During the last weekend of April, the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles held three fundraising concerts to help finance this year’s Youth Exchange Program in Poland. Jointly organized with the Province of Tarnów and the Paderewski Institute of Musicology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, the 2013 Exchange Program will run from June 22 until July 3.

Jack Raventos (13) and Daniel Ha (13), two piano students from Central Coast who are also winners of the annual Paderewski Youth Competition were selected for travel to Poland this summer. For about a week, these two Americans will join two piano students from the Music School in Tarnów and two students from the School of Arts and Music in Khmilnyk, Ukraine. The entire group will spend a week at Paderewski’s former manor house in Kąśna Dolna, participate in piano workshops and master classes, and perform solo and chamber music at a special concert commemorating Paderewski’s death anniversary on June 29. Other appearances in the region will include concerts in the town of Czchów on June 30 and at the Jagiellonian University on July 2.

While in Poland, the Exchange Program participants are provided by local authorities with room and board at the manor house as well as local transportation and sightseeing trips in the area. The Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles however must cover the cost of international air travel for the two students and a parent-chaperone, as well as hotels and meals during their stay in Kraków. To this end, the Paderewski Festival board relies on a large group of supporters in Los Angeles area and on Central Coast.

The ever-hospitable and elegant home of Stanley and Helena Kołodziey served as the venue for the first concert in the “Love Strings Eternal” series, held on April 26 in Beverly Hills. The hosts had provided the large group of select guests with a truly Polish welcome as well as a delicious cold and hot buffet, supplemented by choice Paso Robles wines provided by Festival supporters at Cass Winery and Hope Family Wines. The evening feast was followed by a concert of chamber music featuring works by Hummel, Debussy and Paderewski performed by pianist Marek Zebrowski and the Upstream II ensemble: violinist Jason Issokson, violist Deanna Lynn, cellist Stella Cho, and bassist Harish Kumar.


Above: at the Kołodziey residence

On April 27, the same excellent musical program was performed in conjunction with an afternoon tea at the spectacularly beautiful home of Ken and Marilyn Riding in Paso Robles. The musicians were heard again on April 28, this time on the East Side of Paso Robles at Cass Winery, one of the main sponsors of the Paderewski Festival during the past 8 years.

Above: at the Riding residence

Anyone interested in contributing to the Festival and/or to this year’s Exchange Program may do so by visiting the Paderewski Festival website at, where more information about this year’s events can also be found. The 2013 Paderewski Festival will be held from November 7-10, and will feature piano master Karol Radziwonowicz as the gala performer.