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WFMT Kozuch tribute broadcast - Sunday November 3rd, 1991

It's four o'clock, and we invite you now to this week's edition of WFMT Sunday Afternoon. Today's edition of WFMT Sunday Afternoon was originally intended as a tribute. Now it is a memorial. Thaddeus Kozuch, professor emeritus at the DePaul University School of Music, a noted concert pianist who performed in New York, Paris, Geneva, and Milan, as well as on many occasions in Chicago, was born in Chicago on March 5, 1913, and died in his home city this past October 4.

We'll play this afternoon a sampling of performances he gave between 1974 and 1980, recorded in recital and in studio settings. They are some performances, we think, that show both the very wide range of his repertory and the depth and variety of his musical artistry. Our first group will open with two keyboard sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, Longo numbers 118 and 422, performances from 1979. Then the Suggestion diabolique by Prokofiev, a 1975 performance. And also by Prokofiev, the piano sonata No. 6 in A major, op. 82, taped in 1974.

In music of Scarlatti and Prokofiev, pianist Thaddeus Kozuch.

1991-11-04 WFMT letter from Program Director Norm Pellegrini to Jon Kozuch.JPG


  • Domenico Scarlatti: Clavier Sonata, Longo No.118 === (Apr 2/1979)

  • Domenico Scarlatti: Clavier Sonata, Longo No.422 === (Mar 28/1979)

  • Prokofiev: Suggestion diabolique, Op. 4, No. 4. === (Mar 15/1975)

  • Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 6 in A, Op. 82. === (Mar 29/1974 & applause)

... Pianist Thaddeus Kozuch, playing sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, and then by Prokofiev, the Suggestion Diabolique, or Diabolical Suggestion, and the Piano Sonata No. 6. Those performances were all taped during the 1970s, and they are the first of several we'll hear on today's tribute to the late pianist. 

Thaddeus Kozuch was born in Chicago on March 5, 1913, to a Polish-American family. His musical education took place entirely in Chicago. At Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University, he was a student of Vladimir Sasko, Glenn Dillard Gunn, and Dr. Rudolf Gans. In 1940, Mr. Kozuch won the very first Chicago Musical Arts Competition, and made his orchestra hall debut that year. While serving in the military during World War II, he gave many concerts in the British Isles to entertain wounded soldiers, and he also participated in numerous broadcasts for the BBC. After the war, Mr. Kozuch gave concerts in New York, Chicago, and Houston, plus undertaking tours to Paris, Geneva, and Milan. In the latter city, he was singled out by a reviewer as, quotes, a formidable technician, and an artist of truly exquisite sensibility. He also visited Krakow, Poland, as a guest of the Congress of Scholars of Polish Descent. He appeared not only in recital, but also in many symphony concerts, having been a guest over the years with the Chicago Symphony, the Grand Park Symphony, Civic Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony, and with the Symphony Orchestra of Birmingham in England.

As we mentioned earlier, the performances we're hearing today were recorded between 1974 and 1980. Our next group will open with two pieces by Chopin, the Mazurka in A minor, Op. 7 No. 2, and the Nocturne in B-flat minor, Op. 9 No. 1. These will be followed with two pieces by Mr. Kozuch himself, a mazurka and a bagatelle, that were written in 1959. Next, a suite by Robert Muczynski, a composer born and trained in Chicago. The suite has six movements, Festival, Flight, Vision, Labyrinth, Phantom, and Scherzo. We'll end this group with a 1952 piano sonata composed by Alberto Ginastera.

Here once again is pianist Thaddeus Kozuch.  


