Jan Hoffman 1966-1969

Jan HOFFMAN (1966-1969)b Kraków 11 June 1906, d Kraków 25 October 1995

Rector of the PWSM (1966-69)
Pianist, teacher and music editor

Studied piano with J. Śliwiński and W. Łabuński at the Conservatory of the Music Society in Kraków, and after graduating from the conservatory (1928) – with E. Petri in Kraków and Berlin. Professor of the Kraków Conservatory in the years 1931-33. Gave private piano lessons in Kraków, Lvov and Bielsko. The outbreak of war found him in Lvov; in the years 1940-41 he was associate professor at the Lvov Conservatory. After the war, together with Z. Drzewiecki, he co-organized PWSM in Kraków. Five times he was a jury member of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, as well as member of the jury of prestigious piano competitions abroad. He edited about 170 piano works for PWM. He willingly performed Polish contemporary music (Lutosławski, Spisak, Szałowski i Malawski), he was the first performer of Symphonic Etudes by Malawski. However, a special place in his repertoire was reserved for the music of Bach, including the famous performances of concertos for 2, 3 and 4 pianos with Z. Drzewiecki, B. Wojtowicz and J. Ekier. As a teacher, he paid particular attention to musical and psychological side of interpretation and on the development of artistic personality. Among his students were: W. Kędra, J. Baster, J. Dolny, M. Drewnowski, A. Wodnicki.

His rectorship was marked by animation in the life of the School. In 1966 he initiated Postgraduate Study in Music Editing, led by the director and editor of PWM edition M. Tomaszewski. He placed particular importance on the work of academic orchestra (under K. Missona) and choir (under J. Przybylski) – PWSM Orchestra and Choir appeared at the Higher Schools of Music Festival in Poznań and in the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw performing Mozart Requiem. He also invited distinguished scholars to give lectures open to all students. Friendly, but also very demanding towards the youth, he willingly supported the activities of youth organizations, especially these of the Polish Students Association.

For his activity he was honoured with the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1980), Order of the Labour Banner 1st class. (1988), three times he received the 1st degree Prize of the Ministry of Culture and Art (1964, 1968, 1986).

Leszek Polony