Philip Glass’s "Songs from Liquid Days" and Four More Classical Music Events Not to Miss This Week

This week is all about contemporary music — whether discussed in words; attached to film, songs, or opera; or honoring a longtime Cleveland musician.

The Cleveland Museum of Art will host Chicago-based writer, curator, and music producer John Corbett in readings from his 2015 book Microgroove: Forays into Other Music — a collection of essays, articles, and interviews featuring Ornette Coleman, John Zorn, Helmut Lachenmann, and other figures — as part of its Bellwether series. The free event at the Happy Dog in Gordon Square begins at 7:00 pm on Thursday, January 26 (and because it’s Thursday, the menu expands past the tavern’s iconic hot dogs to burgers — with your choice of 50 toppings).

Philip Glass’s 80th birthday will be marked by events in Cleveland and Oberlin. Godfrey Reggio’s “Qatsi” film trilogy with scores by Glass will receive two complete screenings from Friday, January 27 through Sunday, January 29 at the Cleveland Institute of Art and Cleveland Museum of Art. Check our concert listings for showtimes for Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance (1982), Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation (1988), and Naqoyqatsi: Life as War (2002). You’ll need tickets for each performance.

In conjunction with Cleveland Opera Theater’s {NOW} Festival, Jonathon Field will direct five performances of Glass’s Songs from Liquid Days, the composer’s project of scoring lyrics by Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, David Byrne, and Laurie Anderson. The first four (January 27 and 28) will be held on the stage of Warner Concert Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory (limited seating, and reservations required: call 440.775.8206). The fifth will take place at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on January 29 (free tickets can be reserved here).

Speaking of Oberlin, the end result of a “Words Into Music” Winter Term project focusing on operas by composer Jake Heggie and librettist/composer Gene Scheer will be presented on Friday, January 27 at 8:00 pm at the new Birenbaum performance space at the Hotel at Oberlin. Student singers Elise Volkmann, Jesse Mashburn, Rachel Liss, Katherine Krebs, Lexi Prat, Sarah Sims, Joe Klinger, Matthew Payne, Ryan Dearon, Daniel Rosenberg, and Kyle Miller will perform selections from Scheer’s Voices from World War II and from Heggie’s To Hell and Back, Three Decembers, Farewell, Auschwitz, Statuesque, Camille Claudel, Friendly Persuasions: Homage to Poulenc, and Pieces of 9/11, with music direction by Joseph Mechavich. The performance is free.

Continuing another 80th birthday celebration, Karel Paukert, organist and
choirmaster of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights and curator emeritus of musical arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art, will be honored on Sunday, January 29 at 4:00 pm with “Karel Paukert Up Close and Personal.” The program will include an interview with the Czech-born musician by Timothy Robson, a Q&A, a brief recital, and a reception. The musical portion includes the world premiere of Frank Wiley’s Labyrinths, featuring the church’s three organs, as well as soloists, choir, instrumentalists, theatrical lighting, movement, and improvisation. The free event at St. Paul’s is sponsored by the Cleveland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

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