by Daniel Hathaway
When the breathtaking cascade of live concert cancellations began last March, the staff of ClevelandClassical.com wondered what we would have to write about in the coming weeks — and now months. We decided to launch a new feature, the Daily Diary, both to keep track of fast-moving developments in classical music, and to provide a platform to publish information that didn’t quite call for an entire article.
Along with the daily Almanac, the Diary has proved to be a useful tool. We’ll use it in this edition to catch up on news from all over that has come in during the holidays.
CLEVELAND CHAMBER CHOIR RELEASES DEBUT ALBUM:
Combining selections recorded live during its fourth and fifth seasons, Cleveland Chamber Choir has produced its first CD, I Sing to Use the Waiting: Live with the Cleveland Chamber Choir. Scott MacPherson conducts his singers in the 16 tracks, which are available both as a physical CD and a digital download. Details here.
CONCERT ARTISTS GUILD:
Applications will be received beginning on February 1 for Concert Artists Guild’s 2021 competition, to align with YCAT, the organization’s European Partner, and to be held online. Prizewinners, to be announced on June 8, will receive international management services, concerts in New York and London, and other performance prizes. Read the application details here.
NEWS FROM EARLY MUSIC AMERICA:
The January issue of EMA’s EMAg, featuring makers of historical keyboard instruments is now available online. Articles by Sonia Lee, Mike Cheng-Yu Lee, Parker Ramsay, and Marilyn R. Farwell discuss plucked instruments, historical pianos, historically inspired organ building in the US, and (moving on to human instruments) Castrati, Contraltos, and Countertenors. There’s lots more between EMAg’s covers, including a review of Bach cello and gamba works by ClevelandClassical.com’s Jarrett Hoffman. Click here to access.
EMA has also extended the deadline for applications to its Emerging Artists Showcase in June to midnight on January 7. Details here.
CIM PROVOST SEARCH:
The Cleveland Institute of Music has launched a nationwide search for an Executive Vice President and Provost. Read the Musical America job listing here.
IVES PIANO STUDIES OUT:
Peermusic Classical will release Volume 2 of The Complete Shorter Works for Piano by Charles Ives this month, wrapping up a thirty-year project of the Charles Ives Society to publish a critical edition of some of the iconoclastic American composer’s most challenging music. Editors Donald Berman and James B. Sinclair worked with a collection of photostats the composer gave to pianist John Kirkpatrick in 1938, comparing them to Ives’ own dynamic recordings in the 1930s and 1940s. Read a press release here.
TWO DOZEN CONCERTOS FROM RACHEL BARTON PINE:
In what might be described as a pedagogical marathon, violinist Rachel Barton Pine will perform 24 violin concertos in 24 weeks from January 10 through June 20 in online programs that “share her perspectives on each master work, explaining how she prepares to play it and how her performance connects to the work’s historical and musical context.” Designed for career violinists, advanced students, and violin teachers, as well as aficionados, Concertos from the Inside goes live at 4:00 pm ET Sundays on OurConcerts.Live, and costs $20 per show or $349.99 for the whole series. Details here.
NEW YORK’S ST. PETER’S FLOODED:
The congregation of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York made news when they sold their midtown land on Lexington Avenue to Citybank in 1970 and moved into new lodgings next to a new 59-story office tower. Famous for its music programs and its Klais organ, the church was heavily damaged in a water main break over the holidays. Cantor Balint Karosi posted photos of the damage here.
R.I.P. CLAUDE BOLLING:
The French pianist who successfully combined jazz with classical music and was mentored by Duke Ellington, died on December 29 in suburban Paris. Read the Washington Post obituary here.
MET MUSICIANS LODGE PROTEST:
Operawire has published a statement by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra musicians in response to the hiring of European players for its recent New Year’s Eve Gala, while the MET Orchestra has been furloughed without pay for ten months. Read the statement here.
STROUD COMPETITION, CHAPTER TWO:
Applications from US residents ages 14-18 for the 2nd Annual James Stroud Classical Guitar Competition will be accepted from February 1 through March 1. The competition will be held in conjunction with the Cleveland International Classical Guitar Competition at CIM next spring. Details here.
BRIAN JOHNSON CELEBRATES 25 YEARS:
Brian Keith Johnson, Northeast Ohio’s ubiquitous and beloved operatic baritone, has made a video of arias by Verdi and Mozart celebrating his 25 years as a soloist in productions by The Cleveland Opera. Watch here.
BROUWER PLANS NEW CD:
Composer Margaret Brouwer has put her time to good use during the pandemic, recording the master for a new CD of recent chamber music with her Blue Streak Ensemble— her first recording in seven years. Performers for her Rhapsodic Sonata (2016), Declaration (2005), This Morning is Beautiful (2019), and I CRY: Summer 2020 include mezzo-soprano Sarah Beaty, tenor Brian Skoog, violinist Mari Sato, violist Eliesha Nelson, and pianist Shuai Wang.
Brouwer notes that the recording has been done “in true 2020 fashion,” Beaty singing from Los Angeles and Sato and Wang recording in CIM’s Kulas Hall. Brouwer has taken a similar approach to a commission for pianist Orli Shaham and the Pacific Symphony’s Cafe Ludwig Chamber Series, in which the musicians will play their parts from home, later to be combined by a recording engineer. That piece will be streamed during 2021.