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by Daniel Hathaway

Cho-ParnasConductor Robert L. Cronquist and the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra celebrated the ensemble’s seventy-eighth anniversary at Severance Hall on Sunday, April 28, with a charming Prokofiev symphony and a big double concerto — Brahms’s challenging workout for violin, cello and orchestra — featuring guest artists Jinjoo Cho and Cicely Parnas.

Prokofiev’s seventh symphony was written for a radio program to be broadcast by the Children’s Division of the Russian National Radio network. Its landscape is as child-friendly as an outdoor playground, fitted out with magical textures, wistful waltzes, playful themes and carnival gestures. The orchestra’s strings produced a nice, rich sound at the beginning, accompanied by dark, mysterious horns and graced by splendid clarinet solos (Pamela Elliot). Though the second movement exposed some tentative playing in the brass and percussion, the fine English hornist (Elizabeth Bishop) sensitively delivered lyrical lines in the third and spirited piano and bassoon solos (Linda Allen and Charlotte Hines) helped create a burlesquish atmosphere in the finale. Both conductor and orchestra both seemed to lose some energy as the piece went on and dynamics hovered in mezzo forte range. Read the rest of this entry »

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by Daniel Hathaway

Cho-ParnasJohannes Brahms wrote his Double Concerto for violinist Joseph Joachim and cellist Robert Haussmann in 1887 with the intention of repairing a damaged friendship with the violinist (the two had fallen out when Brahms had taken Joachim’s wife’s side in a divorce). Joachim and Haussmann had been frequent collaborators during their long careers. By contrast, on Sunday, April 28 at 3:30 pm, the “Double” will bring together two young musicians who already have established distinguished track records but have never worked together before, as violinist Jinjoo Cho and cellist Cicely Parnas join Robert L. Cronquist and the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra for the ensemble’s 78th anniversary concert at Severance Hall. We spoke to both soloists by phone to catch up on their recent activities.

Jinjoo Cho is finishing up her master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studies with Jaime Laredo and plans to stay on next year for a Professional Studies Degree. Her recent big news was winning first place in the Buenos Aires Competition, which earned her a concert tour in Argentina. This summer, she will join her regular pianist HyunSoo Kim for a three-week chamber music residency at the Banff Center in Canada. Read the rest of this entry »

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