by Daniel Hathaway
Although the rest of The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2019-2020 season has been cancelled due to the pandemic, hope springs eternal. The Orchestra has now released details of its plans for Season 103 at Severance Hall, scheduled to begin in September. Here’s what patrons can look forward to.
The Cleveland Orchestra
2020-21 Season at Severance Hall
Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor, Yefim Bronfman, piano
STRAVINSKY Concerto in D (for strings)
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2
SCRIABIN Symphony No. 2 [Read more…]
by Daniel Hathaway
Continuing its long-time partnership with WCLV 104.9 Ideastream, The Cleveland Orchestra is launching a new series, “Lunchtime with The Cleveland Orchestra,” to be aired on weekdays from 12 Noon until 1:00 pm beginning on Monday, April 6. Listen at 104.9 FM or online. As Orchestra CEO André Gremillet wrote in a press release, “Music can lift spirits and inspire hope for the future…We hope these lunchtime presentations will provide you with some musical nourishment for your soul — and a respite from each day’s challenges.”
The April 6 program will include archive recordings of Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80, Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 28 in C, K. 200. Franz Welser-Möst conducts. The programs will be accompanied by a brief overview of the music as well as interviews with Welser-Möst and Orchestra musicians. See our Concert Listings on Monday for details of next week’s programs. WCLV will continue its 8:00 pm Saturday and 4:00 pm Sunday broadcasts featuring previous Cleveland Orchestra performances.
by Mike Telin
At a time when everyone is practicing social distancing, and shelter in place is for the time being a reality, many artists and arts organizations are responding by moving to streaming formats. Beginning on Monday, March 30, Cleveland Opera Theater will launch Opera for All Online, social-distance-safe programs to experience, explore, and engage in opera. The events are free.
“Throughout the company’s history we’ve always done what was necessary to remain viable and relevant in the community,” Scott Skiba, Cleveland Opera Theater’s executive artistic director, said during a recent telephone conversation. “We’ve often thought about getting into the streaming environment, and now is the opportunity to try some new things without changing the organization’s mission.”
Skiba noted that two Opera for All Online programs were already part of the company’s offerings. That includes Opera-101, which will now meet Monday through Friday at 12:15 pm on the company’s Facebook page. The staff welcomes questions for future sessions (email them here). “People can ask anything they want to know about opera, like can you really break a glass by singing high? Or what do the conductor and the director do?” Skiba said. “Megan Thompson, our director of education and outreach, will moderate and give lectures about upcoming Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.”
by Daniel Hathaway, Jarrett Hoffman, and Mike Telin
With the recent spread of COVID-19, the opportunity to attend live classical music performances has come to a complete halt and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future. Many organizations and individual artists are seeking to fill that void through online streaming.
On Thursday, March 19, two area institutions presented the first of what will likely be many live-streamed concerts. At 4:30 pm in Oberlin Conservatory’s Stull Recital Hall, Flute Professor Alexa Still and Faculty Collaborative Pianist Evan Hines presented a program of works by Koechlin, Chopin, Coleman, and Debussy.
On the same day at 7:30 pm in Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland, Piano Cleveland presented the first of its Quarantine Concerts. Pianist Yaron Kohlberg played selections by Schumann and Grieg, and duo pianists Irwin Shung and Natsumi Shibagaki played works by Bach, Rachmaninoff, and Gershwin.
Remotely streamed concerts raise an interesting question for journalists: is it possible to critically evaluate live performances when you’re not in the same room? Three of ClevelandClassical’s writers attempted to answer that and other questions about covering virtual performances.
by Margi Griebling-Haigh
Stephen T. Griebling, 87, of Akron, OH, passed away peacefully at home after a brief but rapid decline, on March 20, 2020.
