources agreed upon: November 5, 1946. But even in death there was confusion. The musician's obituary on the front page of Poland's largest circulating daily of the time—Życie Warszawy—read, "Zygmunt Stokowski, the world-famous composer and conductor died in the United States of America, where he had lived for 40 years."[5] It would have been impossible, however, for the average reader to ascertain if it was the composer Stojowski or the conductor Leopold Stokowski who had died, for although Stojowski had worn many musical hats during his life—concert pianist, composer, pedagogue and musicologist, conducting was never one of his claims to fame.

Zygmunt Stojowski and Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) have been often confused with each other, not only during their lifetimes but recently as well. Hyperion Records' world première release of Stojowski's Piano Concertos in 2002 has a French translation of the liner notes reading, Les Concertos pour piano de Stokowski. Even the highly respected British historian Norman Davies, in his 1981 A History of Poland, gets the two men confused by describing Stokowski as a Polish musician and immigrant, whose Polish name, along with many others, became well-known throughout the world.[6] Perhaps Mr. Davies did have Stokowski in mind, but despite his Polish heritage, Leopold Stokowski was as true a native-born Englishman as there could be. In addition to being of Polish descent, Stokowski and Stojowski had two other things in common. One was that they both immigrated to the United States in 1905, the former from England and the latter from Poland via Paris. The other was that they were famous musicians: Stojowski the pianist and composer, and Stokowski the conductor.

Fate decided that they would join forces at least once during their musical careers. The coupling of talents, with Leopold at the helm of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Zygmunt at the piano, took place on February 20, 1912, at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Music Hall.[7] An amusing poem that appeared in the Pittsburgh press immortalized that musical meeting:

Stokowski and Stojowski

By Arthur G. Burgoyne [8]

Stokowski and Stojowski—oh, the combination rare!
Our music-loving folk will rush to hear the famous pair
Whose joint exploits are certain to enrapture and enthral
Their auditors this evening at Carnegie Music Hall.
To look for standingroomski half the crowd may be compelled
When Stokowski and Stojowski do their stuntski unexcelled.

Stokowski leads the orchestra which regularly treats
The Cincinnati dilettantes to symphonies and suites
To preludes, postludes, serenades, concertos, fantasies
And other masterpieces meant to edify and please.
By himself he is a trumpski. Hence things surely ought to hum
When Stokowski and Stojowski to the frontski jointly come.

Stojowski from the ivories brings out a magic tone.
Among the pianistic sharps he nobly holds his own.
He plays glissandos, tremolos, sforzandos, trills, et cet
With dexterity that never fails excitement to beget,
Alone he is a starski. So it should be a delight
When Stokowski and Stojowski for high artski's sake unite.

A Schumann symphony is billed, an overture by Brahms,
A savage dance by Richard Strauss that causes inward qualms,
A mighty Liszt concerto—'tis a most attractive list;
But after all what makes the thing too tempting to resist
Is the knowledge that the marvelous alliterative pair
Stokowski and Stojowski in the triumphski will share.

The musical forms and composers mentioned in the poem prove to show that Stokowski conducted Stojowski in a performance of Ferenc (Franz) Liszt's (1811-1886) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in E-flat. The other composers mentioned in the poem were also heard on that same concert: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) with his Academic Festival Overture, Robert Schumann (1810-1856) with his Symphony No. 4 in D Minor and Richard Strauss (1864-1849) with The Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome. This concert was the third of four Pittsburgh Series concerts which the orchestra played while on tour.[9]

Solving the mystery of Zygmunt Stojowski's date of birth may not be quite as amusing, nonetheless, it is quite intriguing. The number of dates that one finds are amazing: 1863, 1869, 1870, 1871 and 1876. The choice of birthdays begins with March 27 and continues with: April 8, May 2 and May 14. Most Polish reference sources include the date of May 14. The birthday mystery is easier to solve than the year of birth. The number of days between March 27 and April 8 and between May 2 and May 14 are the same: 12 days. The dates for March 27 and May 2 are obviously dates given in accordance with the Julian calendar. Stojowski was born in Strzelce near Kielce in the Russian partition of Poland, where the Julian calendar, not the Gregorian, prevailed in daily life. The dates for April 8 and May 14 are given according to Gregorian calendar calculations, which would have prevailed in the Austro-Hungarian and Prussian partitions of Poland. The dates in May, however, can be taken out of consideration. This is an obvious error involving the sixth century Frankish king and martyr after whom Zygmunt was named, St. Sigismond, whose feast day—Zygmunt's name—day-falls on May 2. Thus, Stojowski was born on April 8, according to the Gregorian calendar.

March 27, 1869 is the birth date given on Stojowski's first Polish identity card, issued to him in 1887 in the former ancient Polish capital of Cracow, which was under Austrian rule at that time.[10] Two years later in Paris, though, the date April 8, 1869 can be found on his Paris Conservatoire certificate issued for winning the 1889 Premiere Prix de Piano. It is also the date Stojowski used in 1895 when completing the application form for the Anton Rubinstein Prize in Berlin.[11] On the other hand, 1870 is the year of birth given in almost every résumé found in the family archives in the USA. The digit "3" in the 1863 date must be a dyslexic editorial mistake that became confused with the digit "9" in 1869, while the 1871 date is a simple typographical error. It is safe to presume that the composer's widow must have given the date of 1876, which is the year found on Stojowski's death certificate, in a confused moment of bereavement. If born in 1870, Stojowski would have been 76 when he died.

Solving the problem involving the year of birth for this musician may never be accomplished. The obvious solution, of course, would be to check the composer's baptismal certificate. The town of Strzelce, however, has no parish church.[12] The nearest Catholic church near Strzelce in the Diocese of Kielce is in Oleśnica, where the parish records were destroyed in a fire during World War II. The name of the diocese is mentioned because there is another nearby town called Staszów, sometimes mentioned in placing the whereabouts of Strzelce. Staszów, however, is in the Diocese of Sandomierz, which would have been a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time of Stojowski's birth. Stojowski's parents would certainly not have applied for passports just to have their son christened in Austrian territory.

Parentage and Childhood

Zygmunt's parents were Alfred and Maria (née Bogdeńska) Stojowski. Not too much is known about his father Alfred, including his dates. According to Zygmunt's second son Henry, Alfred Stojowski passed away before Zygmunt moved to America in 1905.[13] Zygmunt's first son—also named Alfred—was able to provide some fragmentary information about him: "He was a gentleman farmer and apparently was a large handsome individual (who) was conscripted into the Czar's honor guard for a time. He died at a comparatively early age due to an infected corn on his foot."[14] In his unpublished biographical paper on Ignacy Paderewski (1860-1941), Zygmunt mentions that his father brought Paderewski's (six-year-old) invalid son—yet another Alfred—from Poland to Paris by train in the 1890's.[15]

Much more is known about his mother Maria (d. 1925),[16] who played a dominant role in Zygmunt's life. She was responsible for Zygmunt's early musical training, being his first piano teacher before pianists Alfred Kołaczkowski (no dates available) and Henryk Bobiński (1861-1914) took over her role as teacher.[17] Both were on the faculty at the Music School of the Cracow Musical Society. Musicologist Stanisław Dybowski also lists Antoni Płachecki (d. 1893) as one of Stojowski's early piano teachers.[18]

His mother's other important musical contribution to her son's development came from knowing the right people in the world of music. She was responsible for gaining the patronage of Princess Marcelina Czartoryska (1817-1894), a former pupil of Chopin who helped the family relocate to Cracow, where Zygmunt—at the age of 13—simultaneously began school at the Gymnazium Św. Anny and formal music lessons with the eminent Polish composer Władysław (Ladislaus) Żeleński (1837-1921). It would be Princess Czartoryska's salon that became the venue for the fifteen-year-old's first concert with an orchestra. There he performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37, conducted by Jan Nepomucen Hock (fl. 1868-1912). Heugel in Paris would later publish the cadenza that the young Stojowski wrote for this performance. Two years later, the same concerto was repeated at the Cracow Musical Society.

Mme Stojowska also maintained her own musical salon in Cracow, where visiting international celebrities such as Hans von Bülow (1830-1894), Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894), Maurycy Rosenthal (1862-1946) and the young Józef Hofman (1876-1956) either appeared or paid their respects. It was here that Żeleński brought and presented Paderewski to the Stojowski family in 1884, when Zygmunt was only 14 years old, ten years younger than Paderewski.[19] Paderewski's presence in Cracow was due to the farewell concert that he gave on October 3, prior to going to Vienna, where he would study with Teodor Leschetitzky (1830-1915). Following this first visit, Paderewski stayed in touch with the Stojowski family, writing a newsy, yet at the same time, coy letter from Vienna to Zygmunt's mother.[20]

Figure 2: Fragment of Maria Stojowska's fan with autographs.

Stojowski's mother was also responsible for a piece of musical memorabilia that became quite famously known as the "priceless fan" and that was a testimony to the scope of musical contacts of the Stojowski family (see Figure 3 above, or a larger image).

According to the composer's son Henry, Princess Czartoryska first presented the parchment fan to Ms. Maria Stojowska. She, in turn, used the fan as her personal autograph book, collecting the autographs of the most famous musicians of that epoch. Sometimes the musicians not only signed their names, but they also wrote a few bars of music. By the end of her life, Mme Stojowska had collected approximately 110 famous autographs. Some of the composers included the following: Aleksander Zarzycki, Eugen Albert, Johannes Brahms, Anton Rubinstein, Giuseppi Verdi, Léo Delibes, Richard Strauss, Jules Massenet, Camille Saint-Saëns, Theodore Dubois, E. Jacques Dalcroiz, Edward Grieg, Pietro Mascagni, Édouard Lalò, Oscar Strauss, Ambroise Thomas, Max Bruch, Charles Gounod, Pablo Sarasate, Edward Elgar and Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Some of the soloists and conductors included: Arthur Nikisch, Arturo Toscanini, Enrico Caruso, Marcella Sembrich, Joseph Joachim, Hans von Bülow, Edward Reszke, Józef Hofman, and many, many others.[21] The fan remained in the possession of the Stojowski family until the late 1980's when it was auctioned at Christies.

Wherever Zygmunt went, his devoted mother went too. She moved to Paris with him, frequently traveled with him to Paderewski's villa in Riond-Bosson, Switzerland, and eventually followed him off to New York, where she remained the dowager heading the Stojowski clan until her death. Artur Rubinstein (1887-1982), in recalling their 1902 visit to Riond-Bosson, describes her as an affected old lady who "amused everyone as if she was holding court" and whom Paderewski loved to tease.[22] In still another account that describes a mother-and-son visit to Riond-Bosson, someone asked, "Where is Stojowski?" and Paderewski answered, "With Mama, who is buttoning up his underwear."[23]

Returning to Cracow, though, it was Żeleński who had the most influence on Stojowski's musical career, both in training him to be a composer and pianist, and influencing in his decision to continue studies in Paris, where Żeleński also once studied. A few years following his professor's death, Stojowski wrote highly of his teacher's merits:[24]

Żeleński . . . developed an unimpeachable technique, retained artistic ideals uncompromisingly pure and noble, encountered genuine and abundant inspiration. Born in 1837, he contributed a long list of works to Poland's credit, several operas . . . many symphonic and chamber works and a treasury of songs imbued with deep song feeling, conceived in a manly lyrical vein.

