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The Sixth Annual Ignacy Jan Paderewski Festival of Raleigh
The Sixth Annual Paderewski Festival of Raleigh will take place on October 20-22 and November 2,3,9, and 10, 2019, the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany and the Treaty of Saint Germain with Austria, which established the newly independent Polish state internationally. The Sixth Festival features six performances by five Polish, Italian, and American pianists.
The Festival honors Ignacy Jan Paderewski, who played a prominent role on the international diplomatic stage during World War I and contributed significantly to the re-establishment of Poland as a sovereign state.
Paderewski played three times in Raleigh (January 23, 1917; November 23, 1923; April 28, 1939) and once in Durham (January 8, 1931). The appearance in Durham had been scheduled for Raleigh, but a fire destroyed the Raleigh Municipal Auditorium only a few weeks before. The concert was transferred to the newly constructed Page Auditorium at Duke and constituted the first major concert there.
Paderewski had in Raleigh a personal friend in the remarkable person of Mary Lee Swann McMillan, who had been the secretary to his wife, Helena Paderewska, for almost four years from 1915 through 1918.