by Mike Telin
“When Diana and Frank came up with this fantastic idea of starting ChamberFest, I was so happy when they invited me to be part of the first festival,” violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti said during a telephone conversation while enroute to Cleveland. “Diana and I were both in Donald Weilerstein’s studio at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Of course, back then Frank was ‘Mr. Cohen,’ but I got to hear him play all the time at Severance Hall, and I got to know him through school because he also teaches at CIM. I always had a wonderful relationship with both of them.”
In addition to reconnecting with the Cohens, the opportunity to be part of ChamberFest also gave Schwartz Moretti the chance to rediscover a city she had not visited in some time. “When I came back to Cleveland after not having been there since the 1990s, I was so impressed with all the changes in the University Circle area, and with all that was happening in Cleveland in general — it is such a vibrant city. And ChamberFest is just a wonderful addition, with all the great musicians it brings to town.”
This year marks Schwartz Moretti’s fourth visit to ChamberFest. What keeps her coming back? “I think the programming is so innovative. All these interesting themes tie the music together and create a great product for the audience and the musicians. And I love the choices of venues, bringing the music to people in different areas of the city.”
On Wednesday, June 17 at 8:00 pm in SPACES Gallery, Schwartz Moretti will join her ChamberFest colleagues in a program titled “Down the Danube.”
“I’m playing the Enescu Octet, the Ligeti Ballad and Dance for Two Violins, and a selection of Bartók’s Duos for Two Violins. I’ve never performed the Ligeti, but it’s really fun and playful. I can’t wait to see how fast we will play the allegro movements. The Bartók spans a range of emotions. I’m looking forward to playing both of these pieces with Jinjoo Cho. This is also my first time with the Enescu. It’s not an easy piece and every part has its challenges. I can only imagine the fun we will have during the rehearsals, but I think that with this group of players, the performance will be incredible.” The program will also include Mozart’s Quintet in E-Flat for horn and strings and Dvořák’s Malickosti (Bagatelles) for two violins, cello, and harmonium.
Music of Thomas Adès (Darknesse Visible for Solo Piano), Dmitri Shostakovich (Piano Quintet, Op. 57) and Beethoven (Septet) will be heard during the program “Becoming Light” on Thursday, June 18 at 8:00 pm in Mixon Hall, CIM. “I’m playing the Beethoven — it’s a real audience pleaser. It’s a big work in a serenade structure with six movements, but they’re all light in character. It’s just a great piece.”
Schwartz Moretti is very happy to be part of the concert honoring Frank Cohen on Friday, June 19 at 8:00 pm in Kulas Hall, CIM. “I get to lead the small chamber orchestra (ChamberFest All-Star Orchestra) during the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. I think it’s so important to point out the huge impact that Frank has had, not only in The Cleveland Orchestra, but also in the community. I think it’s going to be a special night.” The concert, entitled “FRANK!,” also includes Steve Reich’s New York Counterpoint for Amplified Clarinet and Tape and Brahms’s Quintet in B Minor for Clarinet and Strings.
In addition to the excellent music making, Schwartz Moretti said that she enjoys all the wonderful lunches and dinners that ChamberFest provides for the musicians. “Sharing meals really creates a sense of community, and I think that is also one of the things that makes the experience so special. We also have home stays, and I have this amazing host. Both of these things help to create a wonderful environment for making music.”
Published on ClevelandClassical.com June 15, 2015.
Click here for a printable copy of this article