Variations for string quartet

Also known as A Theme with Variations for String Quartet. The piece consists of 12 variations – Andante / Poco vivo / Moderato / Allegretto con spirito / Allegro marciale / Adagio molto / Allegro scherzando / Lento / Allegro molto / Con moto / Grave lugubre / Presto con fuoco / Allegro non troppo – and a developed double fugue.
A calm and slow theme of Andante is built of sixteen bars. First variations are strongly related to the theme, the later ones less so. Each of the variations is unique in character and a separate entity but at the same time links with the following variation. There are numerous forms here: two and three-piece songs, marches, preludes, scherzo, toccatino and double fugue.

Paweł Paciorkiewicz

Pawe?‚ Paciorkiewicz

Paweł Paciorkiewicz with sons

Paweł Paciorkiewicz with sons on his yacht, Mazury Lake District, Poland 1990 /photo by wife Maria/

A son of Tadeusz and Zofia, he was born on January 3, 1947 in PÅ‚ock. After he finished the State Primary Music School No 1 in Warsaw in the violin group of Prof. Irena Dubiska, he continued his education at the Jose Marti General High School No XXII in Warsaw. Then he studied at the Machines and Vehicles Department of the Warsaw University of Technology from which he graduated in 1971. In his professional career he has dealt with many areas of technology, including the production, operation and repair of construction machines and equipment, processing of plastics, installation of “bioblock” biological waste treatment plants and manual and electrical tools. For several years, he worked with total quality management systems. His hobbies include DIY, maritime subjects and sailing. He is also the author of a number of publications in the field of photography, in which he deals mainly with the history of photographic cameras. From 1986 to 1998, he published more than 80 articles devoted to this subject in FOTO, FOTO-FORUM and the French CYCLOPE magazine.

Paweł Paciorkiewicz is married to Maria Mihułka, an agricultural and food processing engineer. They have two sons. Piotr graduated from the Geography Department of the Warsaw University, and Wojciech from the Faculty of Architecture at Warsaw University of Technology.

Artur Paciorkiewicz

Artur Paciorkiewicz

Artur Paciorkiewicz

Artur Paciorkiewicz with his viola d’amore,

A son of Tadeusz and Zofia, he was born on March 27, 1945 in Ursus. After he finished the State Music High School in Warsaw in the violin group of Prof. Irena Dubiska, he went to study at the State Higher Music School in Warsaw in the alto viola group of Docent Stefan Kamasa. Afterwards, he studied chamber music in Siena where he graduated with a distinction. He also participated in the masters courses by Pal Lukacs (Weimar, DDR), Ulrich Koch (Freiburg, Germany) and Raphael Hillyer (New Heaven, USA). From 1969 to 1989, he was a docent at the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw where he taught an alto viola group and chaired the Chamber Music Department.

From 1969 to 1971, he was a member of the Stanisław Barcewicz Quartet. Before 1971, he also performed with the Chamber Orchestra of the National Philharmonic Society, at that time managed by Karol Teutsch. From 1970 to 1976 he was a member of the Wilanów Quartet, and from 1977 to 1989, he performed with the Varsovia String Quartet which he had co-founded. Today, he is a member of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra.

Artur Paciorkiewicz has won many awards in international music competitions. As a soloist, he won the bronze medal in the International Music Competition in Geneva (1972). As a chamber musician, he won the second award in Vienna (1970), the silver medal in Bordeaux (1972) and the third award in Munich (1973). Artur Paciorkiewicz has a rich repertoire, both as a soloist and a chamber musician. It includes classical and contemporary works for the alto viola and viola d’amore. He has made numerous recordings for the radio, television and phonographic companies (Chant du Monde, DUX, EMI, Olympia, Pavane, Polskie Nagrania, RCA and others).

Artur Paciorkiewicz is married to Maria Paradowska, a professional alto violist. Their only daughter Katarzyna became a violinist.

You can read more about Artur on his website:

Anta Paciorkiewicz

Antonina Paciorkiewicz-Dutkiewicz

Antonina Paciorkiewicz

Antonina Paciorkiewicz. Warsaw, 1965. /photo by Paweł Paciorkiewicz/

A daughter of Tadeusz and Zofia, she was born on August 29, 1943 in Warsaw. After she finished the State Music High School in Warsaw she went to study to the State Higher Music School in Warsaw in the piano group of Prof. Jerzy Lefeld and Prof. Lidia Kozubek. When she completed her education, she devoted her life to pedagogical work and chamber music. For many years, she taught the piano at the Fryderyk Chopin II Degree State Higher Music School and then at the Józef Elsner II Degree Music School Group. She used to be a general piano lecturer at the Musical Education Department and the Theory, Composition and Conducting Department of the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw.

