You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Cleveland Museum of Art’ tag.
by Mike Telin
This weekend the Cleveland Museum of Art Performing Arts series will begin its new season with two events featuring the music of 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams.
On Saturday, September 20 beginning at 7:00 pm in Historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ohio City, The Alaskan-based composer will discuss Veils and Vesper, two distinct but related electronic soundscapes that create an immersive listening experience over a period of six hours. The evening includes a “sneak preview” of the work followed by a meet-and-greet reception. The event is free and all are welcome. Audiences can experience Veils and Vesper on Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 noon to 6:00pm beginning on Friday, September 26. Read the rest of this entry »
by Daniel Hathaway
Two sound extravaganzas by environmental composer and Pulitzer prizewinner John Luther Adams will launch the 2014-2015 Performing Arts Series of the Cleveland Museum of Art — though not at the museum.
Veils and Vesper, a cycle of electronic works composed in 2005, will begin a two-month run on Saturday, September 20 at the newly restored Historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ohio City. A slow-moving, “immersive sound installation,” Veils and Vesper lasts six hours and allows the listener to “create her own mix by moving through the space”. Visiting hours through December 1 are Wednesdays through Saturdays from Noon to 5:00 pm and Thursdays from Noon to 8:00 pm. Admission is free
Adam’s second contribution to the series is Inuksuit, a 2009 daylong site-specific work devised for nine to 99 percussionists to be dispersed over a wide outdoor area, in this case Lakeview Cemetery, and inspired by “the Stonehenge-like markers used by the Inuit and other native peoples to orient themselves in Arctic spaces.” The free performance begins at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 21. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
Since making her debut at age eleven as a surprise guest soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta in 1982, violinist Midori has become recognized as a master musician and a devoted and gifted educator. In addition to her many achievements as a performer, Midori is an active music educator for underserved communities. She runs several successful programs that have reached hundreds of thousands of children since the early 1990s, especially at New York public schools.
On Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 pm in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium, violinist Midori will be joined by pianist Özgür Aydin in a concert featuring Debussy’s Sonata in g, Shostakovich’s Sonata, op. 134, Beethoven’s Sonata No. 10 in G, op. 96 & Schubert’s . The concert is part of the Museum’s Masters of the Violin Performing ArtsSeries.
Midori graciously agreed to answer questions by e-mail and discussed her activism in underserved communities, her thoughts on teaching and her collaboration with Mr. Aydin. She began by talking about her program. Read the rest of this entry »
by Daniel Hathaway
Not quite twenty-five years old, violinist Ray Chen has left his prodigy days well behind and enjoys a burgeoning reputation as a smart, stylish young virtuoso who told this publication that his main concern is to connect with audiences.
Born in Taiwan and brought up in Australia, and having spent a local stint at the Encore School for Strings in Hudson barely a decade ago, Chen is refreshingly devoid of pretense and attitude. And as he showed a good-sized audience at the Cleveland Museum of Art on February 12, he can deliver an impressive and thoroughly engaging recital.
Chen and his pianist partner, Julio Elizalde, playing modishly from iPads, led off with a vigorous and incisive retelling of Mozart’s A-major sonata, K. 305, neatly passing off phrases and finishing each other’s sentences like old buddies. The two-movement piece, written when Mozart was barely twenty, concludes with a set of six variations on a theme in which the two musicians brought out a variety of subtle inflections. Read the rest of this entry »
by Daniel Hathaway
Luke Ratray’s photograph on the cover of the program for Gil Shaham’s solo violin concert at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Thursday evening, February 6, caught the essence of the artist’s musical personality. Self-effacing and smiling, he looks down on his bow and fiddle with gently concentrated intensity but easy assurance, qualities he brought in full measure to his enthralling performances of three of Johann Sebastian Bach’s six works for violin alone.
