K, K and A Productions
in his 2018 Concert Tour to:
Washington, D.C., Iceland, Ireland, England, Scotland, Belgium,
Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Canada
ABOUT THE MUSIC:
COPLAND: THE OPEN PRAIRIE FROM BILLY THE KID SUITE.
Billy the Kid is a 1938 ballet written by the American composer Aaron Copland It is one of Copland’s most popular and widely performed pieces. It incorporates several cowboy tunes and American folk songs.
It was premiered on 16 October 1938 in Chicago. It begins with the sweeping song “The Open Prairie” and shows many pioneers trekking westward.
COPLAND: HOEDOWN FROM RODEO
Rodeo is a ballet scored by Aaron Copland which premiered in 1942 and is subtitled “The Courting at Burnt Ranch”. The “Hoe-Down” opens by vamping the folk tune “Bonaparte’s Retreat”. Later is heard “Miss McLeod’s Reel” and finally anIrish theme “Gilderoy”.
Building toward the end, Copland reintroduces “Bonaparte’s Retreat” before returning to the Rodeo theme, which slows into the climactic kiss between the Cowgirl and the Roper. “Bonaparte’s Retreat” then ends the piece with a grand fanfare.
GERSHWIN: I’VE GOT RHYTHM
I’ve Got Rhythm” is a piece composed by George Gershwin published in 1930 and which became a jazz standard. The song is featured in the 1951 musical film An American in Paris. Gene Kelly sang the song and tap-danced. This version finished at #32 in American Film
Institute’s 100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
CHOPIN: NOCTURNE NUMBER 20 IN C SHARP MINOR (Op. POSTH.)
This is a solo piano piece composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1830 and published in 1870. Chopin dedicated this work to his older sister, Ludwika Chopin, with the statement: “To my sister as an exercise before beginning the study of my second Concerto.” The Nocturne is featured in the film The Pianist. It is played twice at the beginning and at the end, by the protagonist Wladyslaw Szpilman, at the recording studio at Warsaw Radio.
GERSHWIN: RHAPSODY IN BLUE
This is a 1924 musical composition which combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects. It was written in the span of five weeks. Gershwin heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, of the country’s vast melting pot, unduplicated national pep and metropolitan madness. It was premiered in the presence of John Phillips Sousa and Sergei
Rachmaninof with Gershwin on the piano.
GERSHWIN AMERICAN IN PARIS
Gershwin wrote this jazz-influenced orchestral piece in 1928. Inspired by the time he spent in Paris, it evokes the sights and energy of the French capital in the 1920s and is one of his best-known compositions.
The composer stated that his “purpose here is to portray the impression of an American visitor in Paris as he strolls about the city and listens to various street noises and absorbs the French atmosphere.” When the piece moves into the blues, “our American friend … has succumbed to a spasm of homesickness.” But, “nostalgia is not a fatal disease.” The American visitor “once again is an alert spectator of Parisian life” and “the street noises and French atmosphere are triumphant.”
ABOUT THE PERFORMER
Mr. Damisch began formal training at the age of 4 and played in public for the first time at the age of 7
In 1974, Mr. Damisch participated in a choir tour of Europe performing with the Vienna Choir Boys.
In 1975, Mr. Damisch performed concerts to further international relations. He performed in Hanover, West Germany; Moscow, Kiev and Leningrad, Soviet Union; Strasbourg and Dijon, France, on Swiss National Radio, WGN Radio and at the Chicago Daley Center Plaza. The “Hanover Zeitung” newspaper called the “young ambassador tour enjoyable and accomplished”
In 1976, Mr. Damisch performed in Moscow and Leningrad on a 10 day tour to the Soviet Union.
1977 performances around the world included Washington D.C, Keflavik, Iceland, Oxford, England, Oslo, Norway, Hanover, Germany, Tokyo, Japan, Odense, Denmark, Mondorf, Luxemburg and Honolulu, Hawaii with a homecoming concert at Northwestern University’s Lutkin Hall in Evanston, Illinois.
In 1981, while attending law school, Mr. Damisch played fund raising concerts to raise money for students wishing to work in legal aid clinics. From the age of 15, he has also written and orchestrated numerous pieces several of which have been performed on tour.
After a 19 year hiatus, Mr. Damisch returned to the stage in the summer, 2000. Concerts were performed in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Hanover, Germany, Vienna, Austria and Meiringen, Switzerland as well as 14 additional concerts in the United States.
In 2001, Mr. Damisch performed a 10 city tour of England and Northern Ireland following a concert in the lobby of the famed Chicago Theater where he was feted with resolutions from Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and the United States Congress.
