Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son joined the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw at a special Fryderyk Chopin birthday concert on Sunday, March 1, marking the 205th anniversary of Chopin’s birth. In 1980, Dang Thai Son became the first Asian pianist to win the prestigious Chopin Competition, and indeed any major international piano competition. On March 1, Dang began the evening with solo works by Maurice Ravel, and then was joined by the National Philharmonic and Artistic Director Jacek Kaspszyk for Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor.
Chicago, IL, USA
Despite freezing winter temperatures, Chopin lovers in Chicago were not deterred from their celebration of the great pianist’s 205th birthday. On March 1, supporters of the Chicago Chopin Foundation gathered at the future site of the Chopin Monument and Garden in Grant Park on the Lake Michigan waterfront to celebrate the occasion and raise money for the Monument—a planned 5/8 replica of the iconic monument of Chopin that stands in Warsaw’s Royal Baths Park, designed in 1907 by Wacław Szymanowski.
Chopin’s anniversary was honored with cake and a non-alcoholic toast, supplemented of course with warm beverages provided by Sawa’s Old Warsaw restaurant, a hearty supporter of the Chopin Monument effort. Money was raised by selling lottery tickets for the March 2 Chicago Civic Orchestra performance of Thomas Adès’ Asyla and Stravinsky’s Petrushka, and a luxury edition package of Chopin Vodka. Chilly revelers then retired to the warmer indoor space of Piano Forte for a concert of Chopin’s music, interspersed with interesting facts about Chopin’s life and career, performed by local pianist Jarek Golembiowski.
[Sources: press release, chopingarden.com]