by Jarrett Hoffman
IN THIS EDITION:
•Today: Marc-André Hamelin master class at Oberlin
•Announcements: Badi Assad in for Celso Machado at Guitar Society series, Balourdet receives Cleveland Quartet Award, KSU Youth Wind Ensemble honored with American Prize, and Glauser alumni to perform at Macy’s Parade as part of the Saluting America’s Band Directors Marching Band
•Almanac: Pierre de la Rue, Anton Rubenstein, John Shore, Meredith Monk, Ruth Laredo, Orianna Webb, and Moby-Dick
There’s not much going on concert-wise until after Thanksgiving, but you can catch a free master class by pianist Marc-André Hamelin at Oberlin’s Warner Concert Hall today from 4:30-6:00. It’s part of the Oberlin-Como Piano Master Class series, with another Hamelin master class coming tomorrow. Details here.
The Cleveland Classical Guitar Society has announced a change to its International Series lineup. After the cancellation of Celso Machado due to personal circumstances, the April 13 concert at the Maltz Performing Arts Center will now feature Badi Assad.
The Balourdet Quartet will receive Chamber Music America’s 2024 Cleveland Quartet Award. Currently in residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, the Balourdet gave a memorable performance to open the Rocky River Chamber Music Society 2022-23 season. Read Mike Telin’s interview with them here and Daniel Hathaway’s review of their concert here.
The Glauser School of Music has two pieces of good news to share. The Kent State Youth Winds Ensemble has received The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, High School Division (read more here).
And a pair of alumni — and married couple — from the school’s Master of Music in Music Education program have been accepted to be part of the Saluting America’s Band Directors Marching Band when it performs in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ryan Freitas and Marie Freitas are band directors in Minnesota at Chisholm High School and Cherry High School, respectively. Click here to read more about them and about the event.
And to follow up on last Wednesday’s almanac featuring Daniel Barenboim, health issues have now forced the conductor to withdraw from an upcoming North American tour with the Staatskapelle Berlin. Stepping in for him is a trio of conductors: Yannick Nézet-Séguin (in New York and Philadelphia), Giedrė Šlekytė (in Toronto, where she will make her Canadian debut), and Jakub Hrůša (in Chicago).
by Daniel Hathaway
November 20 obits include the passing of Renaissance composer Pierre de la Rue in Courtrai, Belgium in 1518 and Russian composer Anton Rubenstein in Peterhof in 1894, as well as that of English musician John Shore in 1752, who had invented the tuning fork in 1711 and presented one to Handel.
On the other end of the life cycle, pianist Ruth Laredo made her life debut in Detroit in 1937 as Ruth Meckler, multimedia composer and innovative singer Meredith Monk was born in Lima, Peru on this date in 1942, and composer Orianna Webb was born in Akron in 1974.
Laredo’s musical future was established at the age of eight when her mother took her to hear Horowitz play Scriabin in Detroit. That began a lifelong interest in Scriabin and his contemporary, Rachmaninoff, and eventually to her recordings of the complete Scriabin cycle. Click here for her performance of the Sonata No. 9, “Black Mass.” She toured with violinist Jaime Laredo during their marriage (1960-1974), but made an auspicious solo debut with Pierre Boulez and the N.Y. Philharmonic in Ravel’s G-Major Concerto in 1974. She taught at Kent State University from 1968-1971.
Listen to an episode in David Dubal’s radio series “For the Love of Music” broadcast in April, 1980 featuring a conversation with Ruth Laredo (due to copyright issues, the musical selections have been removed!)
Alan Pierson, Artistic Director of Alarm Will Sound, spoke with Monk about her piece Anthem in an interview in 2020. Watch 21 remote performers play the piece here in real time thanks to a platform Alarm Will Sound developed that year amidst the pandemic.
And Orianna Webb’s collaboration with guitarist Daniel Lippel was broadcast on the Cleveland International Classical Guitar Virtual Festival on May 28, 2021. Her bio on the festival website makes for an interesting read, as does her works list.
Finally, on this date in 1820, an 80-ton sperm whale attacked and sank the Nantucket whaling ship Essex 2,000 miles off the west coast of South America. That event inspired Herman Melville’s 1851 more-than-a-novel, Moby-Dick, and in turn, moved American composer Jake Heggie to write his opera of the same name on commission from Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, State Opera of South Australia and Calgary Opera. I saw the premiere in Dallas in April, 2010 along with colleagues from the Music Critics Association of North America. Heggie talked about the process of composing the work in a University of California TV interview in 2012.