When Ignacy Jan Paderewski passed away, several of his friends and admirers endeavoured to honour the illustrious musician and statesman’s memory, and to uphold and promote the numerous musical and political feats he accomplished during his forty years in Morges.
Thus, pianist Henryk Witkowski, opera singer and widow of Paderewski’s first biographer Lydia Opienska-Barblan, former Swiss ambassador to Poland and Paderewski biographer Werner Fuchss, and poet/writer Jean-Georges Martin contacted the city of Morges, notably District Prefect Jean-Jacques Glayre and Mayor Xavier Salina. All six prominent personalities formed the first committee of the Paderewski Association, founded on 30 June 1977, with the aim to make Ignacy Jan Paderewski known among present and future generations, to have his compositions performed, and to exhibit his personal objects in a museum, as well as documents pertaining to his life and work. The association soon counted three hundred members and regularly published annals, organised exhibitions, contributed to the 1981 creation of the Paderewski Concert hall in Lausanne, founded the Paderewski Museum and organised concerts, conferences and talks. It also created the Paderewski Prize awarded each year to a student of the Lausanne Conservatoire (today the HEMU), as well as various incentive prizes bestowed to Morges Conservatoire students.
With support from the City of Morges, the Paderewski Museum was inaugurated on 11 October 1991 at the « Grenier Bernois », an arts centre in Morges. This museum exhibited various objects that had belonged to Paderewski, as well as archives on his life.
In 2012, the opportunity arose to move the Museum into the Morges Castle. The Paderewski Association transferred its holdings to the Paderewski Foundation, created on 10 September 2014 to conduct the new Museum’s layout, and itself became the Association des Amis de la Fondation Paderewski (Friends of the Paderewski Foundation).
The redesigned Paderewski Museum was inaugurated in its new venue on 19 May 2016.
The Conseil de la Fondation Paderewski (Paderewski Foundation Committee) is thus far constituted as follows:
- Management Board:
- Ms Vera Michalski-Hoffmann
- Mr Pierre Marc Burnand
- Ms Christianne Tauxe
- Mr René Kesselring
- Mr Jean-Pierre Althaus
- Mr Pierre-Marcel Favre
- Mr Vincent Jaques
- Mr André Liebich
- Mr Jean-François Monnard
- Mr Steven Kubler
- Mr Pierre Wavre