History of Paderewski Music Association


The Bydgoszcz Music Association came into being in 1922, shortly after Poland regained independence. Its creation by a group of musicians and music lovers symbolized Polish society’s will to revive and develop music life in Bydgoszcz after the First World War. Three years later, in 1925, Zygmunt Lisiecki, a pianist, founded the City Music Institute which two years later was transformed into the City Music Conservatory. This institution was directed by Zdzislaw Jahnke, and later by his wife Irena. It provided education at a very high level and became the center of music activities in Bydgoszcz. The Music Association assembled many conservatory teachers, among them Alfons and Edmund Rezler, Zdzislawa and Halina Wojciechowska, Jerzy Stefan and Felicja Krysiewicz, who made a great contribution towards propagating and boosting musical culture in Bydgoszcz and the region.


After the Second World War the Society focused its efforts on creating a professional symphonic orchestra. It came into existence in 1946, at the 600th anniversary of Bydgoszcz, under the name of the Pomeranian Symphonic Orchestra of the Music Association. Arnold Rezler initially conducted the orchestra and then Mieczysław Tomaszewski took over. On the 1st of January 1953 the orchestra changed its name to the State Pomeranian Philharmonic. Simultaneously, the Society’s members supported efforts to build the Philharmonic hall.


Paderewski’s personal keepsakes  – ownership of the Paderewski Music Association in Bydgoszcz


In 1956 the Music Association, acting on the advice of Felicja Krysiewiczowa – a singing teacher, organized an Opera Studio, which lay the foundations for the music scene. The Studio, after four years, was transformed into the Opera and Operetta Music Theatre in Bydgoszcz. In 1960 it was placed under state control. In the same year the Association created Music Studies for high- and post-graduate-schools.

In 1986 the Music Association adopted the name of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and its statutory aim became to extol the great Polish pianists, composer and politician, popularize his ideas and music. During the 2nd I. J. Paderewski Piano Competition the Association founded a prize for the best interpretation of Paderewski’s work (won by Andrzej Janaszak). For its 65th anniversary (in 1987) it organized a symposium, a series of concerts and a literary competition, devoted to Paderewski.


The Mission of the Association focuses on promoting the composer’s and performer’s compositions and activity, as well as the personage of this eminent Pole – Ignacy Jan Paderewski through, among other endeavors, staging concert and meetings devoted to the Maestro. Alongside these efforts the I. J. Paderewski International Piano Competition and the newest undertaking: namely the Paderewski Piano Academy constitute the most prestigious events.

Henryk Martenka

The Paderewski Music Association in Bydgoszcz:


The Board of the Paderewski Music Association in Bydgoszcz in the years 2019 – 2022:

President – Prof. Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń

Vicepresident – Ryszard Kania

Vicepresident –  Henryk Martenka

Board Member – Mariusz Klimsiak

Board Member  – Jacek Szczepański

Board Member – Jan Rogalski


The Office of the Paderewski Music Association in Bydgoszcz:


Henryk Martenka – Director of the International Paderewski Piano Competition

Prof. Piotr Paleczny – Artistic Director of the International Paderewski Piano Competition

Agata Szpadzińska – Deputy Director of the International Paderewski Piano Competition

Katarzyna Jopek – Head Accountant


Competition sponsors
Competition partners
The Competition is financed by
The Competition is financed by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport of Republic of Poland from the Fund of the Promotion of Culture, obtained from subsidies established in games covered by the state monopoly, in accordance with Article 80 (1) of the Act of 19 November 2009 on gambling games, as part of the “Music” program, implemented by the National Institute of Music and Dance and the City of Bydgoszcz.
Partner of the International Paderewski Piano Competition is Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region.