On Tuesday 21 September, Professor Derek Aviss, Executive Director of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, was very pleased to welcome representatives of the Polish Cultural Institute, the Polish Heritage Society, and distinguished guests including the Conservatoire's patron, HRH The Duke of Kent, to the Old Royal Naval College for a special event in celebration of the bicentenary of composer Frédéric Chopin's birth. The highlight was the unveiling of a bronze bust of Chopin generously gifted to the Conservatoire by the Polish Ministry of Culture.
The bronze was transported down the river Thames from Westminster Pier to Greenwich on the sailing ship Frédéric Chopin while guests enjoyed a continental breakfast and music performed by Trinity Laban students. The gift was then unveiled by Trinity Laban's patron, HRH The Duke of Kent, in the presence of Minister Counsellor Tomasz Kozlowski representing Her Excellency Ms Barbara Tuge-Erecinska, The Polish Ambassador.
This special event brought together representatives from many Polish and British organisations and was a fitting celebration of the famous Polish composer's life and work in the UK during the nineteenth century.
The historical occasion also marked the inaugural event of the Polish Heritage Society which was founded in 2010 to ensure that Polish heritage memorials and other remembrances of Polish people in the United Kingdom are preserved for posterity.
Professor Derek Aviss says: "We are very grateful to the Polish Heritage Society for organising this wonderful event and to the Polish Ministry of Culture for presenting us with this memento of Chopin's time in London. It has taken pride of place in Trinity's Stuart Room."