The Lira Ensemble Brings a 50th Anniversary Concert of Polish Music, Song & Dance to Cleveland

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The highly praised Lira Ensemble of Chicago, which specializes in Polish music, song and dance, returns to Cleveland after a seven year absence, with a holiday concert celebrating the Ensemble’s 50th anniversary with the entire company of Lira Singers, Dancers and Symphony.  The event features guest artist, internationally renowned jazz singer Grazyna Auguscik:

“Joyous Jubilee: Polish Carols, Song & Dance”

Saturday, November 28, 2015 – 8pm

at Conner Palace in Playhouse Square

1502 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio

Tickets:  216-241-6000 or playhousesquare.org

or call Lira at 773-508-7040, 1-800-547-5472 or

www.liraensemble.org

The concert presents Polish carols of various styles, including Grazyna Auguscik’s own arrangements performed with her jazz combo. She is a singer, composer, arranger, and producer who has won the praise and admiration of music critics and jazz enthusiasts. She is one of the most intriguing contemporary vocalists on today’s world jazz scene and has performed extensively across Europe and the US. The Los Angeles Times says “Grazyna Auguscik is doing important work in advancing the potential for imaginative jazz singing.” She was named Best Jazz Vocalist for four years by the prestigious European Jazz Forum Magazine.

The November 28th concert offers the rare opportunity to hear Auguscik as well as to hear Polish carols played by a symphony. The Lira Ensemble will perform works performed during each of its five decades, including music of Polish master composers Frederic Chopin, Stanislaw Moniuszko, Henryk Wieniawski and Witold Lutoslawski, one of the most respected Polish composers of the 20th century.

The entire second act is devoted to distinctive and fresh Polish folk songs and exciting dances from various regions, presented in colorful, authentic folk outfits.

Some authentically American carols and folk songs complete the program.

The Chicago Tribune is among the many metropolitan newspapers that have given high praise to the Lira company.  The Tribune wrote: “the Lira Ensemble is booming...a cultural gift from people who emigrated to this country from Poland.” 

The concert will be conducted by Lira resident conductor Mina Zikri who was born in Cairo, Egypt and came to the United States in 1999.  In addition to his duties with Lira, he serves as guest conductor for the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in Egypt and is founder and music director of the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra of Chicago.  Mr. Zikri, who is also a violinist, performed with the Lira Symphony for five years and has been a member of Daniel Barenboim’s West Eastern Divan orchestra since 1999.

Lucyna Migala, co-founder, artistic director and general manager of the Lira Ensemble, will narrate the concert in English, demonstrate a few Polish holiday traditions and will offer a bit of the history and tradition behind the music and dance performed.

The Lira company is artist-in-residence at Loyola University Chicago and is the nation’s only professional performing arts company specializing in Polish music, song and dance.  The mission of the company is to bring the best of Polish culture into American life.

The Lira concert is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Chicago and the Polish American Clutural Center of Cleveland.

The work of the Lira Ensemble is also supported by grants from the Alphawood Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust.

Parking for Playhouse Square is at East 15th and Chester. Theater doors open at 3:30pm for the concert. Lira recordings will be available for purchase in the lobby.

Tickets for “Joyous Jubilee: Polish Carols, Song & Dance” are very reasonably priced so that families can attend – from $25 to $55, with discounts for groups of 20 or more and half price tickets for children under age 16 in all price ranges. All seats are reserved.

Tickets are available by calling 216-241-6000 or 866-546-1353, by visiting playhousesquare.org, by calling the Lira Ensemble at 773-508-7040 or 1-800-547-5472, or by visiting liraensemble.org.

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