by Daniel Hathaway
IN THIS EDITION:
. Oltman obituary link
. NEA award for ENCORE Chamber Music Institute, TÁR to be screened in Canton, already critiqued by Marin Alsop
. Historic dates to remember: death of John Field (the other composer of Nocturnes), debut of Brahms’ Clarinet Sonata, birth of Duruflé, and the debuts of Copland’s Organ Symphony, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, and John Adams’ El Niño.
Baldwin Wallace Conservatory has issued a link to the obituary for Dwight Oltman.
No concerts are scheduled today.
ENCORE Chamber Music Institute has received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts for its 2023 Music & Ideas Festival, “Creatures of Emotion”!
They are among the more than 1,251 projects across America totaling nearly $29 million that were selected during this first round of Grants for Arts Projects. One of only four Northeast Ohio projects chosen in the Music category, ENCORE’s 2023 Music & Ideas Festival shares that recognition with projects from The Cleveland Orchestra and Apollo’s Fire.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “Projects such as this one with ENCORE Chamber Music Institute strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”
TÁR to be screened in Canton
This Thursday and Friday, January 12 & 13, the Canton Palace Theatre will present Tár, a film set in the international world of Western classical music. It centers on Lydia Tár, widely considered to be one of the greatest living composer-conductors and the first-ever female to be appointed music director of a major German orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic.
Canton Symphony Orchestra solo cellists will perform at 7:15 pm before the 7:30 pm showings, Michael G. Koscso on Thursday, and Eleanor Lee on Friday.
Marin Alsop offended by depiction of cruel woman conductor in ‘TÁR’
The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that Ravinia Festival chief conductor Marin Alsop, says it’s ‘anti-woman’ to portray Cate Blanchett’s character as an abuser, when it’s usually men committing abuse in the classical music field.
“I was offended as a woman, I was offended as a conductor, I was offended as a lesbian,” Alsop said of the movie, which stars Cate Blanchett as Berlin Philharmonic leader Lydia Tár. Click here to read the article by Darel Jevens..
ALMANAC FOR JANUARY 11
There’s a mixed bag of dates in classical music history to hold up on January 11.
On this date in 1937, Irish composer and pianist John Field, who invented the Nocturne and wrote 18 or 21 of them, depending on how you count them, died in Moscow, where he had settled in 1802, attracted by the vibrant cultural life of the Russian capital. Click here to listen to John O’Conor play the “Complete” 18 and puzzle along with the commentators why Field isn’t as well-known as his contemporaries — like Chopin.
In 1895, clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld joined Johannes Brahms in the first performance of the composer’s Clarinet Sonata, Op. 120, No. 1 in Vienna. By the last decade of the 19th century, the composer had intended to retire from writing music, but hearing Mühlfeld play Weber and Mozart in Meiningen changed his mind. The results were the two solo sonatas of Op. 120 (often poached by violists), the Op. 114 Trio, and Op. 115 Quintet. Click here to listen to Martin Fröst and Yuja Wang interpret the Second Clarinet Sonata.
Possibly the best-known French composer with the smallest portfolio of works to his credit, Maurice Duruflé was born in Louviers on this date in 1902. He was assisting Louis Vierne in a recital at Notre-Dame in Paris on June 2, 1937 when Vierne died on the organ bench, and two years later was featured as soloist at the premiere of Poulenc’s Organ Concerto. He passed the torch of French organ music to his students Pierre Cochereau, Jean Guillou, and Marie-Claire Alain before retiring from St-Étienne-du-Mont after a serious automobile accident.
Here is a rare recording of Maurice Duruflé playing the Prelude and Sicilienne from his Suite for Organ. “This is the Prelude and the Sicilienne; Duruflé despised the third movement, the Toccata, and refused to play it.”
January 11, 1925 saw the first performance of Aaron Copland’s Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, at Aeolian Hall in New York by the New York Symphony, Walter Damrosch conducting. Nadia Boulanger was the soloist. Click here to listen to a performance by Paul Jacobs with Michael TIlson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony.,
On January 11, 1940, Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet debuted in Leningrad. Most often heard in the form of two orchestral suites, the entire work makes a big impression. Watch it here with choreography and staging by Rudolf Nureyev performed by the Ballet and Orchestre de l’opéra de Paris, conducted by Vello Pähn.
And on this date in 2001, the first American performance of John Adams’ Nativity oratorio El Niño was given in San Francisco, with Kent Nagano conducting the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, and the Piedmont Children’s Choir. Click here to begin watching a 2000 live recording from the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris starring Dawn Upshaw, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, and Willard White. Nagano conducts the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. Click here for the second act.