Alone means, of course, violin without its customary baroque underpinning of bass line and harmony supplied by continuo instruments. Bach, with his uncanny way of creating multiple layers out of single melodic lines, makes you feel that nothing is missing — even when he writes virtual fugues — but a lot of the magic remains to be supplied by the performer, who is as solitary and just about as vulnerable on stage as a musician can be. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
“It’s always a great pleasure to return to a place and to continue to build a relationship with the audience,” violinist Ray Chen told us during a recent telephone conversation. “That’s what I believe performing is about, it’s the connections to the audience.”
On Wednesday, February 12 beginning at 7:30 pm in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium, Ray Chen returns to Cleveland as part of CMA’s Performing Arts Series, Masters of the Violin. Pianist Julio Elizalde joins Chen in performances of Mozart’s Sonata in A, K. 305 and Sarasate’s Habanera, Playera, and Zigeunerweisen, as well as Beethoven’s Sonata No. 9, “Kreutzer.”
Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Ray Chen studied at the Curtis Institute of Music. Following wins at the Yehudi Menuhin (2008) and Queen Elisabeth (2009) competitions, Chen’s international career has been on a fast track forward. You can read about his accomplishments and numerous other interests on his website.
Chen, who turns 25 the beginning of March, most recently performed in Cleveland last summer, making his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom. But Cleveland also played an important role during his formative years. Read the rest of this entry »
by Daniel Hathaway
Northeastern Ohio Cleveland Orchestra fans who (rather enviously) tuned in to a recent live radio broadcast from Miami experienced the artistry of violinist Gil Shaham in the Korngold concerto in a performance led by Franz Welser-Möst. Shaham is spending the midwinter months playing that work in alternation with a solo program of J.S. Bach’s solo violin music. The Cleveland Museum of Art will bring Gil Shaham to its Masters of the Violin series-within-a-series on Thursday evening, February 6 to play three of Bach’s works. We reached Shaham by telephone in Houston last week where he was preparing to play the Korngold with John Adams and the Houston Symphony.
Daniel Hathaway: We enjoyed hearing the Korngold over the radio from Miami, and considering the weather here, we really wished we’d been there in person.
Gil Shaham: I felt very lucky to be there with Franz and The Cleveland Orchestra. It’s been a few years since I’ve played the Korngold. It’s beautifully written and the composer gets really wonderful sounds from the violin and the orchestra. Read the rest of this entry »
by Daniel Hautzinger
Looking for an unusual evening? How about “beautiful marimba chorales, exciting marimba and drum music, a piece for chopsticks bouncing on whiskey bottles and grill grates” and “one of the early masterpieces” for percussion in an old electrical station? This is how David Skidmore described Third Coast Percussion’s CMA concert at Transformer Station on January 19.
Skidmore, along with Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and Sean Connors makes up Third Coast. Many groups would be daunted by playing in an alternative space such as Transformer Station, but not Third Coast, who have performed at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium and in Frank Lloyd Wright-designed houses across the country, among other unique venues.
“We really like trying new things, playing new places, and finding cool connections that our music has with other disciplines,” Skidmore said in a phone conversation. Hence the quartet’s collaboration with engineers at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, where Third Coast is Ensemble-in-Residence. “There’s a common misconception that scientists are analytical and musicians or artists are creative. Both of those things are true. But it’s equally true that musicians are very analytical. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
In last week’s ClevelandClassical concert preview, multi-media artist Camille Norment said that her artistic goal is to push limits and to create something new. On Sunday, December 15 during her concert on the CMA at Transformer Station series, she and her trio colleagues did exactly that during their fifty minute set of four hauntingly beautiful sound installations that live in the blurred area between composition and improvisation.
