by Mike Telin

FEDDECK-James2After four weeks of immersing themselves in the wonderful world of chamber music, this week the participants at the Kent/Blossom School will turn their focus to orchestral music. On Saturday, July 27 beginning at 7:00 pm, the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of James Feddeck, will perform Debussy’s Clair de lune and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F major.

I think the opportunity to study at a summer festival like the Kent/Blossom School presents a unique intensive period of real saturation into one’s study,” James Feddeck told us by telephone. “So the opportunity to take a few weeks — relocate and have an intense experience is of enormous benefit. And in this case the students at the festival have a great deal of contact with Cleveland Orchestra members.”

Following the 7:00 pm concert by the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra, the students will have a side-by-side experience with The Cleveland Orchestra in a performance of Ravel’s La Valse. The 8:00 pm concert also features the Overture to Les Francs-juges of Berlioz, the Piano Concerto No. 2 of Saint-Saëns and Debussy’s La Mer.

Like most music students, Feddeck also attended summer festivals, “After I had just finished high school I was a piano student at Tanglewood and for four summers. I was at the Aspen Festival, three of those as a student and I served on the faculty during the fourth. And I return regularly to guest conduct at Aspen.”

Regarding his repertoire choices, he says that since the rest of the evening is French Debussy’s Clair de lune was an obvious choice; “And I have a great affinity for transcriptions and of course this was originally a piano work.”

But how does Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, fit into the French themed evening? “I wanted a piece that would really be substantial, that would give the students a real opportunity to delve into serious ensemble issues for orchestral playing. And Beethoven 8 seemed like a good choice. Although it doesn’t have anything to do with the French idea of the evening, I felt that the educational opportunity it presents warranted the departure from the theme of the evening.” And attending the Kent/Blossom School is ultimately about having an educational experience.

Published on ClevelandClassical.com July 23, 2013

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