There are several "March Kings" well known: the Americans have John Philip Sousa, the Czechs - Julius Fucik, the Germans - Hermann Blankenburg, and the Dutch people - Johan Wiechers.

Edward Maj is a Polish violin virtuoso, conductor of brass bands and symphonic orchestras, and composer, renowned especially for his excellent marches and therefore called the Polish March King.

He was born on 29th September, 1893 in Częstochowa. His violin education began when he
was 7 years old. Later, while studing at the Musical School in Częstochowa, he joined
the Small Symphonic Orchestra of Prof. Neusser where he firstly played violin, and then was appointed as the Deputy Conductor.

At the age of eighteen he was appointed as the Conductor of the Brass Band and the Small Saloon Orchestra in Zawiercie. In the following years, Edward Maj conducted several brass bands in Southern Poland. In 1920, he was appointed as the Conductor of the Military Band of the 5th Sapper Baon in Krakow (Cracow), too.

From 1930, Edward Maj was active in the City of Cracow and the Cracow District.
In that year he was appointed as the Conductor of the City Orchestra (a small symphonic orchestra and a brass band). The Orchestra ceased to play only during the World War II, but it continued its activity under the conductorship of Edward Maj after the war ended, till 1951.

In 1936, Edward Maj took First Prize in the Music Competition organised by the Ministry of Military Affaires for the Salute Fanfare March.

He created quite a number of marches. To his most popular music pieces belong the following marches: P.O.S. [State Sports Badge], Odwach [Guardhouse], Apel strzelecki [Rifle assembly], Laur żołnierski [Soldier's laurels], Prezydent [President], Na falach eteru [Over the ether], Żałobny [Funeral march], Krakus, Cześć Krakowowi [Salute to Cracow], Pod Ratuszem [In front of the town hall].

Edward Maj died on 7th April, 1967 in Cracow, and was buried in the old  Rakowice Cementary.

In September 1993, a big music festival with participation of numerous Polish and foreign city brass bands took place in Cracow in salute to the Polish March King, on the occasion of his 100thBirthday Anniversary.

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Last update: 8th August 2011

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