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by Daniel Hathaway

ART-Players-042714Arts Renaissance Tremont crowned its 23rd season at Pilgrim Church Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, April 27 with an excellent concert of music for winds and piano featuring Cleveland Orchestra members Mary Lynch, oboe, Robert Woolfrey, clarinet, Barrick Stees, bassoon and Richard King, horn, with Youngstown State University faculty member Cicilia Yudha, piano. A new Yamaha concert grand piano was the sixth performer.

Planning a full-length concert of wind music can be tricky. The ear can grow weary no matter how fine the playing (and wind players can get tired for their own reasons). Sunday’s group made some savvy decisions, mingling two trios with a solo piece and ending with probably the best work in the wind chamber music repertoire.

Robert Woolfrey led off with Oskar Morawetz’s Clarinet Sonata from 1981. Read the rest of this entry »


by Mike Telin

hereOn Sunday, April 27 beginning at 3:00 pm in Pilgrim Congregational Church, Arts Renaissance Tremont presents a concert of chamber music for woodwinds and piano performed by Cleveland Orchestra members Mary Lynch, oboe, Robert Woolfrey, clarinet, Barrick Stees, bassoon and Richard King, horn, with Cicilia Yudha, piano.

The program includes Oskar Morawetz’s Clarinet Sonata (1981), Heinrich von Herzogenberg’s Trio in D for Oboe, Horn & Piano, op. 61, Poulenc’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon & Piano (1926) and Mozart’s Quintet in E-flat for winds and piano, K. 452 (1784).

Cicilia Yudha, who is an Assistant Professor at the Dana School of Music Faculty at Youngstown State University and coordinator of the keyboard musicianship program, pointed out during a recent telephone conversation, “As a pianist, it is rare to play chamber music with woodwinds. There is a lot more repertoire in the piano trio and quartet area. But this music is such a joy to play and of course these players are all top notch. I’m just very happy to be doing it.”

Oboist Mary Lynch who along with Yudha spearheaded the program added, “I’m very excited about the whole program. I think it presents a good picture of the repertoire for winds and piano. And we’re all just very happy to be playing this music together and excited to bring it to people.” Read the rest of this entry »

by J.D. Goddard

BachBashOn Friday, March 21, Trinity Cathedral Chamber Singers and instrumentalists, directed by Elizabeth Lenti, presented a “Bach Birthday Bash” concert at Pilgrim Church, presented in collaboration with the Arts Renaissance Tremont series. It was a beautiful setting in the renovated sanctuary with its ornate organ pipes the center of attention. The welcome from the church staff was especially commendable and made for a comfortable beginning to the evening’s fare.

The program opened with Lenti at the organ performing the Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543. With confidence and agility, Lenti laid down an exacting performance filled with interpretive nuance and style befitting the brilliance of Bach’s compositional genius. Infused with rambling melismatic lines, the Prelude was straightforward yet exacting in articulateness. With sensitive control and solid bravura, Lenti discharged the difficult Fugue with poignant clarity and acute definition. It was a majestic and awe-inspiring opening for Bach’s birthday celebration 2014.

Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

BachBashEach year coinciding with the first full day of spring, the music world gathers to celebrate the birthday of the great Johann Sebastian Bach.

2014 marks the master’s 329th birthday and on Friday, March 21 beginning at 7:00 pm at Pilgrim Church, Arts Renaissance Tremont in partnership with Music & Art at Trinity will honor the occasion with a Birthday Bash.

Trinity Chamber Choir and strings will be led by organist and conductor Elizabeth Lenti. Soloists include Tamer Edlebi, oboe, and Jinjoo Cho, violin, and vocalists Judith Overcash, Erin Smith & Malina Rauschenfels. Read the rest of this entry »

by Timothy Robson

Cho-&-KimIn its 23rd season, Arts Renaissance Tremont, based at Pilgrim Congregational Church, continues to offer an interesting and excellent variety of programs. The latest concert was by Jinjoo Cho, violin, and HyunSoo Kim, piano, on Sunday, February 9. The latest snowstorm had stopped by afternoon, and the cold sun shone brilliantly; thus, a large audience was in attendance for a stimulating program of less-often-played modern works.

Jinjoo Cho is a multi-prize winner in national and international competitions, with many solo recitals and concerto performances already in her relatively short career. After studying at the Curtis Institute of Music, she returned to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She now studies with Jaime Laredo. HyunSoo Kim is a CIM graduate and recently joined the CIM collaborative piano staff. Both are technically accomplished with strong musicality.

