Polish Music: Taken From History

Those of Polish background and Polish descent might find these people from history interesting:

1. Jadwiga Wójcicka (1850-1933)

After she became a widow, she enriched her children’s education by producing maps:  encompassing geography, economics and culture of all of Europe. She later concentrated on partitioned Poland, but her European map of 1881 was sent to an exhibition of women’s works in Chicago and was subsequently lost.

2. Piotr Karafa-Korbut (d. 1840)

Was a published composer (mostly piano), multi-instrumentalist and teacher of the mother of Stanislaw Moniuszko (a huge figure in post-Chopin musical tradition). He often toured what is now Belarus in the Polish scene, and quite famously brought along his huge retinue of instruments.

3. Szczepan Sieja (1883-1942)

Was born about 1883 in Silesia at Sosnowiec (Austrian partition). He trained with the Dominicans in Warsaw, and there with Mieczyslaw Surzynski. After leading choirs in Plock, Łódź and working in opera, he completed further study in Regensburg in Germany, even working in Saratov after graduating.

Around age 30, he was drafted into the Russian Army and was stationed in Siberia. After escaping, he worked in China and Japan before making his way to Chicago.

While in Chicago, he started a Musical College, gave private instruction, and continued to compose. After emigration, he continued to win compositional awards in Poland. He died in Chicago in 1942.

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