Tekla Bądarzewska-Baranowska 1829–1861
Born probably in 1829, she was a Polish pianist and composer of salon piano pieces. She was married to Jan Baranowski, they had five children. Bądarzewska wrote 35 small compositions for piano, of which the most famous was “A Maiden’s Prayer”.
The score for that composition was printed as a supplement to the French periodical “Revue et Gazette Musicale”. Since that time, “A Maiden’s Prayer” has been an international hit which is popular to this day.
Twenty years ago, the International Astronomical Union named a crater on Venus after her. Bądarzewska’s life remains a mystery – she died young in 1861 in Warsaw, but the cause of her death has never been revealed. Her obituary appeared the next day in one of Warsaw’s daily newspapers, Kurier Warszawski.
Tekla Bądarzewska was buried in the Baranowski family vault in the Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw. Her grave, built a year after her death, features a statue of a young woman leaning against a pillar and holding in her left hand a roll of sheet music titled “La priere d’une vierge” (“A Maiden’s Prayer”).
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Olga Rusina is a distinguished Russian pianist working and living in Poland. At the age of six she began to learn to play the piano, at the same time starting to practice ballet and also composing her own music. As a thirteen-year-old girl she won the first prize in the National Russian Competition for Young Pianists, giving her first concert accompanied by a symphony orchestra.
In 1974 she completed her education at the College of Music, attached to the Moscow Conservatory, in Professor Boris Bechterev’s class. From 1974 to 1979 she studied the piano at the Moscow Conservatory under the famous master, Professor Jakov Milstein. She graduated Magnum cum Laude. In 1982, after having completed her doctorate studies at the Moscow Conservatory (in Professor Sergey Dorensky’s class and receiving the highest distinction), she began to teach at the Ural Conservatory in Yekaterinburg and work as a soloist and chamber musician in the Yekaterinburg Philharmonic. She has participated in prestigious music festivals in Russia, performed at summits of the Union of Russian Composers playing premiere pieces of music, sometimes dedicated to her.
Her repertoire, both as a soloist and chamber musician, features a number of masterpieces from the Baroque period to contemporary times, as well as twenty-two piano concertos which she played accompanied by an orchestra conducted by such distinguished conductors as E. Serov, A. Tchistiakov, A. Boreyko, D. Rayskin, M. Nalecz-Niesiolowski and others.
Olga Rusina has made over 200 recordings for the radio and television and released ten CDs, including works by Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Chopin, Rakhmaninov, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Scriabin, Schumann, Ravel, Debussy (produced by ‘Koch International’, ‘Dux’, ‘Soliton’). The artist gives concerts in various parts of Europe – Poland, Germany, Portugal, Italy, France, the FYR of Macedonia and others. Her concerts and recordings are frequently broadcast, not only on Polish radio but also on foreign radio stations.
Her talent has impressed such famous musicians as Mikhail Pletnev, Jakov Milstein, Sergey Dorensky, Regina Smendzianka and many renowned music critics from all over Europe. In 1993, Olga Rusina moved to Poland, where she currently teaches at Wroclaw Music Academy and the Secondary School of Music. Her pupils, who participate in numerous international piano competitions, include 42 laureates and 8 winners of Grand Prix awards.
Olga Rusina’s intensive piano and educational work has also resulted in her Piano Art Association, founded in 2000. Its aim is to promote and support talented young musicians. The artist regularly runs master classes in Russia, Poland, Germany, Spain and France.