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By Daniel Hautzinger

Robinson-KeithLearning and putting together Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time is a scramble against time. The piece features complicated rhythms (sometimes notated without time signatures), infinitely long phrases, and complicated layering of parts. György Ligeti’s Horn Trio and Schoenberg’s First Chamber Symphony are similarly difficult works. But students at Kent/Blossom Music Festival (KBMF) are assigned to learn them in two weeks for performance.

“Two weeks is just enough time,” said Keith Robinson, artistic coordinator of Kent/Blossom, professor of cello at Kent State and KBMF, and cellist in the Miami String Quartet, who gave a recital as part of the festival. “You want something that will challenge them for two whole weeks.” Read the rest of this entry »


By Mike Telin and Daniel Hautzinger

KBMFEvery summer, young music students leave their conservatories to attend festivals, where they essentially continue the studies they undertake during the year, but with other teachers, and performances and master classes by exceptional visiting artists. Kent/Blossom Music Festival is no different: students descend upon Kent State University for five weeks to study with musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra, Kent Faculty, and guest artists. Throughout those five weeks, there are six faculty concerts and a performance with the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as eight student recitals (see our concert listings page for details).

“We put the students in a room and say ‘here’s your group and your music. Good luck,’” said Charles Latshaw, director of the Kent State University Orchestra and of Kent/Blossom. “In a few days we bring in a faculty coach who’ll work with them. The students learn and grow on their own and develop their own personal expression. That’s special for a chamber music festival.” Read the rest of this entry »

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