Powerhouse Pianist Yefim Bronfman With the Cleveland Orchestra and All the Rest of the Classical Music to Check Out This Week

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click to enlarge Powerhouse Pianist Yefim Bronfman With the Cleveland Orchestra and All the Rest of the Classical Music to Check Out This Week
Courtesy Contrapunctus Early Music

Last week we recommended CIM Opera Theater’s production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, which opens on Wednesday, February 28 at 7:30 pm in Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Since then, we’ve learned that the fourth performance of the show will be a matinee on Saturday, March 3 at 3:00 pm, intended for children and families. Kids will especially enjoy watching the witch get her comeuppance. Tickets can be booked online.

He’s a powerhouse of a pianist, but Yefim Bronfman’s stunning technique and elegant sense of style also serve him well in works like Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. He’ll play that noble piece with guest conductor Nikolaj Znaider and The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall on Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, March 3 at 8:00 pm, and Sunday, March 4 at 3:00 pm. The companion piece is Edward Elgar’s Symphony No. 2, which Znaider and the Orchestra will repeat at a matinee performance on Friday, March 2 at 11:00 am. Tickets are available online.

Contrapunctus Early Music, an endeavor of British countertenor David Acres, has been absent from the Cleveland musical scene for a couple of years. The high-voice chorus of sopranos, altos, and countertenors is back again with a concert of music dedicated to the Virgin Mary on Friday, March 2 at 7:30 pm at St. John’s Cathedral in downtown Cleveland. The playlist includes music by a number of composers, including Hildegard von Bingen, Brahms, Ola Gjeilo, Holst, Mozart, and Palestrina, as well as the premiere of a work by Graham Keitch. The performance on the Helen D. Schubert Concert Series is free, but an offering will be welcome.

Speaking of high voices, Allison Monroe, Elena Mullins, Karin Weston, and guest Nathan Dougherty, who perform as Trobár, have developed a program they call “Music at the Birth of the Renaissance: Four Seasons in Trecento Florence.” The repertoire includes laude, ballate, madrigals, and saltarelli for voices, vielle, rebec, harp, recorder, and percussion that 14th-century Florentines would have heard around town. The date is Friday, March 2 at 7:30 pm, and the venue is St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. Tickets are $15 or $5 for students and seniors.

Contemporary composers love ensembles that can give their music excellent, committed performances. One of the best, Timothy Weiss’ Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, brings its expertise to Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Sunday, March 4 at 2:00 pm. The menu includes the North American premiere of Henrik Hellstenius’ Hi – Ophelia! (2006), Xue Ju’s Invocation (Blessing the Boat, 2017), and Kaija Saariaho’s Graal théâtre (1994) with violinist Peter Herresthal as soloist. Tickets here.

Next on the guest list of the Rocky River Chamber Music Society is clarinetist Alan Ware with Duke University’s artists in residence, the Ciompi String Quartet. On Monday, March 5 at 7:30 pm at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church — a great place to hear chamber music — Ware will team up with violinists Eric Pritchard and Hsiao-mei Ku, violist Jonathan Bagg, and cellist Fred Raimi in Weber’s B-flat Clarinet Quintet and Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet in b, Op. 115. While Ware takes a break, the quartet will treat the audience to Mozart’s Quartet in D, K. 575. As always for the Rocky River society, admission is free.

Check out details of these and many other classical music events on our Concert Listings page.
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