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Classical Music and Politics at SMPL

Virtuoso pianist, composer and humanitarian to be remembered.

By Sam Catanzaro

A bit too sunburnt after one too many trips to the beach this summer? Well, mark your calendar for Saturday, August 11 to gain some knowledge, hear classical music and escape for the sun for a bit.

The Santa Monica Public Library is holding an event titled Through Music to Freedom: Paderewski and World Politics on Saturday, August 11 at 2:00 p.m. in the Main Library’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd. Classic music expert Marek Zebrowski will discuss Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), the virtuoso pianist, composer, philanthropist and humanitarian.

“The talk addresses Paderewski’s political activities between 1910 and 1922, his ‘Front Morges’ in Switzerland in the 1930s, and the last year of Paderewski’s life, when he became a World War II refugee in America,” wrote Judith S. Graham a Public Services Librarian in a press release. ”

There will be rare photographs on display to illustrate the talk from the Paderewski Paso Robles Collection alongside a Q&A and performance of selected solo piano works by Paderewski follow the presentation.

Leading the event is Zebrowski, who has lectured for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Harvard University, The New England Conservatory of Music and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has been a contributing writer for the Boston Book Review while giving master classes and coaching various chamber music ensembles and chamber orchestras throughout the country.

“His academic career included teaching at the University of Massachusetts, MIT, and UCLA. Currently, Mr. Zebrowski serves as Program Director for the Polish Music Center at USC’s Thornton School of Music and is Artistic Director of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, California,” Graham wrote.

The event is free and open to all ages. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. This event is part of the 50+ program series. For more information, visit smpl.org or contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600. The Santa Monica Public Library is wheelchair-accessible. For disability-related accommodations, call Library Administration (310) 458-8606 one week before the event. The Big Blue Bus directly serves the Main Library via routes 1, 10 and 18. The Expo Line and other bus routes stop nearby. Ride your bike. Bicycle parking racks are available at the library.

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