by Daniel Hathaway
“Credo has always done some kind of celebratory public event which has often included playing at Severance Hall — Tchaikovsky’s fifth, or the Brandenburg concertos,” artistic director Peter Slowik said in a recent telephone conversation from Oberlin. “This year we’re going to be a bit more intimate with our large-scale public offering.”
On Friday evening, July 22, Credo Chamber Music will present a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” chamber music evening at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens in University Circle. Two levels of ticket prices ($75 and $30) will admit patrons to a light dinner, garden stroll, concert and dessert reception, or to a concert with dessert reception following. “The main piece will be the Mendelssohn Octet, a terrific piece for a summer evening,” Slowik said. “It’s youthful, energetic, and ebullient — and written by a composer who was younger than most of the performers who are going to play it. Its character is very similar to Mendelssohn’s music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and it also contains a snatch of the Violin Concerto. It’s one of my favorite pieces of chamber music.”
In addition to the Mendelssohn, Credo students will play Johannes Brahms’s Quartet in c-minor and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18, No. 3. “There will be opportunities for a stroll through the gardens with Credo quartets playing in various places,” Slowik said. “There’s going to be a lot of drama in Cleveland this week, but that’s going to end on Thursday evening. By Friday, the city should be able to breathe a sigh of relief and music lovers can look forward to enjoying the Botanical Gardens for an after-hours party.”
With 75 students in eighteen ensembles, Credo is having what Slowik calls “a fantastic summer.” It’s the program’s seventeenth annual edition in Oberlin, where young musicians in pre-arranged quartets come together for three weeks of chamber music study, Christian mentorship, and community service. “Thanks to Facebook, quartets can get to know each other before they get here. And after three days of rehearsals, they’re already out and about playing concerts,” Slowik said. “And our service days — picking up trash off the highway or working in a food pantry or food distribution warehouse — build a different kind of teamwork in the quartets. It develops trust and all the other things you need to have in a chamber music group.”
Slowik (above, leading a large ensemble rehearsal) is also pleased to see Credo alumni moving on to study in conservatories and taking positions in orchestras. “Our alumni are now subbing with The Cleveland Orchestra, one recently won a cello position with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and another is playing with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra this season. And in between, a good number go on to study at Oberlin and CIM — about three dozen in the most recent crop. They come from all over the country to fall in love with what happens here, get training and explode back into the world.”
On July 23, 29 and 30, audiences can hear the results of this summer’s Credo Chamber Music experience, as student concerts and a final marathon performance take place in various spaces at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Check our concert listings for details.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com July 19, 2016.
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