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Year-End Message from our Managing Director

December 2014


Dear Friends,

It has been another fantastic and standout year for the Chinese Fine Arts Society (CFAS)!

From our critically-acclaimed “Five Elements” professional concert series, to appearances and events at the Logan Center, Preston Bradley Hall, Pritkzer Pavilion and Navy Pier, CFAS continues to bridge cultures by sharing the rich history and traditions of Chinese fine arts with all of Chicagoland.

Our success, however, would not have been possible without supporters like you!

This past year, in celebration of our 30th anniversary, Dr. George Tiao challenged us to match a goal of raising $30,000 in increased or new donations. Thanks to you, we exceeded our goal! While we celebrate this amazing achievement, we must also continue to look towards the future. So as we approach the start of a new calendar year, I am excited to announce the unveiling of the CFAS Annual Fund.

Each year, contributions to the Annual Fund will help ensure we are able to carry on the legacy and vision of our founding members. What started out nearly 31 years ago as a small concert to introduce students to Chinese music, has amazingly blossomed into an annual young artists competition with close to 200 participants, professional concerts featuring some of the nation’s best musicians and composers, events at some of Chicago’s most prestigious venues, two international composition competitions, and more. Just think of how much more we can do in the next 31 years!

In celebration of our new Annual Fund, Dr. George Tiao has once again challenged us to match all new and increased donations. But this time not by $30,000, but by $40,000! Will you help us reach this goal? Any donations received before the end of the year and until September 2015 will count!

2015 will bring many exciting new partnerships and collaborations, especially around the Chinese New Year season in February. Be on the lookout for detailed information regarding these events in early January, or check our website for full calendar listings.

On behalf of the CFAS Board and Staff, I wish you and your family a very safe and happy holiday season and New Year. See you in 2015!




Lesley Chen McCool
Managing Director

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30th Annual Music Festival in Honor of Confucius

Congratulations to all who participated in this year’s Music Festival in Honor of Confucius! Placements for this year’s competition can be found here. Congratulatory messages for the Winners Concert program book is now available!


The Music Festival in Honor of Confucius introduces participants to the rich heritage of Chinese music through instrumental and vocal competitions and scholarship opportunities. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Confucius Competitions as the Chinese Fine Arts Society also celebrates its 30th anniversary. All competitions are held at the Merit School of Music, (38 S. Peoria Street) on Sunday, October 19 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The top scoring performers in each age category play in an annual Winners Concert at Gottlieb Hall in the Merit School of Music (38 S. Peoria Street) on Sunday, November 23 at 3:00 pm.

From a storefront operation at its inception in 1984, attracting just a handful of participants, the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius Competitions have become a popular annual musical event for musicians of all ages in Chicago.  Music teachers welcome it; young musicians look forward to participating in it; the packed audience at the Winners Concerts enjoy and appreciate it. Competition alumni have gone on to attend music conservatories and many have developed successful professional music careers.  Rachel Barton Pine, Conrad Tao and Claude Sim are all past Confucius Competition winners.

We want to hear from you!

Are you a teacher, parent, or alumni of MFHC? We want to hear YOUR stories! Send a short paragraph of your experiences, anecdotes, or just plain thoughts to We look forward to strengthening the legacy this year at the 30th annual MFHC with your voice and many others to come!

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  • Who We Are

    Founded in 1984, The Chinese Fine Arts Society (CFAS) is the leading champion of Chinese arts and culture in Chicago – from traditional to contemporary. Our core programming consists of three general areas: Professional Concerts, Young Artist Development and Community Engagement. This year marks the 30th anniversary of CFAS since its founding by Barbara Tiao. For more information, please see our History page.
  • Upcoming Chinese Fine Arts Society Events

    3:00 pm Sounds of China: A Chinese New Y... @ Chicago Symphony Center
    Sounds of China: A Chinese New Y... @ Chicago Symphony Center
    Feb 15 @ 3:00 pm
    SOUNDS OF CHINA: A CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION featuring Virtuoso Soloists from the National Chinese Traditional Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Sunday, February 15, 3:00pm — Soloists from the National Chinese Traditional Orchestra Jiuyue Ma,[...]
    12:00 pm Chinese New Year @ The Cultural Center - Preston Bradley Hall
    Chinese New Year @ The Cultural Center - Preston Bradley Hall
    Feb 19 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
    Celebrating its 31st year, the Chinese Fine Arts Society, in partnership with the Chicago Cultural Center and Choose Chicago, kicks off the Year of the Sheep with a festive display of  traditional Chinese dance, music, puppetry,[...]
    12:00 pm Chinese New Year Lantern Celebra... @ Crystal Gardens
    Chinese New Year Lantern Celebra... @ Crystal Gardens
    Mar 1 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    As part of Navy Pier’s Neighborhoods of the World series, the Chinese Fine Arts Society will continue celebrating the Year of the Sheep with music, dance, crafts and local vendors.  This is the perfect event[...]
    3:00 pm Civitas Ensemble at Nichols Hall @ Nichols Hall
    Civitas Ensemble at Nichols Hall @ Nichols Hall
    Mar 15 @ 3:00 pm
    CFAS and the Civitas Ensemble will co-present an all-Chinese concert on Sunday, March 15 at 3:00 pm at Nichols Hall. Works will include a world premiere by composer Yao Chen, as well as the completed[...]
    3:00 pm Five Elements Project: Finale @ Roosevelt University - Ganz Hall
    Five Elements Project: Finale @ Roosevelt University - Ganz Hall
    May 17 @ 3:00 pm
    In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, the Finale will feature a world premiere by Huang Ruo written for and performed by violinist Rachel Barton Pine, as well as feature highlights from the entire series. Ticket information[...]

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  • Other Chinese Events

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  • The 30 X 30 Challenge!

    E Blast Banner

    2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chinese Fine Arts Society. We invite you to join CFAS in celebrating 30 years of unforgettable performances and innovative community programs in our 30x30 Challenge. We are thrilled that Dr. George Tiao has offered to match up to $30,000 in new or increased donations in honor of our milestone 30th anniversary season. There is truly no better time to make your support count in anticipation of our upcoming programs. More information here!
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    Your Support is Appreciated!

    Like many arts organizations, we are facing a very challenging funding environment. Any donation is much appreciated! Click here to make a contribution!