Early Music America has announced that Ross Duffin and Beverly Simmons are the recipients of the 2018 Howard Mayer Brown Award for lifetime achievement in the field of early music. [Read more…]
by Daniel Hathaway
The board of Quire Cleveland has announced that countertenor Jay White will succeed founder Ross W. Duffin as artistic director of the professional choir at the end of Quire’s tenth anniversary season in July 2018.
Duffin, who is Distinguished University Professor of Musicology at Case Western Reserve University, and Beverly Simmons, Quire’s executive director, will move on “to pursue new artistic and familial adventures in California and Washington, D.C.,” according to a December 19 press release.
White, who joined Quire Cleveland in 2012, serves as professor of voice at Kent State University, where he is also music director of Kent State Opera. He sang for eight seasons with Chanticleer, and during his more than 35-year career has performed with the Men and Boys Choir of Washington Cathedral, Grace Cathedral San Francisco, the Folger Consort, the Carmel Bach Festival, and Apollo’s Fire Singers. [Read more…]
by Timothy Robson
The ninth annual edition of Quire Cleveland’s “Carols for Quire IX from the Old and New Worlds” offered a pleasing respite from both the British cathedral and collegiate chapel carol traditions so commonly emulated in the United States, as well as the popular symphonic Christmas concerts. At first glance, the program seemed quite austere: at least in the U.S., names like Lully, Rameau, and DuFay are not normally associated with Christmas music. I attended the first of three performances, on Friday, December 15 at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland. [Read more…]
by Jarrett Hoffman
Quire Cleveland’s latest holiday program spans from the 13th century up to this very decade. But that’s not the only way “Old & New” describes the ensemble’s ninth annual “Carols for Quire” concert, to be performed from December 15-17 in Cleveland and Rocky River. In honor of its tenth anniversary season, the choir will reach into its bag for some favorite carols from seasons past, and will close by celebrating the addition this year of Hanukkah music.
“A lot of what Quire does is Christian music, there’s no question about it,” Ross Duffin, founder and artistic director, said in a recent conversation. “That’s a large part of choral singing generally, just because the church has been such an important and ubiquitous patron for composers and singers throughout history.”
Duffin credited Executive Director Beverly Simmons — who also sings alto in the ensemble and is married to Duffin — for the idea to expand this year’s program to Hanukkah. “Her background is Jewish, and she sings every year for the High Holy Days,” he said.
by Daniel Hathaway
The fall of 2008 — with its dismal financial meltdown — probably wasn’t the most propitious time to start a new professional choral ensemble, but nine years later, founders Ross Duffin and Beverly Simmons find themselves basking in the success of Quire Cleveland. The group will launch their tenth season this weekend with performances of music by Henry Purcell at Lake Erie College in Painesville (October 5) and St. John’s Cathedral in downtown Cleveland (October 6), followed by more concerts than Quire has ever scheduled before in a single season.
In addition to the Purcell programs in October, the Carols for Quire performances in December, an April collaboration with Debra Nagy’s French Baroque ensemble Les Délices, and a grand finale of favorites from the past decade in May, Quire will revive two past programs. “Sing You After Me: Wondrous Rounds and Catches” will be presented in Akron on October 29, and “The Land of Harmony: American Choral Gems” will be performed both at the Holland Theater in Bellefontaine (May 12) and at First Lutheran Church in Lorain (May 13). [Read more…]
by ClevelandClassical.com Staff
The passing of Grammy-winning audio engineer and information specialist Tom Knab on September 25 at the age of 61 was devastating not only to his family and friends, but also to a long list of colleagues, artists, ensembles, and institutions with whom he worked, and who treasured his expertise in recording and post-producing their music, both for distribution and for posterity. (Read an obituary in the Case Western Reserve University Daily, where he served as Chief Information Officer in the College of Arts and Sciences.)
Erica Brenner was one of Knab’s closest colleagues in the recording industry. They first met at Telarc, when she and Tom were “off hours” editors long before that company was sold and changed its emphasis. “We often handed projects off to each other,” she said in a recent conversation. [Read more…]
by Daniel Hathaway
“Rise up, my love, my fair one, my dove, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.”
Those are welcome sentiments as we Northeast Ohioans continue to slide across the ice, slog through the drifts and wade through muddy puddles, but where do they come from? They’re words from the Biblical Song of Songs as set by the Vatican composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina in the late 16th century. [Read more…]
By Daniel Hathaway
Ross W. Duffin led Quire Cleveland in the first of three concerts in its annual “Carols for Quire from The Old & New World” series at Trinity Cathedral on Friday evening — a performance that will surely be counted as one of the brightest choral highlights of the holiday season.
Taking a new tack for the series’ fifth edition, Duffin constructed an intriguing program pairing older and newer carols on the same or similar texts that brought freshness to what is becoming a cherished Cleveland holiday tradition — and setting some new challenges for his excellent, 20-voice chamber choir, founded to sing period music but which has recently been stretching its vocal wings in the direction of more modern repertoire. [Read more…]
by Mike Telin
Since its founding, Quire Cleveland has presented concerts that connect audiences to the past through passionate performances of choral works from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras, and beyond. One highly anticipated concert is Quire’s annual performance of Carols for Quire. Beginning on Friday, December 20 with performances through Sunday, December 22 at Trinity Cathedral, Quire Cleveland under the direction of Ross W. Duffin, will present the 2013 edition of this popular annual event.
“This is the fifth year in a row that we’ve done this, said Quire’s founding Artistic Director Ross W. Duffin. “It’s become a tradition. I think audiences have come to expect it and I know we certainly look forward to it.” Although Quire’s programs generally focus on early choral repertoire, this year’s Carols for Quire will be a bit of a departure for the ensemble. [Read more…]
by Daniel Hathaway
Quire Cleveland will celebrate Memorial Day weekend with an all-Palestrina concert at Historic St. Peter’s Church in downtown Cleveland on Saturday evening, May 25. Quire’s founders, Ross W. Duffin and Beverly Simmons, have invited a distinguished choral specialist to guest conduct the professional ensemble for the occasion: Jameson Marvin, who retired last year after thirty-two years as director of choral activities at Harvard, including the Harvard Glee Club, the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and the Radcliffe Choral Society (Marvin’s last Cleveland appearance was with the Glee Club in March of 2010).
The Quire Cleveland invitation came about through personal connections, he told us in a phone call from his home in Lexington, MA. “Ross and Bev’s son David sang with the Collegium when he was at Harvard. They came to several concerts and really liked what we were doing, especially with Renaissance polyphony. Interestingly, I had met Bev at workshops I offered in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the summer of 1979 and 1980. The fact that Ross and Bev went to Stanford the same time I did means that we see things similarly, though they’ve gone much more in depth into musicological areas and I into performance areas. When they came to Cambridge, I would see Ross after concerts and he told me about Quire Cleveland and invited me to come and conduct the group at some convenient time.” [Read more…]