Pianist Inesa Sinkevych plays Schubert in Chicago

January 31st, 2013 by Peter McDowell No comments »
February 3, 2013
1:00 pm

InesaMEDIUMNew York City based Ukrainian-born pianist Inesa Sinkevych will perform at the Pianoforte Foundation’s ninth annual Schubertiade Chicago. This free festival of music composed and inspired by Franz Schubert will take place on Sunday, February 3, 2013 at the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave from 11am to 4pm. Sinkevych will perform at 1pm, in studio 825 of the building.

PROGRAM (all works by Schubert):

Twelve German Dances, Op. 171, D. 790

Adagio in E Major, D. 612

Hungarian Melody, D. 817



Pianist Inesa Sinkevych’s newest CD, Schubert Piano Works, featuring five works by Schubert –Twelve German Dances, Hungarian Melody in B Minor, Adagio in E Major, Impromptu in F Minor, and Sonata in A Major — is currently available on CDBaby, and  Amazon.com.

Over 70 performers will participate in this year’s Schubertiade festival with the historic Fine Arts Building providing the perfect backdrop to recreate Schubert’s legendary music soirées, where artists, musicians and enthusiasts alike came to relax and savor the company of like-minded friends. Audiences eagerly anticipate this event every year and the festival gathers crowds of up to 600 people. The program will feature a variety of solo and duo piano performances, string quartets, wind ensembles, lieder by solo and vocal ensembles, a jazz trio, a world premiere, lecture, food, art and more all happening simultaneously in four venues. For more information, contact marilyn@pianofortefoundation.org or by calling (312)291-0291 or visiting pianofortefoundation.org/schubertiade.

A laureate of the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Ukrainian-born pianist Inesa Sinkevych has also won first prizes in the Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona and at the Concurso Internacional de Piano Premio “Jaén” in Spain, as well as awards in the Minnesota International Yamaha Piano-e-Competition, the Vianna da Motta and the Porto international competitions in Portugal, the Casagrande International Competition in Italy, the Panama International Competition and the the Cidade del Ferrol and the Spanish Composers competitions in Spain. Inesa Sinkevych has been praised for her “intense, thrilling and sophisticated playing” (General-Anzeiger, Germany) and her “rich cantabile” (Ritmo, Spain). As soloist she has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic, the Minnesota Symphony, the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, the Gran Canaria Philharmonic of Spain, the Porto Symphony of Portugal and the Tenerife Symphony of the Canary Islands. She has performed as recitalist, chamber player and orchestral soloist at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Purcell Room in London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Minnesota’s Orchestra Hall, the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, the Hong Kong City Hall and the Great Hall of the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon. She has also performed at international summer festivals in France and Spain. Recent performances include appearances at Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Bar Harbor Music Festival, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago and a tour of China that included performances in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenyang and Guangzhou. Inesa Sinkevych began her piano studies at the Kharkov Special Music School in her native Ukraine with Victor Makarov and later studied with Alexander Volkov at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. A scholarship from the America–Israel Cultural Foundation enabled her to further her studies with Solomon Mikowsky in the United States, where she received her Master of Music degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Sinkevych has been a member of the piano faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division since 2008. She has been recently appointed as Associate Teacher of Solomon Mikowsky at the school’s College Division. www.inesasinkevych.com.

Celebrate the Year of the Snake
with the Chinese Fine Arts Society

January 20th, 2013 by helen No comments »
February 11, 2013
12:00 pm
February 21, 2013
6:00 pmto10:00 pm
February 24, 2013
12:00 pmto5:00 pm

The Chinese Fine Arts Society invites people of all ages to ring in 2013, the Year of the Snake, which begins on February 10. This year, the Chinese Fine Arts Society has a colorful line up of events culminating in a traditional Lantern Festival celebration on the final day of the Chinese New Year:

•            CFAS is presenting a festival of Chinese folk arts including Lion Dance, music and dance at Daley Plaza at noon on February 11.