He was born during a snowstorm in a small house on the Portage Lakes in Akron on December 10, 1932, to Louis George Griebling and Genevieve Eleanor (né Wilson) Griebling. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Ann (né Rimmel), his daughters Karen Griebling (Robin Brown) and Margi Griebling-Haigh (Scott Haigh), and granddaughter Gabrielle Haigh (Mark Nelson). He was an affectionate, gentle, and playful patriarch who was deeply committed to the happiness, security, and dreams of his family.
by Daniel Hathaway
Beginning last week, virtually all live performances in Northeast Ohio were either cancelled, postponed indefinitely, or scheduled to be streamed online with no audience present. As health concerns over COVID-19 increased, some events in the latter category were eventually cancelled altogether, and colleges, conservatories, and universities have sent students home for the rest of the semester, planning to move instruction online.
The local extent of these alterations is reflected in our Concert Listings (we’ll continue to list and note the status of scheduled events there, and add local live streamed events). An overview of the national impact of the virus has been provided in an article on Classical Voice North America.
During the course of this emergency, ClevelandClassical.com will be developing content we hope our readers will find stimulating in the absence of previews and reviews of live concerts.
Jarrett Hoffman’s survey of online opportunities in this issue is rich and varied. Beginning on Thursday, March 19, we’ll launch a daily Diary that will include news updates, a rundown on broadcasts and podcasts, and a recommended video or streaming event of the day that has particular relevance to Northeast Ohio.
Be patient, be healthy, and take care of yourselves and others.
by Mike Telin
Yesterday the Recording Academy announced that Cleveland-based Azica Records’ release of Jennifer Higdon’s Harp Concerto performed by Yolanda Kondonassis and the Rochester Philharmonic, conducted by Ward Stare, had received a Grammy nomination in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category. The recording on the album American Rapture was produced and mixed by Alan Bise, and engineered by Bruce Egre. Commissioned by Kondonassis, Higdon’s concerto was also nominated for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
“This nomination is always such a huge honor with all the amazing talent out there. To be in this small group is humbling and I’m thrilled beyond belief,” Kondonassis said in an email. “Enormous thanks go to Jennifer Higdon, Ward Stare, The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Alan Bise, Bruce Egre, and Azica Records. These projects are never easy, but what an amazing team to make it all happen!” [Read more…]
by Mike Telin
When Nigerian sound and installation artist Emeka Ogboh first received the invitation from the Cleveland Museum of Art to create a work for the Ames Family Atrium, he didn’t have a notion of what the work would be. But when he made his first site visit to the Museum in February of 2018, the city’s winter weather became a source of inspiration. “It was grey and not so happy looking,” Ogboh said with a chuckle during a Skype conversation from his home in Berlin.
After spending time in the Atrium and observing how it functions as a gathering place for social activities, he began to think, “why don’t I bring something to Cleveland from Nigeria?” adding that if he had made his first visit in the summer “it would have been a different piece.”
If you have not had the opportunity to experience Ámà: The Gathering Place, you have a few more weeks to do so — the exhibit will remain on display through the first of December. Commissioned for the Atrium, the installation uses sound, sculpture, and textiles that capture the sense of a village square reminiscent of Ogboh’s birthplace in Enugu. [Read more…]
by Tom Welsh, Director of Performing Arts
Cleveland Museum of Art
Reprinted with the permission of The Wire, the article was originally published in July 2019.
I’d been doing some research into the experimental arts scene that flourished in San Francisco’s Bay Area in the 1950s when I unearthed this curious little score — an unknown vocal piece by Karlheinz Stockhausen buried in the papers of composer Seymour Shifrin at Yale University.
Dated 4 January 1959, the piece was written by the then 30-year old Stockhausen as a present to Shifrin’s young son Teddy. The lyric — “Clasp the hands and know the thoughts of men in other lands” — is the last line of the final stanza of the John Masefield poem The Ship And Her Makers, a romantic paean to the fortitude of maritime explorers that had been published early in the century in Salt-Water Poems And Ballads. [Read more…]