Concerts for that tour included: London sponsored by the Parkinson’s Disease Society; Childline, CLIC, Windsor; Hook Norton for his family’s parish church; Stratford-Upon Avon, Strabane, Northern Ireland, the Queen’s Hall in Newtownards, Northern Ireland and in the Great Hall of Downpatrick. The Stratford Upon Avon Herald wrote that the concert was billed as “an evening not to be missed” and “that is exactly what it was, as the audience was…captivated by the playing…”
In 2002, Mr. Damisch returned to perform at the Chicago Theater as well as in Saint Petersburg, Russia at the Sheremetev Palace; in the Shuvalov Palace raising funds for orphanages; in Klin, at the Tchaikovsky’s House; in Iskra at the New Jerusalem Monastery sponsored by the Chicago-Moscow Sister Cities Program; in Warsaw in the Museum of Jan Paderewski, the former President of Poland sponsored by the Chicago-Warsaw Sister Cities Program. Mr. Damisch appeared in Pravda, on NBC-TV in Chicago, on the Warsaw evening television news and the Gazeta Wyborcza, the largest selling newspaper in Poland. Mr. Damisch’s daughters, Kristina, Katherine and Alexandra have also toured and performed.
Newspaper articles about Mr. Damisch’s various tours have also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times newspapers as well as the Pioneer Press, North Shore and Chicago Magazines. Performances have been televised on NBC-Chicago, ABC-Chicago and CLTV.
In 2003, Mr. Damisch performed in Kyiv, Ukraine, at the National Philharmonic Hall sponsored by the Chicago-Kyiv Sister Cities, the Women’s Forum of Kyiv and the United States Embassy to raise funds for local orphanages; in Petach Tikva, Lod, Netanya and Lev Havaron, Israel sponsored by the Jewish United Fund and the Chicago-Petach Tikva Sisters City Committee. The Kyiv Post said that “Damisch proved a hit”. The Jerusalem Post said that “there must be something to be said for the efforts of apolitical artists in luring warring factions away from the battlefields”.
Mr. Damisch also debuted in New York City sponsored by the Anne Frank Center, performedat the Chicago Cultural Center and at a concert for breast cancer research at Harvard Medical School for the Goldman Partnership.
In 2004, Mr. Damisch performed concerts at the famed Bosendorfer Hall in Vienna, Austria sponsored by the United States Embassy and the Christopher Blind Mission to assist blind children in Africa; in Prague, Czech Republic at the Chodov Water Fortress to raise money for orphanages and at a center for blind residents; in Wiesbaden, Germany sponsored by the USO and in Paris, France with a concert at The American Church. Chicago area concerts benefitted causes such as the American Cancer Society.
In 2005, Mr. Damisch, Alexandra and Katherine Damisch, performed in Hiroshima, Japan sponsored by Mayors for Peace, in Osaka and Nara sponsored by the Chicago-Osaka Sister Cities Committee; in Shenyang, China where over 1000 tickets were sold with $150,000 raised for the Red Cross in a concert beamed live on television. Shanghai and Beijing concerts were sponsored by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the Chicago-Shenyang/Chicago-Shanghai Sister Cities Committee and the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shenyang Municipal People’s Government.
In addition to playing for the charitable causes listed in prior years, Mr. Damisch also has performed concerts sponsored by the Fairy Godmother Foundation, a charity devoted to granting end of life wishes, the American Cancer Society, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Cedarhurst Center for the Performing Arts in Mount Vernon, Illinois, a joint concert with the Glenview Symphony Orchestra and in the Parisian Salon Concert Series.
In 2006, Mr. Damisch, Alexandra and Katherine, performed throughout the Greek Islands; in a Greek Theater in Athens; on the island of Paros for the return of the Parthenon Marbles; in the Old Hall of Queen’s College Cambridge, England and in Rome and Naples, Italy in concerts sponsored by the USO. The Paros Life review stated that Mr. Damisch’s playing has “bravura to spare”.
2007 concerts occurred in St. Petersburg, Russia at the Rimsky-Korsakov House- Museum, the Samoilov Family Museum, the Kschinskaya House and the Sheremetev Palace; in Tallinn, Estonia at the City Hall and in the Neguliste Museum; in Riga, Latvia at the Anglican Church; in Vilnius, Lithuania at the Vilnius City Hall and in Moscow’s environs in the Tchaikovsky House Museum and the Durosov Palace
The 2008 tour for peace in the Middle East included concerts sponsored by the United States Embassy, Egypt; the National Music Conservatory, by the City of Luxor, Egypt, the Ein Gedi Kibbutz and the Ticho House, Jerusalem. The Voice of America broadcast a story
about the tour in 44 languages around the world on www.voanews.com.
2009 concerts were performed in Reykjavik Iceland sponsored by the United States
Embassy at the Domkirkjan and at the Nordik House; in Caen, France at the Museum des Beaux Arts, and in Paris at the American Cathedral and in the Scots Kirk.
In 2010, Mr. Damisch celebrated 50 years of playing. Concerts were performed in:
the German Embassy,Washington, D.C.; Hamburg, Germany at the Amerika Haus; in Leipzig at the Mendelssohn Haus, the Gohlis Palace and the Schumann Haus; in Meissen at the Albrechtsburg Castle; in Salzburg, Austria in the Marble Hall of the Mirabel Palace; in Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the Kongresshalle; in Trier, sponsored by the City of Trier, and in Berlin at both the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial and Epiphanien Churches.
