By connecting cultures and exploring musical languages, the Festival is bringing Chicago’s communities together. 

“Christmas Spectacular 2017” will be fun for the whole family, with sing-along choruses from the Messiah and popular Christmas carols in English, Polish, and Czech.  Six-year-old vocalist Penelope Simmons makes her debut with orchestra and The Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Philip Simmons, performs popular Holiday works by Leroy Anderson, Irving Berlin, and Johnny Moss.  Joining the orchestra will be pianist/composer Jaroslaw Golembiowski and harpsichordist Danuta Kuzminska. 


Coming from Prague, mezzosoprano Edita Randova has thrilled audiences around the world with her concert and operatic appearances and is considered one of the leading Czech singers of our time.  In addition to excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, she will perform works by Dvorak, Smetana, and traditional Czech Christmas music.  Highlights of Ms. Randova’s international career include cultural exchange performances in Australia, China, Brazil, and at Carnegie Hall.  In 2009, Ms. Randova was given the Gustav Mahler European Prize for her outstanding contribution to music, and in 2010 received the prize “La Reconnaissance culturelle Medaile d´OR Internationale.”


To further explore the culture of the Czech Republic, Ms. Randova will speak about Czech Holiday traditions and Mr. Golembiowski (President of the Chicago Chopin Society), will perform piano music by Chopin composed on his many visits there.  The Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra will be featured in Joseph Suk’s “Meditation on an Old Bohemian Chorale.” The concert is sponsored by the Kristyna M. Driehaus Foundation and the Chicago Czech Center.


“Christmas Spectacular 2017” is part of the 2017-18 Cultural Exchange Festival in Chicago, presented in partnership by the Chicago Chopin Society and American Music Festivals.  Consisting of four diverse concerts, it opened June 11 with Kupala: A Summer Solstice Concert with music of Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and Poland.  On September 2nd at Taste of Polonia, Polish-American Friendship Concert honored the 200th Anniversary of the death of American Revolutionary War hero Thaddeus Kosciuszko.  The Festival concludes February 10 with a Chinese New Year Concert at St. Barbara Catholic Church, near Chicago’s Chinatown.  Other sponsors of the Festival include the Copernicus Foundation, Polish National Alliance, Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union, and the American Council for Polish Culture, Pickle Piano

Tickets for the December 17 Christmas Spectacular at the Copernicus Center are $15, $25, and $35 (with $5 student/child discount).  They are available at
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