by Kevin McLaughlin
In 1993 Dolores White was commissioned by the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra to write Celebration, Salute to the Arts for the centennial celebration of the Chicago World’s Fair, and the resulting work was premiered by CWO that year at the Cleveland Museum of Art. It is fitting, then, that the Orchestra’s program on Sunday, April 30 featured that work, both as tribute to the longtime Cleveland-based composer — who died on March 23 — and as a wider celebration of the arts and women’s contribution to it. The concert at Severance Music Center also featured Dane Johansen in a silky performance of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, and the King Christian II Suite of Jean Sibelius.
Conductor Jungho Kim (pictured) began by describing the orchestra’s commission of Celebration, and his meeting with the composer not long before her passing to discuss the upcoming concert. At age 90, White was so occupied by performances and personal appearances that she only had a few minutes to meet with Kim outside her apartment. Unconcerned by passing cars and street noise, as the conductor recalled, White intently pointed out important passages in the score. Kim was moved by her unflagging energy and attention.