In brief spoken notes Jinjoo Cho described the program as consisting of “war sonatas”; each of the works, by Debussy, Janáček, Joan Tower, and Prokofiev, were composed during the various wars of the 20th and early 21st century. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

Cho-&-KimWhat I love about him is that even during a first reading of a piece we already have the gestures,” says violinist Jinjoo Cho about her frequent collaborator, pianist HyunSoo Kim. “We may not have all the notes under the fingers but we are musically on the same page from the very beginning.” Perhaps it’s that certain musical chemistry that has made Cho and Kim audience favorites throughout the Cleveland area.

On Sunday, February 9 beginning at 3:00 pm, Arts Renaissance Tremont presents Jinjoo Cho and HyunSoo Kim in a concert featuring the music of Debussy, Janáček, Tower and Prokofiev at Pilgrim Church in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.

A native of Seoul, South Korea, Jinjoo Cho earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in violin performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. And she has had considerable success on the competition circuit, including First Prize and Orchestra Award winner of the Buenos Aires International Violin Competition and First Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award winner of the Montréal International Musical Competition. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

Shapiro-&-ART-QuartetSometimes it’s not so easy to produce a concert. An established string quartet originally announced to appear with CIM piano professor Daniel Shapiro on the Arts Renaissance Tremont series last Sunday afternoon, November 17, withdrew late in the summer.

Fortunately, ART artistic director Christine Haff-Paluck had the rich resources of the Cleveland Institute of Music to draw upon, and organized a replacement quartet of excellent players: violinists Jinjoo Cho and James Thompson, violist Leah Ferguson and cellist Catlyn Kessler.

Then came the piano issue. Shapiro needed a more powerful instrument than the resident piano for a program of Romantic piano quintets, so a Steinway B was graciously loaned for the occasion from the Oberlin Conservatory.

And then there was a change in the program order after the programs had been printed: Dvořák’s Quintet in A, op. 81 was to have begun the concert, with Franck’s Quintet in f to follow. Haff announced before the concert that the two pieces would be played in reverse order. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

SHAPIRO-DanielI absolutely love the Franck Piano Quintet,” pianist Daniel Shapiro told us by telephone. “There’s a mystical quality to it similar to what you find in Bruckner, almost as if the clouds part and one can see God or something like that. It’s beyond everyday passion. Yes I do love the music of Franck although I think his detractors are noisy.” On Sunday, November 17 beginning at 3:00 pm in Pilgrim Congregational Church, Arts Renaissance Tremont presents pianist Daniel Shapiro with Jinjo Cho and James Thompson, violins, Leah Ferguson, viola and Carlyn Kessler cello in performances of the piano quintets by Dvořák and Franck.

Performing chamber music has and continues to be an important part of Shapiro’s musical life. He has performed regularly with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony and Cleveland Orchestras, and has also performed with the Cavani, Mirò and Linden Quartets. And he has very kind things to say about his colleagues for Sunday’s concert, all of whom are students at the Cleveland Institute of Music. “I don’t think of them as students, we are equal colleagues — we share ideas and talk about what we think would make things better.” Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

ART Trio TerzettoSince its founding in 1991 Arts Renaissance Tremont (ART) has been a cultural pillar in that now trendy West Side Cleveland Neighborhood. “When we began the series, Tremont was not as trendy or as popular as it is today,” remembers ART president Robert Schneider. “I remember Miracles being the place to go for pancakes so we were there long before the neighborhood became as popular as it is today.”

Under the tireless direction of Chris Haff- Paluck with assistance from a group of extremely dedicated board and volunteers, Arts Renaissance Tremont has somehow managed to remain true to the vision of keeping the concerts free of charge. “We operate solely on membership and freewill donations. There are no tickets involved and we try to make the programs accessible to everyone,” says Schneider. ART has also received financial support from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC Grants) the Neighborhood Connection and the Kulas Foundation. ART has also benefited greatly from the generous support of its performance venue, the acoustically beautiful Pilgrim Congregational Church.

