Ignacy Jan Paderewski (November 6, 1860 - June 29, 1941) was a Polish pianist, composer and politician, born in Kurylowka, a village in the province of Podolia, Poland. He studied music chiefly at Warsaw, Berlin and Vienna, where he was a pupil of Theodor Leschetizky. He made his first public appearance in Vienna in 1887, in Paris in 1889, and in London in 1890, his brilliant playing created a furore which went to almost extravagant lengths of admiration; and his triumphs were repeated in the United States in 1891. His name at once became synonymous with the highest pitch of pianoforte playing, and society was at his feet. In 1899 he married Baroness de Rosen, and after 1900 he appeared but little in public; rather, he became better known as a composer, chiefly of pieces for his own instrument. In 1901 his opera Manru was performed at Dresden.
At the end of World War I (1914-1918), when the fate of the city of Poznań and the whole region of Greater Poland was still undecided, Paderewski visited Poznan. With his public speech on 27 December 1918, Polish inhabitants of Poznań started a military uprising against Germany, called the Great Poland Uprising.
In 1919, in the newly independent Poland, Paderewski became the Prime Minister (January, 1919 - November, 1919). He died in New York.