The Polish Heritage Society
New Chopin Monument on Display at Manchester Concert
A model of a monument to Fryderyk Chopin to be erected in Manchester early in 2011 was unveiled at a concert in the city on 4th November 2010 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth. The concert was held in the magnificent new concert hall of Manchester Grammar School in the city where Chopin himself played on 28th August 1848, the year before his death.
The Polish Heritage Society conceived the idea of a monument. The final work by Robert Sobocinski, a Polish artist from Poznan who attended the concert, is a stylised bronze of Chopin seated at the piano. The bronze includes material dating from 1831, the year of the November Uprising by Poles against the Russian Empire. The 2.5 metre wide statue will sit on a natural stone plinth two metres high. The project conceived by the Polish Heritage Society.
The concert programme of Chopin’s music was played by the distinguished young Manchester-born pianist Jason Hawkins, while the Australian soprano Emma Hall sang in both English and Polish. The third part of the concert consisted of a performance by the Corps of Drums of The Fusiliers’ Association and the Oldham Scottish Pipe Band.
Among those attending the concert were the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Colonel Warren J. Smith JP, the Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Piotr Nowotniak, and the Chairman of The Chopin Memorial Statue Committee, Christian Wewer, and Dr. Marek Stella-Sawicki and Dr. Andrew Meeson, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Polish Heritage Society. Also represented was one of the project sponsors, “Life for a Life” Memorial Forests. Other guests from English and Polish organisations, among them Polish ex-combatants, included the Chairman of SPK Manchester Dr. A. Rózycki, the Director of the St Stanislaw Kostka Polish School in Manchester, Ms Barbara Goodwin, and, from the Anglo-Polish Society, Mr. R. Kowalski.