7.11.2018 - 11.11.2018 Events, Music

Chicago Philharmonic Festival: Poland 2018

100 for 100: Musical Decades of Freedom Chicago Chapter

Chicago Philharmonic honors the rich music traditions of Poland and the importance of the community in the cultural history of Chicago in Chicago Philharmonic Festival: Poland 2018, November 7-11. The ambitious festival commemorates the Centennial of Poland’s Regained Independence and the End of the First World War by presenting world-class Polish musicians and soloists. The Chicago Philharmonic orchestra, and Artistic Director Scott Speck in five days throughout the city of Chicago, across five concerts presents Polish-Chicago music from Polish composers.

The festival opens on November 7 with a guest performance from award-winning Polish string ensemble The Silesian Quartet performing at Fourth Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago. The quartet is known for their skilled, enthusiastic interpretations of Polish repertoire both timeless and contemporary; “The highest level of performance. They play like devils.” (NRC Handelsblad). Featured is trailblazing female composer Grazyna Bacewicz’s driving, expressive String Quartet No. 4, written in post-WWII Poland in 1951; String Quartet No. 2 by Karol Szymanowski, who took inspiration for the piece from the folk music of the Tatra Mountains in southern Poland; and String Quartet No. 1 by Henryk Górecki, which is centered around the 16th century Polish church song “Already it is Dusk”. Rounding out the program is String Quartet No. 3 (“Leaves of an Unwritten Diary”) by beloved Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. 

On November 8, the festival continues at the stunning St. John Cantius Church (named “The Most Beautiful Church in America” in 2016) with a solo performance from an organ master and a recipient of the Polish Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis Andrzej Bialko. The program begins with a Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt followed by a church and organ composer Mieczyslaw Surzynski, living sacred choral music composer Pawel Lukaszewski, and Feliks Nowowiejski, author of a Christmas Carol-inspired fantasy Christmas Eve on Wawel Hill. 
In partnership with the Polish Museum of America, on November 9 the Chicago Philharmonic presents present jazz pianist and the first ever Pole to win the prestigious 1st Prize at Montreux Jazz Festival, Piotr Orzechowski, who brings his 24 Preludes and Improvisations, based on Johann Sebastian Bach’s pivotal 24 Preludes and Fugues.
On Saturday, November 10, the festival’s first full orchestral concert, Celebrate Polonia, takes place at the Copernicus Center. Joined by young piano virtuoso Lukasz Krupinski, the Chicago Philharmonic and Principal Conductor Scott Speck performs legendary Polish pianist, composer, and politician Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s Piano Concerto and Frédéric Chopin’s dazzling, technically demanding Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante for solo piano and orchestra. Also featured is Karol Szymanowski’s Concert Overture, and the Tragic Overture by 20th century composer Sir Andrzej Panufnik.

Chicago Philharmonic joins in the worldwide celebration on November 11 with a free performance of Polish composer Wojciech Kilar’s Missa pro pace (Concert for Peace) in a liturgical setting in Chicago’s stunning St. Hyacinth Basilica. Chicago Philharmonic is joined by Kilar
expert conductor Marek Mos and guest vocal soloists. Kilar has composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, and soloists, but is best known for his film score compositions including those for The Pianist. Missa pro pace is inspired by the composer’s deeply spiritual background, and was performed in the presence of Pope John Paul II, the first Polish pope.


Wednesday, November 7, 7:30pm 
The Silesian Quartet
Fourth Presbyterian Church | 126 E Chestnut Street
Szymanowski String Quartet No. 2, Op. 56
Bacewicz String Quartet No. 4
Górecki String Quartet No. 1, Op. 62 (“Already it is dusk”)
Penderecki String Quartet No. 3 (“Leaves of an Unwritten Diary”)
The Chicago Philharmonic society Executive Director Donna Milanovich, speaker

Thursday, November 8 2018, 7:30pm 
Andrzej Bialko, Organ
St. John Cantius Church, Chicago
825 N Carpenter Street
Liszt Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H
Anonymous from the Tablature of Jan of Lublin Salve Regina
Surzynski Elegy in F sharp Minor, Op. 30
Willan Five Preludes on Plainchant Melodies
Nowowiejski Polish Phantasy “Christmas Eve on Wawel Hill”, Op. 9 No. 1 
Lukaszewski Icon 
Eben From Job for Organ “God’s Reward”
Associate Pastor, Director of Liturgy and Music, Chaplain of the Patrons of Sacred Music at St. John Cantius Fr. Scott A. Haynes, speaker

Friday, November 9 2018, 8:00pm (doors open at 7:00pm) 
Piotr Orzechowski, Jazz Piano
Polish Museum of America, Chicago
Orzechowski 24 Preludes and Improvisations
President of the Polish Museum of America Richard Owsiany, speaker

Saturday, November 10 2018, 7:30pm 
Celebrate Polonia 
Copernicus Center, Chicago
Scott Speck conductor
Lukasz Krupinski piano

Paderewski Piano Concerto
Chopin Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante
Szymanowski Concert Overture
Panufnik Tragic Overture 
Pre-concert entertainment from the Lira Ensemble quartet
Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago Piotr Janicki, speaker

Sunday, November 11 2018, 1:30pm 
Concert for Peace 
Chicago Philharmonic with members of Paderewski Symphony Chorus
St. Hyacinth Basilica, Chicago

Marek Mos conductor
Natalia Rubis soprano
Katarzyna Sadej mezzo-soprano
Jesse Donner tenor
Kurt Link bass
Andrzej Bialko organ

Kilar Missa pro pace Mass for Peace
Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago Piotr Janicki, speaker 

This concert is part of “100 for 100: Musical Decades of Freedom,” co-organized by PWM Edition to celebrate the centenary of Poland regaining independence. On this day, ensembles from around the world are performing 100 works by Polish composers. It is held under the National Patronage of Andrzej Duda, the President of the Republic of Poland to mark the Centenary of Regaining Independence and financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the Multi-Annual Programme Niepodlegla 2017-2021. This concert is also presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

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