•            CFAS is partnering with Adler Planetarium on February 21 to present an evening of programming including martial arts, traditional dance, Chinese instruments, and calligraphy from 6-10 PM as part of their Adler After Dark Series. Ring in the New Year in style with cocktails and entertainment against the award-winning view of the Chicago skyline seen only from the Adler.

•            CFAS will also participate in Navy Pier’s “Neighborhoods of the World” weekly performance series honoring Chicago’s cultural diversity. This full afternoon of family-friendly programming on February 24 marks the final day of the Chinese New Year celebrations. This colorful event, the Lantern Festival, also known as the Yuan-Xiao Festival after the traditional sweet treats enjoyed on this day, will include martial arts, Chinese classical music and dance.


Chinese New Year at Daley Plaza
Monday, February 11th, 2013, 12:00 PM

Free admission
Richard J. Daley Center – 118 North Clark Street, Chicago
Performers include:
Chicago Cultural Center Lion Dancers
Ling Ling Pao Dance Studio
Jin Qiu Yue Dance Studio
Bei Dou Kung Fu
Jennifer & Isabelle
Kerry Leung

Adler After Dark Series – Chinese New Year Celebration
Thursday, February 21st, 2012, 6:00 – 10:00 PM

Advance: $12 non-members/$9 Adler members, $17 at the door, free for CFAS Members (must be reserved by emailing info@chinesefinearts.org). All guests must be 21 years and older.
Adler Planetarium – 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Performers include:
Chicago Cultural Center Lion Dancers
Jin Qiu Yue Dance Studio
Illini Wushu Team
Jennifer & Isabelle
CFAS Young Artists Ensemble

Neighborhoods of the World at Navy Pier
Sunday, February 24th, 2013, 12:00 – 5:00 PM

Free Admission
Navy Pier’s Crystal Gardens, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago
Performers include:
Chicago Cultural Center Lion Dancers
Ling Ling Pao Dance Studio
Jin Qiu Yue Dance Studio
Yang Dance Academy
Bei Dou Kung Fu
Championship Martial Arts
Illini Wushu
8 Tones Ensemble
CFAS Young Artists Ensemble
CFAS Chorus

For 29 years, the Chinese Fine Arts Society, a professional, small, fully- independent arts organization has brought together people from diverse backgrounds over a common goal: to celebrate the beauty and majesty of traditional and contemporary Chinese music and art. CFAS is dedicated to promoting the appreciation of Chinese culture, enhancing cultural exchange and pursuing excellence in Chinese music, dance and visual arts. For further information about the Chinese Fine Arts Society contact 312-369-3197 or info@chinesefinearts.org and visit www.ChineseFineArts.org.


Peter McDowell Speaks at APAP/NYC and CMA

January 1st, 2013 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 13, 2013
3:00 pmto5:00 pm
January 20, 2013
8:00 amto10:15 am

UnknownPeter McDowell is joined by Jodi Kaplan, Founder, Jodi Kaplan & Associates, in leading Career Jumpstart for Performing Artists on Sunday January 13th, 2013 from 3-5pm as part of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Annual Conference – APAP/NYC. This workshop, part of APAP’s Career and Leadership Sessions, is designed to give musicians, dancers, and other performing artists some simple tools and strategies for booking, marketing and publicizing their careers, their creations and their performances. Topics to be covered include: the importance of a great web site, successful PR practices, and effective strategies for working with agents and presenters (including self-representation as an artist). Participants are encouraged to bring self-promotional materials that they have created for purposes of discussion and feedback.

One week later, on Sunday, January 20th at 9am, Peter appears on a panel led by Angela Myles Beeching at Chamber Music America’s National Conference. The panel, which features McDowell, Beeching, Justin Kolb, and Michael Drapkin, will focus on Career Diagnostics.

Session Description: Is there a “correct” career path for you and your ensemble? In this interactive session, veteran managers, career advisors, and performers answer questions and offer expert advice on clarifying your career goals, avoiding common pitfalls, and taking positive steps to raise your professional profile.



