Paderewski's career had a Faustian cast. His demonically driven determination to become a concert pianist, his magical audience rapport, his rapture-rife music, his political career as Poland's first prime minister, and his subsequent efforts to rescue Poland from political quagmire wear a legendary aura more often encountered in poetry. Born to a well-off, cultivated family, young Paderewski received piano lessons from an early age, entering the Warsaw Music Institute before he was 12 to study piano, harmony, and counterpoint. Upon graduation in 1878 the Institute engaged him as a piano teacher. By 1880 he was married and a year later found himself a widower and father of a son. Forsaking the musical backwater of Warsaw for cosmopolitan Berlin, Paderewski pursued composition studies between 1881 and 1883 while moving in the social orbit ...
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