BW's Bach Festival and 9 Other Classical Music Events Not to Miss This Week

It’s high season for classical music, with 59 events listed in our calendar for this week alone. There are tough choices to be made by both the editors and the audiences, but here are some standouts on this week’s agenda to help you plan your schedule.

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Performing Arts Series has two interesting events scheduled for April 13 and 15. On Wednesday the 13th at 7:30 pm, the gypsy band Fanfare Ciocărlia, from the isolated village of Zece Prăjini in northeastern Romania, will bring its high-powered brass band music to Gartner Auditorium. They’re the real thing, not a sanitized commercial group (read a preview here with a mini-review of their new CD Onwards to Mars!) On Friday the 15th at 7:30 pm, the museum will present Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound, a 17-member ensemble of musicians from all over the world “who mix modal music of the Middle East with jazz and other contemporary practices to create a unique, uninhibited musical environment.” Check out online tickets for both events here.

The Cleveland Orchestra will neatly split into two smaller orchestras this week. Half the ensemble will join guest conductor Jane Glover at Severance Hall on Thursday, April 14 at 7:30 pm, Friday, April 15 at 7:00 pm, and Saturday, April 16 at 8:00 pm. The performances will feature principal flutist Joshua Smith and guest harpist Yolanda Kondonassis in Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp, plus symphonies by Mozart and Haydn. The Friday concert is part of the [email protected] series with drinks and eats available before and after a one-hour performance. The Orchestra will also run this program out to Finney Chapel on Sunday, April 17 at 4:00 pm as part of the Oberlin Artist Recital Series. Severance Hall tickets are available here, Oberlin tickets here.

Meanwhile, on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16, 55 members of the Orchestra will provide live music by Benjamin Britten and John Luther Adams for The Good Peaches, a play by Quiara Alegría Hudes directed by Laura Kepley, with Brett Mitchell conducting and choreography by David Shimotakahara. Those performances take place at the Allen Theatre in PlayHouse Square at 7:30 each evening. Tickets are available here.

The venerable Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival has enjoyed a re-do under its new artistic director, Dirk Garner. The 84th edition runs from Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17 and includes both Papa Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and its contemporary cousin, David Lang’s little match girl passion, based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen. In addition to choral and orchestral concerts, there are lectures and a piano recital by Fr. Seth Duggan, who happens to be a Roman Catholic monk. Check out the full schedule here.

Kent New Music is on the move. Frank Wiley will bring his New Music Ensemble and a group of student saxophonists to the W. 78th Studios’ monthly Third Friday bash on April 15 from 6-9 pm. There’ll be music by Marilyn Shrude, Graham Waterhouse, Andrew Rindfleisch, Stuart Saunders Smith, John Zorn, Chelsea Komschlies, Glorianne Earley, Michael Lada, Matt Incorvati, Ian Schulz, Duohan Zhang, Scott Little, Max Loutzenheiser, and Kevin Wilson. Free admission.

Long before the thaw in relations with Cuba, the island lost one of its most promising classical guitarists to the United States. Manuel Barrueco, now a world-class artist who teaches at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, will be the featured artist for the season finale of the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s International Series on Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 pm at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights. Buy tickets in advance online.

The Cleveland School for the Arts’ Nathaniel Dett Chorale will be the featured guests on the next Arts Renaissance Tremont concert at Pilgrim Church on Sunday, April 17 at 3:00 pm. William B. Woods will lead the singers in a varied program that includes Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. It’s free, but donations are encouraged.

Also on Sunday the 17th at 3:00 pm, the Oberlin Conservatory and Case Western Reserve University will collaborate on a student-run production of Henry Purcell’s famous 17th-century opera, Dido and Aeneas, in Harkness Chapel on the CWRU campus. It’s a degree project for stage director Jason Goldberg, with music direction by Oberlin student Nicholas Capozzoli, a string quartet of period instruments, and choreography by CWRU faculty member Julie Andrijeski (read a preview of the project here). This is the third performance of the opera — you can also catch it on Friday or Saturday, April 15 or 16 at 8:00 pm in Fairchild Chapel at Oberlin. All performances are free.

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