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Paderewski fest ends on grand note

Modified: Tuesday, Nov 16th, 2010

PHOTO 1: From left, Paderewski Festival Artistic Director Marek Zebrowski, Board President Joel Peterson, Senior Division First-Place Youth Competition Pianist Jordan Adams of Salinas, Polish Consul General Joanna Kozinska-Frybes and San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Frank Mecham pose for a photo after the Youth Piano Competition Winners' Recital held at the Paso Robles Inn ballroom last Saturday night. PHOTO 2: Senior division first-place pianist Jordan Adams (pictured holding rose) of Salinas beams with pride after performing at the Youth Piano Competition Winners' Recital held at the Paso Robles Inn ballroom last Saturday night. Adams played alongside other local Central Coast youth including Daniel Ha (PHOTO 3), Evan Lin, Madeline Anderson, Gianna Zufall (PHOTO 4), Max Eisendrath and Kevin Lin. Photos by Hayley Thomas.

New York City, 1891: Ignacy Jan Paderewski plays the first of what would become many popular U.S. concerts. Paso Robles, 1914: Paderewski purchases Rancho San Ignacio and Rancho Santa Helena, planting almonds and Zinfandel vineyards. France, 1919: As a representative and future prime minister of Poland, Paderewski signs the Versailles treaty, restoring sovereignty to his homeland after WWI.

Paso Robles, 2010: Paderewski returned to his second home for another highlight, his 150th birthday.

The pianist's spirit was celebrated throughout Paso Robles during the five-day community-wide festival spanning Wednesday, Nov. 10 through Sunday, Nov 14.

A host of events - including informative lectures, tours through the musician's Paso property and a slew of classical concerts - drew in locals, travelers and youngsters alike.

Over the weekend, the celebration culminated with the Festival Gala Concert featuring Jonathan Plowright and Festival Finale Exchange Students' Recital and Brunch.

Saturday also saw the Youth Piano Competition Winners' Recital, which brought an enthusiastic crowd to the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom.

Spring Street was awash in color as Polish and American flags flapped in the wind, welcoming the group of seven Central Coast youth.

The pianists ages 10 to 18-years-old, played expertly, creating waves of music that swelled with complexity and resonated with passion.

I really enjoyed the audience," said 15-year-old senior division first-place winner Jordan Adams. "Last year I won second place, so I brought that determination [to win] this year."

Adams, who has studied piano for 11 years at the European Academy of Music and Art, also credited his success to a trip to Poland he took last year through the Paso Robles-Tarnow Student Exchange Program.

Through the program, Adams and a group of other young festival finalists studied under director of the Polish Music Center at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California Marek Zebrowski. Zebrowski, who also serves as the festival's artistic director, said he's excited about participating in the exchange experience again this summer.

I learned about dynamics and expression, Adams said of the unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

For the complete article see the 11-16-2010 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-16-2010 paper.

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