by Rory O’Donoghue
“This year’s ChamberFest — the way everything’s turned out — is really quite satisfying. It makes me smile.” I could almost hear Franklin Cohen grinning through the phone.
Prior to the beginning of this year’s festival, I had the opportunity to talk with Cohen, principal clarinet emeritus of The Cleveland Orchestra and co-artistic director of ChamberFest, about the current season and the evolution of the Festival. Above all, he’s immensely appreciative of how far he’s come: “It’s just so wonderful to be able to do this, to have this life of music. I fell in love with music as a child, lying under the piano when my mother would practice. I couldn’t escape the spell, and still can’t.”
ChamberFest emerged in 2012 with its first season, Big Bang!, and has been on the rise ever since. The organization’s mission statement, “to nurture a deep family-like connection between musicians and audiences of all ages,” remains strong, in no small part due to the familial leadership between Cohen and his daughter, Executive and Co-Artistic Director Diana Cohen. The two of them have held a lifelong affinity for chamber music. [Read more…]