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We are a sitting room. See Friday.
This week’s musical suggestions range from the old to the very recent — including cantatas from the time of Louis XIV, to improvisations where music will be invented before your very ears.
The Cleveland Orchestra
welcomes one of the world’s elder statesmen, Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt, back to Severance Hall for concerts on Thursday, February 18 at 7:30 pm and Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20 at 8:00 pm. The spry 88-year-old will lead the Orchestra, probably without referring to a score, in a relatively unknown symphony by Swedish composer Franz Berward (No. 3, the “Sinfonie singulière”) and in Czech composer Antonin Dvořák’s sunny Symphony No. 7. Tickets can be ordered online.
On Friday, February 19 at 7:00 pm, Cleveland’s recently organized Syndicate for The New Arts will launch its new partnership with Hingetown’s St. John’s Institute with a performance of Alvin Lucier’s We are Sitting in a Room
(1969), a classic of minimal tape music. Read a preview here
that will explain the whole experience. The concert is in Historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ohio City, just off Detroit and Lorain avenues, and admission is free.
Kent State University’s Vanguard New Music Guest Artists Series
will present “vocalizing pianist” Michiko Saiki in Ludwig Recital Hall on the Kent campus on Saturday, February 20 at 7:30 pm. The program — you probably won’t ever have heard any of these pieces before — includes Stuart Saunders Smith’s Lazarus, Amy Beth Kirsten’s (speak to me), two movements from Brian Ferneyhough’s Opus contra naturam, Jeff Weston’s ruler piece no. 2 & Christopher Dietz’s Until the end, my dear. This one is also free.
Icarus and Phaeton took some big chances when they were teenagers. Cleveland’s French Baroque ensemble Les Délices
will tell their stories in concerts entitled “Folly of Youth” at Harkness Chapel at CWRU on Saturday, February 20 at 8:00 pm, and in Herr Chapel at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights on Sunday, February 21 at 4:00 pm. Soprano Shannon Mercer will be the featured guest, and the playlist includes George Frideric Handel’s early cantata Tra le fiamme (1707), excerpts from Jean-Baptiste Lully’s opera Phaeton & François Duval’s sonata Le Phaeton. Tickets can be ordered online.
The Ches Smith, Craig Taborn & Mat Maneri Trio
(drums, piano & viola) will play through-composed material and pieces designed to stimulate open-ended improvisation from the group’s debut CD, The Bell at Bop Stop on Saturday, February 20 at 8:00. This is an opportunity to hear three fine musicians take off on original flights of fancy based on already-composed chamber music. (Read an interview with Ches Smith here.
) Tickets are $10 at the door.
The Factory Seconds Brass Trio,
made up of Cleveland Orchestra second-chair players Jesse McCormick, horn, Richard Stout, trombone & Jack Sutte, trumpet, are the next act up on the Music from the Western Reserve series. They’ll play a concert entitled “Second to None” (the unofficial motto of The Cleveland Orchestra) on Sunday, February 21 at 5:00 pm in Hudson’s Christ Episcopal Church. TIckets are $15 at the door.
For details of these and other events, visit ClevelandClassical.com’s Concert Listings.