• Russia Distilled: Francesca da Rimini Lecture & Vodka-Tasting Friday, Feb 22, 7-9 pm at Artspace Elg

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    February 11, 2019
    The evening presented by the ES0 & Gail Borden Public Library explores late 1800s Russian arts & culture
    Russian Vodka Samples; Zakuski by Tarragon Catering; Russian Tea by Clare M. Ollayos DC- Chiropractic Physician 
    Explore late 1800s Russian arts and culture through Tchaikovsky’ tone poem Francesca da Rimini and sample authentic Russian vodka & snacks at Russia Distilled, Friday, February 22, 7-9 pm at Artspace Elgin, 51 S. Spring Street.  The evening of learning and libations is presented by the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) & Gail Borden Public Library.  Artwork on display was curated by Artspace Elgin and Art for All.  Dr. Irina Del Genio, Elgin Community College (ECC) Associate Dean of Visual & Performing Arts and John Schwartz, frequent ECC and Gail Borden Public Library (GBPL) lecturer will explore and discuss the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, his Francesca da Rimini - a fiery tone poem about two doomed lovers - and the times in which it was composed. Russian tea is sponsored by Clare M. Ollayos, DC-Chiropractic Physician and ECC Chef Douglas Yeomans of Tarragon Catering will also speak about Russian cuisine and food sustainability.  The menu includes samples of vodkas from Odessa, Ukraine; Kazan, Moscow & St. Petersburg, Russia; and Georgia Republic.  Tarragon Catering will offer Vodka Dill House Cured Salmon on Potato Buckwheat Blini’s; Fried Moldavian Flatbread with Farmers Cheese & Black Currant Jam; and Smoked Paprikash Braised Beef Shank Crostini. Also included is Russian Dark Bread and Butter, Caviar and Beet Vinegret Salad. Tickets for Russia Distilled are only $12.00 in advance at ElginSymphony.Org or 847.888.4000. $15.00 at the door. Profits benefit ESO Ainsworth Concerts for Youth. Guests receive exclusive 50% savings to hear Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini on ESO March 2 and 3 concerts that feature Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today's classical guitarists”(Gramophone), playing the Villa-Lobos’ Guitar Concerto and John Corigliano’s Troubadours, and also include composer Bedřich Smetana’s The Moldau, a musical journey along actual sites on the river. For March 2 and 3 concert information and tickets, visit ElginSymphony.Org.
    Irina Del Genio is Associate Dean, Liberal, Visual & Performing Arts at Elgin Community College. Ms. Del Genio’s interest in U.S. - Russian relations goes back to 1995, when she attempted to create the first American Studies Program and American Studies Center at the Ural Federal University of Post-Soviet Russia. It is there and then she understood the irony and the power of “fake news”, clichés, and generalizations. Ever since, she has been trying to build bridges between our two nations. She is hopeful that someday both Russians and Americans will move beyond corrupt politicians, media, money, geography, and other pesky things that separate our great nations, and start paying attention to the bigger matters that unite us. Ms. Del Genio has an M.A., Political Science (International Studies) from Loyola University of Chicago; a Ph.D., Political Philosophy (Area Studies) and an M.A. in World History from Ural State University, Yekaterinburg, Russia.
    Elgin native John Schwartz has had a passion for Russian history and language since he was a teenager and read the book “Nicholas and Alexandra.” He received his AAS from Elgin Community College in 1973, his BA from the American University in Washington, D.C., in 1975 and his MA in German Studies, also from AU, in 1977. In the course of a 34-year career as an analyst at the U.S. Department of Defense, John also taught Russian to DOD civilians and military officers. Returning to Elgin in 2013, John has been teaching Russian at Elgin Community College since 2015 and conducts the German Conversation Club at Gail Borden Public Library. He has lived in Germany and the UK and traveled extensively throughout Europe and Turkey, finally reaching Saint Petersburg in 2014. 
    Tarragon Catering is a full service catering company specializing in our unique ability to provide a special and memorable experience for each and every event.  We are owned and operated by Executive Chef Douglas Yeomans who comes to the table with over 25 years of high end culinary experience.  He has worked with many celebrity chefs throughout his career as well as catering to a multitude of celebrities and corporate power houses.  Chef Doug has catered and designed menus for President Obama as well as other celebrities such as; Pamela Anderson, Anna Nicole Smith and Kid Rock.  He has had an extensive culinary career which has given him  opportunities to run multiple establishments including; several successful Italian & Latin restaurants, multiple high end steakhouses, country clubs, suites at Arlington International and Churchill Downs horse tracks as well as managing all of American Airlines 1st class international  business out of O'Hare International Airport for several years.  Chef has also been a professional culinary instructor for over 7 years.