Antonina Paciorkiewicz married Andrzej Dutkiewicz, a professional pianist and composer and professor and dean of the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw. Their children are musically educated. The elder daughter Alicja is a violoncellist, and the son Krzysztof is a violinist.

Zofia Paciorkiewicz

Zofia Paciorkiewicz nee Wiaczkis

Zofia Wiaczkis and Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz

Zofia Wiaczkis and Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz. Warsaw, 1937. /Unknown author/

The wife of Tadeusz, born on May 14, 1919 in Warsaw. She was the daughter of Józef Wiaczkis, who was shot by the Nazis in a street execution towards the end of August 1944, and of Zofia nee Zatorska, a former prisoner of the Ravensbrück concentration camp, rescued miraculously by the International and the Swedish Red Cross, who died in 1969 in Warsaw. Having completed Mrs Taniewska’s High School in Warsaw, Zofia went to study at the Botany Department of the Warsaw University in 1938. Her education was interrupted by the outbreak of the II world war.

Zofia Paciorkiewicz

Zofia Paciorkiewicz. PÅ‚ock, 1948. /Unknown author/

During the Nazi occupation, she studied harp at the Warsaw Conservatory, which the invaders had renamed as Staatliche Musikschule. At that time she also studied solo song. After the war, she performed as a soprano singer at various celebrations in PÅ‚ock where she lived with her husband from 1945 to 1949. After they left PÅ‚ock, Zofia devoted her life entirely to her family and the upbringing of her children. She passed away in Warsaw on 26 August 2012.

70 anniversary of the State Music School in PÅ‚ock

70 years of PÅ‚ock Music School

Commemorative plaque

Commemorative plaque for the 70 anniversary of the State Music School in PÅ‚ock

On the 16 January 2015 the State Music School in PÅ‚ock celebrated its 70 anniversary. Commemorative plaque in memory of prof. Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz – the founder of the school – was unveiled by the sons of the composer during celebrations. Read more

Endnotes to biography

Notes to the Curriculum Vitae of Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz were compiled by his son Paweł Paciorkiewicz

Note 1. Józefa Paciorkiewicz died of influenza in 1920, at the age of 38.

Note 2. In February 1939, my father was called up to the 2 Measurements Division of the Cavalry Artillery that was stationed in ToruÅ„ in the forts of Rudak. He served in the so called sound platoon, the task of which was to carry out monitoring in order to locate the enemy’s positions. His very prankish mare was called Fortuna.

Note 3. After the II World War broke out, the 2 Measurements Division received orders to concentrate around Kowel. As the Red Army was approaching from the east, the orders were modified – the direction of concentration was changed to WÅ‚odawa. However, the 2 Measurements Division never reached WÅ‚odawa: the situation in the German and the Soviet fronts led to the dissolution of this formation. Some of the Division’s soldiers broke through to Romania, and some returned home.

Note 4. Professor Jan Bieniek also managed a high school choir in Płońsk where he commuted from Nasielsk. He was murdered by the Nazis.

Note 5. During the Nazi occupation, my father continued his artistic work. Together with the director Hanna Buterlewicz and the choreographer Krystyna Rokitnicka, he contributed to the staging of Leon Schiller‘s Pastoral under the supervision of the author himself.

Note 6. The Karol Szymanowski Music School in PÅ‚ock, which my father established in February 1945, was a five year vocational school and a music education school with no specified duration of learning. The school also operated a music kindergarten, which however, was closed down after one year due to lack of funds and proper rooms. In 1949, the school was reorganised and expanded. It became a music high school. The organ and solo song groups were established at that time. The school also had two piano groups, one violin group, one accordion group and several other groups. It had a choir and an orchestra. Owing to the great enthusiasm and zeal of my father and the other pedagogues, the school soon became the centre of PÅ‚ock’s musical life. With the school as its basis, the Folk Music Institute of the Mazovia District was established in June 1946. The Institute’s management board was composed of attorney Kazimierz Askanas, Director of the Pedagogical Senior High School J. Gadzik, President of “Wici” K. DÄ…browski, Dr. Stefania KamiÅ„ska and Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz, the Music School director. As the only professional musician in this group, my father was appointed Director of the Mazovia District by the Folk Music Institute’s management board. In 1947, my father and Faustyn Piasek established the District Music Information Bureau to meet the information and consulting needs of amateur choirs. The Information Bureau had its own library with an extensive collection of lay, church and folk songs. In 1948, my father co-organised the formation of the PÅ‚ock Chamber Orchestra and the Mixed Choir. My father’s professional life in PÅ‚ock was not limited to his pedagogical work at the School and the Folk Music Institute. He also managed the amateur choir of the PÅ‚ock Music Society, performed as a concert organist (which included performances on the Polish Radio), worked as an organist at the PÅ‚ock cathedral and composed his first music works.