  • Chopin: Mazurka in A, Op. 7/2

  • Chopin: Nocturne in B-flat, Op. 9/1 === (Apr 26/1980 & applause)

  • Kozuch: Mazurka & Bagatelle === (Apr 2/1979 & applause)

  • Muczynski: Suite for Piano, Op. 13 (Festival; Flight; Vision; Labyrinth; Phantom; Scherzo) === (Apr 2/1979 & applause)

  • Ginastera: Piano Sonata (1952) (4 movements) === (Apr 26/1980 & applause)

After teaching at Chicago Musical College, Northwestern, Drake University, and Mary Crest College in Iowa, Thaddeus Kozuch joined the piano faculty of the DePaul University School of Music where he spent more than 25 years serving as chairman of the piano department and retiring as professor emeritus. Many of his former students are now following careers in music. He continued to give concerts while pursuing his teaching career and also gave a number of master classes in addition to judging competitions, notably the annual Chopin competition sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation. Mr. Kozuch was a member of the Polish Arts Club of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, the Music Teachers National Association, and the Illinois Music Teachers Association. 

WFMT would like to thank Thaddeus Kozuch's son Jon for the help he gave us in preparing this broadcast and we'd also like very specially to thank Dmitry Paperno for his assistance. Mr. Paperno is likewise a professor of music at DePaul University and our last musical group is going to contain several two piano performances in which he joins Mr. Kozuch. The two artists were close friends and very enthusiastic musical collaborators.  When we spoke with Mr. Paperno a few days ago about his friend, he said Thaddeus Kozuch was a simple and modest man but also a person of the highest dignity, even nobility. He made life easier and warmer for everyone he met, his family, friends, students, and professional associates, and he was a philosopher of life. 

Our final group of Thaddeus Kozuch performances on this memorial broadcast will begin with the Kujawiak music by Henri Wieniawski, then Gitanerias by Ernesto Lecuona, and a waltz by Russell Wood. We'll then hear Thaddeus Kozuch and Dmitry Paperno at two pianos in the Barcaroll from Suite No. 1 for two pianos by Rachmaninoff, then the Romance from that composer's second two piano suite, and an arrangement of his song It's Lovely Here. Next, the lyrical waltz for two pianos by Shostakovich, and Dance of the Maidens from Gayne by Aram Khachaturian.

Once again, Thaddeus Kozuch joined in the second portion of this group by his fellow pianist Dmitry Paperno.


  • Wieniawski: Kujawiak === (Apr 26/1980 & applause)

  • Lecuona: Gitaneries === (Apr 26/1980 & applause)

  • Russell Wood: Waltz. === (Apr 2/1979 & applause)

       TWO-PIANO, WITH DMITRY PAPERNO, Jun 21, 1978:

  • Rachmaninoff: Barcarole from Suite No. 1 for Two Pianos, Op. 5 

  • Rachmaninoff: Romance from Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Op. 17 

  • Rachmaninoff: Arrangement of the Rachmaninoff song It's lovely here 

  • Shostakovich: Lyrical Waltz 

  • Khachaturian: Dance of the Maidens from Gayne (& applause)

Our final music returns us to Mr. Kozuch playing piano solo, the Mephisto waltz No. 1 of Liszt in the Busoni arrangement with further emendations by Mr. Kozuch.


  • Liszt: Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (Apr 26/1980 & applause)

... Thaddeus Kozuch has just been heard in Liszt's Mephisto waltz number one, performed in the Busoni arrangement, with further emendations by Mr. Kozuch. Before that, music for two pianos, performed by Dmitri Paperno and the late Mr. Kozuch, Dance of the Maidens from Katchaturyan's Gayna, lyrical waltz by Dmitri Shostakovich, and by Rachmaninoff, a Barcarolle, a Romance, and an arrangement of the song It's Lovely Here. And earlier in this group we heard Mr. Kozuch alone in a waltz by Russell Wood, Gitanerias by Lecuona, and Kujawiak by Wieniawski. And with that music by Liszt, we come to the end of today's tribute to the late Thaddeus Kozuch, for many years an important part of the musical life of Chicago, and especially in the life of DePaul University, where he taught for more than a quarter of a century. Once again, our thanks go to Jon Kozuch and Dmitri Paperno. We have been informed that plans are underway for a Thaddeus Kozuch scholarship fund. More information about that may be obtained from Dr. Fred Miller, Dean of the DePaul University School of Music.

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