FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 MEDIA CONTACT

                              Benjamin Kelner



4th Annual firebird gala Celebrates Slavic Heritage


Guests Enjoy Evening of Slavic Entertainment, Food and Culture


CHICAGO, November 16, 2016 – The Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) was proud to present the Fourth Annual Firebird Gala, an elegant evening celebrating Slavic cultural heritage. Hosted by Moscow Committee Co-Chairs Aleksandra Efimova and Prince Piotr Galitzine, over 130 guests attended the gala at the Chicago Union League Club (65 W. Jackson Boulevard).


The highlight of the evening was a special performance by Albina Shagimuratova, the world-renowned coloratura soprano who most currently starred in the title role in Lucia di Lamermoor at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She gave a stunning performance of “The Nightingale” by Alexandr Alyabyev that brought the crowd to their feet with cheers of “Brava!”.


There were three other fantastic performances by A&A Ballet, Vitrychencko Gymnastics Academy, and Jesse Donner (tenor) and Mario Anotnio (pianist) of the Patrick G. & Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, performing Lensky’s Aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.


Guests finished dinner with a dessert of traditional Russian Pavlova and took home a special party favor of matryoshka dolls, filled with small bottles of Russian vodka.


“The Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International was delighted to celebrate the important cultural contributions of the Slavic community here in Chicago and around the world,” said Aleksandra Efimova, Co-Chair of the Moscow Committee of CSCI. “We look forward to continuing to highlight Slavic heritage and creating cultural connections that continue to bring us closer together as a global community.”


Proceeds of the event benefited the work of the Moscow Committee of CSCI and the Firebird Scholarship Fund. The Annual Firebird Scholarship Fund was created to support local students and schools. This year marked the inaugural scholarship and was award to two of the evening’s performers, A&A Ballet and Vitrychencko Gymnastics Academy.


In addition, during the morning and afternoon of November 3, the Moscow Committee of CSCI presented the 4th Annual Eurasian Business Forum in partnership with Baker & McKenzie LLP, held at their offices. Distinguished speakers and panelists from Eurasia and the United States addressed key issues and trends of the current investment climate in the region, including Alexis Rodzianko, President and CEO, American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, and Aleksander Y. Stadnik, Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in the USA.

For more information, visit, and



Chicago Sister Cities International

Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI), a division of World Business Chicago (WBC), provides leadership to develop, manage and coordinate comprehensive programs and projects with Chicago’s 28 sister cities in the areas of economic development, education, tourism, immigration and cultural enrichment. CSCI expands Chicago’s global reach for the benefit of the City of Chicago, its residents and businesses.

Chicago’s 28 sister cities include: Accra, Ghana (1989); Amman, Jordan (2004); Athens, Greece (1997); Belgrade, Serbia (2005); Birmingham, United Kingdom (1993); Bogota, Colombia (2009); Busan, Republic of Korea (2007); Casablanca, Morocco (1982); Delhi, India (2001); Durban, South Africa (1997); Galway, Ireland (1997); Gothenburg, Sweden (1987); Hamburg, Germany (1994); Kyiv, Ukraine (1991); Lahore, Pakistan (2007); Lucerne, Switzerland (1998); Mexico City, Mexico (1991); Milan, Italy (1973); Moscow, Russia (1997); Osaka, Japan (1973); Paris, France (1996); Petach Tikva, Israel (1994); Prague, Czech Republic (1990); Shanghai, China (1985); Shenyang, China (1985); Toronto, Canada (1991); Vilnius, Lithuania (1993); and Warsaw, Poland (1960).