On 19 September 2015, the revitalized Municipal Park in General Józef Haller Street in Grudziądz gained a new patron and was officially re-opened as the Piotr Janowski Municipal Park. The commemorative plaque was unveiled by the wife of the renowned violinist Joanna Maklakiewicz and Leszek Orłowski, director of the State School of Music in Grudziądz, who was also the author of the initiative. After the ceremony the Student String Orchestra of the State School of Music gave a concert under the direction of Piotr Jankowski.
Piotr Janowski was born and raised in Grudziądz. Despite the international acclaim for his music and performance skills he was never a well-recognized figure among wider circles of people in Poland. Leszek Orłowski explains: “For many years Piotr Janowski was not well-known and his name was even forgotten. Younger generations might not know his name at all. I hope that our initiative will change it and that the commemorative plaque placed here in the park will allow us to reach more people with the information who he was.”
The ceremony was particularly significant for Joanna Maklakiewicz. She believes that this is a unique way of commemorating her husband who died seven years ago. She says: “It is a truly amazing thing. We were working on this for many years and when I finally got the information from Przemysław Ślusarski, Vice-President of the City of Grudziądz, that the official resolution was passed by the City Council, I was thrilled. Mainly because this will be here forever. Everything that we do as the Piotr Janowski Foundation is very important, but it is primarily addressed to musicians and young people. This initiative is open to everybody, to all the people in Grudziądz who come here to visit the park. It will still be here in 10 or 20 years. That’s why it is truly amazing.”
Piotr Janowski was a well-recognized musician all over the world, but he always enjoyed coming back to Grudziądz. Joanna Maklakiewicz remembers: “Piotr lived not far from here, on the opposite side of the park. We would come here together and pass the park on our way to the cemetery where his father was buried. And now this very park bears Piotr’s name. I don’t think it ever crossed his mind that one day he would be honoured in this way.”
The Piotr Janowski Municipal Park in Grudziądz is now open to general public.
(translation Małgorzata Sobczak)