Thursday, August 16, 2018

Music and Film Events at the 75th Anniversary Conference in Chicago, September 8, 2018

On Saturday, September 8, at 8 pm. the Polish Studies Program at Loyola University Chicago will present the Lyra Ensemble and Haysung Kang, pianist, in A Concert for the Centennial of Poland's Independence. The program will include Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante in E-flat Major, Op.22 performed by Haysun Kang, as well as various Polish songs performed by The Lira Singers Quartet with Anthony Molnaro, piano.

This concert is one of the events of the 75th Anniversary Conference of PAHA, held on September 7 to 9 at Loyola University Chicago. Here's a link to the previous blog with the conference program, and a link to PDF version of the program. All conference events are held at the Polish Studies location, at 1032 W. Sheridan St., as found on the campus map.

The Lira Ensemble  is the nation’s only professional performing arts company specializing in Polish music, song and dance. Its mission is to bring the best of Polish culture into American life. Founded as the Lira Singers in 1965, the ensemble now makes about 50 appearances a year in the Chicago area, across the Midwest, occasionally around the nation, and has made six concert tours of Poland. Lira has produced nine major recordings that are sold nationwide. Lira presents the full spectrum of Polish music and dance, both classical and folk, with informative and witty English language narrations that explain the traditions and history behind the works performed. Lira is based in Chicago as artist-in-resident at Loyola University Chicago, which makes a significant, on-going contribution to the promotion of Polish culture in the United States by donating free office, rehearsal and storage space to the Lira company.

Dr. HAYSUN KANG, pianist

A native of Korea, Haysun Kang won the Asian Young Artist Piano Competition when she was twelve. She obtained her bachelors degree in piano performance from Seoul National University, Korea and her Master of Music degree from DePaul University where she studied with a Chopin International Competition laureate, Dmitry Paperno. She earned her Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University under the guidance of the renowned pianist and teacher Dr. David Kaiserman. She also received her musical training from Julian Martin at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and Alexis Golovin at the Academy of Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Haysun Kang was a winner of numerous competitions including the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition, the Young Keyboard Artist Association International Piano Competition, the Verna Ross Orndorff Austrian-American Music Award, the Society of American Musicians Competition, the Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation Award, and the Hoverson Piano Award. She is currently a faculty member at Loyola University Chicago, where she serves as the director of applied music. 


Adrian Prawica receives 2014 Creative Arts Prize from PAHA's President Thomas Napierkowski

The Film Screening on  Saturday, September 8, at 11 AM at Loyola University Chicago will present "The Fourth Partition: Chicago" - a  documentary film directed by Adrian Prawica who received PAHA's Creative Arts Prize in 2014 for this film.

Mr. Prawica is the director and executive producer of the film The Fourth Partition: Chicago (2013) that tells a unique and rarely talked about history of Chicago's Polish Community at the dawn of the 20th century. Chicago was the second largest city in the United States with over 2,000,000 residents. It was also the center of Polish culture and political activism in America. With Poland partitioned between Russia, Austria and Germany, over 4,000,000 Poles immigrated to the United States between 1870 and 1920 in search of a better life. In Chicago, they worked in some of the most dangerous factories and mills in the United States. In their neighborhoods, they built communities, churches, and most of all, aided their beloved Poland in her fight for independence. The film  examines economic and political reasons for the migration of over 4,000,000 Poles to the United States. Starting with the first Polish settlers in the Jamestown colony in 1608, this documentary focuses on Polish immigrant workers in heavily industrialized Chicago neighborhoods, their community, as well as their political activism, which aided Poland in her fight for independence during WWI.

The Fourth Partition: Chicago features interviews with some of the most known Polish-American historians in the United States [including PAHA's James Pula, Don Pienkos and Dominic Pacyga]. The film shows rare images of Poles in the Unites States and their communities, which they built while working in some of the heaviest industries such as steel and meatpacking. Most of all, it tells a history of one of the largest ethnic communities in Chicago, that is still ever present today. Trailer of the documentary may be seen at:

Mr. Prawica explained: "We'd like the audience to be informed that "The Fourth Partition" to date is the only and most broadcasted film dealing with Polish history on the American market.  It has received 5 awards, and it's presentation is possible through the courtesy of the filmmakers who reside in Chicago. I would like the attendees to know that it's important to support independent films such as this, as they are truly a new way to discuss, promote, and preserve the history of Poles in Chicago and America as technology moves forward and mediums for information change.  We encourage them to visit our website at, and see other potential films that they may want to purchase, or contact us for more information on involvement and helping create more unique stories of Polish Americans."

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