by Jarrett Hoffman
For those who enjoy a touch of tradition — yet are troubled by how often pieces by the same cast of composers are performed — ENCORE Chamber Music’s third season, titled “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” should fit the bill.
“Our concert programs not only feature composers firmly set in the Western musical canon, but also celebrate music written and inspired by women, composers whose sexual orientation put their careers and their lives in jeopardy, and artists who struggled with their racial and religious identities,” ENCORE artistic director Jinjoo Cho said in an email.
“Comprised of music written by composers of diverse backgrounds, and dedicated to all the artists of past and present who have had to fight against societal bias, to me this season is a reminder that love is our most important virtue,” Cho continued. “Love holds us together even at the darkest moments of life, and I wanted to celebrate that.”
ENCORE’s season continues on Friday, June 29 at 7:00 pm in Mixon Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music with “Nasty Women,” featuring music written or inspired by “fiery” ladies. Shulamit Ran (right) will be represented by her string sextet Lyre of Orpheus, and Amy Beach by her Piano Quintet in f-sharp, Op. 67.
On the female-inspired side of the program, George Benjamin’s duet Viola Viola was written for a pair of violists — duh — one of whom was Nobuko Imai, founder and member of the Michelangelo Quartet. Poulenc never seems to have met Edith Piaf, but he was so taken by her artistry that he subtitled his Improvisation No. 15 in c as an homage to that chanteuse, songwriter, and actor.
July begins with a “Sunday Unplugged” concert on the 1st of the month at 2:00 pm in Mixon Hall, titled “Sentimental Romance: Romantic pieces with a touch of melancholy.” The program opens with three selections from Glière’s Op. 39 Duo for violin and cello, followed by Debussy’s Piano Trio in G and Bruch’s Octet for Strings in B-flat.
The duo of pianist Itamar Golan and violinist Jinjoo Cho will be the focal point of the concert on Friday, July 6 at 7:00 pm at Mixon Hall. The program includes Britten’s Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 6, Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in f, Op. 80, and Franck’s Piano Quintet in f.
National borders are often fraught with complex logistics and, far worse, incredible suffering. ENCORE will “Imagine No Country” in their final “Sunday Unplugged” concert on July 8 at 2:00 pm in Mixon Hall. The program features works by composers from diverse cultural backgrounds: Book of Hours by Richard Danielpour (born in New York of Persian Jewish descent), A Bird Came Down the Walk by Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu, Tenebrae by Osvaldo Golijov (born in Argentina of Romanian descent), and Romanian composer George Enescu’s Octet for Strings in C, Op. 7.
Students of ENCORE’s Summer Academy will give five free concerts — the Blooming Artists Marathon — in Mixon Hall at 2:00 and 7:00 pm on both July 13 and 14, and at 2:00 on the 15th.
Closing out the season on Sunday, July 15 at 7:00 pm at Mixon Hall is a Summer Academy performance accompanied by the ENCORE Camerata ensemble in a program of works by Bartók, Dvořák, Brahms, Vaughan Williams, and Grieg.
Tickets to all the season’s events can be purchased here.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com June 25, 2018.
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