American Music Festivals

HISTORY

1997 American Music Festivals (AMF) founded by Artistic Director Philip Simmons.

1998 "American Music Festival in Saint Petersburg, Russia" performed in the Great Hall of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia. Participating guest artists were AMF's first Artistic Advisor William Warfield and Chicago Symphony Orchestra clarinetist John Bruce Yeh.

1999"American Music Festival in Russia," concerts in Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

On July 4 a free concert of American music was presented at the Moscow Conservatory by the Russian State Symphony (former U.S.S.R. Symphony), which was televised across the entire country.

Mr. Warfield performed Russian and American works with the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra at the Chicago Cultural Center.

2000 "Second American Music Festival in Russia," with concerts in Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Novgorod, and a recording project with the Yaroslavl Symphony. A third consecutive July 4th concert in Russia was given by the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra at the Yusupov Palace.

In Chicago, the premier of Ilya Levinson's (AMF's Composer in Residence) "Chicago Fantasy."

2001 "American Music Festivals visits Eastern Europe" included concerts in Russia, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria. A U.S. Memorial Day program in Moscow with the President's Orchestra (Orchestra of the Kremlin Theater) was presented by the "Chicago Days in Moscow" Festival.

Concerts by the Community Players Orchestra (with the Chicago Board of Education) and collaboration with Chicago Silent Summer Film Festival.

2002 After 9/11, American Music Festivals merged with the Lincolnwood Orchestral Association, focusing on community based programming in the Chicago area. "Three Russian Tenors in America" concert by the Glenview Symphony.

Collaboration in the Czech Republic with the International Dvorak Society, "American Spring Festival."

Itzach Rabin Memorial Concert at Northwestern University, with the Israeli Consulate in Chicago.

2003 Exchanges brought legendary pianist Radoslav Kvapil, and mezzo soprano Edita Randova to Chicago, with Mr. Simmons performing in Jilhava and Hradec Kralove.

Side by side concerts with the Lincoln Hall Jr. High School Orchestra and educational outreach to Lincolnwood School District 74.

2004AMF's first tour group traveled to Saint Petersburg, attending a sold-out July 4 concert of American music by the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic.

North Shore (Chicago) Concert Series, including a performance by the Lake Bluff Sinfonietta in collaboration with Lake Forest Academy.

Performances in Chicago by Belarusian Associate Conductor Anatol Lysenka.

2005 Lukas Foss, AMF's second Artistic Advisor, performedwith the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra at the Chicago Cultural Center,as conductor and piano soloist.

"Pictures at an Exhibition" performed by the Glenview Symphony with the Glenview Art League

Chinese violinist Yang Liu performed music of Gao Ping at the Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation.

2006 In cooperation with the Village of Lincolnwood and Mayor Jerry Turry, AMF participated in a fundraising concert by the LCO in support of victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Orchestral programs of American music were facilitated in Belgrade (US Embassy) and Prague (Chicago Sister Cities International).

2007 First collaboration with Chicago Bosnian community for Statehood Celebration.

Artistic direction of Tutti Chamber Orchestra, Skokie, IL.

2008 Adjudication at Dimitri Nenov International Piano Competition in Razgrad, Bulgariia.

Concert with Classic Avante Garde Soloists Ensemble, Belarus, made possible by a grant from the US Embassy in Minsk.

Collaboration with Wilmette Fine Arts Commission.

2009 Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Concert by the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra at the Northbrook Public Library.

Collaboration with Varna International Arts Forum (Bulgaria).

Concert with Sarajevo Philharmonic.

Return to Russia for concert celebrating USA-Russian Relations in Sochi.

2010 Formation of the Orchestra of the Hawaiian Islands.

20th Anniversary Season Celebration of Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra.

Cultural exchange with Japan, Kona Coast-Sendai.

2011 Concert of All-Hawaiian music with the Orchestra of the Hawaiian Islands.

100th Anniversary Gala Concert Celebration for the Village of Lincolnwood, November 12 (violin soloist Pip Clarke).

Concert collaboration with Sones de Mexico Ensemble at Benito Juarez Academy in Chicago.

2012 Korean music with the Sejong Cultural Society in Lincolnwood.

West Side Story production with the State Music Theater of Belarus, sponsored by the US Embassy in Minsk

Muslim-Jewish Friendship Concert at American Islamic College in Chicago, proclamation from Mayor Rahm Emanuel naming September 2nd "American Music Festivals Day in Chicago."

Click to see the proclamation

Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra debut at Chicago's Harris Theater with Chicago Syntagma Musicum.

2013 Premiere of Michele McGovern's Moonlight at Chicago Symphony Center

Debut of the Orchestra of the Hawaiian Islands in Honolulu

2014 25th Anniversary Season of Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra

Philip Simmons soloist in Manuel Ponce's "Concierto del Sur for Guitar" at Lincolnwood Community Center.

2015 Program of Chinese music at Hong Kong Club Gala (Drury Lane Theater, Oakbrook, IL)

Concert collaboration with Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, "Through Soviet Jewish Eyes."

2016 First program of all new music, Lincolnwood Community Center

Sir Georg Solti Memorial Festival, with concerts by Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra and Chicago Pro Musica.

Collaboration with Chicago Chopin Society