Triumph in Paris

In 1887, after finishing his studies in Cracow, Stojowski left for Paris. The obstacles that the 17-year old Stojowski faced in getting admitted to the Parisian Conservatoire National were formidable. Although he came bearing the highest recommendation of Żeleński, Stojowski still had to endure the rigor of passing the admission audition. Of the hundred candidates who auditioned, only ten could be admitted, and out of that ten only one could be a foreigner.[25] The jury's decision was unanimous: Stojowski the Pole was accepted. His teachers became Louis Diémer (1843-1919) in piano, Léo Delibes (1836-1891) in composition, and Theodore Dubois (1837-1924) in harmony. In addition to his work at the Conservatoire, Stojowski also studied history, philosophy, languages and literature at the Faculté des Lettres of the Sorbonne University, where he received his Bachelor of Letters Diploma.

It was during his studies at the Conservatoire that Stojowski befriended Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), who arrived in Paris to perform his composition for two pianos, Concert Fantasy in G Major, Op. 56, with Stojowski's teacher Diémer on March 4 and 16, 1888. It was to Diémer that Tchaikovsky dedicated his Piano Concerto No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 75. Impressed by Stojowski's polyglot skills in Polish, Russian, French, English, German, Latin and ancient Greek, Tchaikovsky would ask Stojowski to be his translator for the rehearsals preparing the British première of his Fourth Symphony on May 20, 1893.[26] In return for his services Stojowski received the copy of Tchaikovsky's marked full score, autographed with a dedication to Zygmunt in French: "A mon cher jeune ami Sigismond Stojowski, Souvenir affectueux"[27] (see Figure 4 below, or a larger image). Coinciding with his London visit, Stojowski gave a recital at Princes' Hall featuring an all-Slavic program that included the music of Tchaikovsky.[28]

Figure 3: Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony dedicated to Stojowski.

At the Conservatoire in 1889, Stojowski won the music school's top prizes: first prize in counterpoint and fugue, and sharing first prize in piano performance with Edouard Risler. Stojowski, himself, described the conditions for the counterpoint and fugue competition:[29]

The candidates were locked in a room from six in the morning until twelve at night, with a few bars of a theme given by the Director to spin out, with permission to have luncheon brought in and, of course, no piano open. I must confess that when I walked out I felt a bit dizzy. My success with the fugue appeared to make Delibes very happy: I seemed to be his first student getting a prize for so serious a thing.

According to Stojowski, however, the teachers who had the most profound influence on him as a musician were the Polish violinist-composer Władysław Górski (1846-1915) and pianist-composer Paderewski.[30] Górski, who was the soloist with the Lamoureux Orchestra in Paris, offered a course on the interpretation of chamber music, Leçons d'Accompagnement, in which Stojowski must have participated. The two musicians also concertized together throughout Europe, and Górski was the dedicatee for Stojowski's String Quartet, Op. 6; First Violin Sonata, Op. 13 and Violin Concerto, Op. 22. Stojowski credits Górski for being his guide to "extreme refinement and catholicity of taste."[31]

The lessons with Paderewski began in 1891, when Paderewski returned from his first triumphant tour in the USA. Stojowski was only one of four pianists who could claim that they ever took regular lessons with Paderewski over a long period of time. In addition to Stojowski, there were, at first, the American Ernest Schelling (1876-1939), fellow Pole Antonina Szumowska-Adamowska (1868-1938)—who was a cousin of Paderewski's wife Helena—and later Harold Bauer (1873-1951) of Great Britain. In the late 1930's, Witold Małcużyński (1914-1977) also took some lessons with Paderewski, but certain pianists, such as Aleksander Brachocki (1897-1945), Zygmunt Dygat (1894-1977), Stanisław Szpinalski (1901-1957), Henryk Sztompka (1901-1964), Albert Tadlewski (1892-1945) and others, who claimed to have studied with Paderewski, did so at summer master classes held at Riond-Bosson, starting in 1928.[32] In Stojowski's estimation, Paderewski was "the model and ideal of the virtuoso and poet-musician" and the master whose influence had been decisive in his own work.[33] The admiration was mutual. According to Paderewski, his pupil was "one of the few really great piano pedagogues of the present day, Mr. Stojowski occupies a very prominent position, for he has no superior."[34] Stojowski dedicated the following works to his mentor and compatriot: Sonata in G Major for Piano and Cello, Op. 18; Symphony in D Minor, Op. 21; Prologue, Scherzo and Variations (Concerto No. 2 in A-flat Major for Piano and Orchestra), Op. 32 and Lullaby for Piano (1941).

Figure 4: Cover of Berceuse from Quartre morceaux, Op. 5.

Stojowski's home became Paris, where he lived near Place Trocadèro on a street named after his teacher Delibes. Several things need to be mentioned about his French master. Delibes was so proud of his Polish student that he and his wife offered to legally adopt him so that he could compete for the prestigious Prix de Rome, a competition for which only French nationals were eligible.[35] However, Małgorzata Perkowska, the author of the Delibes entry in the Polish Music Encyclopedia (Encyklopedia Muzyczna PWM), seems to be in error in stating that Delibes' wife was of Polish descent.[36] All the basic sources on Delibes attest to the fact that Delibes' wife was "Leontine Estelle Mesnage (also known as Denain), the daughter of the former tragedian of the Comédie-Française."[37] If there was a Polish connection of some kind, then it had to have been much further back in the family. Nonetheless, before the Frenchman's' untimely death in 1891, Paderewski met with Delibes at the latter's home to look over the ballet music to Delibes's last opera Kasya (Kasia). According to Stojowski, Paderewski had supplied Delibes with several Polish folk tunes for the opera, which is based on a Polish subject and set in the southeastern part of Poland known as Galicia.[38]

Delibes seems to have been fascinated by Poland. Both his opera Kasya and his ballet Coppélia take place in Galicia. Before writing his last opera Kasya, Delibes spent several months in Poland collecting folk song motives and writing down Gypsy melodies which were used in his opera. In addition to visiting the ancient Polish capital of Cracow, he was known to have visited the Galician capital of Lwów (Lviv), where a cosmopolitan mixture of Armenians, Austrians, Gypsies, Jews, Poles, Ukrainians and Russians formed this Eastern European metropolis. The French composer also spent his time in the Polish mountains, including a visit to Zakopane.[39] Stojowski paid homage to his teacher by dedicating his cantata Le printemps, Op. 7 to him. The dedication reads, "A la Mémoire de son bien aimé Maître Léo Delibes." Another salute to his teacher can be found in the second movement of his Suite in E-flat, Op. 9, Intermède polonaise, which floats liltingly, alternating between Tchaikovsky and Delibes in style.

The concert that launched Stojowski's international career as pianist and composer was his first concert in Paris at the Salle Erard in 1891 (Figure 5 reproduces the program of Stojowski's chamber music concert held at Salle Erard in February 1891; see Figure 5 below, or a larger image). French composer Benjamin Godard (1849-1895) conducted the Orchestre Colonne in an all-Stojowski program, including the Ballade for Orchestra (which is still unpublished) and Piano Concerto No. 1, Op, 3 with the 21-year-old pianist-composer at the piano. From that moment on, Stojowski's career skyrocketed while performing with the best orchestras of his day or having his music played by them: In Germany with the philharmonic orchestras of Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich; in England with Sir Charles Hallé's (1819-1895) Orchestra in Manchester, the Grand Orchestra of the Crystal Palace, the London Symphony Orchestra and even with Queen Victoria's Private Band, which premiered the English version of Stojowski's entertaining cantata, Le printemps, at a command performance for Her Majesty on July 5, 1895, in Buckingham Palace.[40] In his hometown of Cracow, Stojowski was "greeted with joy as a favorite son" when he came to perform Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat in January 1893.[41] Lwów's newly founded Philharmonic Orchestra saw Stojowski as a featured soloist on the second of three inaugural concerts which were all played on September 27, 1902.

Figure 5: Program of Stojowski's concert at Salle Erard, Paris, 1891.

As a composer he also achieved international acclaim. In Germany, Stojowski's Symphony in D Minor, Op. 21 won first prize at the 1898 Paderewski Competition in Leipzig. In Warsaw, the Symphony was part of the November 5, 1901 inaugural concert of the newly formed Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.[42] Another competition in 1901 saw him win second prize (first prize not awarded) for his Fantazja Polska (Polish Fantasy) for Piano and Orchestra at the Maurycy Zamoyski Competition in Warsaw.[43] In 1894 the composer signed an exclusive contract with the publisher Stanley Lucas, Weber, Pitt & Hatzfeld Ltd., in London that lasted until 1900. After that, Peters in Germany, Heugel in France, Gebethner & Wolff in Poland and G. Schirmer in the USA printed his compositions.

Stojowski was hailed as Poland's first symphonist of merit based on European, rather than provincial or nationalistic, standards. His name can be found in every Polish music history book dealing with the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In Poland, he is included in every list of outstanding post-romantic composers (1890-1905), and his Symphony in D Minor has been referred to as "a jewel of the Polish symphonic literature."[44] The symphony's brilliant Scherzo was frequently performed as a separate entity on concerts conducted by Nikisch and Młynarski.

Another work from this period—the Suite for Orchestra in E-flat, Op. 9—shows Stojowski to be not only an accomplished orchestral composer, but also one who is unmistakably Polish (see Figures 6, 7 and 8 below, or larger images of Fig. 6, Fig. 7, or Fig. 8). National dances or melodies from Poland influence each of the three movements. The third movement contains a krakowiak, the second movement is an animated mazurka, and the first is a theme and set of variations based on the Polish Marian hymn Witaj, królowo nieba [Hail, Queen of Heaven].[45] This Suite dates from 1891, and it is dedicated to the German conductor Hans von Bülow (1830-1894) who conducted it on one of his last concerts in Hamburg. Around that same time, Stojowski showed the Suite to Brahms in Vienna, who declared while perusing it, Donnerwetter! Sie instrumentieren aber raffiniert! [By Jove! You do orchestrate with finesse!].[46] Still another famous composer who took a fancy to the work was Tchaikovsky. The Russian musical giant planned to conduct the Suite on January 15, 1894 at a concert in St. Petersburg.[47] Unfortunately, the Russian composer's death in November 1893 prevented that from happening. Tchaikovsky, Brahms and von Bülow were not alone in their admiration for the work. British composer Edward Elgar and conductor Sir Thomas Beecham programmed the Suite on the concert that featured the world première of Elgar's Polonia which was performed with the London Symphony Orchestra at Queen's Hall on July 6, 1915.[48]

Figure 6: Theme from Stojowski's Suite, Op. 9.

Two musical examples from the Suite have been given in order to show Stojowski's craftsmanship. The first is the melody for the Theme and Variations, which is intoned by the clarinet and bassoon and played in two periods of three-measure phrases. The second example is comprised of the second variation. Here the melody, although still performed in three-measure phrases, is fragmented by rests and played in syncopated rhythms by the strings in unison at the octave during the antecedent phrases, while the woodwinds respond in the same rhythmic fashion during the consequent phrases.

Figure 7: Variation 2 from Stojowski's Suite, Op. 9, part 1.

Figure 8: Variation 2 from Stojowski's Suite, Op. 9, part 2.

