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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 3 (July 1, 1927)


Paderewski, pianist, statesman, and knight, has revisited these shores after a period of twenty-three years during which his title to world supremacy in his chosen art has not been seriously challenged, whilst his intense patriotism and humanitarian activities have gained universal respect and admiration.



An old man in years, he retains a wonderful vigour and vivacity, and the great reception which awaited him at the commencement of his itinerary through New Zealand shows how high he stands in the esteem and affection of the people of this Dominion.

The railways of this country are having the privilege of carrying the painist and his party between the principal centres, and for this purpose the cars which were recently used for the Royal tour will be requisitioned.

Before arriving in New Zealand, Paderewski had completed 33,000 miles of train travel by special car during a seven months tour in Canada and the United States. It is hoped that he may find the accommodation and conveniences provided on our own system to his liking. Certainly the Department will do all in its power to make the travel of our distinguished visitor as comfortable as possible.

For the highest emotional interpretation of the musical masterpieces of the ages, tempermental poise is essential. It is said of his previous visit that Paderewski declared if he had known what the long sea voyage meant he would never have undertaken it. His nerves are so highly strung that the vibration of the ship made him suffer acutely.

Paderewski has not changed much in appearance since he was here before. The same fine facial contours, the wavy hair—now streaked with grey,—the black piercing eye, the moustache, and the small imperial are still characteristic features. His manner is grave and dignified, a result, no doubt, induced by the stress of troublous times and the responsibility of state and national affairs; he speaks more deliberately than before, but he is as impressive and as magnetic in personality as ever. In manner he is charmingly polite.

Ignace Jan Paderewski was born at Kurybowka, Podolia, a village of Russian Poland, on the 6th November, 1860. When only three years old he began to play the piano; when he was seven his father placed him with a local teacher of some talent and in 1872 he was sent to the Warsaw Musical Conservatorie, where he remained continuously until his eighteenth birthday.