2018 | 1(36) Eng | 53-76
Article title

Apolinary Kątski as an Infant Prodigy

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Infant prodigies were a common phenomenon in the 19th century. They astonished the audience not only through their impressive abilities, but also the innocent beauty and the youthful grace. The perfect example of this is Apolinary Kątski (1826–1879), a violin virtuoso and a composer, known mainly as the founder of the Institute of Music in Warsaw, who, since he was three, was recognizable in concert halls all over Europe. According to the author, the early stage of the violinist’s activity requires more attention. The presented article sketches the path of young Apolinary’s life from the moment of his first performance in 1829 to May 1838, when he was granted with the famous recommendation of Niccolò Paganini. It introduced him to numerous concert halls of Europe and positively influenced his further artistic activity. The hereby presented paper makes an attempt to find out the date and place of birth of Kątski in the context of the rich musical activity of his family members. It also shows the first artistic tours of the young virtuoso against the background of his artistically talented siblings: a violinist Karol, pianists Stanisław and Antoni, and a singer Eugenia. The crucial moment are reflections on the stay of the family in Paris and their first performances in the musical centre of Europe as well as contacts of the young violinist with Niccolò Paganini. The studies on the correspondence of the father of the virtuoso, Grzegorz Kątski, and research on the foreign newspapers let the author reconstruct the life of Apolinary Kątski in the very first stage of his musical activity and place him in the context of infant prodigies of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Physical description
  • University of Warsaw
  • Cited press
  • “Gazeta Warszawska” 22.05.1834, No. 136.
  • “Journal des Débats” 28.01.1850.
  • “Korespondent Warszawski” 10.12.1831, No. 79.
  • “Kurier Warszawski” 28.08.1834, No. 229.
  • “Mirror Monthly Magazine” 6 (lipiec–grudzień 1849), No. 1348.
  • “Powszechny Dziennik Krajowy” 17.03.1829, No. 63.
  • “Powszechny Dziennik Krajowy” 19.07.1829, No. 175.
  • “Rocznik Emigracji Polskiej” 1936.
  • “Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris” 26.02.1837, No. 9.
  • “Wiener Zeitschrift” 23.03.1833, No. 36.
  • “Wiener Zeitschrift” 9.04.1833, No. 43.
  • “Wiener Zeitschrift” 20.04.1833, No. 48.
  • Literature
  • Atwood W., Paryskie światy Chopina, trans. into Polish by Z. Skowron, Kraków 2005.
  • Chechlińska Z., Kątski Apolinary, [in:] Encyklopedia muzyczna PWM. Część biograficzna, E. Dziębowska (ed.), Vol. 5 (KLŁ), Kraków 1997.
  • Fétis F.J., Kontski (Apollinaire), [in:] idem, Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique, Vol. 5, Bruxelles 1839.
  • Kawabata M., Paganini: The Demonic Virtuoso, New York 2013.
  • Kirkor A.H., Apolinary Kątski na pamiątkę pobytu w Wilnie, Wilno 1852.
  • Kontski Apollinaire, [in:] Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siecle: français, historique, géographique…, P. Larousse (ed.), Paris 1866–1877.
  • Kusiak J., Skrzypce od A do Z, Kraków 1999.
  • Listy Imć Pana Grzegorza Kątskiego do Filharmoniey Krakowskiey, J. Reiss (ed.), Kraków 1930.
  • Niedźwiecki L., Listy wybrane z lat 1832–1839, S. Makowski (ed.), Warszawa 2009.
  • Powroźniak J., Paganini, Kraków 1972.
  • Reiss J., Apolinary Kątski, “Poradnik Muzyczny” 1950, No. 9.
  • Sowiński A., Les musiciens polonais et slaves, anciens et modernes,Paris 1857.
  • Strumiłło T., Szkice z polskiego życia muzycznego XIX wieku, Kraków 1954.
  • Vyborny Z., Wager W., Paganini as Music Critic, “The Musical Quarterly” 46 (1960), No. 4.
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Publication order reference
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