The Pianist and Professor in America

In October 1905 (not 1906 as given in many sources), Sigismond Jordan de Stojowski sailed on the S.S. Moltke to the USA and first resided at 12 Fifth Avenue, which is in Greenwich Village, about a block and a half from Washington Square Park.[49] He went to America on the invitation of Frank Damrosch (1859-1937), founder and director of the newly formed Institute of Musical Art (IMA), to head the piano department at the institute located at the corner of 12th St. and Fifth Ave, only a few blocks away from his apartment. Damrosch first came to Paris to interview Stojowski for the position because he had been so highly recommended for the job by pianist Harold Bauer and cellist Pablo Casals (1876-1973). Stojowski knew Bauer as a fellow Paderewski student, and Stojowski's association with Casals dated from a joint performance of his Sonata for Piano and Violoncello, Op. 18 on May 7, 1900 at the Salle Erard in Paris. After hearing Stojowski play Schumann's Sonata in F-sharp Minor, Op. 11 at his apartment at 12, rue Léo-Delibes, Damrosch immediately offered him the post.[50]

Even though he had come to teach, it didn't take long for Stojowski to make a name for himself as a concert pianist in New York. By January 24, 1906, he had established himself not only as a recitalist at IMA's Mendelssohn Hall and as a chamber musician with the Boston Symphony Quartet, but also as a concert soloist with the New York Symphony Society Orchestra, Frank Damrosch conducting, at Carnegie Hall on Epiphany 1906, playing Saint-Saën's Concerto No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 44.[51] This was the first of six appearances that Stojowski made with the New York Philharmonic and the New York Symphony Society Orchestra during his lifetime. On January 25, 1906, music critic Richard Aldrich of the New York Times wrote in his review of the solo recital that the large audience had "found abundant reason for congratulation that so excellent an artist has been added to the list of musicians resident in New York." Stojowski's performance of Schumann's Sonata was appraised as "a superb outpouring of youthful passion and romantic ardor."[52]

In addition to the orchestras of the New York Philharmonic and New York Symphony Society, other American orchestras with whom Stojowski would perform as soloist include: the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Women's Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Boston Opera Company, the Buffalo Symphony, the Indianapolis Musikverein, the New Haven Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Antonia Brico Orchestra. His repertoire contained the following concertos:

  • Beethoven: Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
  • Beethoven: Concerto No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 58
  • Chopin: Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21
  • Liszt: Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major
  • Rubinstein: Concerto No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 70
  • Saint-Saëns: Concerto No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 44
  • Stojowski: Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 3
  • Stojowski: Concerto No. 2 in A-flat Major, Op. 32
  • Stojowski: Rhapsodie symphonique, Op. 23

Helping Stojowski down the road of fame and popularity were Paderewski and America's première music magazine of the time The Etude, which during World War I had a monthly subscriber circulation of nearly 200,000.[53] The magazine published his piano miniature Gondoliera from Quatre Morceaux pour piano, Op. 5, no. 3 as well his Mélodie from Deux Pensées, Op. 1, no. 1 in the magazine's musical supplement in their August and December 1906 issues respectively. This was only the beginning of a 35-year association with the periodical for which Stojowski would supply numerous articles, interviews and many of the magazine's popular Master Lessons.

As for Paderewski's help, the season following Stojowski's immigration to America, Paderewski programmed his student's Chant d'amour, Op. 26, No. 4, throughout his North American tour, performing it no less than 60 times from coast to coast.[54] By doing so, Paderewski helped make Stojowski's name a common one throughout America's musical centers. It would be this piece that would often be mentioned when introducing Stojowski as "the world famous composer of Chant d'amour."[55] Paderewski recorded the piece for Victrola Records and Stojowski, himself, recorded it on piano roll for Ampico, a recording that was still available in Ampico's 2002 Internet catalogue. Even Liberace (1919-1987) came out with a "souped-up" recording of the work with the George Liberace Orchestra on his 1955 Columbia LP Moonlight Sonata.

Figure 9: Program of Stojowski's recital with Enesco, 1913.

Stojowski taught at IMA until the spring of 1911. But before he left IMA, the pianist and teacher presented a set of five historical piano lecture-recitals beginning on February 4 and ending on April 1 at IMA's Mendelssohn Hall. The first recital was dedicated to the Baroque masters: Couperin, Daquin, Rameau, Paradisi, Scarlatti, Handel and Bach. The second, given on February 18, featured the works of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. On March 4, the third was devoted to the compositions of Weber, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Field. The fourth, performed on March 18, focused on the music of Schumann and Chopin, and the last heard contemporary pieces by Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Paderewski, and Moszkowski as well as works by Liszt, Brahms, Franck, Rubinstein, Grieg and MacDowell.[56] Following the first recital, The New York Times once more sang his praises for this very considerable undertaking:[57]

He showed excellent musicianship in his appreciation of its style as can be made available upon the modern pianoforte… Before he began his performances he spoke at length upon some of the historical features which such a program offers for consideration in a truly embarrassing richness.

Considering that Stojowski had a full teaching load and could still prepare and perform five different and demanding programs within two months, the accomplishment becomes even more amazing when one is aware that on the day following his recital on April 1 Stojowski performed the American première of his Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 3 with the Metropolitan Opera House Orchestra under the direction of Josef Pasternack.[58] On the day following the March 18 concert, Stojowski played the American première of his Symphonic Rhapsody, Op. 23 with Walter Damrosch conducting the New York Symphony Society Orchestra at the New Theater.[59] How many piano professors would have the courage and stamina to endure such a feat today! According to the Polish weekly-illustrated magazine Świat, these historical lecture recitals were repeated in Buffalo and Chicago.[60] Frank Damrosch offered Stojowski a three-year contract to continue on as IMA's piano department head in 1911. Damrosch acknowledged that Stojowski was an excellent teacher and that he produced many of the best graduates of the school in its beginning years.[61] Stojowski turned down the offer, though, possibly because of the fact that IMA moved to the Upper East Side on Claremont Avenue near Columbia University in 1910, and going to work would no longer be a four-block walk. Maybe Stojowski did not want to commit himself for a three-year period. Whatever the reason, he went instead to teach at the Von Ende School of Music, which had recently been chartered by the University of the State of New York, where he worked until 1918 (Figure 9 presents a concert program from a recital Stojowski gave with Romaninan composer Georges Enesco during this period; see Figure 9 above, or a larger image). At the Von Ende School, located at 44 W. 85th St., he enjoyed the distinction of being one of the highest paid teachers on the faculty. While the fee for other faculty members averaged between $25-30 for ten private half-hour lessons, Stojowski's fee was twice the price: $60. Ten private one-hour lessons were available for $120.[62]

Stojowski taught until the end of his life. According to Stojowski's son Henry, his father also took on some private students in addition to the ones he had at IMA or the Von Ende School. Around 1918, because of the great demand by students who wished to study with him, he was able to open his own Stojowski Studios. Starting in 1924 and lasting into the 1940's, Stojowski also spent the summers giving recitals and teaching master classes throughout the USA, making annual visits to the West Coast. The cities in which the classes took place included: Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, Detroit (Detroit Foundation School of Music), Hartford (Hartford School of Music), Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco (University of California, Berkeley; Mills College, Oakland), Seattle (University of Washington—Cornish School Summer Colony) and Washington, D.C. He also taught in Manitoba, Canada (University of Manitoba) and in Latin and South America (Havana, Lima and Rio de Janeiro). Sometime before 1925, Stojowski made regular trips to give lessons at The Academy of the Holy Names, a private girls' school in Albany, New York.[63] During the summers of 1932 and 1940-46, Stojowski was also on the summer school faculty of the Juilliard School Music which had been established in 1924 by merging IMA with the Juilliard Graduate School.[64] Stojowski's Juilliard classes of the 1940's were interpretative courses on Chopin's music with Stojowski lecturing and performing. Finally, as a septuagenarian, Stojowski traveled twice a month on the weekends to teach at the Hartford School of Music in Connecticut.[65]

Figure 10: Zygmunt Stojowski in his studio, ca. 1920.

The Students

Stojowski produced hundreds of pianists, many of them who led illustrious musical careers or became highly esteemed piano teachers themselves. His former students showed their loyalty and admiration for their teacher by organizing themselves into The Stojowski Students' Association and publishing regular association news bulletins. By the mid-1930's, the association numbered over 260 members.[66] Some of his students included the following:

  • Alexander Brachocki (1897-1945); Polish pianist and composer, professor of the Katowice Higher School of Music (now the Szymanowski Music Academy).
  • Antonia Brico (1902-1989); American conductor of Dutch birth. A private student, who also lived with the Stojowski household during her studies, she was a pioneer female conductor, the first woman to conduct the orchestras of the Berlin Philharmonic (1930) and New York Philharmonic (1938).
  • Phyllida Ashley (Everingham Cheek) (1894-1975); One of Stojowski's favorite pupils (and one of Paderewski's favorite bridge partners) from the San Francisco Bay Area. She appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra several times and for many years had her own weekly duo-piano radio program with pianist Elaine Feeley for station KLX. She taught privately. Romance for Piano, Op. 43, No. 1 is dedicated to her.
  • Oscar Levant (1906-1972); composer, pianist and entertainer. In his book A Smattering of Ignorance, Levant credits Stojowski with the one-liner referring to Saint-Saëns' Second Piano Concerto: "It begins like Bach and ends like Offenbach."[67]
  • Mischa Levitzki (1898-1941); Ukrainian pianist who was a favorite of American audiences in the 1920's and 30's, studied with Stojowski at the Institute of Musical Art from 1906-11.
  • Arthur Loesser (1894-1969); pianist. At the age of 12 Loesser became one of Stojowski's first students in the 1905 class of the Institute of Musical Art. He spent most of his professional career based in Cleveland, where he was affiliated with the Cleveland Institute of Music.
  • Alfred Newman (1901-1970); composer. A student of Stojowski's at the Von Ende School, Newman won more Academy Awards as composer and music director than any other musician in the history of Hollywood.[68]
  • Guiomar Novaes (1896-1979); Brazilian pianist who studied with both Luisa and Zygmunt Stojowski. Dumka for Piano (1945) is dedicated to her. Stojowski said of her, "Novaes is the greatest pianistic talent I have ever encountered."[69]
  • Harriet Ware (1877-1962); pianist and composer. Studied both composition and piano with Stojowski in Paris and New York. She performed with many American orchestras and her tone poem The Artisan was performed by the New York Symphony Orchestra. The composer of many songs.[70]

Oscar Levant wrote the following kind and entertaining words about his respected piano professor:[71]

However, a good deal of what I know of music and also what I feel about it owes its origin to Sigismund Stojowski (please, NOT Stokowski) who is not only a brilliant pedagogue but a warmly sympathetic human being. The several years I spent studying piano in New York with him remain among the most profitable and worth remembering of my life. He provided the best summation of that period when he asked me what music I was going to play at a student recital for which he was preparing the program. "I think I'll play Debussy's Reflets dans l'eau or Poissons d'or," I answered. He looked at me intently for a moment and then said, "Your piano playing is not improving but your French is."

Figure 11: Louisa Stojowska, ca. 1920.

