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PreViews & Features

Cavani Quartet celebrates 30th Anniversary (the first in a series of articles)

by Mike Telin

CavaniQuartetCelebrating your thirtieth anniversary is a big moment — especially if you’re a string quartet. Formed three decades ago in Columbus, Ohio, the Cavani Quartet is also celebrating its twenty-sixth year as Quartet-in-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music. What began in 1988 as a one-year residency with the support of a grant from Chamber Music America has turned into a long-term relationship. During that quarter-century, the Cavani have established themselves as one of the most successful community residencies in the country.

On Wednesday, March 4 at 8:00 pm in CIM’s Kulas Recital Hall, the Cavani Quartet, Annie Fullard and Mari Sato, violins, Kirsten Docter, viola and Merry Peckham, cello, will celebrate thirty years as a quartet in a free concert, when they will be joined by guest artists Donald Weilerstein, viola and Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, piano. The program includes Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 9 in E-flat, op. 117 and Piano Quintet in g, op. 57 as well as Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat, op. 87.

[Read More…]

Cavani Quartet celebrates 30th Anniversary (the second in a series of articles)

by Mike Telin

Cavani-Quartet-2015When you walk into their studio, home of the Cavani’s Intensive Quartet Seminar program at CIM, you immediately understand why they have been a source of inspiration to so many young musicians. It’s a fairly large space, and in spite of the fact that there are no windows, it’s bright and cheery with its colorful, poster-covered walls. The perfect environment for honing one’s chamber music skills.

At the far corner of the studio sits a large chest of drawers. “Show him what’s in the drawer,” one of them says, laughing. “Let’s see,” Merry Peckham exclaims, producing two umbrellas, a coffee mug, the Annie wig and a bear hat. There’s also a bow case that no one claims, and a couple of folding music stands. “These are coaching accessories,” Peckham tells me, adding, “wait, these are nice stands, why are they in here?” The drawer also houses a number of packages of photographs of family and friends. [Read More…]

Cavani Quartet celebrates 30th Anniversary (the last in a series of articles)

by Carlyn Kessler and Mike Telin

CAVANI-teaching

The Cavani’s Intensive Quartet Seminar is renowned for preparing well-rounded musicians. The program allows students to constructively track their progress alongside their peers, who, just like faculty members, are valuable resources. The IQS is an incubator for creative ideas, and a “safe place” for improvement, empathy and inspiration. We spoke to current IQS students and alums and asked them about the program’s impact on their education and careers.

“Working with the Cavani Quartet as part of the Intensive Quartet Seminar and Apprentice Quartet Program completely transformed how I thought about music and its relationship to the world,” violist Elizabeth Oaks said in a recent e-mail. “I learned that I could strive to perform the repertoire I loved at the highest possible level while working to bring music to a diverse range of audiences in a creative way.” [Read More…]

Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble to premiere Helgeson’s Snow Requiem

by Mike Telin

Laskin Childrens BlizzardIn his book, The Children’s Blizzard, author David Laskin chronicles the events of January 12, 1888. That morning the temperatures in the upper Midwest were unseasonably warm, so warm in fact that children walked to school without coats, hats or gloves. That afternoon one of the deadliest winter storms in U.S. history left thousands stranded as they attempted to make their way home. By the next morning, the storm had claimed more than 500 casualties, many of them school children.

This horrifying day in history is the inspiration behind composer Aaron Helgeson’s latest work. [Read More…]

Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble: A conversation with bassoonist Ben Roidl-Ward

by Mike Telin

Ben-Roidl-WardWhen thinking of music by Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina, there are two works that immediately come to mind: the Chaconne (1962) for solo piano and the violin concerto, Offertorium (1980). This weekend, area audiences will have the opportunity to hear one of the composer’s lesser-known works.

On Friday, March 6 at 8:00 pm in the Oberlin Conservatory’s Warner Concert Hall, and on Saturday, March 7 at 2:00 pm in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Timothy Weiss will lead the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble in Gubaidulina’s haunting Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings featuring Ben Roidl-Ward. The concerts will also include the world premiere of Aaron Helgeson’s Snow Requiem for solo violin (David Bowlin), solo soprano (Alice Teyssier), 16-voice choir, strings, percussion and harp, and Jonathan Harvey’s Wheel of Emptiness. [Read More…]

Les Délices to present three performances of “Cantiques Spirituels — Music for Lent”

by Mike Telin

RICHARDSON-NolaThis weekend, Les Délices will present “Cantiques Spirituels — Music for Lent,” a concert that straddles the worlds of private devotion and the public sphere. “What I think is wonderful about this program is the interesting juxtaposition of the texts with the music,” guest soprano Nola Richardson said during a recent telephone conversation. “The texts are quite somber, but the music of Couperin and Charpentier is so elaborate and beautiful.”

On Friday, March 6 at 7:30 in Oberlin College’s Fairchild Chapel, Nola Richardson, soprano, Debra Nagy and Kathie Stewart, recorders and flute, Julie Andrijeski and Scott Metcalfe, violins, Beiliang Zhu, viola da gamba and Michael Sponseller, organ, will perform settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah by François Couperin and Marc-Antoine Charpentier, as well as works by Pierre Du Mage and Marin Marais.

The program will be repeated on Friday, March 7 at 8:00 pm in St. Peter’s Church in downtown Cleveland, and on Sunday, March 8 at 4:00 in Herr Chapel of Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights. A pre-concert lecture will be given by Peter Bennett beginning at 3:00 on Sunday. [Read More…]

Cleveland Orchestra announces its 2015-2016 Season

by Daniel Hathaway

TCO&COCCleveland, March 1, 2015 — Under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst, The Cleveland Orchestra will begin its 98th season on September 24 with the first of three of Richard Strauss’s large tone poems, An Alpine Symphony. Also sprach Zarathrustra and Ein Heldenleben will follow later in the year.

Welser-Möst is also scheduled to conduct performances of such larger works as Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and The Miraculous Mandarin, and excerpts from Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung and Tristan und Isolde.

Distinguished guest conductors returning to the Severance Hall podium will include music director laureate Christoph von Dohnányi, Herbert Blomstedt, Lionel Bringuier, Alan Gilbert, Jane Glover, Gianandrea Noseda, Vladimir Jurowski and Antonio Pappano. Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Antoni Wit will lead the orchestra for the first time. [Read More…]