The Cleveland Orchestra Comes Home and 4 Other Classical Music Events Not to Miss This Week

click to enlarge The Cleveland Orchestra Comes Home and 4 Other Classical Music Events Not to Miss This Week
Apollo’s Fire steps out of its baroque shoes to revive its 2014 show, “Sephardic Journey: Wanderings of the Spanish Jews,” to coincide with the release of its new CD by the same name. The program, featuring soprano Nell Snaidas, tenor Karim Sulayman, baritone Jeffrey Strauss, and a band of instrumentalists, including exotic percussion, presents a cross-section of Sephardic folk music influenced by the music of Italy and the Middle East, including the progressive music of Salamone Rossi from Claudio Monteverdi’s era. There are performances in Fairlawn (February 4), Cleveland Heights (February 5), University Circle (February 6), and Berea (February 7). The February 6 venue is especially appropriate: the Maltz Performing Arts Center is a renovated synagogue of splendid proportions. Check our calendar listings for details and ticket information.

The Cleveland Orchestra is back from its most recent Miami residency. Its three concerts under guest conductor Vladimir Jurowski at Severance Hall from February 4-6 will conjure up the spirit of early 20th-century French impressionism. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet will be spotlighted in Maurice Ravel’s cheeky, jazz-inspired Concerto in G, and the Orchestra will show off its color palette in Claude Debussy’s Images with its evocations of English folk dance, Iberian scenes, and peasant dances of Spring. There’s also a more recent piece: Marc-André Dalbavie’s La Source d’un Regard, written in 2007 as a centennial homage to the great French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992). Check our calendar listings for details and ticket information.

Cleveland Opera Theater and Oberlin Opera Theater
are collaborating to produce five local performances of Nkeiru Okoye’s Harriet Tubman — When I Crossed That Line to Freedom, directed by Oberlin’s Jonathon Field, conducted by Julius P. Williams, and starring Brian Keith Johnson, Amber Monroe, Victoria Ellington, Debra Rose, and David Hughey. This week’s performances will take place on Friday, February 5 at 7:00 pm at St. Paul AME Church in Cleveland, on Saturday, February 6 at 6:30 pm at Finney Chapel in Oberlin, and on Sunday, February 7 at 2:00 pm at First Baptist Church in Shaker Heights. Mike Telin talks to the director and the composer in a two-part preview of this new work about the life and times of one of the central figures in the 19th-century Underground Railroad. Performances are free.

The Tri-C Classical Piano Series continues on Sunday, February 7 at 2:00 pm in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art with a recital by Cleveland’s own Zsolt Bognár. He combines his career as a concert pianist with his increasingly popular role as an interview host for the film series “Living the Classical Life.” Bognár — just back from the Philippines, where he appeared at the National Arts Center in Manila — will play music by Franz Schubert, Edvard Grieg, and Franz Liszt, including Liszt’s formidable sonata based on Dante’s Inferno (“Abandon hope…”) This will be the much-traveled pianist’s first full-length recital in Cleveland since his master’s degree concert ten years ago as a student of Sergei Babayan at the Cleveland Institute of Music. No admission charge.

Tuesday Musical continues its all-star season at E. J. Thomas Hall in Akron on Tuesday, February 9 with a concert by the husband-and-wife duo of flutist Marina Piccinini and pianist Andreas Haefliger. It’ll be well worth the drive from Cleveland to hear Piccinini, who has been called “the Heifetz of the flute,” play Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata in D, Marc-André Dalbavie’s Nocturne, César Franck’s Sonata in A (the violin sonata arranged for flute), and the late, great Pierre Boulez’s Sonatine. Tickets are available online.

For details of these and other events, visit the concert listings page.
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