Not listed above is one of Stojowski's students who deserves special attention, and that is the Peruvian pianist Senorita Luisa Mathilde Moralès-Macedo (1890-1982). She came to America in 1913, a year before the outbreak of the First World War, in hopes of studying with Paderewski. Like many talented pianists who were deemed lucky to be granted the opportunity to play for Paderewski, the young pianist from Peru was given the same advice as countless others who had passed this audition, "Go and study with Stojowski."[72] She did, and the rest became history. "Thanks to a push from his mother," as Henry Stojowski relates, Zygmunt finally ended 48 years of bachelorhood and, although twenty years younger than himself, married the lovely Luisa on October 2, 1918. The wedding took place at the house of worship which would become their parish church for the next 21 years, the Church of the Blessed Sacrament at 152 West 71st Street. The 1918-19 New York City Directory has Stojowski listed as living at 249 W 74th St., right within the parish boundaries. According to Alfred Stojowski, though, his parents and grandmother lived for several years in an apartment on Riverside Drive near 86th St. before finally relocating at 150 W. 76th St., practically around the corner from the residence of the great soprano Marcella Sembrich-Kochańska (1858-1935) who lived at 151 West Central Park.

Mrs. Stojowska was a pianist in her own right. She not only taught privately, but she also taught a popular course on piano practicing at the Juilliard Summer School from 1940 to 1952. Among the students known to have taken this class was Van Cliburn (b. 1934). She also offered this course while she and her husband gave master classes throughout the USA during the 1920s and 30's. Another Juilliard connection was the one year (1948/49) she taught for Juilliard's Extension Service.[73] She periodically returned to her native Peru, where she had the distinction of being the first concert pianist to introduce the Steinway Piano in Western South America. After her husband's death she started to perform more on her own, playing radio broadcasts and recitals, including a New York Town Hall recital as well as a London Wigmore Hall recital during the 1950's. Needless to say, her programs always featured some music by her late beloved husband.

The Family

In the six years following their marriage, Luisa and Zygmunt created what the latter referred to as his "three best compositions:" Alfred (b. 1919), Henry (b. 1921) and Ignatius (1923-1985). Alfred, who was baptized at the parish church in New York City, had Marcela Sembrich-Kochańska and pianist Józef Hofman for his godparents. A year later, he was taken to Lima, Peru, and—according to Alfred Stojowski—his family was given a special Church dispensation to have him receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at such an early age. They gave him the name Stanislaus as his confirmation name, and were able to please the Peruvian relatives with a quasi-christening party of their own.[74] Henri Sigismond, who was prematurely born in Fontainebleau while his parents were touring Europe, was christened Henri in honor of the French kings named Henri who have Fontainebleau as their final resting place.[75] The family then sailed to America with their six-week-old infant. The youngest son Ignatius, who was baptized Ignas Louis (although the baptismal register shows his first name as Iguan) and later called "Lou" by his family and friends, had Helena and Ignacy Jan Paderewski for his godparents.[76]

Figure 12: Stojowski's sons (L-R): Ignatius, Henry, Alfred.

"Best compositions" aside, the sons were not particularly musically talented. Stojowski jokingly wrote in a letter to Paderewski that when people asked him if his children were musical, he would reply, "No, they sing."[77] Actually, only one of them was a singer of sorts and that was Alfred. While he was studying medicine at Columbia University, he was an added singer to the choirs (Choral Arts Society of New Rochelle and Queens Choral Society of Jackson Heights) that sang a performance of Verdi's Requiem under the direction of Antonia Brico on April 26, 1938, with the New York Women's Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Upon completing medical school in 1944, he joined the Army Medical Corps and was wounded in the jungles of the South Pacific during World War II. Appropriately enough, Captain Stojowski would later sing the leading male role in a production of Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific at Music Theater Wenatchee in Washington. He has been living in Wenatchee since 1953, serving for 16 years on the Washington State Arts Commission as well as co-founding the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Board and working for many years as an Associate Clinical Professor for the University of Washington School of Medicine. Following his parents' example, he and his wife Alice also raised their own Stojowski trio—two boys and a girl.

Henry vividly remembers his only serious attempt at the piano keyboard as a young child. The Stojowski boys had their living quarters on the third floor of their home on W. 76th St., each boy having his own room. His parents' teaching studio and master bedroom were located on the floor below. On the fourth floor were the living quarters for the Stojowski boarding students. Each student had their own room with an upright piano. Henry recalls being bombarded almost daily with the sound of piano music being played from above and below. Thus, one day he took the opportunity to imitate the quotidian sounds he had been hearing for so long. Zygmunt, who had been receiving a guest in the first floor salon while this artistic attempt was going on, broke into the teaching studio and shouted, "Would you please stop that infernal racket!" That was the end of Henry's career as a performer.

After graduating with honors from Yale University Architectural School, Henry had a very successful career as an architect. He too saw action during World War II, serving in the navy in both the Atlantic and Mediterranean theaters, and finishing his naval career with the rank of Lieutenant, jg. He and his wife Sarah created a Stojowski quartet—two girls and two boys. After the death of his mother and youngest brother in the 1980's, Henry became the custodian of the family archives. It is thanks to him that the musical world can once more rediscover the treasures that his father left behind and help renew a very long overdue interest in the music and lives of his parents. Henry, a widower, currently lives in Baldwin Harbor, New York, on Long Island.

Figure 13: Henry Stojowski, April 2002, Los Angeles.
Photo by Maja Trochimczyk.

Ignatius, or "Lou" as he was called, took his given name seriously. After he finished high school in 1942, he entered the Jesuit Order, which, of course, had been founded by his patron, St. Ignatius of Loyola. He left the Jesuits in 1949, but only after graduating from Woodstock College in Maryland in 1948. He also received his M.A. from Iowa University.[78] Ignaś (as he would sign his letters to his namesake and godfather) was already contemplating the priesthood while he was in grade school. In one of them he wrote to Paderewski about his desire to become a priest and mentions that his father had already started to give him Latin lessons at home.[79] Although Ignatius did not become a priest, he did become a Latin teacher and published some articles on Latin in a classical studies periodical.

It is hard to find out what musical talents "Lou" had as a child. Between 1952 and 1955, however, while teaching Latin, Spanish and French for the Denver Public Schools, he also took private instruction on the piano, bassoon, French horn, and studied theory and conducting, the latter was with Antonia Brico. Ignatius took an active interest in trying to promote his father's music. While working as Latin teacher at the Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia (1970-72), one of his promotional successes was convincing Albert Conkey (1923-2000), the choir director at the Academy to give a performance of his father's cantata A Prayer for Poland, Op. 40 with the Chestnut Community Chorus.[80] A letter found at the Paderewski Museum in Morges gives us some insight on what kind of person Ignatius was. "He seems more of a person of the nineteenth century than the twentieth . . . [he gave me] the impression of someone with not too much experience in the complexities of present day life."[81] "Lou" the linguist (his résumé also lists Polish as one of his languages) never married. In 1985, he died of skin cancer and was buried from St. Ignatius Church in Manhattan.

The family was multilingual. Spanish was not only spoken with Mother but also with the family's Hispanic housekeeper and cook, who lived with her family in the basement of the Stojowski's four-story brownstone home. English, of course, was the language of the neighborhood and school and for speaking with Father. French and Polish were most often used when guests arrived. Mrs. Stojowski, who actually taught French in a private school when she first arrived in America to help make ends meet, also became fluent in both spoken and written Polish.

The Great War

The First World War took place during Stojowski's tenure at the Von Ende School of Music. At the actual outbreak of the war, Stojowski was in Riond-Bosson attending Paderewski's annual imieniny (name-day) celebration with the likes of Marcella Sembrich, conductor Felix Weingartner (1863-1942), violinist and former Boston Symphony Orchestra concert master Tymoteusz Adamowski (1858-1945), Józef Hofman, pianist Rudolph Ganz (1877-1972), the Swiss composer and conductor Gustave Doret (1866-1943) and the leader of the National Democratic Party in Poland Roman Dmowski (1864-1939).[82] It was during the party on the evening of July 31, 1914, the feast of St. Ignatius, that it was announced that Germany had given an ultimatum demanding the demobilization of Russia. The next day, for the first time in 120 years, Poland's enemies—Austria, Prussia and Russia— who had wiped Poland off the map of Europe, would finally be at war with each other. This was a war that the Poles had been waiting for. The seed of hope for an independent Poland had been sown.

During this "war to end all wars," Paderewski epitomized the true, altruistic, zealous Polish patriot fighting for Polish independence. For his weapons he would use the piano works of Chopin, those "Cannons buried in flowers," as Schumann once described them. Paderewski's performances of Chopin were able to overwhelm the hearts of both statesmen and commoners as well as overturn opposition for the rebirth of a sovereign Polish state. Violinist, composer, musicologist and conductor Henryk Opieński (1870-1942), who studied theory and composition with Stojowski in Paris from 1894 to 1897,[83] described Paderewski's use of Chopin as "a peaceful sword," which according to Stojowski, sounded "beauty for his country's salvation . . . the magic spell that sets human hearts vibrating." Indeed, it was this peaceful sword that helped forge an independent Poland for the first time in over a century.

Figure 14: Paderewski with Phyllida Ashley and Stojowski, ca. 1930.

Following in the footsteps of his mentor and compatriot, Stojowski worked relentlessly for the Polish cause of freedom. In addition to innumerable benefit recitals that Stojowski played himself and with others for Paderewski's Polish Victims' Relief Fund, Stojowski also engaged his students from the Von Ende School. Included among the many programs found in the Zygmunt and Luisa Stojowski Collection (Family Archives), there was one of World War I vintage that especially stood out, a Polish benefit recital with some of Stojowski's more famous students playing: Brachocki, Zygmunt's future wife Luisa, Arthur Loesser and the fifteen-year-old "Master" Alfred Newman.[84]

There were two other major efforts on the part of Stojowski that helped to make even the non-Polish heart beat for the cause of Polish independence. The first was his helping to co-produce the 1915 production of Marcella Sembrich-Kochańska's and Ernest Schelling's musical pageant A Night in Poland.[85] This was a high society fundraiser to benefit the American Polish Relief Committee that Sembrich founded and chaired and for which Stojowski served as a vice-president and member of the executive committee. Stojowski's role was orchestrating a Chopin Polonaise and two Mazurkas for the spectacle, writing the pageant's spoken prologue, Glimpses of Polish History, as well as coaching the non-Polish choristers with their Polish. The quasi-folk opera took place in the ballroom of the Hotel Biltmore on April 8, and as a fundraiser it brought in $10,000 for Polish war relief.[86]

The second important musical wartime endeavor was Stojowski's cantata A Prayer for Poland [Modlitwa za Polskę], Op. 40, set to a poem of the same title by the Polish romantic poet Zygmunt Krasiński (1812-1859). It is one of the few national works dating from World War I that was based on a spiritual, rather than a patriotic foundation (see Figure 15 below, or a larger image). The work is addressed to the Virgin Mary, who is called upon as the Queen of Poland to "End . . . for Poland her deep anguish." The cantata is dedicated to the composer's mother, and it is his last major work. It was first performed in New York on Tuesday, March 7, 1916, with the Schola Cantorum and the Symphony Society of New York under the direction of Kurt Schindler at Carnegie Hall.[87]

Figure 15: Page 35 from the piano reduction of A Prayer for Poland.

