Unique facts from composer’s life
Polonaises for Return exhibition, dedicated to 250th anniversary of Michal Kleofas Oginski’s birth, opens at Foreign Ministry of Belarus
Oginski’s creative heritage is shared by Belarus with neighbouring states, showing the deep European roots of Belarusian culture, as was noted at the opening of the exhibition, by Yelena Kupchina, Deputy Foreign Minister. She underlined that artefacts are from the State Museum of Theatre and Musical Culture History of Belarus.
In 2008, electronic copies of materials from the Oginski archives were returned to Belarus, with assistance from the UNESCO Bureau in Moscow and at the initiative of Belarus’ National Committee for UNESCO. The State Museum of Theatre and Musical Culture History has been negotiating to ensure the return of archives.
Museum Director Zinaida Kucher explains that the exhibition comprises materials from the returned archive, on display for the first time: correspondence between Michal Kleofas Oginski and his relatives, as well as his publicistic works and 400 sheets of his musical scores. Although he didn’t call himself a professional musician, his brilliant polonaise — Farewell to the Homeland — remains popular today. Vytoki band performed Oginski’s music at the exhibition.
The archive is being used to create a museum exhibition at the Oginski estate in Zalesie village, where the great man spent 20 years of his life.
By Yelena Vladimirova