The Rich History of Paderewski and Paso Robles

Paderewski…the name evokes many different emotions for Paso Roblans: joy, fondness, curiosity, awe and especially, pride. Every November, Paso Robles celebrates the musician, the politician, the vintner, and the local landowner known as Ignacy Jan Paderewski with the annual Paderewski Festival. It is a four-day music festival that not only celebrates Paso Robles’ most famous resident, but also the town’s rich heritage, steeped in agricultural beginnings, interwoven with one of America’s most famous celebrities. It is four days filled with concerts, featuring world-renowned talent, exhibits, lectures, master classes and film screenings that often times also includes wine tastings and tours of local vineyards.

The annual festival is also very proud to host a youth piano competition, recital and student cultural exchange program with Poland to honor Paderewski's legacy. This year we are hosting four exchange students from Poland and Ukraine. They are performing several times in their two-week adventure to California, notably at Paso Robles High School on Oct 31, and Cal Poly on Nov 1 and Halter Ranch on Sunday, Nov 4.

The winners of this year’s 2018 Paderewski Festival Student Youth Competition will be performing at the Youth Recital on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 4pm at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. The recital is free and a wonderful opportunity to see the young talent from here in Central California. For many, this youth concert is a highlight because of the students’ talent and passion.

This year’s festival will also include the Saturday Night Gala performance at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. It will feature acclaimed pianist, Kate Liu, who was the Third Prize winner at the 2015 Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, and the recipient of the Polish Radio Special Prize for her performance of Chopin's Mazurkas. It is a wonderful experience and lovely to see and hear such masterful and inspiring talent. once again echo through the walls that Paderewski once played within. You don’t want to miss it!

One of the biggest draws of the festival is that great sense of community, the hometown, familiar feeling of unity with your fellow Paso Roblans, as you all come together to enjoy a wonderful weekend exploring, listening and learning about this town we all call home and the man that helped put Paso on the map! With amazing sponsors, such as Epoch Estate Wines, the stewards of Paderewski’s ranch and vineyard, Cass Winery, the host of the Opening Night of the Festival, along with all the other wonderful festival and community supporters such as Tablas Creek, Derby Wine Estates, Firestone Walker Brewery, Halter Ranch and Travel Paso, the Paderewski Festival has become a beloved fixture in our Paso Robles.

Support the arts and history of Paso Robles and purchase your tickets today!

Thank you to Jenna Rovenstine, current board member of the Paderewski Festival for writing this blog on behalf of Travel Paso. Jenna was born and raised in Paso Robles and is a 4th generation Paso Roblan. She is also the Resident Historian at Epoch Estate Wines.