Note 7. The jubilee concert on the occasion on the 50th anniversary of the Karol Szymanowski I and II Degree State Music School in PÅ‚ock took place on February 25, 1995. I was with my father on that day. This interesting celebration was honoured by Ms. Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the then President of the National Bank of Poland, who attended the concert as the school’s graduate.

Note 8. All the time, my father had to cope with many problems, of which the most important one was the lack of funds to overhaul the school building (its walls were cracking) and to improve the standard of living at the students’ hostel. It happened frequently that he gave up his own salary to help the school. Obviously, this was not enough to solve these problems, because the scale of the school’s needs was much larger. In order to end the school’s financing difficulties, my father had tried to make the school state-owned. The city authorities kept postponing this decision, but finally they decided to make the school state-owned and on May 16, 1949 the school was officially taken over. Further co-operation with the city authorities was less successful. The communist authorities didn’t like the fact that the school taught an organ class and that my father combined the function of the school’s director with his job as an organist at the PÅ‚ock cathedral. When they decided to move the school from the building it was occupying to a group of rooms at the local cinema, which were absolutely useless for a music school’s activities, my father decided to leave PÅ‚ock. As an artist whose heart and soul were devoted to music, he did not want to keep struggling futilely with indifferent bureaucracy and to waste his time and nerves. When my father left, many other school activists and pedagogues did so, too. The school found itself in a crisis.

It is worth noting that the pedagogues and students of the school gave my father a great, solemn and touching goodbye. What remains of that celebration is the melody of the “Goodbye Cantata (Farewell Director)”, written by J.W. (we still don’t know who that was) and the “Toast for Male Choir”, written by Faustyn Piasek. Both songs were sung on that occasion. Below are the cantata lyrics:

Goodbye Cantata (Farewell Director)

Kształciles nasze umysły, śswietlaną głosiłes wieść,
Wdzięczności pełne serca niósł Ci dank i cześć.
Wiodłeś nas drogą cnoty w idealniejszy świat,
Za to Ci dziś składamy swych uczuć wdzięczny kwiat,
Za to Ci dziś składamy swych uczuć wdzięczny kwiat.

Hartu uczyłeś dusze, by charakterów stal,
Nie zgięła wraża siła, wśród burzy życia fal.
Dziś, kiedy już opuszczasz nas i nasz szkolny próg,
Niechaj Ci gwiazda świeci, niech Cię prowadzi Bóg,
Niechaj Ci gwiazda świeci, niech Cie prowadzi Bóg.

My father’s activity in PÅ‚ock lasted for four and a half years only, but the people in the city and the surrounding area still remember it very well. In the 80s and the 90s, my father and I would frequently visit PÅ‚ock and the PÅ‚ock area and the older inhabitants would very often recognise my father in the street and greet him heartily.

Paweł Paciorkiewicz

Royal Castle in the Old Town in Warsaw

Back in Warsaw

Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz, 1965

Tadeusz at work, 1965 /photo by Paweł Paciorkiewicz/

Our life back in Warsaw was still very active. Antonina and Artur continued their education at a music college and Paweł went to a state primary music school. He was the only one among our children who did not want to be a musician, and after he finished the 22nd High School he went to study at the Warsaw Technical University and became an engineer. Our elder children finished the Higher State School of Music in Warsaw, Antonina as a pianist and Artur as an alto viola player.

In Warsaw, my life became more regular and more creative. In short, it was here that I composed the Gdańsk Romance opera that was staged by the Grand Theatre in Łódź and two operas commissioned by the Polish Radio in Warsaw (Ushiko and Ligea). These operas were performed and recorded on the Polish Radio, and Ushiko was also performed on the BBC in London, translated into English by Gołos. On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus birth, I composed the De Revolutionibus oratorio, staged successfully as part of the anniversary celebrations in Olsztyn.

Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz, 1981

Tadeusz playing Christmas carols, Warsaw 1981 /photo by Paweł Paciorkiewicz/

It was in Warsaw that I composed further fourteen concertos with for solo instruments with orchestra: the I organ concerto, the trombone concerto, the alto viola concerto, the harp concerto, the oboe concerto, the trumpet concerto, the II organ concerto, the double concerto for violin and alto viola, organ and orchestra. It was here that I created two more symphonies (III and IV), numerous chamber works, including the II String Quartet, the Piano Quintet, overtures for wind bands and works for a cappella choirs.

At the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy (the former Higher State School of Music), I successively progressed through all scientific degrees: from docent to associate professor and to full professor. For many terms, I was the dean of the First Department of Composition, Conducting And Theory. From 1969 to 1971, I was the rector of my mother school. Many students finished the composition class under my direction, among them Marta Ptaszyńska, Zbigniew Bagiński, Stanisław Moryto and the youngest of them, Andrzej Matuszewski.

