She took piano lessons with Maria Drzewiecka at Toruń Conservatory and later with Henryk Sztompka. In 1939 she settled in Kraków, where in 1945 she took up studies with Sztompka at the State Higher School of Music and developed her abilities for several years under Zbigniew Drzewiecki. In 1949 she won the 11th place in the 4th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw.
Smendzianka mainly focused on Polish music (Chopin, Janiewicz, Krogulski, Ogiński, Szymanowska, F. Lessel, Zarębski, and contemporary composers). Her publications include the book How to Play Chopin: An Attempted Answer and numerous papers on, among others, performance practice. In 1988 she set up a foundation for the support of Polish musical culture.
She was a teacher at her alma mater in Kraków (from 1964), then in 1968–1996 at Warsaw’s State Higher School of Music (vice-chancellor in 1972–1973). She received an honorary doctorate and professorship of the Academy. She conducted master classes in Germany, France, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Mexico, and Venezuela.
Her recordings (under such labels as Polskie Nagrania, DG, Camden, RCA, CNR Holland, Pony Canyon, Bellwood, and Koch) comprise most of Chopin’s works as well as compositions by Moniuszko, Łuciuk, Bacewicz, Malawski, Paderewski, Franck, Bach, Schubert, Mozart, and many others. She served on the juries of international music competitions, including the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Smendzianka was presented with the Minister of Culture and Art Award (six times), the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis, and the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Phot. Edward Hartwig
Przewiń do góry