Performing on the exotic glass armonic and singing bowls, Camille Norment’s trio includes Håvard Skaset, electric guitar, and Vegar Vårdal, hardanger (Norwegian fiddle). Individually they are fine musicians — Vegar Vårdal possesses a great bow arm. But it is in the collective that the group shines brightest. Founded in 2010 in Norway to “explore the instruments’ paradoxical relationships to notions of beauty, noise, tension and harmony as a musical experience.” The trio gave their debut performance at the Ultima New Music Festival in Oslo on September 11, 2011. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
How does multimedia artist Camille Norment define her music? “It ranges from being inspired by improvisation, Norwegian Black Metal, folk music and certainly classical references. And absolutely contemporary electronic music as well, so in that sense it’s situated very much within the realm of indefinable contemporary experimental music,” the soft spoken Norment said by telephone from her studio in Norway.
On Sunday, December 15 beginning at 7:30 pm, CMA Concerts at Transformer Station presents Camille Norment, glass armonica, who will be joined by her Trio colleagues Håvard Skaset, electric guitar and Vegar Vårdal, hardingfele (Norwegian fiddle).
Originally from the Washington D.C. area of Maryland, Norment says her expansive list of artistic interests began to be formed at the University of Michigan where she earned her bachelor”s in comparative literature and art history. Her website lists Objects/Installations, Photo/Video, Sonic/Performance and Text as areas of interest. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
Inspired by imagery of the Virgin and Child in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s medieval collection, Mother and Child, a progressive choral event, invites audiences to experience a stunning intersection of the aural and the visual in three different museum spaces on Saturday, December 14. Performers will include Quire Cleveland, led by Ross Duffin, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth and Children’s Choruses, directed by Lisa Wong, and the sopranos and altos of Trinity Cathedral Choir with brass and organ conducted by Todd Wilson.
At 2:00 pm in the Reid Gallery, Quire Cleveland will begin with a work from the 15th century, There is no rose, followed by Josquin des Prez’s Ave Maria, which Duffin describes as one of the composer’s iconic works. The performance continues with an extended piece in carol form from the Court of Henry VIII, Quid petis, o fili? byRichard Pygott. “It’s about Mary speaking to her child,” says Duffin. “It’s an intimate, imagined conversation and very appropriate to the Mother and Child theme.” A Spanish Christmas piece from the 16th Century, E la don don, was printed in Venice in 1556 in the Cancionero de Upsala and survives in only one copy. Duffin says it’s a lively piece that will feature solos by Quire’s male singers. Read the rest of this entry »
by Timothy Robson
The Ames Family Atrium at the Cleveland Museum of Art was turned into an imaginary Russian cathedral for the evening on December 4, when the museum presented the State Symphony Capella of Russia, conducted by Valery Polyansky, in a program of everything from Russian liturgical music to Irving Berlin. A temporary stage oriented toward the east was set up in the midst of the vast atrium. The audience sat in not-very-comfortable wooden folding chairs. The windows at the top of atrium reflected the marble exterior of the 1916 building and the ceiling lights created an ethereal effect. Although overwhelming reverberation might be expected in a space of that size, the music came through clearly, the room adding resonance but not confusion. A few small sections of the program received electrical amplification, but the concert was mostly acoustic.
The 50-voice choir demonstrated all the hallmarks of fine Russian choral singing: a clear, focused sound with seamless legato and blend. The tone was never forced, even at higher volumes. And, of course, there were those very low basses that are the DNA of Russian choral singing. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
“I don’t think you will have enough space in your publication to feature all my thoughts about ‘the Chorus, or the music’. Music is everything I breathe; it is everything I feel; and it is everything I work for,” Valery Polyansky wrote in a recent e-mail. “I am very fortunate that through the Choir, and the choral repertoire I can express my feelings and moods, as well as the richness of words, and the power of harmony! We are very much looking forward to returning to Cleveland during the Christmas time of the year.”
On Wednesday, December 4 beginning at 9:00 pm in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Ames Family Atrium, Valery Polyansky will lead the State Symphony Capella of Russia in a concert featuring Russian liturgical music, choruses and folk songs. David J. Rothenberg, associate professor of music at Case Western Reserve University, will discuss Marian music and ties to the museum’s collection at 7:30 p.m. in Gartner Auditorium. The concert is part of CMA’s Performing Arts “Mother and Child” Series.
