by Daniel Hathaway
Just one local performance to plug: the BlueWater Chamber Ensemble (Stephen Tavani, Rachel Englander, Maria Monday, and Nancy Patterson, violins, Laura Shuster and James Rhodes, violas, and Linda Atherton and Derek Snyder, cellos), will play Mozart’s Divertimento in F, K. 138, Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, and Mendelssohn’s Octet, Op. 20 in Evans Amphitheatre at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights. It’s free.
In addition to its forthcoming concert by Chanticleer on July 27, Tuesday Musical is resuming its “Music al fresco: Passport 2021” series of world music performances on the front lawn of West Akron’s historic Barder House. Three Sunday afternoons will feature “Irish Fiddle with Opus 216” (August 29), the Moises Borges Quartet in Brazilian samba and bossa nova (September 12), and Zydeco with Mo’ Mojo (September 26). Click here for details and tickets.
Opera Western Reserve announces local actor auditions for its November 12 production of Romeo and Juliet at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown, which will combine text from Shakespeare’s play with orchestral and vocal music from Gounod’s opera, sung in French. “We are auditioning specifically for the roles of: Paris and Abram (stage combat experience preferred), Capulet, Lady Capulet, Montague, Lady Montague, Nurse, and Friar, who will be performing Shakespeare monologue and dialogue in English.” Auditions will be held on Monday, August 9 from 7-9 pm, and Tuesday, August 10 from 4-6 pm, at Stambaugh Auditorium. Contracts are paid. Rehearsals begin in October. Advanced audition appointment not necessary. For more information, email Lynn Ohle.
Erie, Pennsylvania’s Warner Theater, home to the Erie Philharmonic, in which a number of Cleveland musicians play and whose music director, Daniel Meyer, also leads BlueWater Chamber Orchestra, is being renovated for a grand re-opening in December. The orchestra has released a fun video of its brass section playing Copland’s Fanfare on the construction site, suitably decked out for the occasion. Thanks to timpanist Andrew Pongracz for the link.
Let’s celebrate the natal days of three avant-garde composers who burst onto the scene on July 20: Nam June Paik (1932, in Seoul, South Korea), Gernot Wolfgang (1957 in Bad Gastein, Austria), and Michael Gordon (1958 in Miami).
Paik, also a mixed media and video artist, was a student of Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, whose moment of notoriety came in 1967 when cellist Charlotte Moorman was arrested for performing his Opera Sextronique topless — although other works of his, like his hommage à john cage, which calls for the destruction of two pianos, stick in the collective memory. Click here to watch a collage of his film and music, selected by musicians who worked with him.
In a review of Wolfgang’s 2016 recording, Passing Through, Lynn Rene Bayley wrote, “Every so often, a recording comes along that is really off the beaten path … so far off, in fact, that it seems to create its own genre … Wolfgang’s music is not just jazz music with a little more form, or classical music that swings. He has found a way to completely blend the two types of music in such a way that there is no real delineation between them … a beautiful and deeply moving listening experience.“
Listen to an interview with composer and film-score writer Gernot Wolfgang here.
And Michael Gordon, who co-founded New York’s Bang On A Can Festival along with his wife, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang, spent his early years in Nicaragua, moving to Miami at the age of eight. His music has been equally influenced by his experience playing with underground rock bands in New York and his studies at Yale (he currently teaches at the University of Southern California.
Gordon’s 8, for an octet of cellists, belongs to a series of works for multiple players of the same instrument — six percussionists in Timber, seven bassoonists in Rushes, and four electric guitarists in Amplified. Click here to listen to a performance by Cello Octet Amsterdam. “The eight cellists… are positioned in a circle, and the passages they play travel around the circle in both directions, call-and-response style. If you’re in the middle of the circle, you can hear the dimensionality and perspective of the sound clearly. When listening closely to the recording, you can hear the bass notes traveling in space independently of the melody line. Each cellist plays both the melody and the bass, switching back and forth in a choreography of musical roles.”