While available in a piano-vocal reduction, the orchestral score and parts for A Prayer for Poland were never published. This, in addition to the large orchestral forces required (including organ and/or antiphonal brass) helps explain why the work was not performed more often and, consequently, why it did not become better known. Like Elgar's Polonia, which was written for the Polish cause, or the same composer's Carillon, which was written for the suffering Belgians during World War I, it was inevitable that A Prayer for Poland would have become an esoteric item in the concert repertoire even had the full score been published and its composer, unlike Elgar, had not fallen into obscurity. On the other hand, those of a strong spiritual inclination might prefer to believe that Stojowski's setting of Krasiński's prayer was heard by the heavenly political powers that be during its performance in 1916, for Poland's independence as a sovereign nation was, consequently, restored in 1918. Thus, further use of the work was obviated—at least for the time being! Certainly, following World War I, there would have been no need or strong inclination in Polish musical circles to program a piece that implored for an independent Poland because, by then, there already was one. This remained the case for at least twenty years after which Poland once again fell under the heel of the conqueror.

In any case, the lack of a published orchestral score of A Prayer for Poland placed the work in an even more precarious position as the years wore on because it fell into the category of those items of Stojowskiana that had been rumored to have been accidentally discarded. It was a three-year search for the manuscript of this work that triggered my interest in Stojowski and which, happily, resulted in its rediscovery in October 2001.[88] When A Prayer for Poland was performed during World War II in Chicago and in the 1970's in Philadelphia, the performances took place with piano accompaniment only.[89] Hopefully, once the orchestral score is edited and published, the work will become a part of the repertoire of Polish ensembles, especially since this composition is ideal for anniversary concerts commemorating the outbreak of World War II (September 1) or Polish Independence Day (November 11).

As a composer, Stojowski was not terribly productive during World War I. Besides the cantata, there were two other works he wrote during that time: the set of piano pieces Aspirations, Op. 39, and Concertstüke in D Major for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 31. Nonetheless, Stojowski was in great demand during the war both for his music and for his playing. During that time, Stojowski gained the distinction of being the first Polish composer to have an entire concert of his works performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Josef Stransky conducting. The concert took place on March 1, 1915 at Carnegie Hall and featured the following works:

  • Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 21 (First performance in America)
  • Concerto in D Minor for Violoncello and Orchestra, Op. 31 (World première with Willem Willeke, Cello)
  • Second Piano Concerto (Prelude-Scherzo-Variations), Op. 32 (First performance in America with Sigismond Stojowski, Piano)[90]

A good idea of how much in demand Stojowski and his music were during the First World War can be gained by taking a look at his calendar for the first half of March 1916.

  • March 2 & 4, Carnegie Hall: Performance of Second Piano Concerto, pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski, New York Philharmonic, Walter Damrosch conducting.
  • March 7, Carnegie Hall: World première of cantata A Prayer for Poland.
  • March 10 & 11, Orchestra Hall: Performance of Second Piano Concerto, I. J. Paderewski, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Karl Muck conducting.
  • March 15, Carnegie Hall: Benefit Concert. Stojowski performs with 10 other outstanding pianists, including Paderewski and Ernest Schelling, to aid the artists of the Paris Conservatoire who had been crippled or made destitute because of the war.[91]

On November 28, 1926, because of his charitable and patriotic ventures for Poland during the First World War, Stojowski was awarded the order Polonia Restituta [Order Odrodzenia Polski, Medal of the Restoration of Poland], the highest order the Polish government could confer upon a civilian.[92] A Distinguished Service Medal from the US Treasury Department was also rewarded for his services in the campaign for sale of Liberty and Victory Bonds.[93] As can be seen, Stojowski worked untiringly in helping to raise funds for his wounded colleagues in Paris as well as championing the cause of freedom for both America and Poland.

Figure 16: Stojowski's "Polonia Restituta" of 1924. PIASA.

The Changing Status of the Composer

When Stojowski arrived in America, he was best known as a composer, pianist and a teacher. By the time of his death, however, he was best remembered in the opposite order: as being foremost a renowned teacher, then an excellent pianist, and finally an occasional composer. Of the 43 opus-numbered compositions, 27 had already been written by the time he had arrived in America in 1905 at the age of 35. He would live another 41 years, adding only 16 works bearing opus numbers to his catalogue. Of course, there are two sets of Polish folk songs which he arranged, one of which contains five exquisite settings of Polish Christmas carols for mixed chorus and piano, as well as a handful of published works that do not bear opus numbers.

The reason for his inactivity as a composer could be due to a change of priorities in his life. After all, he did come to America to teach. Thirteen works were added to his catalogue between 1906 and 1915. Because of his teaching responsibilities and the obligations demanded by his performing schedule, composing music was limited to the summer months which seem to have been spent each year in Europe until the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Following that, there is a six-year hiatus from 1916 to 1922 which sees nothing added to his catalogue except a piece for solo violin published in 1920 and a song Ce furent là des heures douces published in 1922. This period, of course, included the Great War years as well as Stojowski's settling down and raising a family. In 1923, the Variations et fugue sur un thème original pour piano, which is dedicated to his wife, appear but then there is an eighteen-year break during which Stojowski only revives his compositional skills by providing accompaniments to the earlier mentioned anthologies of Polish folk songs. While the responsibilities of being a husband and father may have caused the seven-year gap in his composing, the next eighteen years saw him focusing his attention on other things: traveling around the country to teach each summer (which certainly replaced the once-sacred time for composing for which the summers had been reserved); concert tours that involved taking the whole family to Poland (1929) and South America (1934); being extremely active as a leader in New York's Polonia; writing many articles on music and his native land and, finally, the outbreak of World War II which once more saw a rekindling of patriotic fervor in this musician. The year 1941, however, did see the publication of two works: Romance for piano, Op. 43, dedicated to his former student Phyllida Ashley Everington, and Lullaby written for Paderewski in memoriam. His next and last work appears to be the Dumka for piano, dedicated to another former student, Guiomar Novaes-Pinto, and printed in 1945.

Figure 17: Cover of Stojowski's Violin Concerto.

Another reason which might have carried much weight in influencing him to make composing the lowest musical priority—especially during the last 22 years of his life—was that he was aware that the music he wrote was no longer in tune with the times. He was a diehard romantic in a revolutionary, changing musical world, and both he and his audiences knew that. About as modern as Stojowski was known to get in his piano repertoire was programming the works of such composers as Albeniz (d. 1909), Debussy (d. 1918), Granados (d. 1916), Scriabin (d. 1915) and Szymanowski (d. 1937).[94]

His own music, although beautifully imbued with rich lyricism, is unadventurous for the period, only hinting at impressionism. Perhaps his most provocative music is found in the seventh variation of the Second Piano Concerto's last movement (see Figure 18 below, or a larger image). Canonic in structure, the thematic motive is based on a rising fifth followed by two descending minor seconds. This theme is sequentially repeated until all 12 tones of the chromatic scale are employed and then descends chromatically in a fragmented pattern consisting of two notes followed by rests. It is played in canon, first at the major third below and then at the minor sixth above, creating a feeling of polytonality while major sevenths and ninths are heard as harmonic suspensions, adding their own dissonance. In this variation, Stojowski also abandons tertian harmony and instead uses the fourth, fifth and diminished fifth to create his harmonic texture.

Figure 18: Variation 7 in Stojowski's Piano Concerto No. 2.

At first, the new wave of music that was sweeping the world prior to World War I was not threatening to him. A recollection of Paderewski's 1913 name-day party at Riond-Bosson shows Stojowski entertaining the guests with a lecture on the 30,000 natural noises that were used in contemporary music. Joining Stojowski to help demonstrate these contemporary techniques were Józef Hofman and Rudolf Ganz, who—dressed as piano tuners—provided musical examples at the piano.[95] A few years later, when posed the question, "What is the future of futurism?", Stojowski became politely philosophical, answering that everything is relative—even modern music—and that a lot of it must be taken cum grano salis.[96] In the press, Stojowski was even being praised for sticking to his guns:[97]

The Stojowski muse does not lose itself in a chase after supermodernity, and therein lies the composer's real value, for he says what he has to say in a straightforward style which is always attractive and appears to express spontaneously the musical thoughts that spring up in Stojowski's fancy.

By the 1930's, however, Zygmunt is no longer hiding his feelings towards contemporary music. In 1932, the New York press accuses Stojowski of musical censorship in his summer piano class at the Juilliard School of Music by quoting the summer school bulletin and stating that Stojowski will not allow works of some Moderns to be played when their music is "of an experimental nature or devoid of serious artistic purpose."[98] In an interview of August 1934 printed in the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, one can certainly detect a feeling that the composer feels as though he has been left out of the contemporary picture as he answers a question on modernism by saying:[99]

But "modernism," in so far as it stands for an idiom now in fashion, makes us unjust to many contemporaries that have not broken away from tradition and whose various works still could enrich and diversify our programs.

It is hard to believe that Stojowski spent the first month of that summer on the ten-member teaching music staff of Mills College in California working with futuristic composer Henry Cowell (1897-1965) who taught a contemporary music appreciation course.[100] It is a pity that Stojowski was so adamant about his dislike for contemporary music. Who could not fall under the magic spell of Cowell's music when hearing his composition The Banshee? It is probably safe to presume that Stojowski never dropped in to hear one of his colleague's lectures and thus missed an opportunity of being able to experience the worth of "experimental" music abundant in seriously artistic purpose.

Figure 19: Manuscript fragment of Stojowski's Caprice-Orientale, Op. 10, No. 2.

Nonetheless, Stojowski's music was performed by the greatest musicians of his time. Not only did his teacher Paderewski pay him the greatest respect by performing his works, but also so did his teacher in Paris, Louis Diémer. A review in The Daily Graphic of Diémer's May 19, 1893 recital at London's St. James Hall reported, "Louis Diémer gave a brilliant rendering of two clever pieces by Stojowski." Other notable pianists who featured Stojowski's works on their concerts included fellow Pole Ignacy Friedman (1882-1948), Rudolph Ganz (1877-1972), Myra Hess (1890-1965), Boris Goldowsky (1909-2001), Percy Grainger (1882-1961), Elly Ney (1882-1968), Ernest Schelling, Olga Samaroff (1882-1948), and compatriot Józef Hofman, who kept Stojowski's hair-raisingly virtuosic Caprice-Orientale, Op. 10, no. 2 in his concert repertoire for 40 years. His songs were sung by Metropolitan Opera star soprano Marcela Sembrich. Violinists known for performing Stojowski's violin pieces included "the German Paganini" August Wilhemj (1845-1908), Jacques Thibaud (1880-1953), Władysław Górski, Paweł Kochański (1887-1934), Georges Enesco (1881-1955), Mischa Elman (1891-1967) and Jascha Heifitz (1901-1987). Famous conductors of that era who programmed Stojowski's orchestral works included Sir Thomas Beecham, Jerzy Bojanowski, Antonia Brico, Hans von Bülow, Frank and Walter Damrosch, Grzegorz Fitelberg, Benjamin Godard, Sir Charles Hallé, Willem van Hoogstraten, Emil Młynarski, Pierre Monteux, Karl Muck, Arthur Nikisch, Josef Pasternack, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Ernest Schelling and Josef Stransky.

