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PreViews & Features

CityMusic Cleveland: Peter Bennett talks about the December programs

by Mike Telin

Bennett“I’m very excited to be conducting CityMusic’s Holiday Concerts this year,” Peter Bennett said during a telephone conversation. “And I am particularly pleased to be able to work with the La Sagrada Familia Choir to bring Ariel Ramírez’s Misa Criolla to Cleveland audiences for the first time.” On Wednesday, December 3 at 7:30 at La Sagrada Familia Church, CityMusic will present the first of five free performances featuring Ramírez’s Misa Criolla. (See our concert listings for times and locations.) The concert also includes Antonio Sarrier’s Overture in D, and Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto with CityMusic principal bassoon Laura Koepke as soloist.

Misa Crioll presents a different kind of challenge for me,” Bennett said. “It’s not the kind of repertoire that I’ve done before, but when Eugenia Strauss asked me to conduct it, it seemed like an amazing thing to do. It’s a great piece, and the fact that we’re involving a Latino church choir is a great way to present it to the community.”

Based on Argentine folk melodies and rhythms, Misa Criolla utilizes an array of folk instruments such as panpipes, and many types of drums and percussion, as well as the charango, a small high-pitched guitar. “Ramírez chose as his text the words of the Roman Catholic Mass newly translated into Spanish as a result of the Second Vatican Council,” Bennett pointed out. “And he adapted the musical forms and rhythms of his native country.” [Read More…]

Contemporary Youth Orchestra to celebrate its twentieth season with Bernard Rands tribute

by Mike Telin

GrossmanHeadShot1“How could I possibly enter into our twentieth season without him being a major part of this concert?” Contemporary Youth Orchestra Music Director Liza Grossman exclaimed over the phone. The man Grossman is referring to is Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Bernard Rands. On Sunday, December 7 at 7:30 pm in Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University, CYO will present a concert honoring the composer.

The program will include Rands’s London Serenade and Danza Petrificada as well as the world premiere of his Music for Liza and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra: Theme for CYO. The evening also includes the world premiere of Stefan Podell’s Concerto for Two Violas and Orchestra featuring violists Lynne Ramsey and Jeffrey Irvine, and Richard Hill and Chris Barber’s Concerto for Jazz Trombone and Orchestra with CYO concerto competition winner Rachel Waterbury as soloist.

CYO is the only youth orchestra in the United States dedicated to the study and performance of contemporary orchestral literature. Since its founding, the orchestra has been the recipient of the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the Northern Ohio Live Award of Achievement and the Sunshine Award from Young Audiences for excellence in arts education. [Read More…]

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture announces grants to 196 organizations

CAC-Logo-SquareCuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) has announced that it will invest $27,183,242 in grants to 196 arts and culture organizations in Cuyahoga County through its 2015-16 General Operating Support and 2015 Project Support grant programs. The grant award amounts were approved by CAC’s Board of Trustees during its meeting and celebration event on Monday afternoon, November 24 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

“Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is honored to support Cuyahoga County’s arts and cultural heritage on behalf of our county’s residents,” said Sari Feldman, president of CAC’s Board of Trustees. “This dedicated source of public funds for arts and culture strengthens the regional economy through strategic investment in a vibrant arts community.”

CAC made the grants through its two primary grant programs, 2015-16 General Operating Support and 2015 Project Support. CAC’s Board approved $25.4 million in funding for 58 organizations through its 2015-16 General Operating Support grant program, with $12.7 million approved for 2015. The General Operating Support grant program provides multi-year core support to arts and cultural institutions of all sizes. [Read More…]