Rock Me, Amadeus

The Orchestra celebrates 250 years of Mozart by lining up his greatest hits.

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Of all the birthday parties your kids will attend this year, today's Cleveland Orchestra concerts commemorating Mozart's 250th may be the most significant. So says Andrew Grams, the assistant conductor who leads one of the performances. The show, part of the Family Concert series, invites children to a musical celebration that Grams hopes will change little ones' lives. "We're grabbing the attention of our future audience," he says. "There is no better time to make a connection with them."

Grams and James Gaffigan, his fellow assistant conductor, will oversee highlights from some of Mozart's most famous works. Singers from Cleveland Opera on Tour will excerpt scenes from "The Marriage of Figaro," and fledgling violinists from the Cleveland Institute of Music will tackle "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," which Mozart famously adapted into 12 variations for piano. The Cleveland Orchestra will play selections from "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik." "Mozart always sounds like himself, no matter what," says Grams. "He speaks in the musical language of his day, but he uses that language in the best way possible. Composers after him had to come up with something new."
Sat., March 4, 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

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