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Wanda Wilkomirska (b1929)

Wanda Wiłkomirska is probably best known for her interpretations and promotion of contemporary works, especially those of Polish composers. Like scores of others she began with parental lessons, going on to study violin with Irene Dubiska at the Łódź Academy of Music and then Ede Zathureczki, a student of Jenő Hubay, in Budapest. Henryk Szeryng heard her perform in Paris and urged her to take further studies with him; she also went to Tadeusz Wroński in Warsaw. All of this culminated (after winning several other prizes) in her success at the 1952 Wieniawski Violin Competition where she shared second prize with Yulian Sitkovetsky behind Igor Oistrakh. Her winning performance was of Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1, which became a firm favourite with her.

A sparkling career ensued with tours all over the world. Wiłkomirska was introduced to North American audiences in 1961 by none other than Sol Hurok, the impresario responsible for the US careers of Isaac Stern and David Oistrakh. Premiere performances of Polish works include Bacewicz’s Violin Concertos Nos. 5 and 7, Augustyn Bloch’s Dialogues and Penderecki’s Capriccio.




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