A Busy Week at Severance and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch This Week in Cleveland

Plus, the Bach Festival, CMA's big night and more

A Busy Week at Severance and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch This Week in Cleveland
Photo by Roger Mastroianni, Courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra

We’ll start this week’s lengthy list of recommendations with programs at Severance Music Center.

- He’s visited the Severance podium before, but 28-year-old Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä just last week added a new post to his resumé: music director designate of the Chicago Symphony. During the first of his two-week Cleveland Orchestra residency, Mäkelä will be leading two iconic 20th-century British works: William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast (with baritone Thomas Hampson and the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus) and Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto (with soloist Sol Gabetta) on Thursday at 7:30, Friday at 11, and Saturday at 8.

You can preview the Walton here in a performance by the Leeds Festival Chorus with the BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis. (Start at 23:31 where baritone Sir Willard White dramatically announces the writing on the wall and the chorus responds with its famous outcry).

- On Friday at 8, Cleveland Pops Orchestra takes over the Severance stage for “Broadway Rocks.”

- Then a special Severance performance on Sunday at 3 pm will feature pianist Evgeny Kissin and baritone Matthias Goerne in Schumann’s Dichterliebe, and three works by Brahms: Four Ballades, Op. 10, Songs after poems by Heinrich Heine, and Lieder und Gesänge.

- Not happening at Severance itself, but involving some Cleveland Orchestra figures including its founder, the Classically Lake View | Honoring Adella Prentiss Hughes series will bring violinists Isabel Trautwein and Célina Behoux, clarinetist Robert Woolfrey, violist Will Bender, and cellist Tonya Ell to Lake View Cemetery Community Mausoleum for the clarinet quintets by Mozart and Brahms on Friday at 6pm.

- And Cleveland Orchestra cellist Dane Johansen will join pianist Noah Krauss and violinist Genevieve Smelser in trios by Brahms, Amy Beach, and Paul Schoenfeld in a Heights Arts Close Encounters performance at a Shaker Hts. villa on Sunday at 3.

- Moving on to Cleveland’s independent professional ensembles, on Saturday at 7:30 pm at Disciples Cultural Arts Center, Les Délices will feature flutist Joseph Monticello and bassoonist Clay Zeller-Townson in “Seasons Transformed,” reimagining Vivaldi’s classic concertos for flute, oboe, bassoon, a pair of violins, and continuo (repeated on Sunday at 4 at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church.)

- Conservatories and schools of music provide an abundance of interesting programming, including Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble (Thursday at 7:30, featuring works by Christopher Theofanidis) and Orchestra plus Jazz Ensemble with cellist Drew Dansby (Friday at 7:30), faculty pianist Andrew Le on the Kent Keyboard series (Sunday at 5), and the CIM Orchestra with guest conductor Sarah Hicks & faculty piano soloist Sergei Babayan (Tuesday at 7:30).

- The Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival takes over the school’s Berea campus this weekend, with concerts featuring the Baroque band ACRONYM (Friday at 7), and a program of works Bach composed in 1724 (Saturday at 7) leading up to the St. John Passion (Sunday at 2).

- Meanwhile, on Friday at 7:30 in its atrium and galleries, the Cleveland Museum of Art will present Aleksandra Vrebalov’s evening-length work Antennae. Inspired by an icon in the Museum’s collection, the work features organs, trumpets, and percussion, with members of Capella Romana singing Byzantine chant, surrounded by sixty singers and other musicians from the community.

- Three solo recitals of note round out this week’s picks. On Saturday at 7:30 at the Maltz, Cleveland Classical Guitar Society will host Badi Assad in a program of music from her native Brazil, on Sunday at 4 the Music at Bath series will present world percussionist Dan Shiller, and at the same hour, pianist Halida Dinova will play “Great Piano Miniatures” at St. James in Lakewood.

Click here to visit the ClevelandClassical.com Concert Listings page for more information.

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