by Mike Telin
The Cleveland Classical Guitar Society begins each season with a free Showcase Concert. This year that event will be held on Saturday, September 24 at 7:30 at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights. The evening will feature performances by Adam Larison, Duo Allant (Kathryn Thomas Umble, flute, and François Fowler, guitar), and the Gruca White Ensemble (Robert Gruca, guitar, and Linda White, flute, left).
The program includes David Morgan’s Berimbau from One Dance, Many Dancers, Duo Allant’s Oceans, Jacques Ibert’s Entr’acte, Franz Schubert’s Lob der Tränen (arr. J.K. Mertz), Isaac Albéniz’s Mallorca (arr. A. Segovia), Robert Beaser’s Shenandoah, Chick Corea’s Spain, Carl Dimow’s Dreams of Yesterday and Tomorrow from Klezmer Suite, and Dušan Bogdanović’s Songs and Dances from the New Village.
“This is always a popular event,” CCGS’s executive director Erik Mann said during a telephone conversation. “The opening student performance will be by Yeram Yoon, a finalist in the 2016 Stroud Guitar Competition. We’ll also be announcing the second annual Cleveland Classical Guitar Award. The award is given to a person who has had an impact on the Cleveland Guitar Community.”
Mann said that this year’s International Series is “our most exciting season yet. The headliners, Sergio and Odair Assad, haven’t performed in Cleveland in over 10 years. And for three of our concerts we will be doing some really interesting collaborations.”
I asked Erik Mann to share his thoughts on the programs, all of which take place at Plymouth Church.
The series will continue on Sunday, October 15 with a performance by Polish guitarist Marcin Dylla. “Edel Muñoz, who was originally scheduled, was forced to withdraw, but we’re so happy to be able to present Marcin.”
Peruvian guitarist Jorge Caballero will take center stage on Saturday, November 12. “Jorge is a native of Lima, Peru, is the only guitarist to win the Naumburg International Competition. His featured piece will be Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and there’s a local poet, Philip Metres who recently came out with a new collection of poetry inspired by the piece. Not being trained in music, he’s coming at it from a very different perspective, but the poetry is very atmospheric. He’ll present a pre-concert reading of some of the poems. And prior to Jorge’s performance of the works, he’ll talk about what the music means to him, and what inspired him to write about it.”
CCGS goes to the movies when William Kanengiser returns to the series on Saturday, February 18. “In the 1986 film CrossRoads, starring Ralph Macchio of Karate Kid fame, Macchio plays a classical guitar student at Juilliard. The character meets a blues musician who has sold his soul to the devil and at the end there’s a big guitar duel between Macchio and rock guitarist Steve Vie. But when Macchio is playing the classical pieces the hands you see on the screen will be Bill’s, so he’s sort of the classical guitar stunt double. The night before we’re going to show the movie at John Carroll University. It will be open to the public, and Bill will be there to talk about his role in the movie. It’s just a fun way to engage people.”
Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang will be featured on Saturday, March 25. “For this program the fabulous artist Guangsheng Wang is going to display his art. He will also create a painting before the concert which is fascinating to watch because he can do it so fast. He painted one for us a couple of years ago and people really enjoyed it.”
The International Series will conclude on Sunday, April 30 with a performance by Sérgio and Odair Assad. “This is our first time presenting them and we’ve been trying to get them for years. It’s really a dream come true for us, and a great way to end our season.”
Published on ClevelandClassical.com September 20, 2016.
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