The Tale of Two Pianists

Pianist Jocelyn Swigger started learning the Chopin Études seven years ago. Her mother had just died, she had just given birth to her son, and she had just been awarded tenure at Gettysburg College, where she is Associate Professor of Piano and Keyboard studies in the Sunderman Conservatory. With all these big changes going on and a major shift in her perspective, she wanted to dive in to a big project.

Ignacy Paderewski was a Paso Robles landowner, grower and winemaker and inspiration for the Paso Robles-based Paderewski Festival, was a virtuoso pianist and composer, who performed and toured internationally. He also arranged and edited music for many of the major publishing houses of the day. His edition of the Chopin Études is among the most respected and studied by pianists regularly to this day.

Swigger, meet Paderewski. “When I discovered that a piano owned by Paderewski was in Paso Robles, I felt that this was a natural next step in my journey,” says Jocelyn.

So she and her sister, Bettina Swigger, who is Executive Director of Festival Mozaic, cooked up a program. “We’d been looking for the opportunity to collaborate with the Paderewski Festival,” says Bettina, “and this was it.”

On Saturday, April 29, Swigger will perform at the Paso Robles Inn on a piano that belonged to Paderewski that is part of the historical collection of the Paso Robles Inn, where Paderewski used to stay. The performance will also feature a multi-media display; a camera will project Swigger’s hands on the keyboard. Swigger will also lead a Master Class for young pianists on Sunday, April 30 at 10:30 a.m. at Cal Poly in the Music Building, Room 218. Admission to the Master Class is free.

Tickets for The Chopin Project are $40 and may be purchased by calling (805)781-3009 or online at

The audience is also invited to join the artist for a wine reception after the concert, featuring wines from wine sponsor Cass Winery.