Jan Ekier performs Chopin’s Nocturne in G major, Op. 37, No. 2. Issued in 1959 on the Muza label (Polskie Nagrania), SX 0071. From the Dziela Wszystkie (Complete Works) series.
Jan Ekier, pianist, music teacher, composer and editor, was born August 29, 1913 in Kracow. In 1932-34 he studied musicology with Zdzislaw Jachimecki at the Jagellonian University in Cracow. He went on to study piano with Zbigniew Drzewiecki and composition with Kazimierz Sikorski at the Warsaw Conservatory (1934-39). In 1940-41 he studied organ playing with Bronislaw Rutkowski. In 1937 he won the 8th prize in the 3rd International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Since that time he was an active concert pianist, touring Europe, South America and Japan. Jan Ekier began his teaching career in 1933 as a solfège tutor in the Wladyslaw Zelenski Music School in Cracow. After the war, he dedicated himself to the education of pianists: in 1946-47 he taught at the State Secondary Music School in Lublin, 1947-48 at the State Higher School of Music in Sopot, where he held the function of rector. In 1953 he became a professor at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw, where in 1964-72 and from 1974 he held the chair of piano studies. Jan Ekier began his editorial work in PWM Polish Music Publishers. From 1959 he was editor-in-chief of the National Edition of Frédéric Chopin’s Works. It is to Chopin that he has devoted many of his publications. He has been honoured with numerous prizes, including the State Award, First Class for the preparation of the Polish team for the 4th Frédéric Chopin Competition in 1950, the Minister of Culture and Arts Award, First Class in 1964 and 1974, the Golden Cross of Merit in 1952, the Officer’s Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order and the 10th Anniversary Order in 1955, the Standard of Labour Order, 2nd Class in 1960. In 2004 he received the Polish Minister of Cultures Special Award, granted for the first time for outstanding contribution to the preservation and promotion of Chopin heritage, including the memorial National Edition of Frédéric Chopin’s Complete Works, which restored to European culture the art of the great Polish composer in a form which aims to be as close to the historical original as possible.