prof. dr hab.

Alicja Paleta-Bugaj


Music education

1969 — diploma with honours from the F. Chopin State Secondary Music School in Cracow in Romana Witeszczakowa’s class.

1969–1974 — college studies at the Academy of Music in Warsaw in Professor Jan Ekier’s class, diploma with honours. She also studied chamber music (extended curriculum), among others under Professor Kazimierz Wiłkomirski.

After graduating from college she took part in international piano courses where she also had contact with the Russian school of teaching. In 1992, as a scholar of the Kościuszko Foundation, she became familiar with the American school of teaching at the Julliard School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. She also obtained a scholarship to study at the University of South California where she concentrated on the methods of counteracting faulty piano playing apparatus.

Concert career

As a concert pianist Alicja Paleta-Bugaj mainly gives solo recitals. She has a very heterogeneous repertory but pays special attention to the music of Fryderyk Chopin and Karol Szymanowski. She also gives symphony and chamber concerts.

Alicja Paleta-Bugaj has performed in most European countries (including the United Kingdom, Germany, Lithuania, Sweden, the Czech Republic, France, Spain and Italy) and also in the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates. In 1978–81 she performed with A. Cofalik and K. Okoń as the Cracow Trio. The Trio had many foreign tours where it played trios by Chopin, Brahms, Schubert, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Zarębski and Schnittke.

Teaching career

Alicja Paleta-Bugaj has worked at the FCUM in Warsaw since 1975, first as an assistant in Professor Jan Ekier’s class, next, after her first level specialisation (1979) as a tutor and then, after her second level specialisation (1984) as an assistant professor. She was nominated associate professor in 1998. She was the head of the First Chair of Piano at the AMFC (2000–2006), Chair of Piano at the FCUM (2006–2013). Within this Chair she organises monographic concerts devoted to outstanding composers and often takes part in these concerts herself. Some of the most important concerts were:

  • W. A. Mozart Sonatas for four hands
  • K. Szamanowski Complete Piano Works
  • B. Bartók Selected Works
  • F. Chopin Complete Piano Works Live

For many years Alicja Paleta-Bugaj has led numerous piano courses in Poland (Warsaw, Głuchołazy) and abroad (Italy, Spain) and been a member of competition commissions.

Her most important teaching assumptions are: naturalness of playing, special emotional involvement and rendering of the composer’s creative intention. One of the most important ideas she tries to convey, both as a pianist and as a teacher, is the need to retain the verity of the artistic message and the need to treat the language of music as a form of communication in the broadest possible sense.

Alicja Paleta-Bugaj is a member of the Karol Szymanowski Society (of which she was vice-chairman in 1992–1999). Her current short biography can be found in the latest edition of the biographic dictionary, Contemporary Polish Scholars, volume III.