Chopin expertJan Ekier

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Born in Poland to a composer father, Ekier studied piano, and in 1937 came in 8th in the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. He had a good career as a pianist and composer, but was even more successful as a teacher and music historian. He also sat on the jury for the Chopin Competition nine times, from 1949, when the competitions resumed after the Nazi occupation of Poland, through 1995. He spent most of his career mentoring young pianists. Perhaps his most important legacy, though, is a project he started in 1959: Ekier was editor-in-chief of the effort to compile the National Edition of the Works of Fryderyk Chopin — a definitive edition of Chopin’s compositions, “free of culminated editorial additions and based wholly on the genius creator’s hand-written manuscripts.” (Chopin died in 1849, at the age of 39.) Ekier worked on the project for 55 years, until his death on August 15, two weeks before he turned 101.

From This is True for 17 August 2014