by Daniel Hathaway

Julia Fischer

Julia Fischer

January begins slowly in Northeast Ohio’s classical music scene, but builds momentum as the month rolls along. Here are some highlights in chronological order.

For those who enjoy prolonging the Christmas season (or who adhere to the old practice of starting that celebration on December 25 and caroling on through the ensuing twelve days — which also takes you up to the beginning of that season in the Orthodox calendar), there are two events this weekend that will keep the cheer flowing. The Met’s live broadcast on Saturday the 4th at 1:00 pm over WCLV, 104.9 FM features Oberlin graduate Julie Tamor’s hour and forty minute holiday version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute with Alec Shrader as Tamino (another Oberlin alum) and Jane Glover on the podium. Glover will guest conduct The Cleveland Orchestra later this season. On Sunday the 5th at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Youngstown, the Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival revives Elizabethan pageantry and music for performances at 1:30 and 4:30 pm.

Also on Sunday the 5th, Karen Weaver’s vocal ensemble, Good Company, having had the good sense to avoid any further crowding of the December calendar, sings Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and music by Elgar, Fauré and Whitacre at Lakewood Presbyterian Church beginning at 4 pm. (Weaver’s feminist chorus, Windsong, also concertizes this month on January 12 at 4 pm at the Church of the Covenant.)

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music has a String Quartet Intensive and Festival planned during its Winter Term. The festivities begin on Tuesday the 7th with a violin and piano recital by Areta Zhulla and James Howsman, with other events during the month to feature the Wasmuth, Jupiter and Cavani string quartets as well as cellist Zuill Bailey and faculty and student musicians. Watch for a preview next week on ClevelandClassical.

Franz Welser-Möst returns to Severance Hall for all-Brahms programs with The Cleveland Orchestra and violinist Julia Fischer from January 9-12 and for a Mozart and Beethoven program featuring pianist Radu Lupu and the premiere of Jörg Widmann’s Teufel Amor (Symphonic Hymn after Schiller) from January 16-18. The orchestra’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert takes place on Sunday the 19th at 7, and Severance Hall will be on open house status on Monday the 20th from Noon to 5 pm to welcome the community for a string of performances by Severance Hall ensembles and guests.

The Akron Symphony will feature Apollo’s Fire concertmaster Olivier Brault and its own principal bassoonist, Todd Jelen, in Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and the Mozart concerto at E.J. Thomas Hall on the 11th at 8. Christopher Wilkins conducts.

Anyone who missed Les Délices’s Odyssey-inspired program, “Myths and Allegories,” can catch it on the 17th at 7:30 in Chagrin Falls under the auspices of Chagrin Arts.

First Baptist Church in Shaker Heights presents its annual Robert Schneider and Betty Meyers organ and piano duet concert on the 19th at 2 pm.

Victor Liva leads the Cleveland Philharmonic in the orchestra’s own MLK celebration at Tri-C Metro Campus Auditorium on the 19th at 3 pm.

The Marian Anderson String Quartet appears on the Wooster Chamber Music Series in Gault Recital Hall at the College of Wooster on the 19th at 3 pm.

CMA Concerts at the Transformer Station on Cleveland’s near West Side continue with Third Coast Percussion on the 19th at 7:30 and with violinist & violist Mary Oliver and drummer Han Bennick on the 22nd at 7:30.

Apollo’s Fire’s intimate “Fireside Concerts” feature old English ballads performed by lutenist Ronn McFarlane and soprano Meredith Hall in four different locations from January 22 through 26.

CIM’s Mixon Masters Series showcasing composer-performers continues on January 23 with Gabriela Montera playing piano music by Brahms and Schumann and classical improvisations suggested by the audience.

Shaker Heights Arts Council presents Tim Tavcar’s Wordstage chamber music theater in “Bloomsbury and the Great War: A Literary Drama” with food, drink and special exhibits at the Shaker Historical Society on the 24th at 8 pm (refreshments at 7).

The Russian Duo (balalaikist Oleg Kruglyakov and pianist Terry Boyarsky) got snowed out of their Nighttown performance in December but have been rescheduled for Friday the 24th at 8:30.

André Watts joins Gerhardt Zimmerman and the Canton Symphony on the 25th at 7:30 for MacDowell’s second piano concerto — part of an American program that also includes music by Arthur Foote, Howard Hanson and Walter Piston.

Cleveland Classical Guitar Society presents the Beijing Guitar Duo at Plymouth Church on Saturday the 25th at 7:30.

The Cleveland Institute of Music rounds out the month with its annual Black Heritage Concert on the 26th at 4, and an 80th birthday tribute to composer Bernard Rands (a symposium on the 27th at 4 pm and a concert guest-conducted by Steven Smith on the 29th at 8).

Watch ClevelandClassical for previews and check the concert listings for details of these and other January events.

Published on January 2, 2014

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