In 2011 the Damisch family performed in: the South Korean Embassy, Washington, D.C.; the Northern Lights Church, Juneau, Alaska; in Ulan Bator, Mongolia sponsored by the United States Embassy, Mongolia; Taipei, Taiwan in the Liberty Square Convention Center; Kaohsiung, Taiwan in the Art Center of the National University sponsored by The American Institute, Taiwan and the Garden of Hope to fight human trafficking; Osaka, Japan sponsored by the City of Osaka for Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami victims; Seoul, South Korea in the US Ambassador’s Residence as well as a concert for disabled children; Busan, South Korea, sponsored by the City of Busan and Sajickdong Church and the Sharing and Happiness Hospital. In Taiwan, the family appeared on national television as well as in the Taiwan Times.
2012 concerts were performed in the India International Center for the Delhi Music Society and Chennai; Hanoi, Vietnam at the National Academy of Music sponsored by the United States Embassy; in Siem Reap, Cambodia to promote the country’s educational system, in Phnom Penh to promote western classical music, in Canberra at the residence of the United States Ambassador to Australia, in Sydney Australia, sponsored by the United State Embassy and in Auckland, New Zealand. Mark and Alexandra appeared on national television in Vietnam and India where he was described as a “global phenomenon in the music business.”
2013 concerts were performed in the Russian Cultural Center, Washington, D.C., the National Cathedral and Oslo International School in Oslo, Norway; Bergen Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark in a concert to raise money for the homeless; Fredricksburg Castle, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden and Kotka, Finland. In Saint Petersburg, Russia, Mark performed at the world famous Hermitage Theater in a concert for a boy who needed life saving stomach surgery; at Rimsky Korsakov’s House, the Suvorov Museum, the Samoilov Family Museum; a return engagement at the Sheremetev Palace, the Jaani Kirik Concert Hall and for the Saint Petersburg International Society for Cooperation.
2014 concerts were performed in the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C.,
in Johannesburg, South Africa; for a hospital benefit in Florence, in Milan and Venice, Italy, Vienna, Austria and in Budapest, Hungary.
2015 marked the 40th anniversary of Mr. Damisch’s first tour. Concerts were performed in: the Russian Cultural Center, Washington, D.C., the Austrian Embassy, Washington, D.C.,
the Domkirkjan, Reykjavik, Iceland, the Belfast Arts Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland, St. Peter’s Church in Hook Norton, United Kingdom, St. Bartholomew’s Church, London, United Kingdom, the Nassaukerk, Amsterdam, the Netherlands to raise money for homeless people,
the Eilenriede Stift, Hannover, Germany, the United States Consulate in Hamburg, Germany, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, Germany, the Bemowo Cultural Center, Warsaw, Poland, the Blumenthal Auditorium in Tel Aviv for Holocaust survivors, the Sofia Church, Stockholm, Sweden, the Sheremetev Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia, in a concert sponsored by the St. Petersburg Association for International Cooperation, the Konstantinovsky Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia for children who need life saving medical treat, the United States Consulate, Siem Riep, Cambodia, the United States Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the United States Consulate, Shanghai, China to raise money for a local food bank, in Daegu and Seoul, South Korea sponsored by the United States Embassy, South Korea, in Osaka, Japan sponsored by the City of Osaka and in Fort De Russy, Honolulu, Hawaii for US troops stationed in Hawaii.
In 2016, Mr. Damisch raised money for Habitat for Humanity, performed in the Russian
Cultural Centre and the Martin Luther King Library in Washington, D.C., at the Universite Finis Terrae, Lima Peru (twice) for children received their first musical instrument, at the Escola de Música da Universidade Federal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the Palácia Sala Multiuso, Centro Cultural do Poder Judiciário in Rio, for the Labortorio de Arte y Trabajo Aletrnativeo and the United States Embassy in Mexico City and Merida, the Chalmer’s Wesley United Church and the St. Andrew’s Church in Quebec City, the Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal, the First Baptist Church in Ottawa.
2017’s concerts were performed in: Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Serbia sponsored by the Mayor of Belgrade, Romania in the National Library Tbilisi, Georgia at the United States Ambassador’s residence, Uzbekistan, and Smolensk and Volgograd, Russia
sponsored by the Mayor’s offices respectively. Mr. Damisch also appeared on television in Smolensk and was the subject of a feature story on WGN TV in Chicago.
We hope that you will enjoy the program. As Mr. Damisch’s first tour program stated in 1975, “Our prayer is that people everywhere will learn from each other’s differences, heal each other’s wounds, promote each other’s progress and benefit from each others mistakes.”
Thank you to so many of you who have offered support and encouragement about this
endeavor over the years Your good wishes are the driving force for the success of this
concert and our summer’s tour. Peace.