At the moment, I am retired. I had taught for over 45 years and I did not want to prolong my pedagogical career.

/Written by the composer in Warsaw, Poland, on November 20, 1995/

Tenement house in Łódź

10 years in Łódź

For the next ten years, I worked as a pedagogue at the State Higher Music School in Łódź. At this point, I should go back to 1944, when I was offered a job as an organist in Ursus near Warsaw. I took this job because it provided better financial conditions and because I wanted to shelter my family: the Warsaw Uprising was just about to break out. At that time we had a daughter Antonina and we were expecting another baby. Although Ursus is just eight kilometres away from Warsaw, we managed to avoid all the atrocities of the Uprising and we even offered refuge to many of our friends and acquaintances who had escaped from transports to the Reich.

Tadeusz and Zofia with their children, 1951

Tadeusz and Zofia with their children, Łódź 1951 /photographer unknown/

In 1949, I was invited by the rector of the State Higher Music School in Łódź Prof. Kazimierz Sikorski and the dean Kazimierz Jurdziński to co-operate with them as a professor of harmony, counterpoint and other theoretical subjects. Together with my family, which at that time included my wife and three children (Antonina, Artur and Paweł) we left Płock and went to Łódź. We had a very difficult start in the new place, but gradually our situation improved. In 1954 I took a parallel job as a pedagogue at the Higher State School of Music in Warsaw, where I commuted twice a week.

In 1959, Prof. Kazimierz Sikorski, at that time already the rector of the Higher State  School of Music in Warsaw appointed me a lecturer of theoretical subjects at that School. So, we moved house once again, this time from Łódź to Warsaw, our final destination. The stay in Łódź took a round ten years. We did not feel attached to that place. Those ten years were an episode in our life. Throughout that period, we never gave up the thought of returning to Warsaw. On the other hand, from the point of view of my artistic development, the stay in Łódź was very fruitful. It was in Łódź that I composed two symphonies, two concertos for the piano, a violin concerto and numerous chamber, choir and didactic works. It was here that I was first recognised as a composer. In consultation with the Łódź pedagogues, I created many didactic works. In particular, I mean the works created in co-operation with Prof. Emma Altberg, Prof. Zofia Romaszkowa and Prof. Franciszek Jamry, whose advice I used when composing the violin concerto. It was very important for my artistic development that all the new works were performed immediately.

…back in Warsaw

/Written by the composer in Warsaw, Poland, on November 20, 1995/

Town Hall in PÅ‚ock, 1945-1950

In P?ock

Music School in PÅ‚ock

Music School founded by Tadeusz in P?ock /photo by Pawe? Paciorkiewicz/

In February 1945, the German occupation was over. Smoke had not yet dispersed over the ruins of war when I went to P?ock to establish a music school there. The idea to found a school in Plock first occurred to me during the occupation in Warsaw. I discussed this plan with many distinguished representatives of the musical community such as Prof. Bronis?aw Rutkowski, Piotr Perkowski, Józef Lasocki and Faustyn Kulczycki, whom I saw in various secret meetings. With this plan ready and complete, we went to P?ock together with our friend Feliks Rudomski. We did this by our own initiative exclusively, not being delegated by anyone, mainly because there were no authorities in the ruined Warsaw at that time. The only document that we managed to procure in order to present it to the authorities in P?ock was a letter from the School Superintendence Office that was getting organised in Praga. I chose P?ock as the place of my future activities because I had been attached to that beautiful city. In P?ock, I met with general kindness, perhaps because I had been a recognised person in the city.

Wind band of Music School in PÅ‚ock

Wind band of Music School in P?ock, 1949. In the middle Jan Szyma?ski, head of the band. Sitting third from the left Ryszard Paciorkiewicz, Tadeusz’s cousin. /photo by W. Å»abowski i S-ka. photo laboratory/

The decision to choose P?ock as the area of my work for the next four and a half years proved to be right. We established a school that P?ock had not seen before. Broadly understood social activity concentrated around the school in the form of choirs or training courses for amateur choir conductors. We even had a theatrical group there. The group, directed by the school’s pedagogues, staged Wesele na Kurpiach by priest W?adys?‚aw Skierkowski in 1946. The performance had an enthusiastic reception. Under auspices of the Folk Music Institute, I organised competitions for amateur choirs from P?ock and the Mazovia region. I also managed to organise the annual Song Festivity [6]. The Music School in P?ock, which celebrated its 50th anniversary recently, still plays an important role in the cultural life of the city and the region [7]. I remained with the School for nearly five years. Personal affairs and my higher artistic ambitions in the field of composition made me leave Plock in 1949 [8].

…10 years in ?ód?

/Written by the composer in Warsaw, Poland, on November 20, 1995/