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by Mike Telin

BROUWER-CD-ShatteredOn her latest recording, Shattered, released on the Naxos Label, composer Margaret Brouwer has compiled four beautifully constructed and emotionally captivating compositions. Each work reflects her personal and continuing musical journey to come to terms with the first decade of the turbulent twenty-first century. However what makes Shattered so appealing is that you do not need to know of Brouwer’s inner conflicts in order to immerse yourself in her alluring music. She has a talent for taking the simplest melody and through her expansive array of compositional techniques, develop it into a polished musical gem. And even when employing a twelve-tone row, Brouwer never ventures into the realm of compositional gimmickry. Every note she writes has musical purpose.

Margaret Brouwer’s immense prowess as a composer is in full evidence in her Quintet for Clarinet in A and String Quartet (2005), which is masterfully performed by the Maia String Quartet – Tricia Park and Zoran Jakovic, violins, Elizabeth Oakes, viola, Hannah Holman, cello and clarinetist Daniel Silver. In her informative liner notes, Brouwer describes the work as “a musical experiment to see whether the overlaying of different cultural influences can add to and enhance each other.” For example, during the opening movement she inventively layers musical quotes from Christian hymns with an imitation of the Muslim Call to Prayer. Read the rest of this entry »


by Mike Telin

C13 Khristenko-StanislavHas winning the 2013 Cleveland International Piano Competition changed Stanislav Khristenko’s life? “It definitely has,” the 29-year-old Khristenko said en-thusiastically during a recent telephone conversation. “At this point I feel very happy that I am able to do what I always wanted to do — and that is to play concerts.”

On Sunday, May 11 beginning at 8:00 pm in Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Stanislav Khristenko will perform a recital that includes works by Chopin, Prokofiev, Bartók, Liszt, Zemlinsky and Ernst Krenek.

Khristenko points out that Sunday’s program centers around musical topics that are of interest to him. “One of my thematic interests is fantasies, which is also the title of my new CD. Alexander Zemlinsky’s Fantasies on Poems by Richard Dehmel is considered by many to be the composer’s most imposing piano work. Chopin’s Fantasy in F Minor fits into the fantasy theme as well.” Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

ISRAEL-ShacharIt’s a fine thing when your business doubles from one year to the next. In June of 2012, when Cleveland Orchestra assistant principal trombonist Shachar Israel launched the Cleveland Trombone Seminar, the week-long event brought seventeen trombonists to the Cleveland State University campus for master classes, workshops and performances. This year CTS expects thirty-four participants and associates. “We’re extremely happy with the response,” Israel told us last week in a cell phone conversation while he was enroute to Penn State to rehearse and play a recital. “This year they’re coming from as far away as California and ages range from 18 to 45. Thirteen out of the seventeen from last year were going to come back, though two eventually had to back out. Return customers were not something we were planning on, but we seem to offer something they want and need.”

This year’s seminar, which runs from June 8 through June 16, is a day and a half longer and two new faculty members have been added. Read the rest of this entry »

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Daniel Hathaway
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