Lesson for 2013: Kindness to Self

January 1st, 2013 by Peter McDowell No comments »

flowersI was recently asked by my friend, the excellent Chicago-based Fundraising Consultant Mark Warner (MDW Consulting), to write a guest column for his January newsletter. I decided that I would share with readers a short list that changed my life in 2012, taken from Howard Schubiner’s excellent book, Unlearn your Pain. Nominally the book is about back pain, but the words below can be used effectively in work and career situations to unblock situations and to help move forward with projects and goals in a positive, healthy way. I have used these with my clients and will continue to do so in 2013. Schubiner’s words are simple, yet powerful, as quoted below:

“One of the most important aspects of…improving your psychological health is to be kind to yourself. I cannot emphasize this enough. It is very easy to develop and maintain a self-critical attitude. I urge you to take time each day to be kind to yourself. You can do this…by catching yourself in self-critical thoughts, and by doing some things for yourself. If you forget a task or don’t finish all the work or errands on your list, be kind to yourself.

Here are some examples of what I mean by being kind to yourself.

  1. Accepting that you are human and that you cannot be everything to everyone.
  2. Accepting your faults and realizing that you are a good person.
  3. Forgiving yourself for your mistakes, just as you would forgive others whom you love.
  4. Learning to say “no” to certain requests.
  5. Sending positive and caring messages to yourself.
  6. Recognizing that many others have been in your situation and have survived and thrived.
  7. Accepting your feeling as being normal.
  8. Catching yourself when you send critical messages to yourself and replacing those with kind and understanding messages.
  9. Figuring out what you need and not being shy about asking for it or taking steps to attain it.
  10. Taking time for yourself to do things just for you or just to allow you to relax and enjoy life.
  11. Standing up for yourself.
  12. Realizing that you are an important person on this earth and that you deserve to be happy and healthy.”

Read this list everyday, and you will find that certain burdens, fears, or concerns will dissipate, freeing your mind and your energy for active pursuit of your goals and happiness. My best wishes to you for a happy, healthy and productive 2013!

Blair Thomas: MOBY-DICK (excerpt) at Storefront Theater

December 21st, 2012 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 20, 2013
2:00 pm

1W8A3200Blair Thomas & Company, a national and international touring puppet theater company founded in 2002 by puppeteer and director/designer Blair Thomas, presents work-in-progress excerpts from its future production of Moby-Dick on Sunday, January 20th, 2013, at 2pm at Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph, Chicago. Admission is free – for reservations visit www.blairthomas.org or email blair@blairthomas.org

Narrator Ishmael recounts his journey on the Pequod as Captain Ahab’s relentless pursuit of the White Whale leads the entire crew to the depths of the ocean’s great unknown.  The words of this great American novel are brought to life on the stage through bunraku puppets and rolling paper scrolls.

Blair Thomas & Company is a national and international touring puppet theater company that was founded in 2002 by puppeteer and director/designer Blair Thomas.  They have made over a dozen original puppet theater pieces including: Cabaret of Desire, a staging of short works by Federico Garcia Lorca; The Ox-herder’s Tale an interpretive staging of the Buddhist parable of 10 painting of enlightenment; A Kite’s Tale a collection of piano pieces staged with silent narratives including Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Chopin’s Scherzo in b minor.   They have also toured with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  They have made collaboration productions with other companies such as Pierrot Lunaire a staging of Arnold Schoenberg’s song cycle with the chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird; an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s The Houdini Box both with the Chicago Children’s Theatre.  Twice Blair Thomas & Company has received the international UNIMA awards for excellence in the art of puppetry.  Twice the company has performed at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, once during when Blair was the first artist chosen to fill the Jim Henson Artist-in-Residence position at the University of Maryland.

In the Works is a performance residency program that gives emerging and established performing artists the opportunity to test-drive new work in a public setting. Each residency is tailored to the needs of the artist or company and their project and each showing is a unique opportunity for audiences to get a behind-the-scenes look at new work by Chicago artists. This program is made possible through a grant from The Boeing Company. Admission is either free or low-cost.  Visit www.chicagocultuturalcenter.org for a complete schedule.