Proud to be Polish

After World War I, Stojowski became a champion of the newly independent Polish nation. According to a letter found in the Stojowski file at the Juilliard School Archives, Paderewski had invited Stojowski to become a member of his government when he became Premier.[101] Stojowski, however, found other ways to work for Poland and Polish culture by staying in the United States. He took over the presidency of the Polish political and cultural club Koło Polskie [Polish Circle] of the local Society of Engineers and Merchants. This club, which Stojowski led for over twenty years, was in nature a "round table" at whose meetings politics and cultural events were discussed in a non-partisan way.[102] Koło Polskie also functioned as an intermediary between the New York Polish community and the homeland, and was responsible for a wider understanding of Polish culture in American society.[103] The Polish press made note of Stojowski's contribution to the Polish cause in America:[104]

The events of the past years have often torn Stojowski away from the piano and artistic output, forcing him into civic and patriotic work in the role of a lecturer. The many papers which he read, whether in university auditoriums or at artistic or scientific gatherings, were papers that informed the American public about the problems and meaning of Poland, and were remarkably instrumental in rolling away the clouds of ignorance and indifference in the spheres of Polish issues and nationality.

Stojowski had the distinction of being the founder of the short-lived Polish Institute of Arts and Letters (PIAL), which was founded in 1932 and was an active Polish organization for five years. He founded the Institute "with the aim of presenting all phases of Polish culture to the American people, and in the belief that if the American public were familiarized with the great intellectual and artistic achievements of Poland, mutual benefits would result."[105] This approach was and, in fact, still is unique for the Polish community. Most Polish cultural groups outside of Poland are formed to do just the opposite, i.e., to only serve the needs of the Polish community and to preserve Polish heritage for its own people or "Polonia," as the Polish diaspora refers to itself, and not function as a propagandistic voice in non-Polonian circles.

Figure 20: Stojowski's Song Collection, Memories of Poland.

Stojowski's Institute became the American prototype for what is known today as the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA), founded during World War II to function in exile as the chapter of the Cracow-based Polska Akademia Umiejętności [Polish Academy of Knowledge]. With Stojowski being a musician, his Polish Institute was much more arts-orientated than today's PIASA. To give an example, during its first three years, the Polish Institute of Arts and Letters presented 26 programs, such as recitals and concerts, lectures and radio talks, art exhibitions and a memorial program in memory of the famous Polish tenor at the Metropolitan Opera Jean de Reszke (1850-1925). Patrons of Stojowski's Polish Institute included the Polish Ambassador and Consul General, Ignacy Paderewski, Marcella Sembrich and many other leading persons in the world of politics, business and the arts. PIAL was located at the Roerich Museum on 310 Riverside Drive.

Between the wars, Stojowski was an associate member of the American Polish Chamber of Commerce & Industry and a contributor of articles on Poland and Polish music to the chamber of commerce's Poland America magazine. Stojowski wrote on both Polish music and history, including such titles as Paderewski, the Unique and [An] Outline of Polish Music. During the 1920's Stojowski also served on the National Council Advisory Board for the newly formed Kosciuszko Foundation in New York.

Stojowski did not limit himself to writing on Polish topics. Over 50 articles and addresses in English and Polish have been found. According to one of the Stojowski résumés, he was also known to have written articles in French, German and Spanish, writings which have not been researched or used for this paper. As a pianist and pedagogue expressing himself in written word, we can find articles on piano performance and interpretation as well as many Master Lessons which appeared in The Etude magazine, with whose editors Stojowski collaborated for 35 of the monthly's 75-year history (1883-1957). As a composer, we find him authoring articles that reflect his philosophy of music and give his opinions on the contemporary music of his day. As a scholar, though, Stojowski can be found at his best in writing about the music of his native Poland and in his unpublished 50-page commentary intended to accompany his also unpublished edition of Chopin's Mazurkas, a project that occupied Stojowski's time for the last two years of his life.[106]

Finally, the Polish qualities of Stojowski's music should not be forgotten. In addition to the Polish characteristics found in his orchestral suite or in the last movement of his Symphony, in his patriotic cantata, the settings of Polish folk songs in two anthologies, or his songs—including two song cycles set to Polish poetry—there are also the compositions for piano. Two works not bearing opus numbers as well as 24 of his opus-numbered compositions are divided to form 78 piano miniatures, 19 of which—or nearly 25%—are programmatically Polish, based on Polish melodies or dances, including the krakowiak, mazurka and polonaise as well as the dumka, a Ukrainian song form that was familiar to the composer from his early childhood spent in the Russian partition of Poland. Many of the piano pieces are also influenced by Chopin, including ones not based on Polish dances and themes. The Rhapsodie symphonique for piano and orchestra is still another piece that uses Polish dance forms; the Allegro moderato is based on the krakowiak rhythm and the Allegro vivace on the mazurka. When mentioning Stojowski's piano works based on Polish dance forms, the early 20th century music critic Adolf Chybiński wrote, "They are full of honest sentiment joined with the great finesse of a pianist-composer who excellently knows how he must bring out the desired effect."[107]

The Twilight of a Great Musician

The Poles have a rhyme about getting old: "Starość nie radość." Translated literally into English, it means "There is no joy in getting old." This saying could be applied to the end of Stojowski's life. He and his wife sold their four-story brownstone house on 76th St. and moved into the former 10-room, fourth-floor apartment of Pablo Casals at 16 E. 96th St. Henry was away at school at Dickinson College, Ignatius was in seminary, leaving only Alfred, who was studying at Columbia, at home. On 96th St. there were no staircases to climb (the building had an elevator). The move was made in 1939, when Zygmunt Stojowski was 69 years old.

Because he had let teaching take priority in his professional life, not only did his output as a composer decrease tremendously, but so did his appearances as a concert artist. Except for a couple of performances of his Rhapsodie symphonique and Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 during the late thirties, Stojowski basically limited his playing to lecture-recitals on Chopin's music. The audiences for these programs were either made up of academia or Polonia. Thus, the general musical public was rarely exposed to the music of the composer or the artistry of the pianist. Even in old age, though, one thing that Stojowski never seemed to tire of was coming to the rescue of Poland and seeing the need to serve her when World War II broke out on Polish soil on September 1, 1939. Frightened by the fact, though, that his son Henry, who had been born of a Polish national on French soil on that very day 18 years before the outbreak, making him eligible for the draft into both the French and Polish armies, Zygmunt and Luisa finally decided to apply for US citizenship.[108]

Nonetheless, two months after the Nazi and Soviet invasion of Poland, Stojowski was responsible for helping to organize the Commission for Polish Relief that sponsored a Polish Relief Concert at Carnegie Hall on November 14, 1939, featuring tenor Jan Kiepura (1902-1966) and Artur Rubinstein.[109] In his memoirs My Many Years, however, Rubinstein mistakenly states that the concert venue was the Metropolitan Opera and not Carnegie Hall.[110]

According to the stationery letterhead of the Paderewski Testimonial Fund, Inc., which can be found in PIASA archives, Stojowski was a committee chairman and sponsor of this organization. Organized to honor the memory of Paderewski, who had passed away in November 1941, the Fund was intended to relieve the suffering of Paderewski's countrymen much as the World War I Polish Victims' Relief Fund did. The Paderewski Testimonial Fund was a participating service of the Polish War Relief through the USA National War Fund.[111]

Stojowski also became actively involved with the earlier-mentioned PIASA, founded in 1941. In a letter dated June 22, 1942, Wacław Lednicki, the Chairman of PIASA's Commission on the History of Arts and Music, offered Zygmunt the position of Vice-Chairman.[112] Stojowski refused the offer. Nevertheless, in 1943, he served on the Commission's subcommittee, which planned a series of lectures, the first of which was Feliks Łabuński's Six Centuries of Polish Music, and in 1944, he chaired the committee which organized a May 4 Carnegie Hall concert of Polish music that was sponsored by PIASA.

Figure 21: Zygmunt Stojowski, ca. 1930.

Stojowski's other wartime activities included being the president of the Polish Review, a weekly magazine published with the assistance of the Polish Government Information Center, and founding and chairing the Polish Musicians' Committee (PMC). Members of the Committee included conductor Grzegorz Fitelberg (1879-1953), pianist Mieczysław Horszowski (1892-1993), violinist Bronisław Huberman (1882-1947), composer-pianist and music critic Feliks R. Łabuński (1892-1979), harpsichordist Wanda Landowska (1877-1959), pianist Witold Małcużyński, composer Karol Rathaus (1895-1954), pianist Artur Rubinstein and Stojowski, himself.

The PMC sponsored two concerts of Polish music in 1944. The first (mentioned earlier as having been presented with the help of PIASA) was the May 4, 1944 concert of Polish orchestral music at Carnegie Hall with "members of" the New York Philharmonic-Symphony, Grzegorz (Gregor) Fitelberg conducting. The concert included music by Stojowski, Łabuński, Paderewski and Szymanowski.[113] Soloists for that concert included Huberman performing the Szymanowski concerto and Małcużyński as the soloist in the Paderewski.[114] The U.S. State Department recorded the concert for later radio broadcast to Europe.[115] The second concert, which PMC also presented that year, featured a program of contemporary Polish chamber music at Times Hall, 240 West 44th Street, on December 18. Music for this concert included works by Antoni Szałowski (1907-1973), F. Łabuński, Karol Rathaus and Jerzy Fitelberg (1903-1951), the son of the conductor Grzegorz Fitelberg.[116] Performers for the chamber music concert included the Gordon String Quartet, clarinetist Simon Bellison, pianists Mieczysław Horszowski and Karol Rathaus, violinist Boris Schwarz and flautist John Wummer.[117]

The activities of PMC also included charitable work. Based on correspondence between Zygmunt Stojowski and Feliks Łabuński, who took over as PMC chairman when Stojowski was hospitalized with cancer of the colon in the spring of 1946, the committee also sent packages to needy Polish musicians living in Western Europe following the war.[118] From the letters found at Warsaw University's Library in the Archives of 20th Century Polish Composers, it is known exactly who benefited from these packages that were sent out from 1945 to 1946. They were the following Polish musicians: composers Antoni Szałowski (1907-1973), Michał Spisak (1914-1965), Alfred Gradstein (1904-1954), the controversial Michał Kondracki (1902-84) who immigrated to the USA in 1945, conductor Ignacy Nuemark (1888-1959), pianist Zygmunt Dygat and composer and music critic Zygmunt Mycielski (1907-87).[119] For example, Spisak received ten0 packages and Szałowski fourteen from May through September 1945. Other Polish musicians living in the USA, who were not on the committee, also contributed financially to the Committee's activities, one of the most generous being Oscar-winning Hollywood composer Bronisław Kaper (1902-83).[120]

There is still one more wartime activity of Stojowski's that seems to have been forgotten. In that same letter written by Frederick Gamble that is found in the Juilliard School Archives, it is also mentioned that at the outbreak of World War II, the Polish Government-in-Exile in London requested Stojowski to help oversee the management and protection of millions of dollars in Polish gold on deposit in the United States of America. This claim seems to be confirmed in a letter found in the family archives from the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. The letter, dated March 22, 1944, and addressed to Sigismond J. Stojowski and Roman Józef Majewski, informs them that the Polish gold reserves had been returned to Bank Polski [Polish Bank].

