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Maciej Kamienski
Birth: Oct. 13, 1734, Hungary
Death: Jan. 25, 1821
Warsaw, Poland

Composer. He won fame as the composer of the first Polish opera, "Misery Made Happy" (1778), a cornerstone of cultural nationalism in his adopted country. It paved the way for a Polish brand of music theatre that thrived for nearly a century. Kamienski was born into a Slovak family in Sopron, Hungary. As a youth he sang in the court chapel of Sopron's Count Henckel von Donnersmarck, and in 1760 he accompanied his widow's entourage to Vienna. There he heard a six year-old Mozart perform at Schönbrunn and completed his music studies. He settled in Warsaw around 1763 as a teacher of keyboard and voice; his earliest known compositions were a few piano pieces published in the anthology "Mélanges de Muisque pour le clavecin" (1773). Kamienski was Warsaw's first professional instructor of Polish-language singing, which brought him to the attention of the young nationalist actor and playwright Wojciech Boguslawski. In 1777 Boguslawski adapted Franciszek Bohomolec's comedy "Misery Made Happy" into an opera libretto and approached Kamienski for the music. Premiered by the National Theatre at Warsaw's Radziwill Palace on July 11, 1778, it was an immense success. Working within the traditions of Italian opera seria and German singspiele, Kamienski used elements of folk music to achieve a distinctly Slavic lyricism. He composed five more Polish operas: "Virtuous Simplicity" (1779), "Zoska, or The Rural Courtship" (1779), "Balik Farm" (1783), The Tradition of Wit" (1789), and "The Nightingale" (1790). His other output includes two singspieles (1780, 1788), a dramatic cantata, religious vocal works and songs. In the wake of the failed 1794 Kosciuszko Uprising - which shut down the National Theatre for several years - Kamienski returned to private teaching. From 1803 he ran a successful inn while also organizing concerts for the general public. He died in Warsaw at 86. "Misery Made Happy" stayed in the repertory until the 1860s, when the vogue for French and Viennese operetta began to overtake home-grown product on the Polish stage. Much of Kamienski's work was lost during World War II, but "Misery Made Happy" survives and is still revived in Poland. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Powazki Cemetery
Warsaw
Mazowieckie, Poland
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Mar 06, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 86351588
Maciej Kamienski
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Maciej Kamienski
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Cuneyt Telli
 
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