Józef Chwedczuk 1969-1972

Józef CHWEDCZUK (1969-1972)b Warsaw 22 February 1902, d Kraków 9 January 1979

Rector of the PWSM (1969-72)
Organist, teacher and editor

Studied organ with H. Makowski at the F. Chopin Higher School of Music in Warsaw and then with B. Rutkowski at the Warsaw Conservatory, where he also graduated from theory studies (in the class of K. Sikorski and J. Maklakiewicz). During the interwar period he was a teacher at the Warsaw Higher School of Music (WSM). During the war he was a member of the Home Army and an active participant of the Warsaw Uprising.

After the war, from the very beginnings of the Kraków school, he held the class of organ. For many years the class functioned along with the class of B. Rutkowski (since 1957 within the Intercollegiate Organ Department), of whom he was a close associate. Among his outstanding students are: J. Kulig, K. Mrowiec, L. Werner. After the death of rector Rutkowski, he took over the Organ Department, which he led until he retired in 1972. During his tenure he was also a member of the Higher Artistic Education Council.

As an organist he took particular care in educating students on all levels, hence his editing of numerous studies and musical publications, including the famous Organ Pedal Exercises. As a propagator of little known music literature he performed and recorded numerous organ masterpieces (including the previously unknown in Poland early Spanish organ music).

During B. Rutkowski’s tenure, mainly due to the endeavors of J. Chwedczuk, the project of building the organ in Florianka concert hall was successfully realized. He led the school during a politically difficult period after the events of March 1968. He strongly supported the activities of youth organizations; he was perceived by the students of the time as a kind and friendly person, in spite of his characteristic short-temper. During his tenure, a considerable revival of the research movement of the 1st Faculty could be observed. Also, the Study of Music Editing dynamically developed. In recognition of his outstanding activity for the formation of national musical life he was honored with the Golden Cross of Merit, with the 1st degree Prize of the Ministry of Culture and Art, as well as with the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Dariusz Bąkowski-Kois