Due to language barriers, Maestro Polyansky graciously agreed to answer questions through a translator via e-mail.
Mike Telin: Tell us about your program: why did you choose the repertoire? Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
Lets face it, not all music is best heard from a soft seat inside a recital hall with 500 to 1,000 of your closest friends. In fact, some music cries out to be heard in an intimate space where the audience and the performer are only a few feet if not inches from one another – we want to see the performer’s fingers navigate up and down the finger board of their instrument, their facial expressions that accent the comedy and seriousness in their music.
Thanks to a new series presented by the Cleveland Museum of Art at the Transformer Station, both new music lovers and the new music curious have a place to go to enjoy performances that feature composed and improvised music by some of the most accomplished artists working in contemporary music. I recently attended three CMA performers at the Transformer Station.
Irish-born violist Garth Knox began his October 27 concert with the very fun 16 Sneakers (2012) by Frederic Rzewski. A short work that includes spoken word – no these sneakers are not the kind one wears but rather someone who, like Rzewski’s piece, sneaks in — does what it came to do and gets out before anyone notices. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
On Sunday at 2:00 pm in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium, the Tri-C Classical Piano Recital Series presents Antonio Pompa-Baldi in a concert dedicated to Franz Liszt.
“I think it is an interesting program and one that I also recorded in a live recital in Cape Town, South Africa at the end of June for the Two Pianist label,” the pianist told us during a telephone conversation. “It’s a program dedicated to Liszt — but not entirely of his music.”
Sunday’s program opens with Sergei Lyapunov’s Transcendental Etude No. 12 (Elegy in memory of Franz Liszt). “Lyapunov composed twelve Transcendental Etudes just like Liszt, and the set is dedicated to him. I’ll complete the first half with the Twelve Etudes, op. 10, of Chopin – which as a set are also dedicated to Liszt.”
The second half of the program features Liszt’s Ballad in b minor and Sposalizio (Years of Pilgrimage, Book II). “Sposalizio was inspired by Raphael’s painting of the Marriage of the Virgin, and since this is also the Verdi year I’m also including Liszt’s Paraphrase of Verdi’s “Ernani.” Read the rest of this entry »
by Daniel Hathaway
“Never work with children or animals,” said W.C. Fields. Good advice — unless of course you have such a reliable brood as Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, who closed the first half of their sold-out concert at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Friday evening with an adorable parade of child fiddlers, beginning with 4-year-old Clare, then 6-year-old Michael, then 7-year-old Mary Frances, and eventually a cameo by 2-year-old Julia, who didn’t fiddle but gamely joined in a step dance. (1-year-old Alec stayed behind, while a sixth MacMaster-Leahy protègé was definitely involved in the show but hasn’t been born yet).
That gesture reflects the wholesome, family-values nature of MacMaster’s and Leahy’s show in Gartner Auditorium on November 15, an engaging, 2-1/2 hour festival of Cape Breton-infused music that took traditional fiddling to new heights of sophistication while preserving its down-home charm. At the beginning, MacMaster quipped that this was their last stop on a 12-city tour, “so you got us fresh,” and later narrated a long but charming account of how she and her future husband met. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
“I think that being back in Cleveland is a very beautiful déjà vu. I have been there many times with various projects and it’s so nice to return and play for the audience in the same place again,” kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor told us by telephone from the west coast. “As a touring musician it’s always very nice when you develop that relationship with a venue. It builds a trust that they want to hear your new projects and I’m glad that I have this relationship with the Museum.”
On Wednesday, November 20 Persian spiked fiddle virtuoso and three-time Grammy nominee Kayhan Kalhor returns to the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium for a concert beginning at 7:30 pm. Kalhor will be joined by Ali Bahrami Fard, santoor. The performance is part of the Museum’s Masters of the Fiddle series.
