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Jan Hoffmann

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Jan Hoffman (1906-1995) – pianist and pedagogue based in Cracow. Following his studies at the Conservatory of the Musical Society in Cracow, he became the student assistant of Egon Petri in Cracow and Berlin. Early on (1928), he commenced his pedagogical activity, which became the passion of his life. After the war, he and Zbigniew Drzewiecki organized the State Postsecondary Music School in Cracow (PWSM). He was juror of many prestigious pianistic competitions, including the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. He filled a variety of functions in the Cracow PWSM, that of pro-rector and rector among others. Hoffman greatly enlivened the activities of the institution, also through his creation of the Graduate Diploma in Musical Editorship.

He readily performed works by Polish contemporary composers, and reserved an important place in his repertoire for the music of Bach, as in the famous performances of concerts for two, three, and four pianos together with Zbigniew Drzewiecki, Bolesław Woytowicz, and Jan Ekier. He also made many editorial music arrangements for the PWM Edition.

In January, 1947, in Cracow, Aniela Szlemińska (voice) and Jan Hoffman (piano) gave the world premiere of Witold Lutosławski’s Twenty Carols. Stefania Łobaczewska wrote in the concert review that: “Only such a great master of contemporary form as Lutosławski could allow himself for a surely very bold experiment: associating carol melodies with a piano part conceived strictly in the contemporary spirit”.

kt / trans. mk