Ignacy Jan Paderewski, GBE (18 November 1860 – 29 June 1941) was a Polish pianist and composer, politician, and spokesman for Polish independence. He was a favorite of concert audiences around the globe. His musical fame opened access to diplomacy and the media. He was the prime minister and foreign minister of Poland in 1919, and represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.
Paderewski was born to Polish parents in the village of Kuryłówka (Kurilivka), Litin uyezd in the Podolia Governorate, the Russian Empire (the village today is part of the Khmilnyk raion of Vinnytsia Oblast in Ukraine). His father, Jan Paderewski, was an administrator of large estates. His mother, Poliksena (née Nowicka), died several months after Paderewski was born, and he was brought up by distant relatives.
From his early childhood, Paderewski was interested in music while living at the private estate near Żytomir where he moved with his father. However soon after his father's arrest in connection with the January Uprising (1863), he was adopted by his aunt. After being released, Paderewski's father married again and moved to the town of Sudylkov near Shepetovka...
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