by Daniel Hathaway
University Circle seemed to be firing on all cylinders last month — on Saturday, June 8, for example, in addition to hosting Parade the Circle, the Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival and Cleveland International Piano Competition were producing simultaneous events at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra was packing Severance Hall for Jason Mraz down the street.
July is a different matter, and several U.C. institutions have joined forces to inject a new series into the calendar this year designed to keep performances flowing and to increase access to classical music. We spoke with Israeli pianist and recent CIM graduate Or Re’em, who is Music Director for Music in the Circle, an international summer music festival, to find out what’s in the plans.
Re’em had previously been involved with Judson Manor’s intergenerational program that houses CIM students in University Circle’s celebrated retirement community (read a New York Times feature here). “When the festival idea came up, Judson generously offered to sponsor visiting artists in their guest apartments,” he said. “That made it possible to invite artists from South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, and Israel. The program grew bigger than I originally expected.”
The series will begin on Thursday, July 11 with a 7:30 pm concert in CIM’s Mixon Hall featuring Minju Kim and Avigail Bushakevitz, violins, Matthew Cohen, viola, Isabel Gehweiler, Eleanor Lee, and Khari Joyner, cellos, Kathryn Brown, Nicholas Underhill, and Or Re’em, piano, Peter Arfsten, flute, Amit Dubester, saxophone, and Charles Renneker, percussion. The program includes Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in d, CIM composer Chris Neiner’s Infinite Spinning, and Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 2 in A.
On Sunday, July 14, the series moves to a larger hall, Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art, for a 2:30 pm Gala Concert featuring Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A, Andrew Norman’s Music in Circles, and Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. Performers include Avigail Bushakevitz, Minju Kim, and Ariel Karaś, violins, Matthew Cohen, viola, Khari Joyner, Eleanor Lee, and Isabel Gehweiler, cellos, Peter Arfsten, flute, Nicole Raven, clarinet, Amit Dubester, saxophone, Yaron Kohlberg, Kathryn Brown, and Or Re’em, piano, and Charles Reneker, percussion.
“Little Nighttown Music” on Thursday, July 18 at 8:30 pm, in the eponymous local restaurant and jazz club, will include works by Mozart, Ysaÿe, Franck, and Khari Joyner, performed by violinist Avigail Bushakevitz, cellists Khari Joyner and Isabel Gehweiler, saxophonist Amit Dubester, and pianists Alex Tuchman and Or Re’em.
The final performance is designed to be primarily kid-friendly. “Mother Goose Visits the Manor,” on Sunday, July 21 at 3:00 pm in Judson Manor’s Loegler Lounge, will be built around an arrangement of Ravel’s Mother Goose by Chris Neiner, preceded by an introduction to the instruments involved. Avigail Bushakevitz will narrate and play violin, joined by Peter Arfsten, flute, Devin Hinzo, oboe, Eleanor Lee, cello, Henry Samuels, double bass, Juan Riveros, harp, and Alex Tuchman, piano.
Re’em is particularly looking forward to the July 11 performance of Infinite Spinning by Chris Neiner, a master’s student of Keith Fitch at CIM. “It’s a wonderful piece with very colorful timbres. Chris has also arranged Libertango for the Nighttown concert.”
Published on ClevelandClassical.com July 9, 2019.
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