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Helena Warpechowska

Helena Warpechowska – singer, soprano; Witold Lutosławski’s colleague from studies at the Warsaw Conservatory. The trip to Riga was a specially memorable event from this period, and the composer remembers it thus: “A group of students from the Warsaw Conservatory, among them Witold Małcużyński, Stanisław Jarzębski, Helena Warpechowska, and myself, went on a voyage to Latvia, where we gave a concert at the Conservatory in Riga. This was an exchange concert, and Latvian students subsequently came to Warsaw. On the day on which our small group arrived in Riga, the city’s opera theatre happened to feature Karol Szymanowski’s compositorial concert. We could not attend this concert, because after the long and tiring trip we had to practice our concert program in advance of the appearance. Nonetheless, we were invited to the Polish consul’s reception given in honour of Karol Szymanowski”.

The Warsaw students’ concert took place on May 4, 1935, for the occasion of the Polish national holiday. As Helena Warpechowska-Wilczak reminisced years later in conversation with Danuta Gwizdalanka and Krzysztof Meyer, the students “not only became friends, but also created an informal representation of their institutions, assuming the name Group of the Youngest. The ‘Youngest’ would sometimes perform in the club Poetry and Art, and once gave a concert in the hospital at Wolska Street. Helena Warpechowska sang for the patients, with Lutosławski and Małcużyński at the piano”.

In November, 1938, Helena Warpechowska performed the solo part in Witold Lutosławski’s Lacrimosa at a diploma concert given with the orchestra of the Warsaw Philharmonic under the direction of Tadeusz Wilczak. She also sang Lutosławski’s songs for children on the airwaves of the Polish Radio.

kt / trans. mk