Five Can't-Miss Classical Music Events This Week in Cleveland

Two concerts this week feature members of what might be called the Griebling/Haigh Dynasty of musicians. Margi Griebling-Haigh, oboist and composer, is the daughter of two composers. Her husband, Scott, is assistant principal bass in The Cleveland Orchestra, and their daughter, Gabrielle Haigh, is a soprano and composer who recently graduated from Cambridge University in the U.K. Margi, Gabrielle and Scott, plus friends and colleagues, are involved in a concert entitled “Strange Bedfellows: sublime music by J.S. Bach and whimsical music by Margi Griebling-Haigh” to be held in the chapel of Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights on Wednesday, July 8 at 7:30 pm. Then on Sunday, July 12 at 3:00 pm at Judson Manor (1890 E. 107th St. near University Circle) Gabrielle Haigh will join pianist Eric Charnofsky in “Songs of Beauty and Mystery” by Debussy, Strauss, Barber, Bernstein and the elder Grieblings. There’s no admission charge, but donations are welcome at the Fairmount concert.

After a well-deserved break, The Cleveland Orchestra returns to Severance Hall for the first of three laid-back “Summers@Severance” concerts on Friday, July 10 at 7:00 pm. Franz Welser-Möst will conduct, and pianist Igor Levit will solo in Beethoven’s fourth concerto. Olivier Messiaen’s Hymne and Richard Strauss’s Symphonia domestica will fill out the program, and the Severance Hall patio will be open for partying before and after the performance. Tickets are available online.

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony will be the major attraction on Saturday, July 11 at 8:00 pm, when the Blossom Festival Chorus will join Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra for their first non-holiday performance at Blossom. The all-star lineup of vocal soloists includes Tamara Wilson, Nancy Maultsby, Stuart Skelton and Dashon Burton, and L’Ascension, an almost Romantic-sounding early organ work by Olivier Messiaen arranged for symphony orchestra, opens for the Beethoven. Better get there early for a good picnic spot on the lawn (and B.Y.O.B. is a Blossom tradition). Under 18s can request free lawn passes (details and tickets online.)

Another in a series of classically-themed films, Grand Piano, directed by Egenio Mira and featuring Elijah Wood and John Cusack, will be screened at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Sunday, July 12 at 1:30 pm. The 90-minute 2013 Spanish film is adapted from Damien Chazelle’s thriller about a young concert pianist just recovering from a debilitating bout of stage fright, who discovers a threatening note scribbled on his sheet music just before a performance (“play one wrong note and you die”). Watch a trailer here. Tickets will be available at the door of CMA’s Morley Lecture Hall.

In addition to Blossom Music Center events, there are more concerts afoot in Cuyahoga Valley National Park this summer, thanks to the CVNP Conservancy. Music by Nature will present “Summer Winds,” a concert featuring music for woodwind quintet by Eric Ewazen, Karl Pilss and Paul Valjean on Sunday, July 12 at 6:30 pm at the Happy Days Lodge in Peninsula (a second concert, with music for flute, viola, guitar and cello is scheduled for July 26). Picnics are welcome and the price of admission includes a dessert and meet-the-players reception after the performance. Tickets available online.

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