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PreViews & Features

St. Olaf Choir at Severance Hall February 2: a conversation with conductor Anton Armstrong

by Daniel Hathaway

St-Olaf-Choir-2015When the esteemed St. Olaf Choir from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota sings at Severance Hall on Monday, February 2 at 7:30 pm, the ensemble will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of its conductor, Anton Armstrong. Only the fourth conductor in the choir’s 103-year history, Armstrong is also the first African American to hold that post.

Founded in 1912 by F. Melius Christiansen, St. Olaf Choir introduced the tradition of a cappella singing to a country where glee clubs and oratorio societies were the rule for choral music at the time. Also one of the first to undertake national tours, St. Olaf Choir has hit the road annually since 1920. The choir’s 2015 tour of 18 cities will include such important venues as Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA, Battell Chapel at Yale, Carnegie Hall in New York, Princeton University Chapel, Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, and Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. [Read More…]

CIM Orchestra celebrates composer Margaret Brouwer’s 75th Birthday

by Mike Telin

BROUWER-Margaret2In his 2012 New Music Box feature on composer Margaret Brouwer, Frank Oteri appropriately titled the article Margaret Brouwer: Multiple Planes — for Brouwer has undoubtedly enjoyed a multi-faceted career. Starting out as a violinist in the Fort Worth Symphony and Fort Worth Opera Orchestra, she has also toured with the likes of Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett. But it was her passion for composing that eventually led her to abandon her violin career and pursue a doctorate in composition. From 1996 until 2008 Margaret Brouwer served as head of the composition department at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

On Wednesday, January 28 at 8:00 pm in Kulas Hall at CIM, guest conductor Michael Adelson will lead the CIM Orchestra in a concert celebrating Margaret Brouwer’s 75th Birthday. The concert features Brouwer’s Caution Ahead – Guard Rail Out (2012) and Rhapsody for Orchestra (2009) as well as Carl Ruggles’s Angels (1921/1940), Lilacs (1924) and Sun-treader (1931). [Read More…]

Violinist Vadim Gluzman to make Cleveland Orchestra debut this week at Severance Hall

by Mike Telin

GLUZMAN-VladimirIt goes without saying that it takes talent and hard work to have an international concert career. However, being at the right place at the right time doesn’t hurt. For the celebrated violinist Vadim Gluzman, his good fortune came when he met violinist Issac Stern as a teenager, quite by accident. In an article titled “The accidental virtuoso,” Gluzman recalled the off-chance meeting with Stern: “I made my way to Jerusalem, and at the JMC I told the receptionist I wanted to play for Isaac Stern. And she said: ‘Welcome to the club! You should have arranged this a couple of years ago.’”

Gluzman had the impression his quest was hopeless, but at that very moment Stern himself walked in. The receptionist explained the situation. To Gluzman’s surprise, instead of sending him away, Stern said, ‘Go and warm up and I’ll give you five minutes.’ “So I went,” Gluzman said, “…and he was with me for about two hours. And at the end of that, I had a new violin waiting for me in Tel Aviv, a scholarship and the possibility to work with him whenever I could.” [Read More…]

Cleveland Cello Society: iCellisti to feature mega-cello concert at Harkness

by Daniel Hathaway

TCO-Cello-Section-MiamiThe Cleveland Cello Society’s annual “iCellisti” concert on Friday, January 30 at CWRU’s Harkness Chapel might set a local record for the number of cellists to appear onstage at the same time. At the end of a program featuring members of The Cleveland Orchestra cello section in various solos, duets and quartets, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra cello section will join their senior counterparts in a work that calls for an ensemble of twelve performers.

“Julius Klengel’s Hymnus looks a little intimidating in the score, with its twelve individual parts,” TCO cellist Bryan Dumm said in a telephone conversation. “But it’s a charming piece in a Romantic style. We’ll be doubling the parts, with Youth Orchestra players sharing stands with Cleveland Orchestra cellists. Having twenty-two cellists onstage at the same time will thicken the texture and make the piece even a bit nicer. It’s going to sound ringing and quite glorious in Harkness Chapel.” [Read More…]

PROJECT Trio flutist Greg Pattillo on walking, running, practicing beatbox, living in NYC, and returning to Northeast Ohio (February 5)

by Jarrett Hoffman

Project“I was trying to play Telemann in the subways, I really was,” said PROJECT Trio flutist Greg Pattillo. “And no one really cared. But you play a funny video game tune with the beatbox, and people did stop, and they did care to listen.”

On Thursday, February 5 at 8:00 pm, Brooklyn-based chamber music ensemble PROJECT Trio will present a concert in Oberlin Conservatory’s Stull Recital Hall, their program to be announced from the stage. Admission is free.

PROJECT Trio includes flutist Greg Pattillo, cellist Eric Stephenson, and double bassist Peter Seymour. Having met while studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the group formed in 2005. They exploded in popularity a year later when Pattillo’s beatbox flute YouTube videos went viral: his cover of the Super Mario theme and his remix to the Inspector Gadget theme have garnered 24 million and 28 million views each. [Read More…]