Mme. Szumowska was born in Lublin, near Warsaw, her father, a college professor, having settled there on his return from Siberia, where he had been sent as a political exile in 1863. She was educated at the college in Warsaw, from which she was graduated with high honors. She had studied music as a child, but did not begin seriously the study of the pianoforte until after her graduation from college. She then became a pupil of Professor Strobl at the Conservatory in Warsaw, and also Alexander Michelowski.
In 1890 she went to Paris, and there attracted the attention of Paderewski, who was so impressed with her musical gifts that he offered to become her teacher, and for five years Mme. Szumowska enjoyed the advantages of the instruction and advice of the great Polish pianist. After being under his training one year she began to play in public, making a successful debut at the Salle Erard, in Paris, 1891. The following year she played in London in Henschel’s Symphony concerts, at the Saturday Populars, the Crystal Palace Orchestra Concerts, and in a series of recitals at St. James Hall. In 1893 she made a concert tour of the English provinces, and also played in Warsaw, Keiff, and Lemberg. She paid her first visit to America in 1895, when she appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Boston and in New York, and with the Thomas and Damrosch orchestras in various cities. In September, 1896, Mme. Szumowska married Mr. Josef Adamowski, the well known cellist.
While playing with the trio before the Czar, Czarina, and the Russian courts, in Spala, Poland, Mme. Szumowska was presented with a diamond brooch by the empress, which is considered one of the highest honors in Russia.