by Mike Telin
At 7:00 pm it’s the Cleveland International Piano Competition Round 1, Session 5. Contestants perform their solo recitals of 20 minutes from around the world. Suah Ye (20, South Korea), Philipp Lynov (22, Russia), Clayton Stephenson (22, United States) and Arsenii Mun (21, Russia). Click here at start time to watch the free videos.
Want to hear the event with others? Pack a picnic and bring lawn chairs to watch performances under the stars on the big screen at the Beachwood Community Center, 25225 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood.
Also at 7:00 pm is Day 3 of the Oberlin-Como Piano Festival: Master Classes and Interviews. The Marvel of the Baroque on the Pianoforte will feature an interview with William Grant Naboré and performances by Xiaoyu Liu, Leonardo Pierdomenico, Anastasia Vaorotnaya, and Daniela Jiménez Ochoa. The free event is part of Oberlin’s Stage Left series. View here at start time.
IN THE NEWS:
Tuesday Musical is offering a 50% discount on tickets for groups of 6 or more for the concert by Chanticleer (pictured) on Tuesday, July 27, 7:30 pm at Akron’s EJ Thomas Hall. Stay after and celebrate during an audience reception. This offer is only available by calling 330-761-3460 by July 22 at 5 pm — it is not available online. Single tickets can be purchased here.
July 15 presents a number of noteworthy events beginning with the death of Carl Czerny in 1857 at age 66 in Vienna. For those who only know the celebrated teacher as the person who wrote the many technical studies we all had to endure as piano students, one must remember that he was also a prolific composer with over one thousand works — sonatas, chamber music, symphonies, and choral pieces — to his credit. Click here to listen to his Variations on a Theme by Rode, Op. 33 (“La ricordanza”) played by pianist Alexis Weissenberg.
Another passing of note is that of violinist Leopold Auer in 1930 at Loschwitz, near Dresden. While he was the dedicatee of many works during his lifetime, perhaps the best known is Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Although he initially regarded the work as unplayable and refused to give the concerto’s premiere, he later — after some re-editing of the solo part — became a champion of the piece.
July 15, 1933 saw the birth of English guitarist and lutenist Julian Bream in London. With a career that spanned over a half-century, Bream is credited with transforming the classical guitar — in the eyes of the public — into an instrument worthy of being performed in the world’s great concert halls. The list of composers who dedicated pieces to Bream include Malcolm Arnold, Richard Rodney Bennett, Leo Brouwer, Hans Werner Henze, Toru Takemitsu, Michael Tippett, William Walton, Peter Maxwell Davies, and Benjamin Britten. Bream plays Britten’s Nocturnal here.
One year later, English composer Harrison Birtwistle was born in Accrington, Lancashire. His 1986 Earth Dances have been compared to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Christoph von Dohnányi recorded the work in 1996 with The Cleveland Orchestra for Decca (listen here), but there’s also a video of a performance by Cologne’s Gürzenich Orchestra led by Marcus Stenz.
1946 saw the birth of American singer Linda Ronstadt in Tucson, Arizona. She began her prolific career as a member of The Stone Poneys — Click here to listen to their 1967 hit Different Drum. Never content to be boxed into a genre, Ronsdadt would later star in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, first with the New York Shakespeare Company, and later on Broadway and in the 1983 film version — listen to Poor Wandering One here. She also toured with The Nelson Riddle Orchestra. She sings Falling in Love Again here.
We conclude today’s list with two local connections. The first is that of Swiss American composer Ernst Bloch, who died on this date in 1959 in Portland, Oregon. Bloch served as founding director of the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1920-1925 before moving on to the San Francisco Conservatory. Among Bloch’s music based on Jewish themes is his tone poem about King Solomon, Schelomo: Rhapsodie Hébraïque. Listen here to a live Blossom Festival performance in 1980 by cellist Janós Starker with The Cleveland Orchestra, led by Eduardo Mata.
And July 15 1988 saw Robert Shannon give the premiere of John Harbison’s Piano Sonata No. 1 In Memoriam Roger Sessions at the Dorothy Taubman Piano Institute in Amherst, MA. The sonata was written for Shannon, a long-time faculty member at the Oberlin Conservatory, and for Ursula Oppens and Alan Feinberg, on a consortium commission from the National Endowment for the Arts. Click here to listen to Shannon’s recording.