By Daniel Hathaway
Who was that masked man? Before the Lone Ranger, there was Zorro, the populist hero who undermined the Spanish authorities in old California. Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. starred in the 1920 silent film, The Mark of Zorro, which will be screened tonight at 7:30 at the Cleveland Silent Film Festival with a live score played by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Check our Concert Listings for details.
South Korean violinist Seohyun Kim, 14, has won the International Tibor Varga Violin Competition in Sion, Switzerland. If her name sounds familiar, in 2022, she took first prize at Oberlin’s Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition. Mike Telin caught up with her for an interview after that victory. Click here to read.
The Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra has announced its 86th season, with concerts led by Victor Liva to be given at Cleveland State University, Westlake Performing Arts Center and West Shore Universalist Unitarian Church. Click here for details.
Today’s New York Times eulogizes composer Gloria Coates, who has passed away at 89. “A Wisconsin native, she was among the most prolific female composers of symphonies, 17 in all, finding particular prominence in Europe, where she lived.” Read the obituary here.
by Stephanie Manning
Up until 1995, the Cleveland International Piano Competition was known by a different name. When pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet arrived in Cleveland in 1979, it was to participate in the Casadesus Competition. The French musician, born on this day in 1961, won Second Prize that year, and has since gone on to international success (pictured below with The Cleveland Orchestra, photo by Roger Mastroianni).
Thibaudet’s visit to Cleveland marked his first time in the United States — and the city left a lasting impression on him. In our 2018 interview, the pianist recounted a memory of telling a local taxi driver that he was a musician. “He almost stopped his cab and he turned around and said, ‘Sir, do you know that in Cleveland we have the best orchestra in the world?’ I said yes, I know.
“It was amazing to have that pride from a taxi driver,” he added. “Usually they talk about the baseball team, but he was so proud of his orchestra. And I’ve never seen that anywhere else.”
Thibaudet is a long-time collaborator with the Cleveland Orchestra — his most recent appearance was in December 2019, when he performed Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Egyptian”) with conductor Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider.
In addition to concert appearances, he also recorded multiple albums with the Orchestra in the 1990s, primarily of works by Rachmaninov. Listen to his performance of the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 2 under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy here.
It was also in the 1990s when the pianist began to branch out into recording film scores. Over the years, he has contributed to movies like Pride and Prejudice (2005), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), and Atonement (2007).
The soundtrack to the latter, composed by Dario Marinelli, went on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Score. Listen to the album (pictured), which also features cellist Caroline Dale, on YouTube.
“The good composers of soundtracks, I admire them as much as I do classical composers. I don’t make a difference between them — a composer is a composer,” Thibaudet told the Los Angeles Times in 2012. “The movies are the opera of modern times. Had there been movies back when, Puccini and Wagner would have certainly written film scores.”
Thibaudet recently developed a cabaret show with vocalist Michael Feinstein devoted largely to the music of George Gershwin. Read Daniel Hathaway’s review of this summer’s Blossom performance with The Cleveland Orchestra of “Who Could Ask for Anything More” (originally published on Cleveland.com).