CHOPIN 2010
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21.01.2011
Category: Interviews

Citizen of the world

Interview with Wanda Wilkomiłska, Polish violinist famous worldwide, conducted at the ceremony of awarding “Chopin Passport” by Waldemar Dąbrowski.

What were your first thoughts when you learnt that you were awarded the "Chopin Passport"?  

When I received information about this distinction I wasn’t sure what it was. Passport? What type of passport? Chopin Passport…?

I was born in Warsaw and this was my place. Even when I visited the most beautiful cities in the world, I came back to my Warsaw with smile on my face, even if it was not as charming as Paris, San Francisco or Rio de Janeiro. After years of work, when I delivered concerts on every continent and I lived in many countries, cities, I was often asked about the place I consider as the one I belong to. I used to answer "I live on Earth, this planet is my Motherland, this is "my place". I am serious about it. I don’s mean only the fact that I have performed on every continent, but that I could settle everywhere on Earth. Well, probably not on the Antarctic, nor on the Sahara desert…

What are your feelings now, just after receiving the Chopin Passport?

I am tremendously delighted, especially that it looks like a real passport, only that it is signed by Fryderyk Chopin – it is a brilliant idea! And the citizenship: "ART". On every page there is something related to Poland and Chopin, but in order to be capable to read it we need some sort of magic wand which looks like a torch and only this light allows for reading for example the excerpt of Chopin’s letter or admire a beautiful picture. Of course there are special pages for visas, just like in a real passport. But visas to where? Maybe to the Moon? It is really a beautiful thing, very nicely produced. I was asked to deliver my picture first, so I sent a passport picture. I sent an up-to-date photo where I look like a bit old lady, not to say a very old lady, however other picture was placed here, an earlier one…

Do you associate the Chopin Passport with your activity abroad which contributed to spreading Polish classical music?

Yes, you see, I believe I have not done enough things to earn one of the numerous Polish state distinctions, but I have contributed to spreading Polish music abroad of course. In fact I have put much time and effort to this. I have performed Polish compositions. My students and colleagues did the same. In Australia there is a numerous and strong Polish diaspora associated in the Federation of Polish Organizations. Unfortunately, they keep bickering which makes cooperation a bit difficult. When I was young we used to say "When there are three Poles, there are four political parties". However, we managed to achieve much. Together with the Polish Embassy, the Polish Consulate General in Sydney, the Federation and musicians of Polish origins we have organized a beautiful Chopin Year in Australia. 

What is your opinion about the closing Chopin Year? Do you think that maybe listeners were offered too much of Fryderyk Chopin’s music?

In my opinion, if Chopin was not such a brilliant composer, and his music was not as beautiful as it really is, maybe people would feel there is too much of his music. But Chopin is a unique artist and his music is always up-to-date. It is timeless. It is discovered only after several years and it is always different from other composers’ music. It delights everybody: experts, music lovers and even those who are not interested in classical music. We might say that it is universal, supra-national. And at the same time it is a very Polish music…

Thank you for the interview.

Thank you. 

Interview conducted by Michał Krasicki, on December 7, 2010, in the seat of the CHOPIN 2010 Celebrations Office.
Wanda Wiłkomirska

Wanda Wiłkomirska