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Chopin 1810-2010

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Jenny Lind (1820-1887)Daniel Blumenthal /
Jenny Lind / Liszt

Icons of Europe celebrated Chopin's 200-year birthday with two piano recitals performed by Daniel Blumenthal at Lasne on 1.March and 5 March 2010.

The introductory remarks recalled Jenny Lind's role in monumentalizing Chopin's legacy, and the programme included Liszt's Liebestraum N° 3.  Icons of Europe believes that Liszt composed Liebesträume (1850) in tribute to Chopin and Jenny Lind's romance.

>> Ongoing programme | Franz Liszt

Chopin's birthday in 1810

Justyna Chopin (1782-1861), Chopin's mother.According to his baptismal certificate, Fryderyk François Chopin was born at Zelazowa Wola, near Warsaw, on 22 February 1810 at six o'clock in the evening.  Fiddlers arrived on sledges to play outside the window.  The Countess of Skarbek became his godmother.

However, Chopin insisted later that his mother had recorded the birthday as 1.March, and that date has been adopted as his official birthday. Chopin died on 17 October 1849.

Third International Congress 2010

Icons of Europe was invited to submit abstracts to the International Congress and developed four proposals, two suggesting joint research on Chopin artworks and on Zelazowa Wola - in the spirit of the Congress theme 'Ideas, interpretation, influence'.  >> Chopin 2010 programme

The congress, from 25 February to 1 March 2010, will commemorate the 200-year anniversary of Chopin's birthday with music, papers and more.

Chairs of the Program Committee:  Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, Irena Poniatowska, John.Rink, Zofia Chechlińska, Maciej Gołąb, Jeffrey Kallberg, Wojciech Nowik, Jim Samson, Zbigniew Skowron, Artur Szklener, Mieczysław Tomaszewski.

Ignacy Jan Paderewski

The year 2010 will also see the 150-year anniversary of the birthday of Ignacy Jan Paderewski
(18 November, 1860 - 29 June, 1941) - a great interpretater of Chopin's music.

>> Poland's cultural heritage

Chopin 2010 Honorary Committee

The Fryderyk Chopin Institute (NIFC) in Warsaw invited, in a letter of 12 May 2006, Cecilia and Jens Jorgensen, Icons of Europe to be "honorary advisers" to the Chopin 2010 programme.

At the request of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, Icons of Europe proposed on 26 June 2006 how an honorary committee could "reinforce the international dimension of
the Chopin 2010 bicentenary".  The committee would have a global membership drawn from the fields of culture, science, business and government.

One of the first paragraphs of Icons of Europe's proposal of 26 June 2006 to NIFC says:  "Membership of the Chopin 2010 Honorary Committee should be seen as a reward to a wide range of organizations and communities, or distinguished individuals, for their historical and contemporary link to the music and life of Chopin."

Icons of Europe's proposal draws on the experience and results of the Hans Christian Andersen 200-year anniversary in 2005 and the celebrity endorsements programme of the U.N. system.

Memorial at Zelazowa Wola

Photo by Jan Mieczkowski, 15 October 1894.<< Photo from the inauguration of Chopin's memorial obelisk in the garden of his birthplace at Zelazowa Wola in the presence of 2,000 guests in October 1894.

Chopin's music was not well known in Poland in the 19th century during the Russian occupation. - For example, the musical programme at the unveiling of Chopin's memorial at Zelazowa Wola on 14 October 1894 had as item 7 "Polonaise in A major for chorus and orchestra".  The piano items of the programme were performed by Mily Balakirev (1837-1910), the Russian pianist, conductor and composer (known today primarily for his work promoting nationalism in Russian music).  Source: Balakirev:  A critical study of his life and music by Edward Garden, Faber and Faber, London 1967, p. 140.

Icons of Europe's research has shown that it was no.coincidence that Jenny Lind's memorial, also adorned by a lyre and laurels, was unveiled with royal patronage at Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey, London the very same year.