by Jarrett Hoffman
IN THIS EDITION:
•Today: organist Matthew Dion and oboist Anne Pinkerton at the Covenant
•News: Tuesday Musical Scholarship winners
•R.I.P. Loris Ohannes Chobanian
•Almanac: Jean Françaix & Alicia de Larrocha
Organist Matthew Dion and oboist Anne Pinkerton are featured on today’s Tuesday Noon Organ Plus series at Church of the Covenant. On the program: J.S. Bach’s Prelude & Fugue in E-flat, BWV 552, François Couperin’s Élévation: Tierce en Taille (Messe pour les Couvents), Edward Elgar’s Imperial March, Salut d’Amour, and Chanson de Nuit, David Conte’s Soliloquy, and Olivier Messiaen’s Dieu parmi nous (La Nativité du Seigneur). A freewill offering will be taken up. The concert will also be livestreamed.
Yesterday, Tuesday Musical announced the winners of the 2023 Annual Scholarship Competition. After Sunday’s Final Round/Winners Concert, trumpeter Austin Cruz (an artist diploma student at the Cleveland Institute of Music) took home a $2,000 scholarship. Saxophonist Joshua Tuttle (a doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music) was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. And percussionist Dylan Catlin (an undergraduate at the University of Akron) won the People’s Choice Award.
Two new scholarships were also announced. Thanks to a $40,000 endowment from the William Bingham Foundation, a new music education scholarship of $1,000 will be awarded annually (the third scholarship in that category) beginning with the 2024 Scholarship Competition, as well as a new fourth-place piano scholarship of $750.
R.I.P. LORIS OHANNES CHOBANIAN:
On May 14, following an extended illness, Armenian-American composer, guitarist, lutenist, and conductor Loris Ohannes Chobanian (pictured right) passed away at the age of 90. The Canton resident taught composition at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory for 40 years before retiring in 2010, and was awarded the Cleveland Arts Prize in 1981. Click here to read a tribute by Dennis Dooley that gives an overview of several of Chobanian’s compositions, and here to read an obituary in The Repository.
On this date in 1912, French composer and pianist Jean Françaix was born in Le Mans. The son of a voice teacher (his mother) and the director of the Conservatoire de Le Mans (his father), Françaix was a child prodigy, beginning to compose at age six and just a few years later studying under Nadia Boulanger.
It’s not surprising that this virtuoso pianist — who toured Europe and the U.S. — wrote often for his own instrument, and for himself as a performer. His early Concertino for Piano and Orchestra (1932) is a great example not only of that, but of his trademark style: light, witty neoclassical. Listen here to a recording played by his daughter Claude Françaix, performing with the London Symphony Orchestra under Antal Dorati.
Another spectacular pianist shares that birthday: Alicia de Larrocha, who was born on this date in Barcelona. Like Françaix, she was a child prodigy born to musician parents — both of them pianists — and at age six, she performed at the World’s Fair in Seville. That paved the way for sold-out performances in her native Spain followed by acclaimed international tours.
De Larrocha is best known for her recordings of music by Spanish composers such as Enrique Granados and Isaac Albéniz, popularizing their works in the process. We just paid tribute to Albéniz on May 18 on the anniversary of his passing, so training our focus on his countryman, click here to listen to Granados’s Goyescas as played by Alicia de Larrocha in a recording from 1963.