Remembering Stojowski

For the moment, Stojowski's music seems to be having a resurgence of sorts. In his native Poland, after a hiatus of several decades, Stojowski's orchestral music will once again be heard in concert when British pianist Jonathan Plowright makes an appearance in October 2003 to perform one of the piano concertos with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. The 2003 edition of the Lutosławski International 'Cello Competition has listed Stojowski's 'Cello Sonata as one of 12 sonatas that may be played during the second round of the competition. Nothing more significant could have occurred to help revive interest in the music of this extraordinary Polish musician than the release, in 2001 and 2002, of two commercial recordings of three of his works for piano and orchestra. The first is a recording of the Rhapsodie symphonique with pianist Ian Munro and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra on ABC Records Australia. The second is Hyperion Records' release of the two piano concertos with Jonathan Plowright and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. It is expected that a commercial CD of Stojowski's solo piano works will be recorded by Mr. Plowright for Hyperion in the autumn of 2003, and Stojowski's Violin Concerto in G Minor will also appear sometime in the next two years.

Much remains to be done in order to help keep this rekindled interest in Stojowski's music and life alive. It remains, of course, an open question whether all the above efforts will prove to be just the beginning or, instead, the full extent of a re-acquaintance with Stojowski and his music. One can only hope that at least the musicians and musical public of his native land will see fit to value and nourish the legacy of this splendid musician and Polish patriot.

Figure 22: Zygmunt Stojowski, ca. 1940.


Invited paper, written especially for the Stojowski issue of the Polish Music Journal. Acknowledgments: A number of people and institutions need to be thanked for assisting me in my research for this paper over the past two years. First and foremost, I would like to thank my friend John Hein, Head of Technical Services at the University of North Florida Library in Jacksonville. A fellow Detroiter and friend dating from college days at the University of Michigan School of Music in the 1960's, he was my personal reference librarian when, quite frequently, I could not get questions answered here in Poland. Without his help, writing this paper would have been impossible. Still another native Detroiter, who must be thanked, is Wanda Wilk. Founder of the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, she was instrumental in my obtaining a research grant from the California based foundation Ars Musica Poloniae, which enabled me to travel to New York and do research in the city that was Stojowski's home for the last 40 years of his life. I would also like to thank Mr. Joseph E. Gore, President and Executive Director of the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York. The Kosciuszko Foundation awarded me a travel grant to present a paper on Zygmunt Stojowski at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in June 2002. During my Washington visit, I was also able to spend several days at the Library of Congress as well as to do research in Philadelphia. Proofreaders who graciously took the time to read this paper and make corrections and suggestions were Henryk Polowniak, former librarian of St. Mary's College in Orchard Lake, Michigan, and, once again, John Hein. I am also indebted to Messrs. Alfred and Henry Stojowski, the composer's sons, for answering my many questions, and to Henry in particular for opening his home to me and allowing me to turn his living room into a storage area for over 20 large boxes of manuscripts, published scores, correspondence, photos and other Stojowski memorabilia. The following people, institutions and organizations that were kind enough to either give me access to their archives, send me information via the internet or regular post include the following: Berkshire, England—Jill Kelsey at the Royal Archives, Windsor Castle; Bloomington, Indiana—Edward Auer at Indiana University; Bolton Landing, New York—Anita Behr Richards and Charles Richards at the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum; Boston—Barbara Perkel at the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Cincinnati—Linda Bailey at the Cincinnati Historical Society Library, Teri McKibben at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Cracow—Stanisław Hrabia at the Jagiellonian University's Institute of Musicology, Agnieszka Mietelska-Ciepierska at the Jagiellonian University Library; Hackensack, New Jersey—Sembrich scholar Stephen Herx; Jackson, Michigan—Music Director Stephen Osmond at the Jackson Symphony Orchestra; London—the BBC Orchestral Library, Polish Cultural Institute; Los Angeles—Maja Trochimczyk and Barbara Zakrzewska at the Polish Music Center, University of Southern California; Lubbock, Texas—William Westney at Texas Tech University; Manchester—Stuart Robinson at the Hallé Concerts Society; Morges, Switzerland—Rita Rosenstiel at the Paderewski Museum; New Haven, Connecticut—Mateusz Zechowski at the Yale University Library, Marvin Warshaw at the New Haven Symphony Orchestra; New York City—Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, musicologist Jeff Dane, Gino Francesconi and Kathleen Sobogal at the Carnegie Hall Archives, Jane Gottlieb at the Juilliard School Library, John Pennino at the Metropolitan Opera, Richard Wandel at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Dr. Thaddeus Gromada and Janina Gromada Kedron at the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, Frances X. Gates of the Polish Singers Alliance of America, and Joan Lewin and Gregory Moore for making those extra visits to the New York Public Library for me. Paris—composer Piotr Moss for helping to provide the list of Stojowski holdings at the Bibliothèque Nationale and National Conservatoire, Jean Leduc of Alphonse Leduc & Cie.; Philadelphia—Brett Rosenau at Theodore Presser, Kile Smith at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music and Edward Sargent; San Francisco Bay Area—Patricia Everington Nottingham, Janice Braun at Mills College; Stanford—Dr. Maciej Siekierski and Zbigniew L. Stanczyk at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Warsaw—Archiwum Akt Nowych, Mariola Nałęcz at the Biblioteka Narodowa, Music Reading Room of the Warsaw University Library, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. [Back]

Full name: Zygmunt Denis Antoni Jordan de Stojowski. [Back]

Frank Cooper, Liner notes for Sigismond Stojowski plays Chopin, Paderewski and Stojowski; Luisa Stojowska Plays the Music of Stojowski (New York: International Piano Archives (IPA) 115, 1976). [Back]

Józef Reiss, Statkowski, Melcer, Młynarski, Stojowski (Łódź: Wiedza Powszechna Wydawnictwo Popularno-Naukowe, 1949). Maria Macharska-Wolańska, Twórczość fortepianowa Zygmunta Stojowskiego [The piano works of Zygmunt Stojowski] (Masters' thesis. Kraków: Jagiellonian University, 1950). [Back]

"Zgon Zygmunta Stokowskiego: W Ameryce zmarł kompozytor i dyrygent światowej sławy Zygmunt Stokowski. Stokowski mieszkał w Stanach Zjednoczonych od 40-lat." [Back]

Norman Davies, A History of Poland vol. 2 (Oxford and London: Oxford University Press, 1981). [Back]

Details of the concert program received via Internet from the archivist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and a librarian from the Cincinnati Historical Society. [Back]

Pittsburgh journalist Arthur G. Burgoyne (1861-1914), who was the "town poet" for nearly all of the Pittsburgh papers at various times. For more than three decades he produced daily poems—both humorous and sometimes serious—on current topics of the day. [Back]

Joseph A. Herter, ed. "Stojowski and Stokowski: A Poem by Arthur G. Burgoyne." Polish Music Journal 4 no. 1 (Summer 2001), ../PMJ/issue/4.1.01/stojowskipoem.html. [Back]

City of Cracow Archives (Archiwum Akt Dawnych m. Krakowa fascykul GLN 194). [Back]

Nicolas Slonimsky, Stojowski File. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Slonimsky Collection, Box 236, Folder 14. [Back]

Janusz Mechanisz, Poczet Kompozytorów [A galaxy of composers] (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Szkolne i Pedagogiczne, 1993), 160. [Back]

Based on conversations held with Henry Stojowski in August 2001 and January 2002. [Back]

Letter sent to author by electronic mail on November 20, 2001. [Back]

Stojowski. "Paderewski as I Knew Him (1884-1941)," in Intimate Memories of Paderewski by Marguerite Merington. (An unpublished biography). New York: Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences Archives, Marguerite Merington Papers, Collection No. 3, Folder No. 16, 3. [Back]

Ignacy and Helena Paderewski, Telegram of condolence on the death of Stojowski's mother Marie, April 7, 1925. Stanford: Paderewski Collection, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. [Back]

Anon., "Z filharmonii," interview with Stojowski in Echo Muzyczne Teatralne i Artystyczne (1901). [Back]

Stanisław Dybowski, "Zapomniany Zygmunt Stojowski" [The Forgotten Zygmunt Stojowski]. Ruch Muzyczny 46 no. 9 (April 28, 2002): 35. [Back]

Stojowski, "Paderewski as I Knew Him," 1. [Back]

Paderewski. Letter to Marie Stojowska, December 5, 1884. Morges: Paderewski Museum, De 65-2. [Back]

Anon. "A Priceless Fan." International Music and Drama (January 21, 1915): 8-9. [Back]

Artur Rubinstein, My Many Years (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1980), 81-82. [Back]

Jerzy Jasieński, Ignacy Jan Paderewski Antologia (Poznań: Ars Nova, 1996), 23. [Back]

Stojowski. "The Music of Poland." Poland America 6 no. 8 (August 1925) and 6, no. 9 (September 1925): 455-458, 486-490, 527-529, and 558-561, cited from p. 558. [Back]

Reiss, Statkowski . . ., op. cit., 20. In Stojowski's Untitled Resume, the composer writes that there were over 250 (!) candidates. [Back]

Stojowski was in England with pianist Antonina Szumowska and violinist Władysław Górski, who were all accompanying Paderewski on his tour. Paderewski also arranged concerts in England for all three musicians. See: Echo Muzyczne, Teatralne i Artystyczne (May 29, 1893), 272. [Back]

Stojowski, Untitled Résumé. ZLSC. The Tchaikovsky score was auctioned at Sotheby's in December 2000. [Back]

The Musical Times (July 1, 1893): 408. [Back]

William Armstrong, "Sigismond Stojowski and His Views on Piano Study." The Etude (May 1906): 288-289. Reprinted in the current issue of PMJ. [Back]

"Z filharmonii," op. cit. [Back]

Stojowski. Biographical Data, ZLSC. [Back]

Adam Zamoyski, Paderewski (New York: Atheneum, 1982), 220-221. [Back]

Stojowski. Biographical Data. [Back]

Ignacy Jan Paderewski, "Letter of Recommendation for Stojowski." Dated May 13, 1924. Original held at Morges, Switzerland: Paderewski Museum, De 65-1. [Bronze stamp with the imprint of this letter and several copies of the printout are at USC]. The letter is reprinted and transcribed in Polish Music Newsletter 7 no. 11; a copy also appears in Trochimczyk's editorial in the current issue of PMJ. [Back]

Stojowski, Biographical Data. ZLSC. [Back]

Małgorzata Perkowska, "Delibes," entry in Encyklopedia Muzyczna PWM, vol. 2 (Kraków: PWM, 1984), 390-391. [Back]

Henri De Curzon, Leo Delibes: sa vie et ses oeuvres (Paris: G. Legouix, 1926), 73. [Back]

Stojowski. "Paderewski as I Knew Him," 3. [Back]

"Kasia," report in Echo Muzyczne, Teatralne i Artystyczne, 163. [Back]

Concert Program for Buckingham Palace Concert of July 5, 1895, including Stojowski's cantata Spring, Op. 7. Performers: The Choral Class of the Royal College of Music, Her Majesty's Private Band, Sir Walter Parratt conducting. The Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. [Back]

Józef Reiss, Almanach muzyczny Krakowa 1780-1914 [A musical almanac of Cracow 1780-1914], vol. 2 (Kraków: Towarzystwo miłośników zabytków, 1939), 65. [Back]

Stojowski also appeared twice as a soloist during that historic first season. [Back]

This work was either withdrawn from the composer's catalogue or is a different name for Rhapsodie symphonique pour piano et orchestre, Op. 23, which was premiered a year before the competition. [Back]

Stefan Śledziński, "Zarys dziejów symfonii polskiej w XIX wieku" [An outline history of Polish symphony in the 19th century], in Z dziejów polskiej kultury muzycznej vol. 2, eds. Stefania Łobaczewska et al. (Kraków: PWM, 1966), 401-462. Cited from pp. 440-441. [Back]

