by Jarrett Hoffman
IN THE NEWS:
The Akron Symphony has announced its return to the stage with the six-concert Outside Voices series this summer in Akron. The programs will focus on music of under-represented composers who are “outside” the standard repertoire, as well as audience favorites, in addition to highlighting various sections of the orchestra.
Performances take place from June 19 through August 15 at Lock 3, Hale Farm & Village, Goodyear Metro Park, Firestone Park, and Forest Lodge Park. All concerts are free, but the ASO asks for audience members to RSVP, with the bonus of being entered into a drawing for tickets this coming season at E.J. Thomas Hall.
One other concert on the calendar is the orchestra’s June 27 performance to conclude the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship tournament. Read more details about that and the Outside Voices series here.
Looking further ahead, the 42nd Tri-C JazzFest will take place September 11-12 in Cain Park’s covered Evans Amphitheater with a lineup that pays tribute to both the roots of jazz and today’s innovators in the genre. Passes, sold by day, will be available through Ticketmaster beginning on June 10. See the full lineup here.
And the Cleveland Institute of Music announced yesterday that faculty member Marshall Griffith is retiring after nearly 50 years of service, having taught music theory, improvisation, composition, and eurythmics in both the Conservatory and Preparatory divisions. Not going away empty-handed, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Composer/Virtuoso in 2014 and will be named Faculty Emeritus on June 1. Read the full announcement here.
TODAY ONLINE & IN-PERSON:
Matthew Jenkins Jaroszewicz and the Canton Youth Symphony Advanced Orchestra will play Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and the premiere of CSO Composer Fellow Molly Leach’s Glow tonight at 7:00 pm at Umstattd Hall in Canton, with an in-person audience. Tickets here.
And in the virtual realm, the Hamburg International Music Festival presents “A Celebration of Black Music I” at 8 pm. The program features a cast of vocalists that includes tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and music by such names as Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, H. Leslie Adams, George Walker, Damien Sneed, Leonard Bernstein, and many more. View here.
The headliner for June 2 is Edward Elgar, who was born on this date in 1857 in Lower Broadheath, England, outside of Worcester. Among classical musicians, two of his most famous works are the orchestral Enigma Variations (heard here in a 1957 live recording by William Steinberg and The Cleveland Orchestra) and and the oratorio The Dream of Gerontius. And around this time of year, college graduates and families tend to get the trio from his Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 lodged deep into their brains. (Another opportunity for that: hear Cleveland Orchestra trumpeter Michael Sachs play the famous tune all by his lonesome in a congratulatory message from May of last year).
But on the performing side, did you know that Elgar, in addition to being an excellent violinist, played the bassoon? Perhaps that was part of his inspiration behind the Op. 62 Romance — the other part being the playing of Edwin F. James, who was then the principal bassoon of the London Symphony, and who premiered the work in 1911 with Elgar on the podium.
Here are two recordings of this short, lyrical, and poetic work. One as written, for you to savor the beautiful orchestration (in a performance by bassoonist Klaus Thunemann and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, led by Sir Neville Marriner). And another that replaces the ensemble with an organ (another instrument in Elgar’s performing arsenal), for you to enjoy a totally different and more intimate color (played here by bassoonist Sophie Dervaux and organist Wolfgang Kogert).
That second link is a video, but the first one, audio-only, comes with its own visual bonus: for five minutes straight, the sight of Elgar’s full-bodied and stylish ‘stache, with a lushness to match the music.