Ignacy Jan Paderewski
Ignacy Jan Paderewski (18600-1941) was a Polish pianist and composer, politician and spokesman for Polish independence. He was a favorite of concert audiences around the world. His musical fame opened access to diplomacy and the media.
Paderewski played an important role in meeting with President Woodrow Wilson and obtaining the explicit inclusion of independent Poland as point 13 in Wilson's Fourteen Points. He was the prime minister of Poland and also Poland's foreign minister in 1919, and represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.
In 1896, Paderewski donated ten thousand dollars to establish a trust fund to encourage American-born composers. The fund underwrote a triennial competition that began in 1901 called the "Paderewski Prize.” Paderewski also launched a similar contest in Leipzig in 1898. He was extremely popular internationally, to such an extent that the music hall duo "The Two Bobs" had a hit song in 1916, in music halls across Britain, with the song "When Paderewski Plays.” He was a favorite of concert audiences around the globe; women especially admired his performances.