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PreViews & Features

NEOSonicFest: Concert No. 4 to feature CCS, CYO, Young Composers & an Ed London tribute

by Mike Telin

London-EdWhen NEOSonicFest presents its fourth concert on Tuesday, March 24, at 7:30pm in Cleveland State University’s Waetjen Auditorium, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony (CCS) will pay tribute to its founder, the late Edwin London. The two-part musical evening will feature pieces by CCS’s 2015 Young and Emerging Composers competition winners, as well as a side-by-side performance with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra (CYO) of Bernard Rands’ London Serenade.

“We’re very excited about this concert,” said CCS’s conductor and Festival music director Steven Smith. “For the first time we will join forces with CYO for a side-by-side performance. This will be one of the highlights of the Festival, because Bernard wrote his London Serenade for the Chamber Symphony. We’ve played it several times over the years, and, I think there’s something poignant about bringing the piece back to life alongside a new generation of players.” [Read More…]

Mivos Quartet to play at Transformer Station on March 28

by Mike Telin

MIVOS-SQSince its formation in 2008, the Mivos Quartet has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments in the world of contemporary classical music. In edition to an active touring schedule, the Quartet regularly commissions new music for string quartet and works in close collaboration with composers for extended time periods. The group is dedicated to advancing careers of emerging composers through their Mivos/Kanter String Quartet Composition Prize and their I Creation/Mivos Quartet Prize, a competition designed to promote works by emerging composers of Chinese descent worldwide.

On Saturday, March 28 at 7:30 pm at Transformer Station, the CMA Performing Arts Series will present the Mivos Quartet, Olivia de Prato and Joshua Modney, violins, Victor Lowrie, viola and Mariel Roberts, cello. The program will feature works by Alex Mincek, Martin Stauning and Helmut Lachenmann. The concert is the first in an eight-concert tour of the Midwest. [Read More…]

NEOSonicFest: FiveOne Experimental Orchestra to perform at Zygote Press on March 28

by Mike Telin

FiveOneStandingThe 2015 edition of NEOSonicFest will end with a bang when FiveOne Experimental Orchestra (51XO) presents an innovative program on Saturday, March 28 at 8:00 pm at Zygote Press. Along with other surprises, the evening will include music by Marc Mellits, David Crowell, and Ted Hearne as well as a 51XO Zygote Jam.

“We wanted to play someplace downtown for the Festival, and when I checked out Zygote Press I was completely captivated by some of the equipment that they have,” 51XO’s artistic director John HC Thompson explained during a telephone conversation. “They have a lot of antiquated printing equipment and other toys we can play with like hoses, vacuum cleaners and giant pieces of metal. We’ve been having fun figuring out how to incorporate all these things into the show.”

The first half of the evening will take place in Zygote’s intimate gallery space with the orchestra set up in the center. The audience will be invited to sit or stand in a circle around the musicians. [Read More…]

Pianist Emanuela Friscioni to play Poulenc concerto with Heights Chamber Orchestra on March 29

by Daniel Hathaway

Friscioni-EmanuelaMention Francis Poulenc’s piano concerto and most musically savvy people will ask, “Don’t you mean the two-piano concerto?” In fact, there’s another one that came later than the 1932 d-minor work for two pianos and orchestra. In 1949, Poulenc wrote a solo piano concerto on commission for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. That piece will be performed by Emanuela Friscioni and Heights Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Mark McCoy, on Sunday, March 29 at 3:30 pm at First Baptist Church in Shaker Heights. (Also on the program are Gounod’s Funeral March for a Marionette and Schubert’s sixth symphony.)

“It looks like the Poulenc may be a Cleveland premiere,” Friscioni told us in a telephone conversation. “The orchestra checked everywhere and there’s no record of another performance.” Underscoring the work’s relative obscurity, the soloist herself wasn’t familiar with it before McCoy suggested it to her. “He saw that my husband Antonio Pompa-Baldi and I had played the two-piano concerto, and Mark and I both love Poulenc. It’s good to learn something new and fresh.” [Read More…]

Alarm Will Sound: a conversation with artistic director Alan Pierson

by Mike Telin

PIERSON-AlanSince forming in 2001, the clever, innovative contemporary music ensemble Alarm Will Sound has gone on to become one of the most successful composer-musician collectives touring today. The group is the resident ensemble at the Mizzou International Composers Festival at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Each year the festival features eight world premieres by emerging composers.

On Monday, March 30 at 8:00 pm in Drinko Recital Hall Cleveland State University, Alarm Will Sound will present a concert featuring works by Charles Wuorinen, Sean Friar, Aphex Twin, Steve Reich, Andrew Rindfleisch, and Clint Needham. The performance is presented by the Cleveland Contemporary Players Artist in Residency Series at CSU. In addition to Monday’s concert, the ensemble will present two reading sessions of new works by CSU composition students. [Read More…]