The Orchestra's Halloween Spooktacular and 5 More Classical Music Events to Hit This Week

This week’s recommendations feature a service band, two final homages to a beloved French composer-conductor, a Canadian violin virtuoso, The Cleveland Orchestra all dressed up (in a different way), and two professional vocal ensembles, one domestic and one from across the pond.

The United States Air Force Concert Band & Singing Sergeants, conducted by Col. Larry Lang, will swing by Cleveland on their current tour for a program at the Maltz Performing Arts Center, 1855 Ansel Rd. in University Circle, on Wednesday, October 26 at 7:00 pm. Thanks to your federal tax dollars, the concert is free. Congress has plans to curtail the Armed Forces service bands. Come hear this concert and write to your senators and representatives and tell them what you think about that.

The two final events in the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Boulez Legacy series are scheduled for this week. The famous French composer and conductor, who guest-conducted The Cleveland Orchestra for nearly 50 years, will be honored with two concerts: one by Ars Futura on Wednesday, October 26 at 8:00 pm, another by the CIM New Music Ensemble on Sunday, October 31 at 4:00 pm, both in Mixon Hall.

The Wednesday program features Shuai Wang, piano, Madeline Lucas Tolliver, flute, Benjamin Chen, clarinet, Jinjoo Cho and Yun-Ting Lee, violins, Daniel Pereira, cello, and Luke Rinderknecht, percussion, in Olivier Messiaen’s Le Merle Noir (1951), Pierre Boulez’s Improvisé – pour le Dr. Kalmus (1969), György Ligeti’s Continuum (1968), Pierre Boulez’s Sonatine for Flute and Piano (1946), and Mario Davidovsky’s Flashbacks (1995).

The Sunday concert, conducted by Keith Fitch, will feature guest composer Augusta Read Thomas and Cleveland Orchestra principal flute Joshua Smith, and the selections include Pierre Boulez’s Dérive 1 (1984) and Mémoriale (“…explosante-fixe…” originel) (1985), Thomas’s Dancing Helix Rituals (2007) and Klee Musings (2016), Gyorgy Kurtág’s Hommage à R. Sch. (1990), and Bernard Rands’ …sans voix parmi les voix… (1995).

Before the Sunday concert, at 3:00 pm, a panel discussion moderated by Fitch will feature Thomas and Smith in conversation with CWRU music professor Susan McClary. All these events are free, but you’ll need to reserve seating passes by calling 216.795.3211.

Canadian violin phenomenon James Ehnes will make his Cleveland Orchestra debut this week in concerts on Thursday, October 27 at 7:30 pm, and Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29 at 8:00 pm in Severance Hall. The concerts, led by the wild-haired French conductor Stéphane Denève (below), are devoted to the music of Sergei Prokofiev: the Suites from The Love for Three Oranges and Romeo and Juliet, and the Violin Concerto No. 1. Tickets are available online.

The Cleveland Chamber Choir made a big impression with their debut concerts last season. Led by Kent State choral professor Scott MacPherson, the ensemble will sing double performances of their programs this year. The repeat of their first program takes the group to the West Side on Friday at 8:00 pm for a concert on the John Knox Performance Series at John Knox Presbyterian Church, 25299 Lorain Rd. in North Olmsted. “Americana” includes William Billings’ When Jesus Wept and Shiloh, Charles Ives’ Psalm 67, Aaron Copland’s Lark, a selection from John Cage’s Living Room Music, Samuel Barber’s Reincarnations, Stephen Foster songs, folk song arrangements, and spirituals. The concert is free.

They’re normally decked out in their work uniforms — white tie and tails — but The Cleveland Orchestra will get into the Halloween spirit on Sunday, October 30 at 3:00 pm by playing in costume for their annual Halloween Spooktacular, this one subtitled “Superman at the Symphony.” The musical program includes excerpts from John Williams’s score to Superman and Michael Daugherty’s Metropolis Symphony, with projected images of The Man of Steel (who may have been born on Krypton, but who was invented in Cleveland). The fun starts at 3:00 pm on Sunday, October 30 at Severance Hall. Buy tickets online.

It’s a great weekend for choral music. In addition to Cleveland Chamber Choir, the schedule includes a concert by the British group Voces8 on Sunday, October 30 at 3:00 pm. Emily Dickens and Andrea Haynes, sopranos, Barnaby Smith and Chris Wardle, countertenors, Blake Morgan and Sam Dressel, tenors, Rob Clarke, baritone, and Jonathan Pacey, bass, will demonstrate their splendid choral chops at Mary Queen of Peace Church, 4423 Pearl Rd. in Old Brooklyn. This one is free.

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