Poland violin virtuoso Wanda Wilkomirska dead at 89

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Wanda Wilkomirska has died at 89. | Sun-Times files

WARSAW, Poland — Polish violin virtuoso Wanda Wilkomirska, a one-time darling of the country’s communist authorities who became a dissident, has died at 89.

She died Tuesday, according to Anna Solnicka-Heller, director of a residence for retired Polish artists where Ms. Wilkomirska lived.

The daughter of violinist Alfred Wilkomirski, she played with two half-brothers as the Wilkomirski Trio before becoming a soloist with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ms. Wilkomirska performed with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta. Though her repertory was wide, she specialized in Poland’s contemporary music.

She was married to a communist party official, journalist Mieczyslaw Rakowski, but became a supporter of dissident movements during the 1970s and emigrated secretly after martial law was imposed in 1981.

Ms.Wilkomirska had lived in Germany and Australia, where she taught violin.

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