by Daniel Hathaway
Concert series began spinning down just before Memorial Day weekend, but looking ahead, there’s a long list of summertime classical music events to enjoy in Northeast Ohio. Here’s an overview in alphabetical order of major summer concert series and events (keep an eye on the ClevelandClassical concert listings for details and more single events). Click on the links in the headers below for further information and online ticketing.
Apollo’s Fire, June 6-11, in Hunting Valley, Chardon, Olmsted Township, & Bath
Cleveland’s Baroque Orchestra turns into a folk ensemble for its summertime “Countryside Concerts.” This year’s series, “My Father was a Matchmaker,” features Irish storyteller Tomaséen Foley.
Blossom Festival, July 3 – September 1, Cuyahoga Falls
After playing its annual “Star-Spangled Spectacular” in Public Square on July 1, The Cleveland Orchestra opens its summer season at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Valley National Park on July 5 and 6 with music director Franz Welser-Möst conducting. His third concert at Blossom on July 13 will mark the 200th anniversary of Richard Wagner’s birth with opera selections featuring soprano Christine Brewer and bass Alan Held.
Guest conductors for the classical concerts will include Nicholas McGegan, Stéphane Denève, Bramwell Tovey, Jahja Ling, David Afkham, and Kirill Karabits. Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, soprano Christine Brewer, bass Alan Held, and violinist Gil Shaham will return as soloists. Artists making their Blossom debuts will include soprano Luba Orgonášová, pianist Cédric Tiberghein, violinist Ray Chen, and pianist Martin Helmchen.
The Joffrey Ballet will return to Blossom on August 17 and18 to mark the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in a production recreating Nijinsky’s original choreography and Roerich’s original costumes. Tito Muñoz will conduct.
Closely connected is the Kent/Blossom Music Festival at Kent State University, which offers an intense chamber music and orchestra experience coached by Cleveland Orchestra musicians, who also team up with other professionals for a faculty chamber music series with concerts on June 26 & 29 and July 3, 10, 17 & 24 and a special recital by 2011 Cleveland International Piano Competition first prize winner Alexander Schimpf on July 16. Student concerts run from July 5-7 and 19-21, and the student chamber orchestra plays a side-by-side with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom on July 27.
BW hosts the first edition of its International Guitar Festival featuring Duo Amaral, Grisha Goryachev & Michael Kudirka in recital, plus master classes and exhibits. In July, Jane Eaglen, Timothy Mussard, Eric Weimer and William Vendice will mentor seasoned vocalists during the third annual Wagner Intensive at Baldwin Wallace University. Ten days of coachings culminate in staged performances by participants.
ChamberFest Cleveland, Cleveland, June 20-30
Cleveland’s newest chamber series, launched last year by Franklin and Diana Cohen and friends, returns for an expanded schedule of nine events in multiple venues running from June 20-30 with the theme “[It’s] About Time”; it includes the premieres of Matan Porat‘s Start-time and Stop-time, Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring arranged for piano four hands and percussion. For “Movie Night,” Porat provides an improvised score to Buster Keaton’s The General.
Cleveland International Piano Competition, Cleveland, July 30 – August 10
CIPC, held every other year, enters a new era under incoming executive director Pierre van der Westhuizen (himself a pianist), taking on more of the air of a festival. A strong slate of 32 competitors between 18 and 30 arrive on July 30 for preliminary rounds at the Cleveland Museum of Art, culminating for the four finalists in performances with The Cleveland Orchestra under Stefan Sanderling at Severance Hall on August 9 & 10.
Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Westlake, Twinsburg & Elyria, June 30, July 5, August 31
Carl Topilow conducts the orchestra in a Liberty Fest concert (June 30, Crocker Park, Westlake), a performance with tenor Connor O’Brien and Verb Ballets (July 5, Chamberlin Park, Twinsburg), and a Labor Day concert (August 31, Ely Square, Elyria),
Cleveland Trombone Seminar, Cleveland, June 8-16
Organized last year by Cleveland Orchestra assistant principal trombonist Shachar Israel, the seminar attracts major orchestral players as teachers and trombonists from the Great Lakes and beyond as participants for a week of activities and concerts at Cleveland State University from June 8-16.
Music by Nature in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Peninsula, June 8, July 7, & August 4
In the same park as the Blossom Center, the Music by Nature Series sponsored by the CVNP Conservancy presents three picnic concerts: The Russian Duo (June 9), River Bottom Brass Quartet (July 7), and The Wind Machine (saxophone ensemble from Cleveland Jazz Orchestra) with vocalist Helen Welch (August 4), all on Sundays at 6:30 at Happy Days Lodge in Peninsula, dessert reception following.
Oberlin Summer Programs, Cleveland, May 31 – July 27
Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute celebrates its forty-second year from June 16-30 with the theme “In the Valley of the Danube” and faculty concerts centering on Biber’s Mystery Sonatas on June 21 & 28. The Cooper International Violin Competition welcomes young fiddlers from 13-18 to the campus from July 18-27 with the final round at Severance Hall with The Cleveland Orchestra under Jahja Ling. Credo Chamber Music offers faculty and student concerts in Oberlin from June 23-July 20. The last week culminates in a Severance Hall orchestral gala.
Ohio Light Opera, Wooster, June 15 – August 10
From June 15 to August 10, The Savoy mingles with Broadway as this professional summer company celebrates its 35th season with productions of four operettas and three musicals in Freedlander Theater at The College of Wooster, including Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein and Gershwin’s Lady Be Good. Most of the 56 performances are 2 p.m. Matinees.
Cleveland’s two small but busy opera companies draw on local talent for economical but musically satisfying productions. Opera Circle makes its PlayhouseSquare Center debut on June 15 with Verdi’s Rigoletto. Opera Per Tutti presents “Opera Goes Global” in Rocky River on June 20, gives its annual al fresco concert at the Italian Cultural Gardens on July 21 and teams up with Chagrin Studio Orchestra for H.M.S. Pinafore on August 23 & 24.
Trinity Lutheran Noontime Concerts, Cleveland, Wednesdays, all year
Most organ recital series take a break for the summer, but Florence Mustric and Robert Myers and guests hold forth every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. on the newly-restored Beckerath instrument at W. 30th and Lorain near the West Side Market.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com May 28, 2013
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