1870 - 1946
Polish composer and teacher Sigismond Stojowski was born in Strzelce on May 14th 1870. He studied composition with Zeleríski in Kraków before becoming a piano pupil of Diémer and composition pupil of Belibes at the Paris Conservatory. For short periods of time, he also had lessons with Paderewski, Saint-Saëns and Massenet. After giving some very successful concerts in Paris, London, Brussels and Berlin, Stojowski moved to the USA in 1906 where he was appointed as head of the piano department at the New York Institute of Musical Art until 1912, before stepping down and teaching privately and organising annual concerts and masterclasses throughout the Americas. He became an American citizen in 1938. His compositions draw clear influences from Wagner, Saint-Saëns and Franck, although some of his later works show the hallmarks of the influence of French impressionism. There was always a strong connection between national colour and Stojowski’s melodic invention.