by Daniel Hathaway
On Friday, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced that $4 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding (CARES) is being directed to Cuyahoga County Arts and Culture. The allocation includes $2.7 million for nonprofits administered by CAC, and $1.3 million for artists and for-profit live performing arts businesses, administered by Arts Cleveland. Read the press release here.
STROUD COMPETITION RESULTS:
Following the impressive final round of the James Stroud Classical Guitar Competition for high school students on Friday evening, the winners were announced from the stage of Mixon Hall at CIM. First Prize went to Aytahn Benavi, 18, of Austin, Texas ($10,000), Second Prize to Eric Wong, 16, of San Jose, California ($5,000), Third Prize to Patricia Hernandez, 16, of Miami, Florida ($2,500), and Fourth Prize to Ian Tubbs, 15, of Bloomington, Indiana ($1,250). James Stroud also awarded a special $500 prize to Hernandez as the finalist who had shown the most improvement over the course of the contest. The final round performances can be viewed here.
ON THE WEB THIS WEEKEND:
On Saturday, Korean guitarist Bokyung Byun performs on the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s International Series, gambist Arnie Tanimoto and harpist Parker Ramsay combine for a recital, and Oberlin State Left continues its series of large ensemble performances. On Sunday, the latest Bang on a Can Marathon runs for six hours, organist Steven Plank plays a recital in Huron, the CIM Black Student Union hosts a Benefit Concert, and Kent State piano faculty Andrew Le plays his debut recital, postponed from last spring (repertoire ranges from Bach to Gershwin). Details in the Concert Listings.
Lots to commemorate these two days. We’ll start with the arrivals: British composer Herbert Howells was born in Lydney, Gloucestershire on October 17, 1892; violinist, conductor, and soprano Susan Davenny Wyner in New Haven, CT on October 17, 1943; and American trumpet wizard Wynton Marsalis on October 18, 1961 in New Orleans.
And those whose cords were cut by the fates include German pianist and composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel (October 17, 1837 in Weimar); Polish pianist and composer Frederic Chopin (October 17, 1849 in Paris); Czech composers Vicktor Ullmann and Pavel Haas (October 17, 1944 at Auschwitz at the hands of the Nazis); English composer and organist John Taverner in Boston, England (October 18, 1545); and French composer Charles Gounod (October 18, 1893 in Paris).
We’ll pick just two composers to feature from that long list.
Howells’ reputation is based on his large output of Anglican church music — ecstatic and elegiac works that celebrate particular cathedrals and choirs, and many of which commemorate Howells’ son Michael, who died of polio at the age of nine. His Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral is a good example of his lofty tone and special harmonic language: this performance by St. Paul’s Choir in Christopher Wren’s monumental building is led by Barry Rose, with Christopher Dearnley at the organ.
Among Howells’ smaller works is his expressive setting of the carol A Spotless Rose, performed here by Ross W. Duffin and Quire Cleveland in 2013 in Trinity Cathedral. José Gotera is the baritone soloist.
Pavel Haas’ String Quartet No. 2, “From the Monkey Mountains” was performed by the ensemble that bears his name on the Cleveland Chamber Music Society series on April 17, 2012. Listen to their recording here. His Wind Quintet has been featured locally on concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet (CCMS series), CIM faculty and students (“Violins of Hope” series), and CityMusic Cleveland (“The Composers of Theresienstadt,” including Viktor Ullmann’s Quartet No. 3).