Tremont resident and longtime ART concert attendee Lorraine Thwaite says she enjoys Arts Renaissance Tremont concerts because the performers are of world-class quality and the concerts are right in her neighborhood. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

Ferguson-PaulI’m kind of all over the map right now,” says trombonist, educator composer, arranger and band leader Paul Ferguson. In addition to serving as associate artistic director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and director of jazz studies at Case Western Reserve University, Ferguson’s current projects include commissions from the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble and the Nordonia Junior High Jazz Band, and he has recently finished arranging the twelve trio sonatas by Henry Purcell for three trombones or any three bass clef instruments as well as some sacred music for jazz ensemble.

He is also putting the finishing touches on arrangements for rock singer Todd Rundgren, who will be performing with the Akron Symphony later this month. But this Friday, August 16, Paul Ferguson will put on his performer’s hat when he brings his Quintet to Tremont’s Lincoln Park for a free evening of jazz beginning at 7:00 pm. Part of the Arts in August series, the concert is presented in collaboration with the Tremont West Development Corporation and Arts Renaissance Tremont (ART). Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

NELSON-ElieshaHeadViolist Eliesha Nelson has a penchant for discovering interesting music written for her instrument. Her 2009 release Quincy Porter Viola Works, received four Grammy nominations and won in the Best Engineered Album Classical category. The tag line of her website homepage states: Showcasing the viola repertoire’s lost gems. And stating why her 2011 release Russian Viola Sonatas did not include the sonata of Shostakovich, Nelson writes, “I love the Shostakovich Sonata, but did not include it because I love to explore music off the beaten path.”

On Sunday, April 28 in Pilgrim Church, Eliesha Nelson and pianist James Howsmon presented a captivating recital that featured works by two lesser known composers as well as a household name on the final concert of Arts Renaissance Tremont’s season.

Nelson referred to the programming of the first half as “a homage to 20th Century American Music.” Composer Ross Lee Finney (1906 – 1997) was a student of Nadia Boulanger, Edward Burlingame Hill and Alban Berg as well as Roger Sessions and served on the faculties at Smith and the University of Michigan. Read the rest of this entry »

by Timothy Robson

ARTMarch24SzaboFlutist Joshua Smith must be one of Cleveland’s busiest musicians, from his position as principal flute in the center of the Cleveland Orchestra, to his teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Music, to his many chamber music appearances, including founding the semi-regular classical music performances by Ensemble HD at The Happy Dog. He was joined by pianist Christina Dahl and Cleveland Orchestra principal percussionist Jacob Nissly on Sunday afternoon, March 24, at Pilgrim Church for a concert as part of the Arts Renaissance Tremont Series. The program looked daunting, with composers of such scary repute as Busoni, Kurtág, and Xenakis. In fact, the well-attended concert was varied and entertaining, with top-drawer performances from all three musicians.

Ms. Dahl opened the concert with Ferruccio Busoni’s 1892 transcription of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Chaconne in D Minor, from the solo Violin Partita, BWV 1004. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

Cellist David Requiro and pianist Elizabeth DeMio continue a long collaboration with a concert on Arts Renaissance Tremont’s series at Pilgrim Congregational Church on Sunday, April 18 at 3. We spoke with David in New York and Elizabeth in Cleveland.

David Requiro

Mike Telin: You studied in Cleveland and then at the University of Michigan, correct?

David Requiro: Yes, and it’s been nice to keep my ties to Cleveland. I spent four years at CIM. I loved it there. I love many things about Cleveland and CIM. I studied with Richard Aaron, and I followed him the University of Michigan as well. The chamber music program at CIM is at the highest level, and I was part of a very serious string quartet for three of my four years. I participated in some very intense quartet seminars. Even the orchestra program I thought was just top notch. So its been great to maintain those ties after leaving, partially through the recordings I’ve been doing. Nathaniel Yaffe, the engineer – producer – editor, is kind of a one-man show. He’s also a former Richard Aaron student. It’s been really nice working on these recordings at CIM, working with Liz and Nathaniel, as well as working with CIM cellists. The debut album that you have was recorded in what was then the brand new Mixon Hall. That was a fabulous experience too. We are actually going to finish up some Beethoven recording sessions right after this recital. This will be the complete works of Beethoven. We’re recording it in Harkness Chapel, and I think Harkness is very fitting for that kind of repertoire. I think it will turn out very nicely. Read the rest of this entry »

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Daniel Hathaway
founder & editor
Mike Telin
executive editor
Jarrett Hoffman
assistant to the editors

James Flood
J.D. Goddard
Jarrett Hoffman
Nicholas Jones
Timothy Robson
Robert & Gwyneth Rollin
Alexandra Vago
Tom Wachunas