by Jarrett Hoffman
IN THIS EDITION:
•World music on the horizon from Tuesday Musical
•Winners of the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism announced
•Two storied institutions closing their doors: the San Antonio Symphony and the community music school McGill Conservatory
•Almanac: Pavel Haas, Alan Hovhaness, and Gunther Schuller
Tuesday Musical has announced the return of its outdoor world-music series, Music al fresco: Passport 2022. The series consists of three programs — “French Café Jazz with OPUS 216” (August 21), “Italian Folk Music with Alla Boara” (August 28), and “Cuban Soul and Latin Rhythms with Justo Saborit and Havana Nights” (September 11) — each of which will receive two performances, at 1:00 and 3:00 pm, on the front lawn of West Akron’s Barder House. Tickets are available here.
The Fifth Biennial Stephen and Cynthia Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, held at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, concluded yesterday. The $10,000 Rubin Prize in Music Criticism was awarded to Emery Kerekes, a graduate of Yale University, while runner-up Lev Mamuya, a graduate of Harvard University and New England Conservatory of Music, will receive $1,000 — cash prizes intended to support further pursuit of music criticism. Kerekes and Mamuya will also be offered internships with San Francisco Classical Voice as part of the publication’s Emerging Writers Program. Read the story here from San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
In the more depressing category of news, last week brought the announcement of the dissolution of the San Antonio Symphony. The musicians had been on strike since late September after the orchestra’s leaders proposed deep cuts to the size of the ensemble and the salary of its members. Click these links for statements from the board and from the musicians.
Another century-old institution that will be closing its doors is the McGill Conservatory, the community program under the umbrella of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. In an announcement released yesterday, the Conservatory cited factors such as rising operational costs and a steep decline in enrollment since the start of the pandemic.
This date in classical music history marks anniversaries for composers Alan Hovhaness, Pavel Haas, Gunther Schuller, Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Judith Bingham, and Lalo Schifrin, as well as the premieres of Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg and Richard Strauss’s Death and Transfiguration.
We’ll focus on the 20th-century trio of Haas, Hovhaness, and Schuller, honored below by ClevelandClassical.com’s Daniel Hathaway:
On June 21 of 1899, Czech composer Pavel Haas was born in Brno, and died at the hands of the Nazis 45 years later at Auschwitz. Watch a video of Hass’s A Study for Strings that includes documentary images of his life and the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Another video features the string quartet that bears his name in a performance of his Quartet No. 2, “From the Monkey Mountains,” Op. 7 (1925, the version with percussion).
June 21 marks the death of the super-prolific Armenian American composer Alan Hovhaness in Seattle in 2000. Cleveland harpist Yolanda Kondonassis has recorded an entire CD of his works, many of which aren’t widely known. Fans of Hovhaness will already treasure his Symphony No. 2, “Mysterious Mountain,” played here by Gerard Schwarz and the All-Star Orchestra, and his brief but moving Prayer of St. Gregory (click here to hear a performance by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis).
And on this date in 2015, multi-faceted composer and musician Gunther Schuller died in Boston at 89. Formerly president of the New England Conservatory, he brought that experience to bear on his commencement address at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2015. His lifelong campaign to bridge the gap between classical music and jazz is symbolized in his 1987 concert with the New England Ragtime Ensemble at Wolf Trap, and his purely classical side is represented by his orchestral work Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee, discussed and then performed here.