Ignacy Jan Paderewsky was born in Kursk, Poland in 1860. He must be unique among composers in that he was (albeit briefly) the Prime Minister of his own country, Poland, in 1919 just after the end of World War I

He studied at Warsaw Conservatory at the age of 12, then studied piano in Vienna. He toured Europe as a concert pianist, then USA in1891. He was a brilliant virtuoso pianist, and commanded enormous audience and correspondingly huge fees. Naturally, as a proud patriotic Pole, the piano music of Chopin always formed a major part of his concert programmes. As a world-famous musician, Paderewski also campaigned for Polish independence, putting all his energy and money behind that cause. A grateful nation appointed him Prime Minister of Poland in 1919.

His compositions for piano use arpeggios a great deal, somewhat following the styles of Liszt and Rubenstein. His minuet in G (which is available for listening by clicking the row below) is often criticized as trivial, but it still makes for pleasant listening.