INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL EXCHANGE
In 2008 Artistic Director Philip Simmons conducted the Classic Avante Garde Soloists and in May 2012 directed the opening of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story with the State Music Theater of Belarus. AMF's work in Belarus is in partnership with the US Embassy in Minsk.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
AMF has collaborated with a number of B & H organizations in Chicago. In Chicago, concerts by the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra honoring the nation's Independence Day programs have been presented at Lake Forest Academy (2007, with former Sarajevo Philharmonic Director Emir Nuhanovic) and at Northeastern IL University (2008, with guitarist Denis Azabagic). The LCO also performed for "Remembering the Day of Srebrenica Genocide" at the Sulzer Branch of the Chicago Public Library.
On October 30, 2009, Mr. Simmons guest conducted the Sarajevo Philharmonic in the National Theater. This collaboration with the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences included Ilya Levinson's "Sevdah Medley" and was broadcast throughout the country.
An Muslim-Jewish Interfaith Concert "Celebrating 500 Years of Friendship in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was performed by the LCO at the American Islamic College in Chicago on September 2nd, 2012 (Left to right: Rabbi Neil Brief, Imam Senad Agic, and Israeli Consul General Roey Gilad).
These collaborations were made possible through the efforts of AMF Outreach Director Sam Hadzalic.
AMF first visited Bulgaria in 2001, with a concert of American and Bulgarian music with the Razgrad Philharmonic.
In 2008 Mr. Simmons returned to Razgrad to adjucate at the Dmitri Nenov International Piano Competition. First prize winner, Victoria Vassilenko performed with the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra in "A Celebration of Bulgarian Culture in Chicago" on May 23, 2010.
American Music Festivals collaborated with the Varna International Arts Forum and pianist Christo Rachev in 2009. Thr concert with the Varna Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra included the premiere of Mr. Simmons orchestral arrangement of Dmitri Nenov's "Miniatures."
In June 2012, The Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra performed a concert of "Bulgarian and American Music" with Chicago's finest Bulgarian musicians.
When Music Means Friendship - Friends of Chicago-Sofia
Working with pianist Radoslav Kvapil, one of the leading interpreters of Czech music, AMF participated in two American Spring Festivals, in Prague (2006) and South Bohemia (2002).In Chicago, in 2003 Mr. Kvapil performed the Dvorak Piano Concerto with the Glenview Symphony, and mezzo soprano Edita Randova appeared with the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra.
In 2009, the LCO performed a special multi-media program inspired by Martinu's Nonet No. 2, which was attended by the Czech Consulate in Chicago.
Poster by David Zoberis
AMF's first exchange from Hawaii in 2010 saw Hiroaki Ueba conduct the Orchestra of the Hawaiian Islands in a program which included both Japanese and American Music, and Philip Simmons conducting the Ensemble Orchestra Sendai.
AMF was created in 1998 specifically to facilitate programming of American music in Russia. These efforts culminated in 2004 with a July 4 Independence Day concert by the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic.
Among AMF's collaborators in Russia have been the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia, Russian State Symphony and Moscow Conservatory, Hermitage Music Foundation, Peter the Great International Music Foundation, US Embassy in Moscow, and the US Consulate in Saint Petersburg.
In 2009, on the Russian Independence Day, the Sochi Symphony Orchestra performed a special concert dedicated to American-Russian relations.
Many programs in Chicago have been devoted to Russian music, including the 2002 "Three Russian Tenors in America" (in collaboration with Russian-American Educational and Cultural Center), a recording project of music of Alexander Tcherepnin (with bass-baritone Andrew Schultze and Ars Musica Chicago) and concerts in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center that featured legendary vocalist William Warfield, Chicago Symphony Orchestra violinist Albert Igolnikov, and the US premier of Ilya Levinson's "Chicago Fantasy."
In the summer of 2006, AMF worked with the Chicago-Belgrade Sister Cities International Committee, US Embassy in Belgrade, and Jugokoncert for a July 4 concert in Belgrade's Municipal Hall with the St. George Strings. The concert included American and Serbian music, and featured French cellist Phillipe Muller and the participation of the French Embassy.