by Jarrett Hoffman
IN THIS EDITION:
•Today: a discussion about Dett’s The Ordering of Moses and a performance by the jazz ensemble PRISM
•News: Heights Arts looking for ensembles, Neighbor Up Action Grant applications open, and Bop Stop honored
•Almanac: a handful of premieres and Simon Rattle’s next stop
In conjunction with Oberlin ensembles’ Friday visit to Carnegie Hall, a discussion titled “Cultural Context in Dett’s The Ordering of Moses” will take place today at NYC’s Merkin Hall at 5:30 pm. The talk will focus on the music, life, and ideas of composer R. Nathaniel Dett (pictured) as seen through the lens of fields such as African American music, choral music, ethnomusicology, music theory, and religion. Click here to access the stream and for more information.
And at 7:00 pm at Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights, the Local 4 Music Fund presents PRISM, a jazz ensemble made up of Anthony Fuoco, piano, Carrie Klayman Singler, violin, John Klayman, woodwinds, Jeff Singler, cello, Aidan Plank, bass, and Sunceray Tabler, drums and percussion. Expect to hear jazz classics by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Billy Strayhorn, Chick Corea, and Freddie Hubbar, and newer compositions by composers such as Michael Brecker, Donny McCaslin, John Abercrombie, and Bill Stewart. Admission is free.
Heights Arts is looking for small ensembles to perform on their 2023 Gallery Concert Series. Groups can be from any genre, but they must consist of 2-6 players. The deadline to apply is April 1. More details here.
Another opportunity to apply for: Neighbor Up Action Grants, which range from $500 to $5,000, and are meant to spur small, grassroots community projects throughout Cleveland and East Cleveland. (Arts and culture grants are co-funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.) The deadline is February 13. Details here, including information about workshops and one-on-one assistance for grantseekers.
And the Bop Stop was recently honored by DownBeat Magazine as one of 106 Great Jazz Venues of 2023. As the club wrote on Facebook, “To be recognized alongside some of the other top venues for jazz and improvised music around the world speaks to the work that we have been doing and encourages us to keep on pushing forward.”
Many notable premieres have taken place on this date in music history, beginning in the 18th century with Mozart’s “Prague” Symphony (1787), continuing into the 19th century with a pair of operas — Verdi’s Il Trovatore (1853) and Massenet’s Manon (1884) — as well as Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1 (1873), and moving into the 20th century with Shulamit Ran’s O, the Chimneys (1970), Arvo Pärt’s Te Deum (1985), and John Adams’ Violin Concerto (1994).
Another birthday on the docket is that of British-German conductor Simon Rattle, who turns 68. So, how about a pairing of premiere and birthday? Click here to listen to Rattle lead Berlin in the Mozart, a performance from New Year’s Eve, 2005.
Rattle rose to fame during his 18-year tenure as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, subsequently taking on the post of principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, followed by the music directorship of the London Symphony, where he remains today — though not for much longer.
Starting with the 2023-24 season, Rattle is returning to Germany to lead the Bavarian Radio Symphony, which will allow him to be closer to his family in Berlin. COVID lockdowns helped him make that decision: as was the case for a number of prominent musicians, that additional time at home with loved ones helped him set his priorities straight with regards to the extent of his globe-trotting.
For a taste of that partnership to come, listen to this recording of Haydn’s Symphony No. 91 from 2012.