by Mike Telin
Since bursting onto the scene in 2012 with its Big Bang!, ChamberFest Cleveland has established itself as an organization of the highest musical integrity with a seemingly endless number of themed programs. Looking through the archives of this publication, it’s fascinating to see the imaginative and clever way the Festival has reinvented itself each year.
But a closer look reveals that ChamberFest’s mission, “to nurture a deep family-like connection between musicians and audiences of all ages,” has never waned. In summing up the 2016 season, ClevelandClassical.com critic Neil McCalmont noted, “Technical prowess, fierce dedication, and the cultivation of friendships all contribute to ChamberFest’s captivating concerts, which keep audiences coming back season after season.”
Season 8, titled Under the Influence, considers the factors that inspire and influence composers. Cutting-edge pieces by John Adams, John Cage, and Steve Reich will anchor works by other classical composers. Pre-concert talks will be held prior to most concerts and are open to the public. Tickets and subscriptions are on sale now and range in price from $15 to $40. For concert details and additional information, call (216) 471-8887 or visit www.chamberfestcleveland.com.
The festivities kick off on Thursday, June 13 at 7:30 pm in Mixon Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Under the Influence features Beethoven’s Clarinet Trio in B-flat, Penderecki’s String Trio, Heinz Holliger’s Two Pieces for Solo Piano, and Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat.
On Friday, June 14, the music will move downtown for a 7:30 pm performance in Drinko Hall at Cleveland State University. In Full Swing includes Bernstein’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, John Adams’ Shaker Loops, and Dvořák’s Piano Quartet in D. A special Rising Stars performance begins at 7:00 pm with Athena (16) and Corina (12) Deng, students in the CIM Preparatory Department, performing Ravel’s Tzigane and Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.
Saturday, June 15 will find the music back at CIM for a 7:30 pm concert in Mixon Hall. Turning/Tipping Points will be highlighted by Louise Farrenc’s rarely heard Clarinet Trio in E-flat. The program also includes Hindemith’s Viola Sonata and Brahms’ String Quintet No. 2 in G. At 6:45 pm Adam Golka and Roman Rabinovich will present Golka’s new arrangement of Debussy’s La Mer for two pianos.
At 9:00 pm on Tuesday, June 18, ChamberFest moves to The Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights for a solo performance by violinist Alexi Kenney. Bach to the Future will explore J.S. Bach’s “Adagio” and “Allemande” (Sonata No. 1 in g), “Largo” (Sonata No. 3 in C), and “Chaconne” (Partita No. 2 in D). The programming jumps to the 20th and 21st centuries for Kurtág’s “Ruhelos” (Kafka Fragments), Berio’s Improvisations over Luciano Berio’s Thema Omaggio a Joyce, Patrick Castillo’s Cirque, Steve Reich’s Violin Phase, Salonen’s Lachen verlernt, and Thurídur Jónsdóttir’s Inni — Musica da Camera.
Back at Mixon Hall on Thursday, June 20 at 7:30 pm, Mozart the Giant will include Beethoven’s Quintet for Piano and Winds, Poulenc’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, and Mozart’s String Quintet No. 5 in D, K. 593.
You are alone on Saturday, June 22 at 7:30 pm in Mixon Hall for Sei Solo (You Are Alone). The program features J.S. Bach’s “Adagio” (Solo Violin Sonata No. 1 in g, “Sei Solo”), John Cage’s The Perilous Night (solo prepared piano), Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 6 in f, and Brahms’ Horn Trio.
Enjoy an afternoon of folkloric chamber music on Sunday, June 23 at 2:30 pm in Harkness Chapel at Case Western Reserve University. Paul Wiancko’s American Haiku, Bartók’s Rhapsody No. 1 (violin and piano), Bruch’s Nos. 2, 3, 6, and 7 from Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, and Dvořák’s Wind Serenade make up the program titled Folklorica. At 1:45 pm, violinist Nathan Meltzer and pianist Evren Ozel will perform Ponce’s Estrellita.
The final week of ChamberFest will begin on Tuesday, June 25 with Hungary for Music at 7:30 pm in Mixon Hall. The music includes Liszt’s Orpheus arranged for piano trio by Saint-Saéns, Péter Eötvös’ Thunder (solo timpani), selections from Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, and Ernő Dohnányi’s Piano Sextet.
The music moves across the street to Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Friday, June 28 at 7:30 pm. Precocious Virtuosity features Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in g, Moritz Moszkowski’s Suite for Two Violins and Piano, and Mendelssohn’s Octet.
The 2019 edition of ChamberFest Cleveland concludes on Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 pm in Mixon Hall with the French Connection. Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for String Quartet, Gérard Pesson’s Nebenstück for clarinet and string quartet, Jean Françaix’ String Trio, and Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 2 are the featured works.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com May 28, 2019.
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