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The Brothers Załuski

Andrzej and Iwo Załuski were both born in Krakow, Andrzej in 1928 and Iwo ten years later in 1939. They were the sons of Bogdan Załuski who, with his brother Irenesusz, were the last proprietors of the family spa and estate of Iwonicz, in the Carpathian Mountains of south eastern Poland, and his wife Jadwiga, nee Bogucka. When Iwo was only 6 months old the Second World War broke out, and the family fled Poland, and eventually found its way to London. Both Andrzej and Iwo were educated by the Benedictines at Ampleforth College, where both received their first musical education: they were both taught the piano by Herbert Perry: concert careers were discussed in both cases. After the War, Bogdan and Jadwiga’s marriage ended in divorce. Andrzej continued with piano lessons from a number of teachers, including Leonie Gombrich and Franz Wagner, and Iwo, who had only just started piano lessons at Preparatory School, used to listen spellbound to his brother playing the works of Chopin, Beethoven and Schubert. It was his first formative musical experience.

Andrzej Załuski Iwo Załuski
Andrzej Załuski Iwo Załuski

In the event, both Andrzej and Iwo shelved ideas of concert careers, and both went in for teaching. In 1956 Andrzej, after a few tentative piano recitals, began teaching music in a West London school. In 1960 he married Theres Kunzli, from Winterthur, Switzerland. They have four children. In 1963 they moved to Scotland, where Andrzej taught French at Rannoch School, and where he also involved himself with theatrical and musical productions. Iwo spent one year at the Royal Academy of Music before changing to St Mary’s College of Education in Twickenham, Middlesex. From 1966 he pursued a music teaching career in two London schools, during which time he wrote and produced a musical every year until his early retirement. Interested in all forms of music, he also experimented with classical-rock fusions, and has written 2 rock Symphonies (“Jason’s Psymphony” and “The Almond Tree”), a Missa Solemnis pro Tertio Millennio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi (an amalgam of every musical form in Christendom) and 2 rock Operas, one, written in partnership with his first wife, singer-songwiter-guitarist Barbara Fisch, based on Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. From 1964-73 he also ran a London-Polish showband, Domino, in which he played piano, electronic keyboards, bass guitar, accordion and clarinet, and also sang. He wrote a number of pop songs for the band, in English, Polish and Spanish.

Andrzej Załuski Iwo Załuski
Andrzej Załuski 1998 Iwo Załuski 1997

In 1982, after his divorce – his first marriage produced two children – Iwo married head-teacher, pianist and historian Pamela Woodhead, also a divorcee. In 1989 they both took early retirement from teaching to concentrate on musical research and writing, and for Iwo to return to the piano and restore a technique ravaged by rock and school assemblies. In 1993, in Poland, both Andrzej and Iwo discovered for the first time the music of Michał Kleofas Ogiński – and his dynasty. The following year, aged 54, Iwo embarked on a minor career as a concert pianist, specialising in the music of the whole Ogiński dynasty with concerts in Great Britain, France, Poland, Switzerland, Belarus and Lithuania (see An Iwonicz Concert). His first 2 CDs, “Music of the Ogiński Dynasty” Vols 1 & 2 were issued by Olympia in 1996 and 1998 respectively. At the same time the Załuski writing partnership, Załuski Researches, resulted in “Mozart’s Europe: The Early Journeys” in 1993, “The Scottish Autumn of Frederick Chopin” in 1994, “Chopin’s Poland” in 1996, “The Young Liszt” in 1997, “Mozart in Italy” in 1998, “In Search of Chopin’s Poland” (with photographs by Hanna & Juliusz Komarnicki, and text in Polish or English) in 1999, and “The Deaths of the Great Composers” in 2003, the year that Pamela died of cancer. By this time Iwo had completed his own history of the Ogiński Dynasty, “The Ogiński Gene”. It was published in a Russian translation in Minsk in 2006.

Meanwhile, Andrzej had moved from Scotland to Billingham, Cleveland, where he taught music in a local school until his retirement. But he continued to teach privately, and built up a considerable reputation in this field. His pedigree is impressive: he was taught by Gombrich who was taught by Leschetitzky who was taught by Czerny who was taught by Beethoven. In addition, having discovered Michał Kleofas Ogiński, he had also devoted himself to research and writing. One of his chief interests was “Dabrowski’s Mazurka”, the Polish National Anthem, which may or may not have been composed by Ogiński. His first book, “The Times and Music of Michał Kleofas Ogiński” appeared in 1997, and a Russian translation was published in Minsk, Belarus, two years later. His own Polish version, “Michał Kleofas Ogiński: Zycie dzialalnosc i tworczosc” – in effect a re-write – appeared in 2003. Among his other works are “Zagadka Mazurka Dabrowskiego” (The Mystery of Dabrowski’s Mazurka), 1999, “Dubondillac”, described as a “philosophical tale”, 1999, and The Third Estate, 2005.

Iwo Załuski
Iwo Załuski
by Marek Sikorski 2001