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Jerzy Lefeld

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Jerzy Lefeld, pianist, pedagogue, composer, b. 1898, d. 1980 in Warsaw. He studied piano under Aleksander Michałowski and composition under Roman Statkowski at the Music Institute in Warsaw. He was a prominent chamber musician and accompanist who collaborated with the leading Polish singers and instrumentalists. The Polish Radio archives hold many recordings which he created with such artists.

For over 50 years Jerzy Lefeld also devoted himself to pedagogical work, first at the Conservatory, and later at the State Postsecondary School of Music in Warsaw. As a composer he completed two symphonies, piano miniatures, pieces for children, and songs. His students included Stefan Kisielewski, Witold Małcużyński, and Witold Lutosławski, the latter of whom was assigned to his class at the beginning of his Conservatory studies at young Lutosławski's own request.

According to Krzysztof Meyer, "the choice of teacher was suggested by Stefan Kisielewski, who assured that this was the way for him to avoid another return to the hated finger drills". Lutosławski himself reminisced: "his kindness and sincere relation to the students guaranteed a study that was free of stress. Lessons with him were a very pleasant experience". Years later he acknowledged that studying with him also had its weak side: "The ease of play which he brought with him to the world was simply unbelievable. But these possibilities, both in the interpretation of music and in the technical mastery of text, meant that he couldn't teach a whole lot, because he himself never had to learn".

kt / trans. mk