by Daniel Hathaway
Looking for outdoor music? Try Sheryl Modlin’s 12:15 pm concert on the McGaffin Carillon in University Circle (also live streamed), the 2:00 pm Ohio Light Opera performance of Trial by Jury in Wooster, or Canton Symphony musicians’ 6:00-8:30 pm event, Music in the Beech Creek Botanical Garden in Alliance (billed as an “adult evening”).
Online, tonight at 7:00 pm, the Cleveland International Piano Competition continues with Round 2, Session 4, featuring pre-recorded, 30-minute programs by Roman Lopatynskyi (27, Ukraine), Martín García García (24, Spain), Svetlana Andreeva (32, Russia), and Byeol Kim (31, South Korea).
Both live and online, the Kent Blossom Music Festival faculty recitals continue with the Miami String Quartet, who perform at 7:30 pm in Ludwig Recital Hall at KSU. Violinists Benny Kim and Cathy Meng Robinson, violist Scott Lee, and cellist Keith Robinson will play Haydn’s Quartet No. 30 in E-flat (”Joke”), Erwin Schulhoff’s Quartet No. 2 (1925) & Dvořák’s Quartet No. 10 in E-flat.
Details in our Concert Listings.
Oberlin Jazz Percussion Professor Billy Hart has been named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. Read the Oberlin news release here.
And the Oberlin-Como Piano Festival, a five-day virtual celebration of the Conservatory’s partnership with Italy’s Accademia Internazionale Del Pianoforte Lago Di Como, recently offered online, is now available for on-demand viewing.
The sessions include interviews and master classes with Yefim Bronfman (“Piano Concerti of Beethoven and Brahms”), William Grant Naboré (“The Marvel of the Baroque on the Pianoforte”), Dang Thai Son (“Conversations with Chopin”), Robert Spano (“Performing Piano Concerti: A Conductor’s View”), and Oberlin-Como Director Stanislav Ioudenitch (“The Golden Age of Piano Virtuosity: Legacy of Lake Como”). Watch here.
Italian composer and harpsichordist Domenico Scarlatti died on this date in 1757, perhaps from exhaustion after composing 555 sonatas which have become favorite recital openers for many modern pianists, and technically demanding exercises for keyboardists in general. Thanks to the Petrucci Library, all of them are available here in eleven volumes edited by Kenneth Gilbert. Keyboardists: hone your sight reading by taking on one sonata every day, a challenge that will either thrill or frustrate you for the next year and a half!
Johann Sebastian Bach left us some 200 church cantatas, and speaking of challenges, British composer and conductor William Gillies Whitaker, born on this date in 1876, set out to perform all of them. He succeeded, presenting a third of them in Newcastle and the rest in Glasgow with his Bach Choir.
A number of conductors have recorded all the sacred cantatas, including Karl Richter, Masaaki Suzuki, John Eliot Gardiner, Helmuth Rilling, Nikolaus Harnoncourt with Gustav Leonhardt, and Ton Koopman. I’ve had friends who made it a habit to listen to one cantata every Sunday morning, an inspiring regimen that could take four years to complete. It would be interesting to listen to a single conductor’s interpretations, or to mix and match them. Time to get started!
July 23 marks the birthdates of a number of American composers who may not be familiar household names: Ben Weber (born in 1916 in St. Louis), Jerome Rosen (1921 in Boston), David Noon (1946 in Johnstown, PA), John Carbon (1951 in Chicago), and Steven L. Rosenhaus (1952 in Brooklyn, NY).
Another challenge: get to know the works of these sometimes prolific figures, using the following as points of departure. For Weber, his Piano Concerto (performed by William Masselos with the NY Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein). For Rosen, his String Quartet No. 1. For Noon, his Saxophone Quartet No. 1. For Carbon, his Fantasy-Nocturne for piano and orchestra. And for Rosenhaus, a “Meet the Composer” interview on Zoom, and his chamber work for soprano, string quartet and piano, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Pigeon.