by Daniel Hathaway & Mike Telin
Almost every concert-giving entity is observing Easter and Passover with darkened stages. There are a few exceptions on Friday and Saturday:
At 11:00 am Friday and 8:00 pm Saturday, The Cleveland Orchestra continues to welcome two guests to the Severance stage: conductor Kahchun Wong, who will lead Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Christian Tetzlaff (pictured).
On Friday at 7:30 pm, Trinity Cathedral presents its annual Good Friday concert, this time featuring English music for the season: Robert White’s Lamentations of Jeremiah and John Rutter’s Requiem.
On Friday at 7:30 pm, Chris Anderson leads the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble from Finney Chapel (live stream available) in music by Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, and Jay Ashby, and on Saturday at 8, Larry Snider and Matt Dudack host the University of Akron Steel Drum Band with guest Michel Spiro and alumni at E.J. Thomas Hall.
Details in our Concert Listings.
In an interview with Playbill, the Metropolitan Opera’s Peter Gelb, who early in his career “organized Horowitz’s historic return to the Soviet Union at a moment when relations had just begun to thaw between Reagan and Gorbachev,” expands on his philosophy about presenting Russian artists in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
In the past, even when political tensions between nations grew ugly, artistic endeavors rose above the din. But Putin’s murderous actions are the playbook of Hitler, not the Cold War. He has now made it impossible for the Met to work with his artistic cronies or those cultural entities he subsidizes. This doesn’t mean the Met will stop presenting Russian operas or engaging other Russian artists. They are not his accomplices.
Read “Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb On Canceling Putin, Not Pushkin” here.
THIS WEEKEND’S ALMANAC:
On April 15, 1924, English conductor and violinist Sir Neville Marriner entered the world in Lincoln. As a violinist, Marriner played with the Philharmonia and London Symphony orchestras. He also performed with the chamber orchestras of Reginald Jacques, Boyd Neel, and the London Mozart Players.
Marriner is best known as the founder of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, of which the ensemble’s discography is legendary. He was also the founder and first music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, and principal conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. Click here to read more about his productive career, and here to listen to Marriner conduct the ASMF in the Orchestral Suites of J.S. Bach.
April 16 is a rich source of cultural trivia. Did you know that American silent film icon Charlie Chaplin was actually born in England on this date in 1889, composed most of the music for his own films, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1975? (“Sir Charles!”)
Or that American composer Henry (Enrico) Mancini was a native Clevelander, born on this date in 1924 in Little Italy, and whose first instrument was the piccolo? Or that he auditioned (successfully) for Juilliard in 1942 with a Beethoven sonata and an improvisation on Cole Porter’s “Night and Day?” Or that he made a cameo appearance in the first season of Frasier as a call-in patient to Dr. Frasier Crane’s radio show, followed by the playing of Moon River?
Tuck those useful factoids away while celebrating Chaplin’s life with this 90-minute documentary and viewing his 1931 film, City Lights, for which The Cleveland Orchestra played Chaplin’s score under the big screen in Severance Hall in March of 2021, William Eddins conducting.
Tunes from Mancini’s scores to such films as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Pink Panther are surely still circulating in our ears. The latter is played here by a combo with the composer at the piano, and Swiss organist Guy Bovet was moved to make the theme into a cheeky polyphonic piece in his Fuga sopra un sogetto.
On April 17 Adolphus Hailstork was born in Rochester, NY in 1942. Hailstork, who currently teaches at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, but served on the faculty of Youngstown State University from 1971-1976. He’s featured and interviewed in the second episode of We, Too, Sing America. Former Cleveland Orchestra assistant conductor James Feddeck led his Baroque Suite with the Detroit Symphony in October of 2020, the Oberlin College Choir sang his Three Dunbar Hymns in an outdoor concert led by Gregory Ristow that same month. Looking agead, Scott MacPherson and Cleveland Chamber Choir will include two of his pieces in its forthcoming Madrigals of All Times online concert on May 15.