    Chef Doug is classically trained in French cuisine and graduated at the top of his class, but also rounds out his repertoire with a Pastry degree which gives him amazing versatility and depth in his dishes and menus.  A seasoned chef, he loves to share his passion and extensive knowledge about food with every client he has the opportunity to work with.  A chef who's comfortable serving not only high volume events but intimate functions as well, where his eye for detail and creative spark are sure to provide a culinary journey you and your guests will never forget.   With Tarragon's talent, experience and passion for our food, we are able to provide an experience which is unmatched by any competitor. Learn more at tarragoncatering.vpweb.com.
    Elgin Artspace Lofts, a $15.2 million mixed-use project that created 55 units of affordable live/work space for artists and their families plus 5,874 square feet of retail and community space for arts-friendly businesses and nonprofit organizations. The historic Sears structure, occupied most recently by Elgin Community College, has been completely renovated and linked to a new addition. The City of Elgin and the Elgin arts community were the driving forces behind the project, working with Artspace to plan and develop the facility. Elgin’s residents and civic leaders believe that permanently affordable space for artists will strengthen an emerging arts and culture cluster in downtown Elgin, serve as a catalyst for continued development, bring vibrancy and activity to the street and increase the number of individuals and families living and working downtown. Learn more at artspace.org/elgin.
    The Gail Borden Public Library has received 20 awards, including Recipient of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Services and Recipient of the 2010 Elgin Hispanic Network Organization of the Year.  The Main Library opened in October 2003 and is the third largest public library building in Illinois, after Chicago and Schaumburg. The library serves 144,597 residents in Elgin, South Elgin and portions of Hoffman Estates, Streamwood and Bartlett, has over 1 million visitors, and is the largest library district in the State of Illinois for population served. For more information, visit gailborden.info.
    Elgin Community College (ECC) is a comprehensive, fully accredited community college located in Elgin, Illinois, one of its most rapidly growing cities, with student enrollment of approximately 11,000. District 509 encompasses 360 square miles, serving 400,000 people, 11,000 businesses with four public school districts and 15 high schools. ECC was selected as one of five Illinois community colleges to participate in the national Achieving the Dream (AtD) initiative, a long-term national initiative that collaborates with community colleges to help more students earn degrees, complete certificates, or transfer to four-year institutions to continue their studies. The park-like setting of 145 acre Main Campus offers instruction spanning nine major buildings with beautiful views. ECC also offers classes throughout the northwest suburbs of Chicago with more than 100 off-campus locations. For more information visit elgin.edu.
    The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) offers programming unmatched for an entertaining, informative and relaxing cultural experience. The ESO has won Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year an unprecedented four times* - in 1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016 - and works to create an enjoyable entertainment experience that goes beyond the magnificent music performed by some of the best musicians in the region. There is accessible, free parking around the Hemmens Cultural Center and valet service available.  Area student musicians often perform in the lobby before concerts and patrons can purchase unique, music-themed gifts at the Elgin Symphony League Boutique.  Pre-concert chats are given by Music Director Andrew Grams, guest artists and others one hour before Classics Series performances and Saturday night patrons are invited after concerts to Mingle with the Musicians at area restaurants. In addition, free Listeners Club lecture/discussions presented by music historian Jim Kendros are offered before ESO Classics Series concert weekends on Wednesdays at 11 am at GreenFields of Geneva and 1 pm at the Gail Borden Public Library. Patrons can curate their own series with a Build your Own Series. If a patron can’t make a concert, the ESO offers free exchanges to subscribers and to single ticket buyers for a small fee. The ESO is a world-class orchestra providing quality musical explorations that are entertaining, hassle-free and conveniently located close to home in the western suburbs.  The ESO-Transforming the Symphony Experience. For more information, visit ElginSymphony.Org. *Illinois Council of Orchestras
    : Diane Handler d.handler@elginsymphony.org 847-888-0404 ext. 234
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