Chicago Tenor Mark Piekarz sings classical songs from the era of the Polish Partitions, while also discussing major composers of the post-Chopin generations and their relevance.

 Much compositional effort in the Polish lands during the years 1850-1918 went towards keeping national identity intact and fostering pride. Therefore, the classical songs of Poland, taking Chopin’s lead, blended folk motifs with more personal compositional techniques from the very start. But those composing classical songs during those times utilized a surprising breadth of subject matter that reflected the poetry of the era.

 Among other composers, Piekarz will focus on Żeleński, Zarzycki, Karłowicz, Pankiewicz and Różycki.

 What is remarkable about this concert is the fact that Piekarz, who is not a native Polish speaker, will sing the songs in the Polish language and will supply his own English translations of all song texts for all attendees, since the texts appear untranslated as of this time. Piekarz wants to move toward giving people with any interest in Polish history a window into the artistic subject matter, and thereby, particularly for Poland, the accompanying history of the period.

 Piekarz is a lyric tenor and pianist who has particular interests in art song, cultural programming and liturgical music. Although most of his musical endeavors have been with choral ensembles and as a pianist, Piekarz has recently become more active as a soloist. He’s performed with Bella Voce (Chicago), Coriolis (Evanston), Wicker Park Choral Singers (Chicago) and sings frequently as a liturgical soloist in Chicago. He’s a graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and lives in Logan Square.

 Accompanying Piekarz is Una Stroda, who has a BA in piano performance from the Latvia Academy of Music.

 Beyond Cohesion: Classical Songs from the Polish Partitions is Sunday, June 30, 2013 from 12:30 to 2pm at Prop Thtr, 3502 North Elston Avenue in Chicago.

Tickets are $15 and Polish-English translations will be provided to all attendees.

 Polish-American tenor sings „Dahil Sa Iyo”


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