American Music Festivals and the Chicago Chopin Society bring the 2017-18 International Cultural Exchange Festival to a close with CHINESE NEW YEAR CONCERT 2018, Saturday, February 10, 6PM, at St. Barbara Catholic Parish, 2859 S. Throop, in Chicago.  The Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra and composer/pianist Jaroslaw Golembiowski again join forces for a special diversity concert celebrating the Chinese New Year.

Conductor Philip Simmons leads the LCO in the world premiere of “Fantasy for Violin and Piano with String Orchestra” by Gong Qian Yang, Bao Yuankai’s “Chinese Sights and Sounds,” selections from the “Butterfly Lover’s Concerto,” and a new arrangement of Fritz Kreisler’s “Tambourin Chinois”  with violin soloists Claire Arias-Kim and Esme Arias-Kim.  As part of the 2017-18 International Cultural Exchange Festival, Mr. Golembiowski performs Polish piano music, sharing a special cultural connection with China.     

Composer Gong Qian Yang is Director of Outreach to China and the Far East for American Music Festivals, an organization promoting cultural exchange and American music around the world.  His music has been performed by the National Chamber Orchestra in Beijing and the China National Symphony Orchestra (2006 US Tour).  Yang’s undergraduate degree was completed at the Central Conservatory of Music of China.  As a Starling Scholarship International Competition’s First Prize winner, he pursued his graduate music study at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the Aspen Music Festival.  Yang has served as violin professor at the University of Dayton and recently released his seventh music album: “Sonic Fusion.”

CHINESE NEW YEAR CONCERT 2018 is the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra’s third program reaching out to Chicago’s Chinese community.  Last year’s Chinese New Year concert at the Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library was given to an overflow audience.  In attendance was Mr. Hong Lei, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, community leaders, and music lovers from all over Chicago, some who had never heard a classical orchestra before.  They enjoyed a varied program traditional and modern Chinese music, and Western works inspired by Chinese culture.  The concert was co-sponsored by the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, who are again generously supporting the upcoming February 10 program, presented free to the community at St. Barbara’s Catholic Parish in Bridgeport.

The Chicago Chopin Society and St. Barbara Catholic Parish have been collaborating for years.  Rev. Arthur Wojciech Marat is eager to share his love for music with the community.  The Church’s excellent acoustics, large sanctuary, and location near Chinatown is the perfect venue for CHINESE NEW YEAR CONCERT 2018. In China, Chopin and is one of the most beloved Western composers, especially after Chinese pianist Li Yundi won the first prize at the XIV Chopin International Piano Competition.  On February 10, pianist Jaroslaw Golembiowski performs Chopin, as well as his own music that was first heard in China.  It was played by Polish-American pianist Adam Golka, when he won first prize at the 2nd China Shanghai International Piano Competition. 

The 2017-18 Cultural Exchange Festival in Chicago opened at St. Barbara’s in June with Kupala: A Summer Solstice Concert (music of Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and Poland) and continued with two concerts at the Copernicus Center: a Polish-American Friendship Concert at Taste of Polonia, and Christmas Spectacular which featured Czech musicSponsors of the Festival are the Kristyna M. Driehaus Foundation, Copernicus Foundation, Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union, Chicago Czech Center, Polish National Alliance, the American Council for Polish Culture, and Loeber Motors.

By connecting cultures and exploring musical languages, the Festival continues to bring Chicago communities together.  Admission is free (suggested donation $15) to the February 10th, 6PM CHINESE NEW YEAR CONCERT 2018 at St. Barbara Catholic Parish, 2859 S. Throop, in Chicago.  For more information call 773-262-9699, or visit www.americanmusicfestivals.org.