The Five Classical Music Events You Should Check Out This Week

Christmas in July. OK, it’s odd, but if you’re eagerly looking forward to the December holidays, here are two events will help you out with that. On Friday, July 24 at 12:15 Noon, carillioneur George Leggiero will play Christmas tunes (Nino Rota’s Novena de Natale, Irving Berlin’s I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, Mel Tormé’s Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Joe Beal’s Jingle Bell Rock & LeRoy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride) on the McGaffin Carillon in the tower of the Church of the Covenant in University Circle. And on Sunday, July 26 at 7:00 pm in Guzzeta Amphitheater on Buchtel Common at the University of Akron, Tucker Jolly will lead the summer edition of Tuba Christmas. If you happen to play tuba, sousaphone, baritone horn or euphonium, you can play along after attending an afternoon rehearsal (email Jolly to register). Both events are al fresco and free, lawn chairs, blankets and picnics welcome.

21 young violinists ages 13-18 will arrive in Oberlin this weekend for the Oberlin Cooper International Violin Competition. Events begin with the semi-final round on Saturday, July 25 at 1:30 pm in Warner Concert Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory, and continue into next week when the finalists will play concertos with Jahja Ling and The Cleveland Orchestra in Severance Hall on Friday, July 31 at 8:00 pm (more about that next week). See the concert listings for details about the semi-final, concerto and recital rounds that will determine who plays in the finals. All the Oberlin events will be streamed, and the recital finals on July 29 at 7:00 pm will be broadcast over WCLV, 104.9 FM and Everything but the Severance Hall Finals is free.

Opera al fresco returns to the Italian Cultural Gardens on Sunday, July 26 at 6:00 pm. This year, the outdoor arias and ensembles will be provided by performers from Opera Circle. You can pack a picnic or buy wood-fired pizzas, and free tastings of Little Italy wines will add to the festivities. The Viva! La Cultura Italiana sponsors will provide 250 chairs, but better bring your own — this event is really popular. The gardens are located at 990 MLK Boulevard in Rockefeller Park.

Credo winds up its summer activities in Oberlin with a concert in Severance Hall’s Reinberger Chamber Hall on Sunday, July 26 at 7:00 pm. Young soloists and a chamber orchestra under the direction of Peter Slowik will play all six of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Brandenburg” Concertos end to end. Tickets are available online through the Severance Hall box office.

After scoring excellent reviews at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York last week, The Cleveland Orchestra returns to Blossom for a pair of concerts on Saturday, July 25 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, July 26 at 7:00 pm. On Saturday, pianist Paul Lewis will join conductor Stéphane Denève for Robert Schumann’s concerto and the Orchestra will play Igor Stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks” Concerto (inspired by the Bach Brandenburgs) and Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s popular fourth symphony. On Sunday, the Orchestra bids farewell to its long-time principal clarinet, Franklin Cohen, who is going on to other things after 39 years in the wind section. He’ll play Carl Maria von Weber’s second concerto, and the Orchestra will fill out the program with Edward Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations — coded musical references to the Edwardian-era composer’s close friends that nobody (did they ask Alan Turing?) has completely figured out. Tickets available online.

Check out the details for these and many other events in the concert listings.
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