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by Timothy Robson


Contrapunctus, a professional choral group just finishing its first season, gave an unusual program of music for high voices (sopranos, altos, countertenors) at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Friday, June 6th. British countertenor and conductor David Acres, music director of Contrapunctus, planned an audacious program of 22 works, with repertoire from Gregorian chant and the early polyphonist Perotin, through Brahms and Fauré, to a striking new work by Cleveland composer Kevin Foster.

The tenors and basses of Contrapunctus sat this one out, but if these fine performances are any indication, audiences should flock to the group’s next concert. Read the rest of this entry »


Mike Telin

CSU-BWMOCA Cleveland will launch the first edition of a new music competition on Thursday, April 10 beginning at 8:00 pm, when student composers from Cleveland State University and Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music compete for the title of “Avant-Garde Idol.” The contestants are Zach Albrecht, (BW), Joshua Fadenholz, (CSU), Nathaniel Frank, (BW), Sean Hussey, (BW), Jacob Kingzett, (CSU), James Kunselman, (BW), Aubrie Powell, (BW), Buck McDaniel, (CSU) & Neal Todten, (CSU).

The competition is the brainchild of Chris Auerbach-Brown, MOCA’s Media Program Manager, who in a recent telephone conversation said he came up with the idea while thinking of ways to present contemporary music to audiences in different contexts rather then the traditional sit and listen format. “My thought was to take a pre-existing popular television show model and apply it to a contemporary music concert, and this is what I came up with.” Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

NIE-LaraArea concertgoers had their choice of at least seventeen concerts to attend on Sunday, December 15. I took the opportunity to stop in for two events which were of particular interest.

New York-based mezzo-soprano Lara Nie was featured with the Cleveland Virtuosi Orchestra in an afternoon holiday concert presented by Chagrin Valley Chamber Music Series at Valley Lutheran Church in Chagrin Falls. I caught the first half of the performance, which departed from holiday music in the direction of singer’s choice. Nie had always wanted to perform the aria, Erbarme dich from J.S. Bach’s Matthew-Passion — and a pair of Handel’s opera arias — with violinist and artistic director Hristo Popov, and this occasion was the perfect opportunity.

The Virtuosi, an eleven-member string ensemble with harpsichord conducted by Michael Gelfand, opened with a lush reading of Bach’s chorale from Cantata BWV 147, known in English as Jesu, joy of Man’s desiring. Read the rest of this entry »

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