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Łucjan Kamieński

Łucjan Kamieński


Łucjan Kamieński, born on 7 January 1885 in Gniezno, died on 29 July 1964 in Toruń, a Polish musicologist and composer. From 1903 to 1909 he studied composition at Hochschule für Musik in Berlin under M. Bruch and R. Kahn, and musicology at the university under H. Kretzschmar and J. Wolf. He obtained his PhD in 1910.

Kamieński already during his studies, being active in the Berlin workers’ movement, published his first opus 60 Arbeitslieder. Over the period 1909-1918 he lived in Królewiec, where he was the editor of the music section of Königsberger Allgemeine Zeitung. In 1919 he was the director of the touring operetta in Poznań, and in 1920 he became vice-director of the Academy of Music. An associate professor and a head of the Faculty of Musicology at the University of Poznań from 1922, a professor from 1936, and a dean of the Department of Humanities in 1938-1939. He initiated the Polish Musicologists Society in 1928 and became its chairman, in 1930 Kamieński established, as a part of the Faculty of Musicology in Poznań, the first phonographic archive in Poland, he collected recordings at two Kashubian expeditions (1932, 1935), as well as from Silesia (1937), and the journeys across the Greater Poland, Pomerania, Kuyavia, and Pieniny. The archive (around 4 thousand recordings) was lost during the Second World War, only the transcriptions published in 1936 in the folk songs volume from southern Kashubia were preserved.

The students of Kamieński include M. Kwiek, Z. Latoszewski, K. Pałubicki, J. and M. Sobieski, L. Witkowski. Arrested by Gestapo in 1939 on charges of the anti-German operation, he was released thanks to his wife’s intervention (German singer Linda Harder whom he married in 1913) in the end of November. During the German occupation he was working as an archivist in the Raczyński Library in Poznań. In 1941 he signed the Volksliste – consequently, the court sentenced him to 3 years of prison and loss of property in September 1946. He was pardoned already in October, and in 1960 the court ruled expungement. From 1949 to 1957 he was the teacher at State Secondary Music School in Toruń. Done out of academic institutions, deprived of the possibility of team researches, he tried to work by himself (in the 50s he recorded 150 records in Kashubia), however, eventually he turned to composing. Works composed by Kamiński before 1939 are in large part lost (including all symphonic pieces, and stage works).

Ludwik Bielawski,  Encyclopedia of Music PWM, KLŁ