I had the great honor of performing at the 100th Anniversary of the Fourteen Points Address, 2018 Warsaw, Poland on Monday, January 8th. This is the important moment-100 years ago - in Polish history when American President Woodrow Wilson put forth these points, #13 being that there should be an independent Polish State - thus bringing back sovereignty to this beleaguered country.
At this event, the U.S. Ambassador, Paul Jones, presented a commemorative Woodrow Wilson Plaque, and there was a concert of music from the 1930s and 1940s.
I performed the famous Paderewski "Minuet," as well as Gershwin's "Summertime," 1935, and Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow," 1939. Paderewski was not only an important and beloved virtuoso pianist, but he was also a diplomat politican, serving as prime minister in 1919 for the newly sovereign Poland. Although Paderewski had written his famous "Minuet" in 1877, he was featured - 50 years later - performing this hugely popular composition in a 1937 film called "Moonlight Sonata." Can you imagine having a "hit" song that lasted more than 50 years that you were continually being asked to perform? Clearly Paderewski's musical ability did as much for peace and harmony as his did his diplomatic talents.
Also featured on the concert was the Szymanowski Young Power Big Band. This was a wonderfully gifted group of high school youth with an amazing and mature sound. They are going places!
What a great way to start the new year. My Fulbright continues with many exciting challenges and as always, I feel honored to have this opportunity to learn more about both Poland and America. In December and January I also had wonderful experiences meeting and performing for Polish people - for colleagues at the University of Gdansk at the 2nd International Memory, Melancholy & Nostalgia conference, and students at 3 locations- university students in Warsaw, high school students in Sopot, and 70 6th-graders in Poznan.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL - may 2018 bring peace and harmony to our world!
(This site pamelahowland.com is not an official Fulbright Program site. The views expressed on this site are entirely those of its author Pamela Howland and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.)