Stojowski, Sigismund


Stojowski, Sigismund

Rhapsodie symphonique Op. 23 for piano and orchestra

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Sigismund Stojowski – Rhapsodie symphonique, Op. 23 for piano and orchestra

(b. Strzlce, Poland, 1863 – 1876 – d. New York, November 5, 1946)

Zygmunt (Sigismund) Stojowski, was a Polish composer and pianist. His birth year is a mystery, with dates ranging from March 27 to May 14 and birth years spanning from 1863–1876. On Stojowski’s Polish ID card, his birthday is listed as March 27, 1869, but on a Paris Conservatoire certificate, his date of birth is listed as April 8, 1869. Nonetheless, Stojowski was born in Strzlce, located near Kielce in the portion of Poland that was under Russian rule. Stojowski’s mother, Maria Stojowski, was a piano and music teacher herself, and had all the right connections to get him lessons from some of the best pianists during the time, yet she gave him his first piano lessons. At age 15, he performed his first concert, which showcased Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 for which he played his own cadenza. In 1887 at age 17, he was admitted into the Paris Conservatory where he studied piano under Louis Diémer, composition under Léo Delibes, and harmony under Theodore Dubois.

Stojowski composed Rhapsody Symphonique for piano and orchestra between 1898 and 1900. A rhapsody is a one movement work that tells the highs and lows of a story through free flowing/contrasting dynamics, styles, tempos, etc. Rhapsody Symphonique defines this perfectly. The piece is around 15 minutes in duration, it features solo piano and a small orchestra composed of 2 flutes/piccolo, 3 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, percussion, harp, and strings. The piece opens with a beautiful oboe solo that establishes the theme that is repeated all throughout the piece. This opening theme is then established in the first opening D Major chord that echoes the theme originally by the flute. This theme passes around throughout the orchestra until the finale, which is in complete contrast to the opening. After the halfway mark of the piece, the listener hears a shift in the music as the excitement builds until it is finally released through the bold piano solo and vigorous orchestral parts. The premiere of this piece was in Berlin, Germany in 1900, and was a success. The location of the manuscript score and parts cannot be found.

Madison Witzke, 2024

For performance material please contact Peters, Leipzig.


German preface … > HERE

Score Data

Score Number



Repertoire Explorer


Keyboard & Orchestra




210 x 297 mm



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