Organist Jonathan Moyer plays a Noon recital on his home turf at the Church of the Covenant in University Circle featuring musical prayers by William Bolcom, César Franck & Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Moyer will use organs at both ends of the Covenant nave, and there are cookies to be had.
This evening, the Cleveland Chamber Music Society hosts the Imani Winds, not on its home turf but in Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Flutist Brandon Patrick George, oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz, clarinetist Mark Dover, hornist Kevin Newton, and bassoonist Monica Ellis will play Eugène Bozza’s Scherzo, Elliott Carter’s Quintet, Henri Tomasi’s Cinq Danses, Anders Hillborg’s Six Pieces, and former Imani flutist Valerie Coleman’s Afro-Cuban Concerto.
Check our Concert Listings for details.
Between its international competitions, which now take place every four years, PianoCleveland sponsors a series of pianocentric events to keep the buzz going. The latest is a video contest, PianoFlicks, featuring six musicians in a variety of 30-second to five-minute videos in a worldwide contest on Wednesday, October 27 at 7:00 pm.
In a press release, PianoCleveland president Yaron Kohlberg writes, “We are excited about the opportunity for musicians to express and create in ways that go beyond the boundaries of traditional piano competitions or recitals, while making music more accessible for listeners at the same time.” Viewers can cast votes for contestants during the live broadcast for an audience prize of $300. Details here.
Ahead of the arrival of the Taliban, more than 100 young artists, teachers and their relatives who are affiliated with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, have fled the country,
“The musicians, many of whom have been trying to leave for more than a month, boarded a flight from Kabul’s main airport and arrived in Doha, the capital of Qatar, around midday Eastern time, according to Ahmad Naser Sarmast, the head of the school, who is currently in Australia. In the coming days, they plan to resettle in Portugal, where the government has agreed to grant them visas.” Read the New York Times article here.
A death, a birth, and a premiere stand out among the events that occurred on this date in classical music history.
The death: Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas in 1940 in Mexico City. Revueltas was championed by composer Carlos Chavez, who invited him to serve as his assistant conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico until the two had a falling out over a commissioned work. His visit to Spain during the Spanish Civil War, sponsored by a leftist organization, ended with the victory of Francisco Franco, as did his musical career in Mexico not long afterward.
Revueltas, a member of a remarkable artistic family, is probably best known today as the composer of Sensemayá, based on the eponymous Cuban poem by Nicolás Guillén that evokes the ritual of killing a snake using an Afro-Caribbean chant. A close runner-up is his suite, La Noche de los Mayas, arranged from a film score. Click here to watch a performance by Semyon Bychkov and Cologne’s WDR Symphony from 2010.
The composer was also known for his sense of humor. Héctor Palencia Alonso cites his cameo appearance as a bar pianist in the film ¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa! for which Revueltas wrote the score. He’s playing La Cucaracha when shooting breaks out and holds up a sign reading “Please don’t shoot the pianist”
The Birth: American composer and pianist Eleonor Sandresky in 1957. She describes herself on her website as “piano goddess, composer, inventor of the Wonder Suit, producer of film with live orchestra concerts, founder of the MATA Festival, and pianist with the Philip Glass Ensemble since 1991.”
Wonder Suit? She explains that further.
Working at the forefront of avant-garde concert-as-theater, Eleonor reinvented herself in 1999 as the original Choreographic Pianist with her groundbreaking composition, A Sleeper’s Notebook (1999–2003), in which she explores her deep interest in how motion translates to emotion through sound. Out of this work, Eleonor invented The Wonder Suit, a remote set of wireless sensors worn and used to trigger sonic events through movement during live performance. These sonic events range from discrete processes to surface manipulations of pitch and build on the concepts and ideas in her choreographed works. She has created large-scale works for The Suit, including A Space Odyssey (2016) which incorporates found sounds from NASA as a basis for the composition.
Explore a variety of Sandresky’s work on this YouTube playlist.
The Premiere: British cult composer Havergal Bryan’s Symphony No. 28 was first performed on this date in 1973 by Leopold Stokowski and the New Philharmonia Orchestra. His famous, extravagantly scored symphonies (32 or them) were mainly composed during the last 30 years of his life, and for practical reasons, few of them were performed during his lifetime. All 32 are now available on YouTube.
That premiere of No. 28 was remarkable because of the ages of the composer and conductor. In a Daily Telegraph review, Anthony Payne wrote: “It was fascinating to contemplate the uniqueness of the event — a 91-year-old conductor learning a new work by a 91-year-old composer.”
That thought ties nicely into an article that appears today on San Francisco Classical Voice. Janos Gereben writes,
Orchestra conductors appear to live longer than people in any other profession. Famous conductors of the past, then in an era when life expectancy was around 50 years, lived well into their 80s and 90s — Leopold Stokowski 95, Pablo Casals 96, Nadia Boulanger 90, and Arturo Toscanini 89, to name a few. The phenomenon has long been studied and marvelled at.
Click here to read How Do Riccardo Muti and Other Ageless Conductors Defy the Odds?