Top Polish Pianist Comes to New Zealand

Press Release – Embassy of the Republic of Poland

Top Polish Pianist Comes to New Zealand to Refresh Memories of a Great Virtuoso in the Centenary of Poland’s Independence

Exclusive Piano Recitals presented by an outstanding Polish pianist, Raphael A. Lustchevsky will highlight the New Zealand celebrations of 100th anniversary of Poland’s Regained Independence. Performances will include the master pieces of classical music for piano by European composers, among them by Poland’s-own iconic author of the Romantic era, Fryderyk Chopin and the “king of the piano”, composer and statesman Ignacy Paderewski, one of the greatest spokesmen for Poland’s independence.

Raphael A. Lustchevsky is a Steinway Artist, listed on the Steinway & Sons Artists Roster in New York since 2001, featuring the world’s finest pianists. He debuted at the age of 16 with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, his talents taking him around the globe for more than two decades. Today he is one of the most accomplished Polish artists, performing with leading orchestras, in prestigious festivals and concert halls. As a sought out visiting professor and successful music educator he delivers master courses for young pianists in many locations. He designed and developed two regional Chopin piano competitions in South America.

While in New Zealand, Lustchevsky will perform pieces by Ignacy Paderewski, who visited Aotearoa twice himself (1904 and 1927) and was received here with immense appreciation and great press following. One of his pianos – a grand Bechstein – today is homed at Waiheke’s Whittaker’s Music Museum. Paderewski left it here following the conclusion of his 1904 tour of Australia and New Zealand. Paderewski was not only a hugely talented pianist, but also a devoted patriot and philanthropist. The artist decided that all the proceedings from his 1927 Wellington concert would go towards the support of the New Zealand soldiers wounded in the Great War. For this selfless act, Paderewski received a special RSA badge. During WW1, as an active member of the Polish National Committee in Paris, he was agitating among different nations to join the Polish armed forces in France. He used his diplomatic skills to appeal to foreign dignitaries and influential personas to remember the fate of his nation. Paderewski played an important role in meeting with the US President Wilson and obtaining the explicit inclusion of independent Poland as one of Wilson’s Fourteen Points of peace terms in 1918, to finally become the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the newly-independent Poland in 1919.

We are delighted to present one of Poland’s top contemporary pianists to perform several recitals around New Zealand. 2018 marks a significant time for Poland as a nation and joint celebrations of the centenary of independence through music makes the occasion universal for Poles and New Zealanders alike – said Ambassador of Poland to New Zealand Zbigniew Gniatkowski. Bringing the memories of one of the main heroes of Poland’s independence, who was so greatly received also in New Zealand, helps us realise and remember that “the Polish question” was kept alive here. It’s very heart-warming – added the ambassador.

On the occasion of the Centenary of Independence and to make Raphael Lustchevsky’s tour even more-dimensional, the Polish Embassy in Wellington published an online presentation reflecting Paderewski’s tours and publicity received in New Zealand. The presentation is based on research done at the National Library of New Zealand and is available at the Embassy’s website:


Commemorative ANZAC Day Recital in AUCKLAND – Wednesday, 25 April, 7.30pm – Lewis Eady – more information:

“Heart of Europe” Concert in CHRISTCHURCH – Saturday, 28 April, 7pm – The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts – more information:

Concert in WELLINGTON – Friday, 4 May, 12 pm – St Andrew’s on The Terrace – concert co-organised with the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand and Israeli Embassy in Wellington highlighting 100 years of Poland’s regained Independence & 70 years of the State of Israel – more information:

Concert in WAIHEKE – Sunday, 6 May, 5pm – Whittaker’s Musical Museum – Concert performed on once-owned-by-Paderewski Nine Foot Bechstein Concert Grand Piano – more information:

Concert in DUNEDIN – Thursday, 10 May, 7pm – Marama Hall, Dunedin – more information:


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