NEOSonicFest and Six Other Classical Music Events Not to Miss This Week

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click to enlarge NEOSonicFest and Six Other Classical Music Events Not to Miss This Week
Cleveland Classical Guitar Society's International Series, see Saturday, March 12
NEOSonicFest continues this week with two large ensemble performances. Steven Smith will lead the Cleveland Chamber Symphony in Frank Wiley’s Horizon and Donald Erb’s 1967 work, Reconnaissance (one of the first compositions to feature live electronics) on Wednesday, March 9 at 7:00 pm in Drinko Hall at CSU. The program will also feature new works by finalists in the Young and Emerging Composers competition.
Liza Grossman’s Contemporary Youth Orchestra will team up with Neoglyphic Entertainment to present “Music and Its Industry: music from video games” in Drinko Hall at CSU on Saturday, March 12 at 7:00 pm. That includes tunes from Super Mario Brothers, Angry Birds, Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Zelda, Pokemon, and Halo, and music from the upcoming video game Sunborn Rising. Both events are free, but a $10 donation is encouraged at the door.

There are two opportunities this week for opera fans to indulge their passion. Oberlin Opera Theater will present George Frideric Handel’s Alcina in Hall Auditorium at Oberlin College. The show has a typically ridiculous baroque plot, but count on stage director Jonathon Field to explain it all through some cagy staging. Plus, Handel’s music is superb. Double casts of singers populate the opera, which opens on Wednesday, March 9 at 8:00 pm and continues on Friday and Saturday evenings, March 11 and 12 and Sunday, March 13 at 2:00 pm. Christopher Larkin conducts the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. Tickets are available online.

Opera Circle Cleveland will stage two performances of Mozart’s The Magic Flute at Westlake Performing Arts Center on Friday, March 11 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 13 at 3:00 pm, with the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra in the pit under the baton of Robert Cronquist. Mozart’s “Masonic” opera is laden with symbolism and deep inner meaning, but the music is alluring — and downright scary when the Queen of the Night vents her anger. The leads include Pawel Izdebski (Sarastro), Karla Cummins (Queen of the Night), Brian Skoog (Tamino), Dorota Sobieska (Pamina), James Binion (Papageno), Jessica Crowell (Papagena), and Governor Harris (Monostatos). Tickets can be booked online.

Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series continues with a concert by the Mirò Quartet on Thursday, March 10 at 8:00 pm in Finney Chapel. The program is special: violinists Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, violist John Largess, and cellist Joshua Gindele will play Ludwig van Beethoven’s three Quartets, Op. 59 (No. 1 in F, No. 2 in e, and No. 3 in C). The pieces, containing Russian themes, were written in 1806 on commission for Prince Razumovsky, the Russian ambassador in Vienna. A contemporary critic noted that “the conception is profound and the construction excellent, but they are not easily comprehended.” They’re also not often played end-to-end in a single concert, so this will be a real event. Tickets can be ordered online.

The Cleveland Museum of Art will will turn Gartner Auditorium into a virtual Irish pub (but no Guinness on tap) on Thursday, March 11 at 7:30 pm, when it welcomes Dervish, “the preeminent band in Ireland’s wild west.” Vocalist Cathy Jordan, fiddlers Tom Morrow and Kevin Burke, flutist Liam Kelly, and accordionist Shane Mitchell will play a varied program of Irish traditional music. Tickets can be ordered online.

For the past couple of seasons, Akron’s Tuesday Musical Association has been whetting its audience’s appetite by presenting various smaller ensembles from London’s Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Now, on Friday, March 11 at 7:30 pm in E.J. Thomas Hall, TMA will welcome the entire Academy with its current music director and celebrated concert violinist Joshua Bell. The program will include Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, “Classical,” Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto — with a special ending written by Benjamin Britten — and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F. Bell will both conduct and play in the Tchaikovsky, a feat that should be worth the price of admission. Tickets can be ordered online.

Polish guitarist Lukasz Kuropaczewki will return to the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s International Series at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights on Saturday, March 12 at 7:30 pm, this time with his sidekick, accordionist Maciej Frackiewicz. The program will feature Luigi Boccherini’s Grave and Fandango (arr. Frackiewicz), Alfred Schnittke’s Suite in Old Style, Mikolaj Górecki’s Arioso e Furioso (arr. Frackiewicz), Wolfgang Amadè Mozart’s 12 Variations on “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman,” K. 265, Krzysztof Penderecki’s Aria and Cadenza (ed. Kuropaczewski), Fernando Carlos Tavolaro’s Milonga, Jacek Rabinski’s Il Vento Sferza, and Tomás Gubitsch’s Travesuras. Buy your tickets online.

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