Former Northbrook Mayor Takes On World Stage

Mark Damisch is a big believer in iconic Chicago architect Daniel Burnham’s maxim, “Make no little plans.” This month, the Chicago attorney will embark from his Northbrook home on a 37-night trip abroad that will visit 13 countries. But he is not going as a tourist. He will perform 25 piano recitals.

Damisch began these tours 42 years ago. This is his 18th consecutive summer trip. But Damisch is not a professional musician. Though a virtuoso performer who has sold out international concert halls, he considers himself more a goodwill ambassador whose passion for classical music serves as a cultural bridge.

The overseas concerts are a labor of love for Damisch (he and Patty, his wife of 35 years, raise the funds) In past years he has toured and performed with daughters Kristina, Katherine, and Alexandra, but not this year; Kristina is getting married in August and Alexandra is working on her Masters from DePaul University. Katherine just completed her Masters from Northwestern, and is getting married in December.

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Spotlight on Damisch Daughters

“These tours have been truly life-transforming experiences.  They have forever altered the way I look at the world.”
Alexandra Damisch

If the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — no wonder Northbrook’s three Damisch daughters stay close to the piano bench.

Their father, concert pianist and former Northbrook village president Mark Damisch, began playing the organ when he was 4 at the Evanston Conservatory of Music, switching to piano at age 7.

“When I look at this summer’s tour, I don’t know how many more we will be able to do as a family,” Mark Damisch lamented.  I’m trying to hang on tightly to every rehearsal — every memory.”

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