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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Cleveland Chamber Choir Does "No Time Like Spring," Plus Five More Classical Music Events Not to Miss This Week

Posted By on Tue, May 9, 2017 at 9:04 AM

  • Mike Reilly, Cleveland Chamber Choir

The Cleveland Orchestra was busy last week with a staging of Debussy’s only opera. The spirit of theater continues at Severance Hall this week as Franz Welser-Möst leads the Orchestra in Felix Mendelssohn’s incidental music to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with actor/narrator Itay Tiran, soprano Anya Matanovic, mezzo-soprano Emily Fons, and the sopranos and altos of TCO’s Youth Chorus. The program includes Hans Werner Henze’s Il Vitalino raddoppiato, chaconne for violin and chamber orchestra, featuring soloist Julia Fischer. This combination of works might make for one of the most interesting programs of the season, and the Mendelssohn is just delightful. Tickets are available online.

It’s been half a millennium since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg in Germany, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Ohio City has a number of events planned to mark the occasion. Oberlin organ professor James David Christie will play late Renaissance and early Baroque music inspired by the Protestant Reformation on the church’s Beckerath organ on Friday, May 12 at 7:30 pm. No charge, but a freewill offering will be received.

Guest conductor Thomas Hong will lead the BlueWater Chamber Orchestra in two identical programs this weekend — on Friday, May 12 at Rocky River Presbyterian Church, and on Saturday, May 13 at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights, both at 7:30 pm. The main event will be Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with Amitai Vardi in the spotlight, and the rest of the program (performed without intermission) will pursue an avian theme. Respighi’s Gli Uccelli (The Birds) and Haydn’s Symphony No. 83, “La Poule” (The Hen) will bookend the Mozart. Tickets can be ordered online.

Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchell will head west at the end of the summer to take the reins of the Colorado Symphony, but he has several important appearances left at Severance Hall and Blossom. His last outing with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra at Severance Hall on Friday, May 12 at 8:00 pm will include Joan Tower’s Made in America, Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, and Maurice Ravel’s G-Major Piano Concerto featuring COYO competition winner Catharine Baek.

Another pair of identical programs this weekend in Rocky River and Shaker Heights will feature the Cleveland Chamber Choir. Director Scott MacPherson has everyone’s favorite season in mind for “No Time Like Spring,” which includes celebratory music about the renewal of life and the blossoming of flowers by Claude LeJeune, Leonard Bernstein, Morten Lauridsen, and Benjamin Britten. Also on the program: J.S. Bach’s motet Jesu, meine Freude, and the world premiere of Cory Rubin’s My Mother, based on poems by refugees living in the Akron area. Concerts are Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 pm at Rocky River Methodist Church, and Sunday, May 14 at 3:00 pm at First Baptist. It’s Mother’s Day, too, so that’s another reason for flowers. Tickets can be ordered online.

After a few years at Baldwin Wallace, the Cleveland Art Song Festival will return to the Cleveland Institute of Music with a guest recital by Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone Eric Owens and pianist Myra Huang. The program in CIM’s Kulas Hall on Sunday, May 14 at 4:30 pm includes concert arias, art songs by Schubert, Brahms, and Ravel, spirituals, and Broadway show tunes. You’ll need to reserve tickets online.

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

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