Kalhor, a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, is known around the globe for his performances of traditional Persian music as well as for his multiple collaborations. In addition to Silk Road, Kalhor has appeared as soloist with various ensembles and orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Lyon and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, and was recently featured on the soundtrack of Francis Ford Copolla’s Youth without Youth in a score on which he collaborated with Osvaldo Golijov.
by Mike Telin
On Friday, November 15 beginning at 7:30 pm in Gartner Auditorium the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Performing Arts Series presents Masters of the Fiddle: Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy. The sold-out concert includes French Canadian, Celtic, Bluegrass and Cajun music in addition to original compositions by MacMaster and Leahy.
“Sold out, how exciting is that!” Natalie MacMaster exclaimed by telephone. MacMaster says that she always looks forward to being on stage with Donnell Leahy, who is also her husband. She is also quick to point out that they do travel as a family and yes, they do travel with their four children. So how does MacMaster juggle everything that comes with the life of a working mother who performs over 100 concerts dates a year? “I don’t really know the answer, but I do know that life is full and rich and exciting and difficult and wonderful. We’re really living and all the things you could hope for are happening for us, with the children, building a home and being able to play music. It’s fabulous.”
MacMaster says the show as always, is very energetic and upbeat. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
“I became interested in electronic music around the age of thirteen,” recalls Sheffield (UK) based multidisciplinary artist Mark Fell. “At the time there was a movement in England called new romantics, which was kind of like synthpop with groups like the Human League and Soft Cell.”
On Wednesday, November 13 beginning at 7:30 pm, CMA Concerts at Transformer Station presents Mark Fell in what he calls an “ambisonic” work that uses thirty-two channels of analogue synthesis that goes from the border of silence to the other extreme. “It’s an immersive experience, but I’m struggling to think of a name for it,” he told us by telephone from EMPAC at Rensselaer in Troy, New York.
Fell, who is known for combining popular music styles with computer-based compositions — with a particular emphasis on algorithmic and mathematical systems — says he developed the concept for the piece this past summer in Stockholm. “The studio I was working in had these big analogue modular synthesizers and what I did was to record a lot of very basic tonal material from the static oscillators, lots of variations of this very simple thing. The piece that I am doing in Cleveland uses thirty-two of these oscillators.” Read the rest of this entry »
by Nicholas Jones
O’Connor, who performed last week with his string quartet on the Cleveland Museum of Art’s “Masters of the Violin” series, has a formidable violin technique, based on what he calls the “language” of bluegrass, with dazzling arpeggios, energetic and persistent double stops, prominent slides, percussive “bow crunches,” and—above all— rhythmic drive. O’Connor has very successfully elevated his traditional Appalachian fiddle techniques to embrace the classical concert stage. He is a prolific composer in this mode, and has created a popular series of pedagogical materials, including workshops and summer camps, to build interest in the progressive bluegrass style that has come to be known as “newgrass.”
Introduced from the stage, the program included a few shorter pieces, especially duets at the beginning with each of the members of his string quartet, as well as a dazzling solo improvisation by O’Connor himself. Read the rest of this entry »
by Nicholas Jones
Hespèrion XXI has long broadened from its original musical base (the viol music of the Renaissance in western Europe) to encompass the music of areas usually considered the margins of Europe. The program they presented last week at the Cleveland Museum of Art was a witness to the diverse musical cultures of one of those margins, the rich and dangerous mosaic of the Balkan countries.
In a beautifully crafted program led by the Catalonian gambist Jordi Savall with scrupulous attention to detail as well as overall coherence and impact, this ensemble of seven instrumentalists and five singers took the audience through a moving geographical and emotional journey.
