by Timothy Robson
For the past 22 years George Vassos, retired chair of the voice department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, has labored mightily to ensure the preservation of that rarified musical event, the art song recital. In 1985 Vassos established an annual Art Song Festival at CIM; since 2004 it has been resident at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea and is now biennial, with occasional special events in the off-years.
The 2014 festival is underway at BW this week and features several masterclasses with auditioned singer/pianist teams coached by guest artists, as well as recitals by the guest artists and a final recital by the teams themselves. On Tuesday evening, May 20, British soprano Joan Rodgers and pianist Roger Vignoles gave the first of this year’s artist recitals.
Joan Rodgers is relatively unknown in American musical circles except through her numerous recordings, including an acclaimed performance as The Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. [Read more…]