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Petzel: SSO concert to feature top young violinist

Patrick Bieszke

Patrick Bieszke

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Updated: May 29, 2013 6:09AM



Greetings, fellow Oak Lawnians! Southwest Symphony Orchestra is hosting its Youthful Pursuits Concert at 4 p.m. April 28 at Trinity Christian College, 6601 W. College Drive, Palos Heights. Tickets can be purchased at the door ($5 students, $15 to $20 senior citizens, $20 to $25 adults and free for children 12 and under).

The concert will also feature the Evergreen Park High School and Leyden High School choirs performing Verdi opera choruses. Violinist Patrick Bieszke will perform Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole. He’s also the winner of the orchestra’s 2013 Youth Concerto Competition.

David Crane, music director for the orchestra, said the biennial competition, which was held in February, has existed “for at least 14 years and is basically open to South and Southwest Side students between the ages of 12 and 18. The winner is awarded a $500 check.”

Bieszke wowed the Concerto Competition judges with his performance of Symphonie espagnole. Crane said Bieszke’s strengths “essentially had to do with his polish and the quality of the piece he auditioned on.”

Bieszke first heard the piece “when I went to a friend’s recital when I was about 11 years old. I fell in love with it and started working on it right away.”

He’s looking forward to performing the eight-minute piece in April 28’s concert, adding that he’s “extremely excited to play with the orchestra.”

Bieszke, 16, attends Sandburg High School in Orland Park and is quite a talented and accomplished young musician. Besides the violin, he plays the piano, which he said offers him more versatility.

“I’m much better at the violin, but with the piano, I can play more popular pieces,” he said.

Aside from his love of music, he’s a swimmer, triathlete and two-time winner of Iron Kids Nationals and a silver medalist in the 2012 Youth Elite Triathlon Nationals.

Besides the Southwest Symphony Orchestra competition, Bieszke recently won the Northwest Indiana Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and is a two-time winner of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra’s Young People’s Competition.

He’s also a member of a three-piece band called the HIP Trio. The acronym HIP represents the country of each member’s ethnicity — Hong Kong, Ireland and Poland, his family’s homeland.

In 2011, the trio traveled to China with the South Shore Symphony Orchestra and performed in Shanghai, Huzhou and Guangzhou. Bieszke also enjoys musical theater and played Friedrich in Sandburg’s 2012 production of “The Sound of Music.”

Not only is Bieszke talented, he’s also practical. When asked what he plans to do with his $500 award from the Southwest Symphony Orchestra, he wasn’t sure.

“I like to travel, or maybe I’ll just save most of it in the bank,” he said.

Bieszke has been playing the violin since he was 4 years old. His parents came to the United States from Poland, where his great-grandfather spent more than 50 years as a music teacher.

Bieszke’s mother, Anita, said of her son’s accomplishments, “I’m extremely proud, a very proud mom. It’s just the icing on the cake. Even if he weren’t so accomplished, I’d still be proud.”

Congratulations to Patrick Bieszke, his proud family and to the Southwest Symphony Orchestra!

For concert information, call (708) 802-0686 or visit the orcestra’s website at www.southwestsymphony.com.

Here are this week’s celebrity birthday announcements: Happy 6th birthday to Steven Gonsowski from his parents Erin and Keith, Erica, his grandparents and family. Happy birthday to Olivia Aleman, who’s turning 14, from her parents Mary and Tim, brother Zachary and Cuddles. Best wishes to Gisel Grams on her birthday from David, John, Lorraine and Steve. Catherine Nelson’s family wishes her a happy birthday.

Happy birthday to Joyce Woytek from her family. Birthday greetings go out to Noreen Mikols from her family and friends. Happy 54th birthday to Mark Manuzak. Happy birthday to John Wirtschoreck from the “Homestead” gang and Raven. Happy 70th birthday to Steve Skora from his wife, Sharon, daughters Dawn and Jennifer and grandchildren.

Donald Prostka’s family wishes him a happy birthday. Mark Siple’s family wishes him one as well. Happy birthday to Dave Milavickus from his family. And to Bob Smith from Alexis, Adam, Sue and Sandy. Paul Cizak’s family and friends wish him a happy birthday.

Wedding anniversary wishes go out to Joe and Dee Harr on their 56th anniversary from their children, grandchildren, family and friends.

Also to Alice and Frank Oskvarek, who are celebrating their 57th anniversary.

Congratulations to our mayor-elect, Dr. Sandra Bury, and thank you to our outgoing mayor, Dave Heilmann, for his years of service to the village.

Keep your fellow Oak Lawnians informed about birthdays, special events or special “stuff” going on with your family or within the community. Call me at (708) 899-9544.

Until next time ...



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