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by Mike Telin
Cleveland composer Margi Griebling-Haigh has written a new piece on commission from Cleveland Orchestra assistant principal bassoonist Barrick Stees. Sortilège will have its premiere on Mr. Stees concert, “Instrument of Enchantment: the Supernatural Bassoon” in Tucker Hall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights on Friday, May 6 at 7:30 pm.
Ms. Griebling-Haigh comes from a family which boasts three generations of composers, including her father, her mother, her sister and her daughter.
A native of Akron, she began music study with her parents and before graduating from high school, had already won awards for her compositions from BMI and the National Federation of Music Clubs. An oboist, she took her Bachelor’s degree from Eastman, studying with Robert Sprenkle, and Master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory, studying with Marc Lifschey.
In addition to the commission from Barrick Stees, she has been asked to compose for other Cleveland Orchestra soloists, including principal hornist Richard King and the late principal oboist, John Mack. Other commissions have come from organist Karel Paukert, the Schenectady Symphony, the Greater Akron Music Association and the Cleveland area chamber ensemble Panorámicos.
Her daughter Gabrielle (Gabby) is following in the tradition. Currently training to be a classicist at Clare College, Cambridge, where she sings soprano in the Chapel Choir, her Symphony No. 1 was premiered recently by the Monterey Symphony Orchestra.
We spoke with Margi Griebling-Haigh by telephone to talk about her career as a composer, her remarkable family and about the new work she has written for Barrick Stees.