The program was the best tour one could imagine of this troubled and fascinating region. The songs moved through whole worlds of language — Serbian, Greek, Hebrew, Bulgarian, Bosnian, and more. The program’s mobility itself reflected the area’s many diasporas — of Jews, Ottomans, Roma, and Christians alike, who through the centuries have migrated through the region. The singers and instrumentalists themselves were a United Nations of the Balkan peninsula, each a master of their regional style and instrument. Read the rest of this entry »
by Daniel Hathaway
For the third November in a row, Jordi Savall will visit the Cleveland Museum of Art to play on the museum’s Performing Arts Series. In 2011, Savall appeared with his son, Ferran, in a program called “Music Dialogues from Orient and Occident,” when Jordi played lira da gamba and seven-string bass viol and Ferran played theorbo and sang. In 2012, Jordi Savall brought his ensemble, Hespèrion XXI, to Cleveland to chronicle two centuries of European Renaissance and early Baroque consort music — an occasion on which he played the treble viol.
This year, Savall and Hespèrion XXI will return to Gartner Auditorium on Friday evening, November 1, when the resourceful Catalan musician will play vielle and rebec as part of the Museum’s “Masters of the Violin” series-within-a-series in a program entitled “Honey and Blood: The Cycles of Life in the Mosaic of Christians, Sephardic Jews & Muslims of the Balkans.” The ensemble includes five singers and half a dozen other instrumentalists playing exotic regional instruments. We reached Jordi Savall via Skype in his studio near Barcelona to ask how this program came about. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
Violinist, composer and educator Mark O’Connor is not a folk musician or a jazz musician or a classical musician. Nor is he a musician specializing in any one of the multitude of musical styles he has studied. The categorization of Mark O’Connor is nearly impossible as he is his own musical genre.
On Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30 in Gartner Auditorium, Mark O’Connor returns to Cleveland with his string quartet for performances of his String Quartet No. 2 “Bluegrass,” Appalachia Waltz and String Quartet No. 3 “Old-Time.” The concert is co-presented by CIM and the Cleveland Museum of Art as part of the Mixon Hall Masters Series: Return of the Composer/Virtuoso and the CMA Performing Arts Series: Masters of the Violin. A conversation between O’Connor and CIM president Joel Smirnoff begins at 6:00 p.m.
Through his popular summer string camps and method books, O’Connor is training the next generation of musicians in the art of what he refers to as “American” string playing. And while in town he will also present master classes in string improvisation and composition as well an educational workshop at CIM. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
The Cleveland Museum of Art’s new series, Concerts at the Transformer Station (1460 West 29th Street) was launched on October 5th with a captivating performance by tabla player Salar Nader. Never has an hour gone by so quickly as Nader engagingly discussed and displayed his masterful musicality as he guided the audience on a rhythmic journey across India, Pakistan and his native Afghanistan.
The Transformer Station is the perfect venue for showcasing solo artists: it’s hard to imagine being able to get any closer to the music. Refreshments and conversation following the performance was a delightful way to mingle with your fellow audience mates and say hello to the evening’s guest performer.
Transformer Station concerts continue on Sunday, October 27 at 7:30 with a performance by the twenty-first century troubadour, violist Garth Knox. “Troubadour” is the word Knox used to describe himself during a lively telephone conversation. “I’m a player/performer kind of a troubadour who goes around the world playing his music and other peoples and bringing news from one part to the other.” Read the rest of this entry »
by Alexandra A. Vago
The “Masters of the Violin” series opened on Friday, October 4 in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art with a sublime performance of South Indian (Carnatic) classical music. Violinist L. Subramaniam joined by his son Ambi Subramaniam (violin) and Mahesh Krishnamurthy (mridangam) set the bar high in the first of ten concert in the series.
The evening was filled with virtuosic playing and command of the instrument. Subramaniam has an uncanny ability to improvise with complex and intricate patterns infused with an intensely rich color palette of sound. It is no wonder why he is often referred to as “the Paganini of Indian Classical music.”
To set the mood, upon entering the auditorium, the audience was visually drawn into Indian culture with a slideshow featuring highlights from the Museum’s permanent collection of Indian and Southeast Asian Art that will open in December 2013. Read the rest of this entry »