Szymanowska, Maria Agate, (nÉe Wolowska)

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Szymanowska, Maria Agate, (nÉe Wolowska)

Szymanowska, Maria Agate, (nÉe Wolowska), prominent Polish pianist and composer; b. Warsaw, Dec. 14, 1789; d. St. Petersburg, July 24, 1831. She studied piano with local teachers in Warsaw, and began to play in public as a child. In 1810 she married a Polish landowner, Theophilus Joseph Szymanowski (divorced, 1820). In 1822 she toured in Russia, and was appointed court pianist; in 1823, played in Germany; in 1824, in France; then in England, the Netherlands, and Italy (1824-25), returning to Warsaw in 1826. In 1828 she settled in St. Petersburg as a pianist and teacher, and remained there until her death (of cholera). Goethe held her in high esteem and wrote his Aussöhnung for her; she also won the admiration of Glinka and Pushkin. She distinguished herself as a composer for the piano, presaging the genius of Chopin in her studies, nocturnes, and dances. Among her finest works for piano are 20 exercices et préludes (Leipzig, 1820), 18 Danses (Leipzig, 1820), Nocturne: Le Murmure (Paris, 1825), and 24 Mazurkas (Leipzig, 1826). She also wrote some chamber music and vocal pieces.


I. Boelza, M. S.(Moscow, 1956); M. Iwanejko, M. S.(Kraków, 1959).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Szymanowska, Maria Agate, (nÉe Wolowska)

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