Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rotary International: James DePreist, Itzhak Perlman & Chicago Symphony 'Join Effort to End Polio Now'

[Maestro James DePreist]

Virtuoso violinist who survived polio as a child will perform in special benefit concert to protect the world's children

“CHICAGO, Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rotary International joins violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and members of the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor James DePreist, to present the Concert to End Polio, a benefit performance supporting the global effort to eradicate this disabling childhood disease. The Concert to End Polio will take place on Monday, March 7, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. at Chicago's Symphony Center.

“Polio eradication resonates strongly with Mr. Perlman, who contracted the disease at age four and overcame serious physical challenges to become one of the world's most celebrated musicians. Mr. DePreist is also a polio survivor. In this historic, one-night-only performance, Mr. Perlman and Mr. DePreist will help Rotary in its effort to raise $200 million to match a $355 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All of the resulting $555 million will fund critical eradication activities in developing countries where polio still threatens children.

"'We are honored that Mr. Perlman will again join Rotary, along with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, to support our effort to achieve a polio-free world,' said The Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar. 'The participation of Mr. Perlman and Mr. DePreist demonstrates the importance of this unprecedented global health initiative. A world without polio will be our lasting gift to humanity.'”

Complete program details follow:
Chicago Symphony Orchestra members
James DePreist, conductor
Itzhak Perlman, violin
Berlioz The Corsair Overture, Op. 21
Stravinsky Suite from The Firebird (1919 Revision)
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64
Kreisler Liebesfreud
Tickets: $50-$200. A private reception ($150) with Mr. Perlman will follow the concert. All proceeds will benefit Rotary's End Polio Now campaign. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. Tickets can be purchased by calling CSO ticketing services at 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114, online at, or by visiting the Symphony Center box office at 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.” [ profiles James DePreist (b. 1936). Maestro De Preist has published two volumes of poetry and has his own website,]

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