Classical pianist and Northbrook Village President Mark W. Damisch announced today plans for a concert tour of Russia, Poland and Germany. Mr. Damisch, who celebrates his 42nd year of performing, will be playing concerts in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Warsaw, Krakow and Berlin. He also announced that he will be previewing his program at the Chicago Theater on July 17th at 7:00 before the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, a consortium of 275 Mayors and Village Presidents from a 6 County area along with the Mayor of Chicago. Mr. Damisch began playing the organ at the age of 4 at the Evanston Conservatory of Music. He switched to the piano at the age of 7, the same year that he played in public for the first time at a church in Valentine, Nebraska. In March, 1974, while on a New Trier High School Choir tour of Europe where the choir performed with the Vienna Choir Boys, Mr. Damisch decided to arrange, promote and play a series of concerts in Eastern Europe, Western Europe and the Soviet Union. Among the concert locations were Hannover, Germany, the Houses of Friendship in Moscow, Kiev and Leningrad, Schiller College in Strasbourg, France and the University of Dijon. The "Hannover Zeitung" newspaper called the "young ambassador tour enjoyable and accomplished." At the conclusion of the tour, Mr. Damisch performed on Swiss National Radio, WGN Radio's Roy Leonard Show in Chicago as well as in the Chicago Civic Center. This tour was followed by a 10 day tour of the Soviet Union in December, 1975 where Mr. Damisch performed in Moscow and Leningrad. In 1977, Mr. Damisch returned to the stage to perform in a 7 week tour around the world underwritten by insurance executive W. Clement Stone. He performed concerts in places including Washington, D.C., Keflavik, Iceland, Oxford, > England, Oslo, Norway, Hannover, Germany, Tokyo, Japan, Denmark, Mondorf, Luxembourg and Honolulu, Hawaii with a homecoming concert at Northwestern University's Lutkin Hall. The 1977 tour was acknowledged by President Jimmy Carter, Illinois Governor James R.Thompson and Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic. All of the concerts were dedicated to better relations between the United States and citizens in the host countries. In 1981, while attending law school, Mr. Damisch played fundraising concerts in order to raise money for students wishing to work in legal aid clinics in Chicago. From the age of 15, he has also written and orchestrated numerous pieces, one of which, "Together Again With Loneliness," he played on tour in 2001 in England and Northern Ireland. In the summer of 2002, Mr. Damisch will again be touring. 25 concerts will be performed in 42 days, including the engagement at the Chicago Theater on July 17th as well as two concerts sponsored by the International Music Foundation a sold out performance at the North Shore Senior Center in Northfield and others. The overseas concerts will begin July 24th in St. Petersburg, Russia. One concert will be performed at the Sheremetev Palace which holds the Museum of Musical Instruments. A second concert is scheduled at the House of Friendship in downtown St. Petersburg, sponsored by the Society for Cultural and Business Contact with the United States of America and Canada with funds being raised for local orphanages. In and near Moscow, Mr. Damisch will have the honor of performing at Tchaikovsky's House as well as at the New Jerusalem Monestary and at the Moscow House of Friendship, located within a few blocks of Red Square. It was at Tchaikovsky's House where Van Cliburn first performed after winning the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in the 1950s. These concerts were arranged with the assistance of the Chicago-Moscow Sister Cities Program as well as the United States Embassy in Moscow. In Downtown Warsaw, concerts will be performed in Lazienki Park at a Museum devoted to the life of Jan Paderewski, noted Polish pianist and former President of Poland. These concerts were arranged with the assistance of the Chicago-Warsaw Sister Cities Program and the City of Warsaw. The concerts will be performed on Paderewski's Steinway piano. In Krakow, Damisch will perform at the Krakow Summer Music Festival as part of the Artistic Summer, 2002 in the Florianka Hall. Concerts are also being planned in Berlin with the assistance of the Amerika Haus. Mr. Damisch's will be performing the following pieces: Three Preludes by Gershwin, Ballade Number 3 in A Flat by Chopin, Suite by Dello Joio, Piano Sonata Number Three by Dello Joio and Piano Sonata Number 3 by Prokofief. Prior to travelling to Russia, Mr. Damisch will be performing on June 28th at the Lieberman Center in Skokie, July lst at the Breakers in Chicago, July 2nd at Covenant Village in Northbrook, July 3rd at the Admiral in Chicago in a concert sponsored by the International Music Foundation, July 5th at the Breakers in Niles, July 7th at the Weinberg Community Center in Deerfield, July 8th at the Rosewood in Northbrook, July 9th at the Self Help Home located in Chicago, sponsored by the International Music Foundation, July 10th at the North Shore Senior Center in North field in a concert which presently has a waiting list, July 12th at the Levy Center in Evanston, July 14th at the Weinberg Jewish Community Center in Northbrook, July 16th at the Self Help Home in Chicago, July 17th at the Chicago Theater in a concert sponsored by the Metropolitan Mayor's Caucus and the law firm of Holland and Knight, July 20th in a concert sponsored by the Illinois State Bar Association and July 21st at the Northbrook Public Library.

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