On Saturday, September 2, 4PM, the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra and Chicago Chopin Society will perform a “Polish-American Friendship Concerton the Taste of Polonia Festival at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence in Chicago.  The concert honors the 200th Anniversary of the death of American Revolutionary War hero Thaddeus Kosciuszko.  The LCO will perform classical and patriotic works by Chopin, Sousa, Kosciuszko, Vieuxtemps, and Kurpinski and the world premiere of “Suite for Heroes” by Jaroslaw Golembiowski.  Philip Simmons conducts, along with guest artists Violetta Todorova, violin, Justine Izewski, soprano, David Maller, trumpet and Władysław Byrdy, narrator. 

The Chicago Chopin Society and American Music Festivals are working in partnership to present the 2017-18 Cultural Exchange Festival, which opened with “Kupala – St. Johns Night: A Summer Solstice Concert” on Sunday, June 11 at St. Barbara Catholic Parish in Chicago.  This program featured music of Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and Poland, with the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra, St. Barbara Holy Name Society Choir, and composer/pianist Jaroslaw Golembiowski.  It was sponsored by the Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union. 

The 2017-18 Cultural Exchange Festival now moves to Chicago’s Copernicus Center for two exciting concerts, beginning with the “Polish-American Friendship Concert” on September 2.  This program will mark the third consecutive year the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra has performed at Taste of Polonia, through the generous support of the Copernicus Foundation.  The Friendship concert is sponsored by the Polish National Alliance. 

Also at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence, “Christmas Spectacular,” Sing-along Messiah and carols, will be performed Sunday, December 17, at 3PM.  Soloists will include Mezzo Soprano Edita Randova (singing arias of Handel and traditional Czech classical and Holiday music) and six year old vocalist Penelope Simmons (making her debut with orchestra).  The Family concert includes works by Leroy Anderson, Percy Faith, Irving Berlin, Joseph Suk, and a new adaptation, “Medley of Carols” by Mr. Golembiowski.  This first of its kind work will be a sing-along of English, Polish, and Czech Christmas favorites.

Just added to the 2017-18 Cultural Exchange Festival will be a special “Chinese New Year Concert” on February 10 at St. Barbara Catholic Church, 2859 S. Throop, right next door to Chicago’s Chinatown.  This concert will feature new music by composer Gong Qian Yang, performed by the LCO, conductor Philip Simmons, and pianist Jaroslaw Golembiowski.  It will also include traditional Chinese classical and folk selections to celebrate the New Year.

The 2017-18 Cultural Exchange Festival in Chicago is a coming together of American Music Festivals’ mission of exploring cultural diversity and Chicago Chopin Society’s desire to create a broader understanding of the influence of Polish culture.  By connecting cultures and exploring musical languages, the Festival is bringing Chicago’s communities together. 

Admission to the September 2nd Polish-American Friendship Concert” is free with an entrance ticket to the Copernicus Center’s Taste of Polonia Festival, which is $5.  Visit www.topchicago.org or call 773-262-9699.