Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Jam-Packed Week of Classical Music Leaves You No Excuse for Not Seeing Something Good

Posted By on Wed, Oct 12, 2016 at 3:19 PM

  • Nikita Mndoyants, see Sunday
From a variety of attractive possibilities, here are some particularly interesting classical music options for your enjoyment this week.

Three of the four young virtuosos who make up Sō Percussion are Northeast Ohio natives. They’ll spend this week in Akron rehearsing for what should be two spectacular concerts. On Tuesday Musical Association’s FUZE! Series, Sō will present a joint concert with the University of Akron Percussion Ensemble at UA’s Guzzetta Recital Hall on Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00 pm, when the ensemble will play Steve Reich’s Drumming for percussion and voices. Sō will join the Akron Symphony in a concert on Saturday, October 15 at 8:00 pm in E.J. Thomas Hall which will feature the ensemble in in David Lang’s man made. The program will also include Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Wasps Overture, Tan Dun’s Secret of Wind and Birds, and Gustav Holst’s spectacular astrological tone poem, The Planets. Christopher Wilkins conducts. Wednesday tickets can be ordered here, and Saturday’s here. (Read previews here and here.)

“Consorts” or ensembles of violas da gamba (fretted instruments played between the knees) were all the rage in England until the late 17th century, when the Royals began to envy the King of France for his modern orchestra that included violins. Viols soon became extinct until 20th-century scholars rooting around in libraries got curious about the music written for those instruments and revived them. One of the best modern viol consorts, Fretwork, will visit the Cleveland Museum of Art on Wednesday, October 12 at 7:30 pm for a concert featuring not only old music by John Taverner and Orlando Gibbons, but also new music composed for the five musicians by Nico Muhly, Gavin Bryars, and Maja Ratkje. Tickets can be reserved online. Read an interview with Fretwork founder Richard Boothby here.

The Terence Blanchard Quintet will team up with Rafael Jiménez and the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra on Thursday, October 13 at 8:00 pm in Oberlin’s Finney Chapel for Blanchard’s A Tale of God’s Will: Requiem for Katrina for Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Quintet (partially heard in Spike Lee’s documentary When the Levees Broke). The program will open with a performance by the Ben Cruz Quintet, a small jazz ensemble from Oberlin’s Jazz Department (Ben Cruz, guitar, Giveon Gelin, trumpet, Nate Rice, saxophone, Emma Adomeit, bass, and Ricardo Guerra, drums). This one is free.

The New York-based brass ensemble The Westerlies (Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler, trumpets, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch, trombones) will return to the Bop Stop (2920 Detroit Rd. in Ohio City) on Thursday, October 13 to play original music by each member of the ensemble combining jazz, roots, and chamber music influences. Tickets can be had online.

First up on the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s International Series this season is Polish artist Marcin Dylla, who will play music by Mauro Giuliani, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Roberto Sierra, Manuel Maria Ponce, and Benjamin Britten on Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 pm at Plymouth Church, 2860 Coventry Rd. in Shaker Heights. You can buy tickets in advance online.

Charting new territory, Cleveland’s French Baroque ensemble Les Délices will perform torch songs from the 17th to the 20th centuries by composers ranging from Michel Lambert and Marin Marais to Billy Strayhorn and Nina Simone in two programs of “Songs Without Words.” The first concert is on Saturday, October 15 at 8:00 pm at SPACES (2220 Superior Viaduct), the second on Sunday, October 16 at 4:00 pm in Herr Chapel at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights (2860 Coventry Rd.). Reserve tickets here.

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than enjoying a piano recital? There are two excellent possibilities on Sunday, October 16. At 2:00 pm, Simone Dinnerstein opens the Tri-C Classical Piano Series in Gartner Auditorium of the Cleveland Museum of Art. The free concert will celebrate Philip Glass’s 80th birthday with selections from his Metamorphosis and Etudes, and will feature small and large pieces by Franz Schubert (his Impromptus and the great Sonata in B-flat). At 5:00 pm on Sunday, Nikita Mndoyants, gold medalist at the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition, will make his first post-competition appearance in the area on the Music From The Western Reserve series at Christ Episcopal Church (21 Aurora St.) in Hudson. The Russian pianist will revisit pieces by Haydn, Schubert, and Prokofiev (his Sonata No. 7, “Stalingrad”) that served him well during his ascent to the finals in August. You’ll need tickets for this one ($18 at the door). Read an interview with Mndoyants here.

For details of these and many other events, visit the ClevelandClassical.com Concert Listings page.

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