Chopin lives on! On Sunday, March 1st at the Chopin Garden at 11th St. and Michigan Avenue at 1pm Chicago Chopin Foundation, in partnership with the Grant Park Conservancy, held a celebration for Fryderyk Chopin’s 205th birthday. Despite the slightly overcast sky and low temperatures over 100 Chopin admirers came to the site of the future Chopin Garden to commemorate the virtuoso pianist.
The colorful Highlanders greeted guests with traditional Polish folk music followed by the recitation of a beautiful poem by Leszek Starczewski. Voytek Putz, President of the Chicago Chopin Foundation hosted of the event with project architect Zenon Kurdziel who both spoke passionately about the purpose of the Chopin Garden project to the supporters gathered where everyone understood that this is the beginning of something historic. After an enthusiastic signing of Happy Birthday, hot tea and coffee were served along with a delicious cake in the shape a grand piano. The party then relocated to inviting Piano Forte for a piano concert with pianist Jaroslaw Golembiowski who performed Chopin’s most popular compositions along with Leo Shalman who played two songs. At the conclusion of the concert seven pairs of tickets to the Civic Orchestra of Chicago were raffled off to lucky winners.
This event proved that even after two centuries Chopin still resonates within our hearts and proves that Chopin’s music is truly eternal. Thank you all for coming and being such a great audience and to all our volunteers especially Ania Ejsmont, Iwona Puc, Rysiek Dlugosz, Teresa i Zbyszek Wodzynscy, Gail Garza, and Jacek Oblaza who helped make this event possible. Thank you also to our sponsors Sawa’s Old Warsaw, Oak Mill Bakery and newspaper Dziennik Zwiazkowy.
Together we have planted the seed of the Chopin Garden. It is now up to all Poles and Chicagoans to cultivate this seed and help it bloom.