Violinist Wanda Wiłkomirska to be laid to rest in Warsaw
PR dla Zagranicy
Wanda Wiłkomirska, one of Poland’s leading violinists of all time, is due to be buried at Warsaw’s Powązki cemetery on Tuesday.
The late Wanda Wiłkomirska, pictured in the 1970s. Photo by unknown photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
She died on May 1 in a home for retired artists near Warsaw, aged 89.
Wiłkomirska started taking violin lessons from her father at the age of five. Two years later she made her public debut, playing a Mozart sonata. At 18, she graduated from the Music Academy in Łódź, central Poland. She also studied in Budapest, Paris and Warsaw.
As a soloist of the Warsaw Philharmonic for 22 years, Wiłkomirska performed all around the world, giving premieres of many works by Polish composers Grażyna Bacewicz and Krzysztof Penderecki.
She did a great deal to promote the music of Karol Szymanowski. Highlights in her career included gala concerts for the opening of the Sydney Opera House and London’s Barbican Centre.
She made numerous recordings for prestigious labels such as EMI and Deutsche Grammophon.
Teaching was her great passion in life. She worked for many years as a professor of music in Germany and Australia.
Wiłkomirska supported Poland's democratic opposition under communism even though she was until 1977 married to Mieczysław Rakowski, a journalist who later became a high-ranking Communist Party official and the prime minister of Poland in 1988-1989. They had two sons.
As a member of dissident groups, Wiłkomirska signed letters of protests against human rights violations during the communist era. Following the imposition of martial law in December 1981 to crush the Solidarity movement, she left Poland and settled in Germany.
As a result she was not allowed to perform in her homeland until 1990. In later years she made frequent appearances in Poland, both during concerts and as a judge at music competitions.