Ludwik Kurkiewicz

Ludwik Kurkiewicz (1906-1998) – clarinetist and pedagogue, graduate of the conservatory in Poznań in the class of Prof. Jerzy Madej. In 1933 he became first clarinetist at the Warsaw Philharmonic, playing also in the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and in 1937 beginning pedagogical work at the Warsaw Conservatory. From 1945 until the end of his life he was tied to the State Postsecondary Music School in Warsaw, also as its long-time pro-rector, raising several generations of clarinetists. He performed almost the entire repertoire for his instrument, recorded discs with Karol Kurpiński’s Clarinet Concerto, and made numerous radio recordings. In addition, he took part in the Warsaw Autumn and the Poznań Musical Spring festivals, presenting new works by Polish composers. He enjoyed the stature of an international authority, sitting in juries of many national and foreign competitions, running masterclasses, and editing collections of pedagogical literature.

On February 15, 1955, in Warsaw, Ludwik Kurkiewicz participated in the world premiere of Witold Lutosławski’s Dance Preludes, with the accompaniment of Sergiusz Nadgryzowski. This cycle of five miniatures, first intended as a study piece, was to later reveal itself as an attractive performance item in the repertoire of clarinetists, also in authored arrangements for clarinet with chamber orchestra, and for an eight-piece ensemble.

kt / trans. mk