by Mike Telin
With the overarching theme of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” ENCORE Chamber Music is ready to begin its second season. “Last year was a pilot year for us, so there was a lot of experimentation,” ENCORE founder and artistic director Jinjoo Cho said during an interview. “I think this year is going to be even better. We’ve made some changes to the format, and the level of the students who are attending is even higher.”
Later this week, young, talented members of eight string quartets will make their way to Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills to take part in the String Quartet Intensive, which will run from June 11 through July 1. During the three weeks, the student groups will have the opportunity to be coached by the Jupiter and Cavani Quartets, as well as violist Kim Kashkashian and cellist Clive Greensmith. Additionally, the quartets will participate in masterclasses and attend interpretation and Eurhythmics classes, as well as interactive seminars on chamber music performance titled The Art of Collaboration.
“This year we’ve added a fellowship to the program, and we’re excited to have the Milton Quartet from McGill joining us,” Cho said. “They’re a fantastic group who just won the Fischoff Competition.”
The three-week session includes many free and ticketed events for the public to enjoy, including concerts by the Jupiter Quartet on June 16 and the Cavani Quartet on June 23. The popular Sunday Unplugged Concerts will be presented on June 18 (Summer Tango) and 25 (Mozart & Mendelssohn). And on Friday, June 30 at 7:00 pm, the Milton String Quartet performs a free concert. Click here to view a complete list of activities.
Beginning on July 2, ENCORE moves to the Cleveland Institute of Music for a three-week string and collaborative piano Academy. “I don’t think there is anything like this in the country,” Cho said. “Everybody gets a lesson every day. Where else can you get twelve lessons in three weeks with an amazing faculty like this?”
The Academy students will also be able to enlist advice from four Teaching Fellows. “Young students can be overwhelmed by speaking to teachers every day,” Cho noted. “So the Teaching Fellows can step in and help the students process the ideas the teachers are conveying during the lessons, and help them incorporate those ideas into their daily practice, as well.”
As during the Quartet Intensive, the Academy offers many free and ticketed events. “Secret and Romantic Affairs” (July 7) will feature music by Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. “The Storytellers” (July 14) includes works by Schubert and Mussorgsky, while “A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Four Hands” (July 21) includes the music of Mendelssohn.
There will also be two additional Sunday Unplugged concerts. Cho said that the “Dark Tales of America” (July 9) program, which includes works by William Bolcom and Kevin Puts, will showcase American composers who are still alive. “Kevin’s Dark Vigil is about the pattern of violence that took place in elementary and high schools in 1999. It’s a powerful piece that is speaks to the current social climate.” “Fantasies, Myths and Transfigured Night” (July 16) highlights the music of Schumann, Fauré, Szymanowski, and Schoenberg. “I have never played Verklärte Nacht,” Cho said, “and I’m looking forward to it — it’s exhilarating just to think about.”
Published on ClevelandClassical.com June 7, 2017.
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