Paderewski Festival Finale Vibrates Through the HRV Barn

We were pleased and privileged to host the 2012 Paderewski Festival Finale on Sunday



This past Sunday the Halter Ranch Barn proved itself an excellent venue for instrumental performances.  A chill hung still in the air from the frosty evening preceding as three young Polish musicians warmed up pre-performance on the Yamaha baby grand temporarily gracing the western edge of the old Smith barn.


Ignacy Jan Paderewski


A statue commemorating Ignacy Jan Paderewski was erected November 10, 2012 in Paso Robles.  Paderewski  is celebrated locally and in in Poland for the diversity of his talents and interests.  Beyond his skill as a pianist and composer, Ignacy established one of the early vineyards in Paso Robles, and after years of lecturing toward Polish Independence, was a signatory to the Treaty of Versailles.  The final concert of the 2012 festival fell appropriately on 11-11-12 which is both  Armistice Day (Veterans Day in America) and Polish Independence Day (Narodowe Święto Niepodległości), it was quite special to have a healthy contingent of Polish attendees along with the prodigious young musicians and a few representatives from Paderewski’s home District of Tarnów who offered their support in erecting the statue commemorating him.  The historic Paderewski Vineyard property lies off of Peachy Canyon Road where Epoch’s vineyards are now planted.  Their tasting room is on York Mountain Road, open 11-5 Daily.


Marcin Krysa dazzles with an original piece composed by Paderewski



Steve Cass, who is a champion of the Paderewski Festival and Polish culture, provided the delicious food for the event with his catering service.  We are told he also provided the 2 sets of boots proudly worn by Mitch and Ryszard of Tarnów.  The performance began after a succession of speeches and presentations from Skylar, Marek, Mieczyslaw, and Ryszard recognizing Paderewski and the significance of November 11.

First to perform was Robert Maciejowski who is 14 years old but plays (at least to our amateur ears) as if he has spent lifetimes familiarizing himself with those 88 keys.  He opened with a delicious piece by Debussy, causing the beautiful old barn to ring with in large vibrant crescendo before dialing it back to a delicate swooning pianissimo.  It will be difficult going forward for us not to sound like a gushing broken record as each performer was both excellent and impressive, particularly given their youth.  Ula Barnaś followed Robert with excellent composure, more ringing tones, and absolutely, wonderfully, manically dancing fingers.  Finishing up with a brilliantly delivered piece by Paderewski himself along with another composition by Debussy was Marcin Krysa, who brought the house down (or up, depending on how you look at things) with a tremendous, impressive, long dark lock-shaking finale.  For more information on the Paderewski Festival and the cultural exchange program check out the website here.


Mitch Kras & Ryszard Ządło sing while the crowd claps


The afternoon ended with food and a collection of bawdy Polish Folksongs performed enthusiastically by the two cowboy boot-clad Polish dignitaries pictured above.  It would have been impossible to plan a more fitting or inspiring event to be held in our barn and we look forward to hosting future cultural and musical events onsite.  As always, thank you for reading and keep your eyes here over the next few days for a few articles written by staff members on winey adventures.


Kristen of Epoch Vineyards and Winery Poses with Mieczyslaw (Mitch) and Marek (Note the Cowboy Boots)





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