Press Release: Rarely performed masterworks of the Polish Renaissance to Chicago’s Polish-American community

Mar 28, 2013 | Press Release

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Stephanie Malmquist, Little Light Marketing



60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610 


The Newberry Consort brings rarely performed masterworks of the Polish Renaissance to Chicago’s Polish-American community

CHICAGO (March 30, 2013) — The Newberry Consort will present rare and beautiful music from Poland’s Golden Age with a group of world-class musicians, led by Chicago native Tom Zajac. The ensemble will kick off the Copernicus Center’s MayFest with a performance on Friday, May 3rd at 8pm in the Copernicus Foundation Annex. Two more performances will follow on May 4th at University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts and on May 5th at NorthwesternUniversity’s Lutkin Hall.

Internationally renowned instrumentalist Tom Zajac researched Poland’s musical archives, and rediscovered some of Poland’s most notable composers and their masterworks. As a second-generation Polish-American, bringing this music to the Polish community is very important to Tom, as it provides an opportunity for the community to become better acquainted with its musical heritage. The Copernicus Annex is a new venue for The Newberry Consort, expanding its reach and exposing more Chicago communities to the art of early music.

Performed on fiddles, bagpipe, flute, trombone, recorders, lute, and a consort of voices, the program will feature motets by Wacław z Szamotuł, Poland’s greatest composer of the mid-16th-century, selections from the Melodie na Psałtery polski of 1580, which contains settings by Mikołaj Gomółka of all 150 psalms with paraphrases by Poland’s greatest 16th-century poet, Jan Kochanowski. Also featured are Mass movements from the Missa Pulcherrima (Most Beautiful Mass) by the 17th-century master Bartłomiej Pękiel. Featured musicians include soprano Ellen Hargis, David Douglass on violin & viola, Tom Zajac on recorders, flutes, sackbut, bagpipe, pipe & tabor, John Lenti on Renaissance lute & theorbo, Brandi Berry on violin, Jeremy Ward on bass violin, Matthew Dean, tenor, Eric Miranda, bass, Kayleen Sanchez, soprano, and Angela Young Smucker, alto.

Audience members are encouraged to take advantage of the insightful pre-concert lectures, offering an intimate look into the history and context of the featured composers and their works. To purchase tickets to “Gaude, mater Polonia: Music from Poland’s Golden Age” visit Tickets are $32 in advance, $35 at the door and a special student price of $5 (cash only) at the door with valid student ID.

Presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.


Performance Details

  • Friday, May 3rd, 2013 8pm – Copernicus Foundation Annex , 5216 West Lawrence Avenue  Chicago
  • Saturday, May 4th,  2013, 8pm – The Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., Chicago
  • Sunday, May 5th, 2013, 3pm –  Lutkin Hall, Northwestern University, 700 University Place, Evanston

Pre-concert lectures start one hour before each performance.


About the Newberry Consort

Directed by David Douglass, Newberry Musician-in-Residence, and early music diva Ellen Hargis, the Newberry Consort plumbs the Newberry Library’s vast music collection and assembles a star-studded roster of local and international artists to bring you world-class performances of music from the 13th to the 18th centuries…and occasionally beyond! Affiliated with the NewberryLibraryCenter for Renaissance Studies, the Consort also serves as an ensemble-in-residence at both the University of Chicago and NorthwesternUniversity. In addition to an annual concert series in Chicago, the Consort has an active touring schedule.



 To download a copy of this release, Gaude mater Polonia Press ReleaseFINAL

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