Paderewski Festival schedule features Gala Concert, modern musical and youth program

Singapore-born pianist Kate Liu is the featured performer of this year’s Paderewski Festival Gala Concert. (Photo courtesy of the Paderewski Festival)

The 2018 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles will again celebrate renowned Polish musician and statesman with a slate of concerts, events and educational opportunities with performers from near and far. Singapore-born pianist Kate Liu is the featured performer of this year’s Gala Concert, while Paso Robles native Corey Jordan opens the festival at Cass Winery on Thursday, Nov. 1. The festival is proud to serve as the world premiere of a Paderewski-themed musical, “Three Paderewskis,” with music by Jenni Brandon and libretto by Oliver Mayer.

This year, the Paderewski Festival continues its Cultural Exchange Program with students from Poland and Ukraine visiting California and performing throughout the Festival. Based on the 2008 Cultural Cooperation Agreement signed between the cities of Paso Robles in California and Tarnów in Poland, students from California, Poland and Ukraine visit each other in alternating years.

Gala Concert

Liu will perform a solo recital at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3 in the historic ballroom of Paso Robles Inn. Her program will feature works by Paderewski, Chopin, Beethoven and Sergei Prokofiev. She will also give a master class at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 2 at the Park Ballroom in Paso Robles, which is open to the public.

Born in Singapore in 1994, Liu began to study piano at the age of four and moved with her family to the Chicago area when she was eight. She continued her studies at the Music Institute of Chicago and graduated from the New Trier High School in 2012. Currently she is studying at Curtis Institute of Music. Winner of the First Prize at the 2010 New York International Piano Competition and at the 2015 Chopin Competition in Daegu, South Korea.

In 2015, Liu was the Third Prize winner at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw and the recipient of the Polish Radio Special Prize for her performance of Chopin’s Mazurkas. Widely popular with the Polish public, Kate Liu received the highest number of votes cast by listeners of the Second Program of the Polish Radio, and won the “My Chopin” contest. In the opinion of listeners, she was the best pianist of the 2015 Chopin Competition.

A New Modern Musical

The Paderewski-themed musical, “Three Paderewskis,” will feature actors, dancers and an ensemble of musicians from Southern California and will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2 at the Park Ballroom in Paso Robles. Subtitled “Poland, Exile, War, and Wine,” the musical portrays the three versions of Paderewski: Ignacy the pianist/composer, Jan the politician, and Paderewski the ancient sage and viticulturist. But when the ghost of Paderewski’s first wife Antonina rejoins them, all three versions of the man come together as one with a passion that sheds light on the depths of their endless love. It is a loving, rousing musical about a man too big to be played by any one person, who changed the world not only through the piano but also through his lifetime dream to create the nation of Poland, as we know it today.

Librettist Mayer authored over 30 plays, including his newest, “Members Only.” His new musical “Three Paderewskis” won the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s Paderewski Project Competition. Mayer is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Composer, conductor and vocalist, Brandon is the recipient of the Sorel Medallion, the American Prize for Choral Composition, and the Women Composers Festival of Hartford International Composition Competition. She is also active as a mezzo-soprano and has sung with the Boston Pops, Pacific Chorale, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and at the Hollywood Bowl. The musical is choreographed by Saleemah Knight and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera.

An Evening
with Corey

Jordan will perform and speak about his musical inspirations at An Evening with Corey: A Paso musician on his journey at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, at Cass Winery. He will perform all original works.

Born and raised in Paso Robles, Jordan graduated from Paso Robles High School and studied for two years at Cuesta College. He later moved to Los Angeles and entered the Los Angeles Recording School in West Hollywood, a division of the Los Angeles Film School. He began producing music: dance and hip-hop numbers along with some jazz and blues. He began working in other genres, and he soon moved into writing and producing full classical orchestrations, movie trailers, and short film soundtracks. Jordan now lives in Paso Robles, writing and producing music on his beloved 1914 Steinway in his apartment that overlooks Downtown.

Youth Exchange

The 2018 Cultural Exchange Program will welcome to California four young pianists, two from Poland and two from Ukraine. They are Piotr Lara, 17, and Małgorzata Machowska, 18, from the Małopolska region Poland, and Sofiya Dashak, 18, and Bohdan Terletskyy, 13, from Ukraine. They will be accompanied by a chaperone, Nadia Terletska.

Polish and Ukrainian students will also be featured in two Central Coast performances: Oct. 26 at Cate School in Carpinteria and Nov. 1 at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Additionally, these four young pianists will participate in a concert and Q&A on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at Paso Robles High School for their high school peers.

Finally, together with their Californian friends, Luke Kim and Antón de la Fuente, all six students will perform on Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Halter Ranch concert closing the 2018 Paderewski Festival. The Sunday Finale is for the Festival’s dedicated supporters — the Friends of Paderewski and Paderewski Patrons, who purchase VIP seating, all-weekend passes for all concerts and events.

Paderewski Festival

The Paderewski celebrates the legacy of Paso Robles’ most famous resident, Ignacy Jan Paderewski — virtuoso pianist, composer, international politician, local landowner, grower and winemaker — with concerts and special events featuring internationally-renowned performers. Held in venues throughout Paso Robles from Nov. 1-4, this year’s Festival will also feature performances by young pianists from California’s Central Coast and Cultural Exchange Program students from Poland and Ukraine, presentation of a musical about Paderewski as well as exhibits around town.

Admission to the 2018 Paderewski Festival ranges from free for children under 18 to $45 for premium admission, $35 for general admission, $25 for seniors over 60 and wine industry, and $5 for students 18 and over with ID.  Friends of Paderewski Passes with preferred seating at all events are $250. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 805-235-5409.

The 2018 Paderewski Festival Schedule

Wednesday, Oct. 31

Concert and Q&A with Cultural Exchange students from Poland and Ukraine. Paso Robles High School, 10 a.m.  (Invitation only)

Thursday, Nov. 1

Concert — Cultural Exchange students from Poland and Ukraine. Cal Poly, SLO. Music Building, Rm 218. 11 a.m., Free

An Evening with Corey Jordan: A Paso musician on his musical journey. Cass Winery. 6:30 p.m. wine reception, 7 p.m. concert, $25, $35, $45

Friday, Nov. 2

Master Class with pianist Katie Liu. Park Ballroom, Paso Robles. 11 a.m., Free

“Three Paderewskis” — A musical about Poland, Exile, War and Wine. Park Ballroom in Paso Robles.  6:30 p.m. wine reception, 7 p.m. program, $25, $35, $45

Saturday, Nov. 3

Youth Piano Competition Winners’ Recital. Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. 4 p.m., Free

Gala Recital with pianist Kate Liu. Paso Robles Inn Ballroom, 6:30 p.m. wine reception, 7 p.m. concert, $25, $35, $45

Sunday, Nov. 4

Lunch, Wine Tasting and Concert with the Cultural Exchange Program and California students. Halter Ranch Vineyard, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Friends of Paderewski & Paderewski Patrons only)


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