The Film Scores of John Williams at Blossom and Other Classical Music Events You Shouldn't Miss in the Coming Weeks

The classical music calendar begins to pick up speed soon after the Labor Day weekend. In the meantime, here are some events in the next two weeks that promise to be of special interest.

Shamelessly imitating television cook-off shows like Iron Chef, ANALOG Arts has invented an amusing and often revealing live reality contest called Iron Composer. Five composers, chosen for their impressive track records, gather early in the morning on a fall day at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory in Berea to learn what combination of instruments and what secret ingredient they’ll have to work with in crafting a brand-new piece to be composed, rehearsed and performed in the next few hours. The results will be presented at an 8:00 pm concert on Friday, September 4 in Gamble Auditorium at BW and judged by Oberlin composition professor Stephen Hartke, WCPN host Dee Perry, and a performer-judge to be announced. BlueWater Chamber Orchestra will commission a new work from the winner to be performed on its 2015-2016 series. WCLV will carry the proceedings live on 104.9 FM and, but the contest is best experienced live because the secret ingredient is frequently visual. This year’s composers include Kirsten Broberg (University of North Texas), Dorothy Hindman (Frost School of Music, University of Miami), Ryan Keebaugh (Eastern Mennonite University), Rica Narimoto (Aichi, Kanazawa & Kinjo Gakuin Universities), & Tawnie Olson (Canada). There’s no admission charge.

Fans of John Williams’s film music can flock to Blossom on Labor Day weekend to feast on two identical concerts by The Cleveland Orchestra, led by Richard Kaufman. Music from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T., Harry Potter, Superman, Jaws, Jurassic Park & Schindler’s List are on the menu both Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are available online, and under-18s can occupy space on the lawn free with an adult ticketholder.

Grammy-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux will be featured in BlueWater Chamber Orchestra’s opening concert on Saturday, September 12 at 7:30 pm at the Breen Center in Ohio City. Carlton Woods will conduct a Spanish/Latin America program including Manuel de Falla’s Suite No. 1 from The Three Cornered Hat, Aaron Copland’s trio of Latin America Sketches, and Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 4. Vieaux will take the spotlight for Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. In keeping with BlueWater’s new approach to orchestra programs, the concert will last just over an hour and there won’t be an intermission. You can reserve tickets online here.

Waterloo Arts likes to put live, mostly classical music together with art about once a month in its Music for Miles series (named after the late Collinwood benefactor Miles Kennedy). On Sunday, September 13 at 4:00 pm, Andrew Pongracz, Bruce Golden, Dylan Moffitt & Luke Rinderknecht, the four well-known local percussionists who make up the Cleveland Percussion Project, will play Mitch Markovitch’s Four Horsemen, Gennady Butov’s Old Times, John Cage’s Living Room Music, Michael Colgrass’s Percussion Music, Joe Green’s Xylophonia, Peter Garland’s Apple Blossom, Chick Corea’s Children’s Songs, Set 1 & a set of transcriptions for percussion quartet. Korean pianist Soo Ji Lee has designed a kid-friendly intermission (with cupcakes), and adults can enjoy wine, refreshments and Caribbean food from the adjoining Callaloo Café. The art show is “Bottled Water,” an experimental installation that “helps to describe the human struggle to control and submit to nature.” Waterloo Arts is located at 15605 Waterloo Road in Collinwood. Free admission. 
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