Felicja Blumental

Felicja Blumental (1908-1991) — Polish pianist. She studied at the Warsaw Conservatory under Zbigniew Drzewiecki, as well as Stefan Askenase and Józef Turczyński. She participated in the Third International Chopin Piano Competition in 1937. In 1942, she emigrated to Brazil, and gave concerts with great successes in South America and the United States. After the war she returned to Europe. She was specially valued for her interpretations of Chopin and Mozart, and performed numerous forgotten piano solo, chamber, and orchestral works, which she also recorded. She gave world premieres of a number of compositions written specially for her, including Heitor Billa-Lobos’ Concerto no. 5 and Krzysztof Penderecki’s Partita for harpsichord; she was an ardent propagator of Polish music. Beginning in 1999, festivals bearing name are celebrated in Tel Aviv.

In 1978, on request by the artist, Witold Lutosławski made an arrangement for piano and orchestra of his Variations on a Theme by Paganini. The world premiere of this version was given in Miami on November 18, 1979, with the dedicatee, Felicja Blumental, at the piano, and the Florida Philarmonic Orchestra directed by Brian Priestman.

kt / trans. mk