by Daniel Hathaway
When COVID-19 crashed the party in March of 2020, it arrived just as musical organizations were putting final touches on their summer festival plans.
The famously disruptive pathogen caused the Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival to make major alterations in its annual event at the Cleveland Institute of Music that June. What may look like the most practical solution — taking a whole festival online — poses problems of its own.
“Early on, and learning on the spot, we resorted to videos,” founder and artistic director Armin Kelly said during a recent phone conversation. “We were proud of what we were able to do on such short notice, but nothing beats the camaraderie of a live performance.”
Kelly vividly recalled the “sad” experience of one of the Festival’s first video performances. “We put the soloist all alone in a room. She was a real trooper, but there was no applause, no way for her to read the on-screen messages, no after-concert party. I felt so badly for her. She deserved much more.”
The return to live performances next week from June 2-5 as the Festival marks its 22nd anniversary allows Kelly to launch two new features of the event. (Details including the schedule of events and artist bios are to be found here). [Read more…]