The Polish version of the 11th-century hymn Salve Regina. [Back]

Stojowski, "Recollections of Brahms," Musical Quarterly 19 (April 1933): 149. [Back]

Alexander Poznansky, Tchaikovsky's Last Days (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 29. [Back]

See Joseph A. Herter, "Elgar's 'Polonia' Updated," in The Elgar Society Journal 12 no. 4 (March 2002): 156-159. Reprinted online in the Polish Music Newsletter 5 no. 8 (August 1999), ../news/aug99.html. [Back]

Stojowski, Letter to Paderewski (October 19, 1905). Paderewski Archives, File 3702, AAN. Paderewski's friendship with Stojowski was discussed by Maja Trochimczyk in "Paderewski and Stojowski: A Musical Friendship," at the Session on "Elsner and Stojowski," organized by M.T. for the Annual Meeting of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., June 2002. [Back]

Frank Damrosch, Institute of Musical Art 1904-1926 (New York: Juilliard School of Music, 1936), 26. [Back]

Two days later at Carnegie Hall, Artur Rubinstein would give his American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra. [Back]

Richard Aldrich, Concert Life in New York (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1941), 129. [Back]

E-mail letter from Brett Rosenau of Theodore Presser, May 3, 2002. [Back]

Perkowska. Diariusz Koncertowy Ignacego Jana Paderewskiego [The concert diary of Ignacy Jan Paderewski] (Kraków: PWM, 1990), 235. For Paderewski's interest in Stojowski's Chant d'amour and the role of this work in establishing Paderewski's image in North America see Maja Trochimczyk, "How Paderewski Plays: Paderewski, Chant d'amour and the Aestheticism of America's Gilded Age." Paper read at the 2002 Meeting of the American Musicological Society. Columbus, Ohio, 31 October- 3 November 2002. Print version forthcoming. [Back]

An unidentified Philadelphia press clipping from 1915, ZLSC. [Back]

"Stojowski Historical Piano Recitals." The Musical Courier (February 8, 1911): 47. Stojowski recorded MacDowell's Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No. 4, In Autumn and No. 2, Will-o'-the-Wisp, on a piano roll for Ampico Recordings. [Back]

Aldrich, op. cit., 320. [Back]

The Metropolitan Opera had no record of this Stojowski performance because all their programs for the 1910-1911 season were lost when the company moved to Lincoln Center in the 1960's, including the one for the world première of Puccini's The Girl of the Golden West. [Back]

New York Philharmonic Archives, Lincoln Center. [Back]

Anon. "Koncerty Zygmunta Stojowskiego w Ameryce," Świat (1911): 15. [Back]

Damrosch, op. cit., Appendix, 6. [Back]

The Von Ende School of Music. Bulletin 1915-16 (New York: 1916): 8. ZLSC. [Back]

George Edgar Oliver, "Concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra." Review of Stojowski performance in Albany, New York. The Albany Evening Journal (November 6, 1923). [Back]

The Juilliard School Archives. [Back]

See his profile as a teacher in "Silhuette - S. Stojowski" published in 1943 in the Hartford Times. Reprinted in Maja Trochimczyk, ed. "Selected Reviews of Stojowski's Concerts." Polish Music Journal 5 no. 2 (2002). [Back]

Index card mailing list, ZLSC. [Back]

Based on a telephone conversation with Phyllida Ashley's daughter Patricia Nottingham (January 2002). [Back]

Oscar Levant, A Smattering of Ignorance (New York: Doubleday, Doran, 1940), 266. [Back]

Stojowski, Résumé. Biographical Data (ca. 1919), four typewritten pages with penned corrections and additions in the margins. ZLSC. [Back]

John T. Howard, Our American Music (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1939). [Back]

Levant, op. cit., 266. [Back]

Luisa Stojowski [Morales Macedo], "Mme. Stojowski Tells the Secret of Practicing." The Southwestern Musician 15 (July 1949): 16. [Back]

Juilliard School Archives. [Back]

E-mail letter from Alfred Stojowski to the author, August 18, 2002. [Back]

Bulletin de Naissance, no. 211, Ville de Fontainebleau, September 9, 1921, ZLSC. [Back]

Baptismal Register 1922-1938. Church of the Blessed Sacrament (New York City), 8. [Back]

Stojowski, Letter to Paderewski (April 20, 1938). Paderewski Archives, File 3702, AAN, Warsaw. [Back]

Ignatius L. Stojowski, Data Sheet (ca. 1978), one typewritten page, ZLSC. [Back]

Ignatius L. Stojowski, Letter to Paderewski. Paderewski Archives, File 3702, AAN, Warsaw. [Back]

Conversation with Edward Sargent, graduate of Chestnut Hill Academy. Philadelphia, June 2002. [Back]

Charlotte Dunham, Letter to Werner Fuchs, founder of Musée Paderewski in Morges, Switzerland. August 12, 1981. Catalog no. R.189, Paderewski Museum, Morges. [Back]

Katarzyna Morawska, Entry on "Opieński" in Encyklopedia Muzyczna PMW, vol. 7 (Kraków: PWM, 2002), 164. [Back]

Stojowski, "Paderewski, the Unique" (Written on Paderewski's 75th Anniversary). Poland America 13 no. 5 (May 1932): 223. [Back]

Joseph A. Herter, "Stojowski: The Polish Patriot." Polish Music Newsletter 9 no. 2 (February 2002), ../news/feb02.html#stojowski. [Back]

The full score and set of parts for A Night in Poland may be found in the Stojowski files at PIASA. The music composed by Stojowski for the pageant has been erroneously attributed to Schelling in the PIASA catalog. See Maja Trochimczyk, "Stojowski Manuscripts at PIASA." Polish Music Newsletter 7 no. 8 (August 2001), ../news/aug01.html. [Back]

Joseph A. Herter, "Schelling's 'A Night in Poland.'" Polish Music Newsletter 7 no. 12 (December 2001), ../news/dec01.html. [Back]

Carnegie Hall Archives. The entry in the Słownik muzyków polskich, v. 2, incorrectly gives the date as March 6. [Back]

This paper is the culmination of that journey. The cantata was actually found by Dr. Barbara Zakrzewska from the University of Southern California's Polish Music Center, who came to New York assisted with a grant from the Kościuszko Foundation, to create a preliminary catalogue of the Stojowski material that had been already found by Henry Stojowski, Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, and myself, in the summer of 2001. [Back]

The Chicago performance took place at a Polish Singers Alliance of America Convention on May 3, 1941. Bulletin of the Stojowski Students' Association, February 1941. [Back]

Concert program held at the Carnegie Hall Archives. [Back]

Information based on concert programs in the collection of the Carnegie Hall Archives. [Back]

Księga Kawalerów orderu 'Odrodzenia Polski,' Obywatele Cudzoziemscy. [The Book of Cavaliers of the Order "Polonia Restituta" Foreign Citizens]. (Warsaw: AAN, 1921-1937), 110. [Back]

"Stojowski is Dead; Polish Pianist, 76." Obituary in The New York Times (November 6, 1946). See also Stojowski's Untitled Résumé. [Back]

Stojowski and Szymanowski performed a concert of Polish music together held on December 13, 1921, at Columbia University's Horace Mann Auditorium. Other artists on the program included bass Adam Didur, violinist Paweł Kochański, and dancers from Warsaw's Municipal Theater. ZLSC. [Back]

Phillips, op. cit., 289. [Back]

Stojowski, "The Future of Futurism?" The Etude 34 no. 5 (May 1916): 332. Also confirmed by an unidentified news clipping Polish Pianist Greets Old Pupils after Concert at Albany Institute, November 1923. ZLSC. [Back]

Review in the Music Courier, February 10, 1915. [Back]

Edward Cushing, "Musical Censorship." The Brooklyn Eagle (March 27, 1932). [Back]

Stojowski Students' Association Bulletin (February 1935): 4. [Back]

Mills College Bulletin, pp. 23, 25. [Back]

According to Frederick Gamble, Letter to Mr. Locklair, dated March 6, 1982. Stojowski File, Juilliard School Archives. [Back]

Adele Preyss and Joanne Stefanik, "Sigismond Stojowski." The New American, A Monthly Digest of Polish-American Life and Culture 5 no. 6 (June-July 1938): 5. [Back]

Kazimiera A. Adrianowska, "Zygmunt Stojowski." Biały Orzeł 6 (June 1944): 6-7. [Back]

Anon. "Polska w Ameryce," [Poland in America]. Świat no. 3 (January 17, 1920): 8. [Back]

Report of the Polish Institute of Arts and Letters. Polish Institute of Arts and Letters, 1932-33, 1933-34, 1. ZLSC. [Back]

Only the Mazurka in C Minor, Op. 30, no. 1 was published in Frank Cooper's article Stojowski 100 Years Later, op. cit. [Back]

Chybiński, op. cit., 322. [Back]

Conversation with Henry Stojowski in January 2002. Long Island. [Back]

Bulletin of the Stojowski Students' Association (New York, January 1940): 7. [Back]

Artur Rubinstein, My Many Years (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1980) 466. [Back]

Mrs. Ernest Schelling, Letter to Marguerite Merington. August 17, 1945. PIASA. Marguerite Merington Papers, No. 43.7. [Back]

Lednicki, op. cit. [Back]

Exact program: Stojowski - Suite in E-flat Major, Op. 9; Łabuński - the New York première of his Suite for Strings; Paderewski - Polish Fantasy for piano and orchestra, Op. 19; and two works by Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) - the ballet Harnasie, Op. 55 and the First Violin Concerto, Op. 35. [Back]

Carnegie Hall Flyer of May 4, 1944 concert; Carnegie Hall Archives. [Back]

A 78-RPM recording of Stojowski's Suite from this concert with a US State Department label exists in ZLSC. [Back]

Exact program: Szałowski - Third String Quartet; F. Łabuński - Divertimento for Flute and Piano; Rathaus - world première of Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano; Szymanowski - Four Mazurkas, Op. 50 and Tantris le Bouffon from Masques, Op. 34; Jerzy Fitelberg - American première of Third String Quartet. [Back]

Times Hall Concert Flyer for December 18, 1944, ZLSC. [Back]

Stojowski, Letters to Feliks Łabuński. K-LXXXIII/40, K-LXXXIII/65 and K-LXXXIII/68 (1945-1946). Warsaw University Library, Archives of 20th Century Polish Composers. [Back]

Kondracki had fascist and anti-Semitic sympathies. [Back]

Kaper, who would have been 100 years old in February 2002, won the 1953 Academy Award for the best motion picture song of the year, Hi Lili, Hi Low. [Back]


Appendix: Stojowski's Performances with Orchestra
Annotated Catalogue of Stojowski's Music
List of Stojowski's Writings
Stojowski - Bibliography
Stojowski on Paderewski
Stojowski on Chopin's Impromptu
Selected Reviews of Stojowski's Concerts
Selected Program Notes on Stojowski
Notes about the Authors
PMJ - Current Issue
PMJ - Archives


Copyright 2002 by Joseph A. Herter.
Editor: Maja Trochimczyk. Assistant Editor: Linda Schubert.
Publisher: Polish Music Center, Winter 2002.
Design: Maja Trochimczyk & Marcin Depinski.
Comments and inquiries by e-mail: polmusic@email.usc.edu