Lira Concert to Mark Bicentennial of Chopin's BirthMarch 9, 2010 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- A concert of Polish music, song and dance at Northwestern University by the Lira Ensemble, featuring guest pianist Pawel Checinski, will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of composer Frederic Chopin.
Victor Yampolsky, director of orchestras at Northwestern's Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, will be honored during the concert for his contributions to the Polish Consulate.
The Chopin Bicentennial Concert will take place on the University's Evanston campus at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 28, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive.
The event is co-sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, Northwestern's department of Slavic languages and literatures and the Polish American Student Alliance. The concert is funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council.
Polish Consul General Zygmunt Matynia will present Poland's prestigious "Gloria Artis" award to Yampolsky, who also is the Carol F. and Arthur L. Rice Jr. University Professor in Music Performance, Conducting and Ensembles, at the Bienen School.
Pianist Checinski has appeared internationally as a soloist with countless orchestras. The Lira Singers and Lira Orchestra will perform folk songs of Mazovia, the region of Poland where Chopin was born and raised. The concert will include the premiere of a work by Chicago composer Philip Seward specially commissioned by the ensemble. The piece is based on three Mazovian themes. The program includes Chopin vocal works, performed as he wrote them -- for voice and piano -- and three Chopin songs arranged by American composer Norman Dello Joio with his own English translation of the lyrics. Northwestern alumna Ruth Lin, Lira's new conductor, will direct the orchestra.
Choreography by Iwona Puc, Lira dance director, will feature the folk and court dances that inspired many of Chopin's compositions. They will be performed by the Lira Dancers in authentic folk garb and historically correct costumes. Lucyna Migala, Lira artistic director and general manager, will narrate.
The Lira Ensemble, now in its 44th season, is a Chicago-based performing arts company dedicated to bringing the best of Polish culture into American life. For more on the Lira Ensemble and the March 28 concert, visit www.liraensemble.com.
Single tickets for the general public are $45 for main floor seating and $35 for balcony seating. Tickets for children aged 16 or younger are half price. Group discounts are available. All seating is reserved. Tickets are available only from the Lira office at (773) 508-7040 or 1-800-542-LIRA.
Tickets for full-time students with valid IDs are $10 and may be ordered from the Polish Student Alliance by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Tickets at all price levels also may be purchased at the door on the day of the concert. Free parking is available on the University's Evanston campus in the two-level outdoor lakefront parking lot just south of Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.