Wladyslaw Szpilman studied piano at the Warsaw conservatory and subsequently at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. After completing his studies in 1933, he returned to Warsaw where he quickly became a celebrated pianist and a composer of both classical and popular music.

From 1936 until the German Invasion and occupation of Poland he was a pianist at Polish Radio. From 1945 to 1963 he was Music Director of Polish Radio while at the same time he performed as a pianist in Europe. In 1963, he founded the Warsaw Piano Quintet with which he performed worldwide until 1966.

His bestselling memoir The Pianist was written immediately after the war and tells the harrowing true story of his miraculous survival during WWII. Wladyslaw Szpilman’s novel was made into a film by Roman Polanski in 2003 that went on to win the Palme d’Or, three Oscars and various other film prizes.