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by Daniel Hathaway

April-6,-'14-poster“It’s a piece of epic proportions with so many emotions from deep sorrow to sarcasm,” violinist Hristo Popov told us in a telephone conversation. “The Shostakovich Piano Quintet has a lot in common with the current political environment in Eastern Europe, and should be very appealing to people on both sides.”

Popov, who is artistic director of the Chagrin Valley Chamber Music Series, has chosen the Shostakovich, along with chamber works by Mozart and Dvořák, for the season finale of the series on Sunday, April 6 at 3:00 pm in Valley Lutheran Church in Chagrin Falls. The concert is free.

Shostakovich, who had a complicated relationship with the Stalinist government of the USSR, falling in and out of official favor on a regular basis, wrote his only chamber work for piano and string quartet in 1940, a piece that has been described as both rigorous and accessible. It was enthusiastically received at its first performance by Shostakovich and the Beethoven Quartet, who encored both the scherzo and finale.

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by Mike Telin

Ars-Futura-Wang-HallmanThe recently-formed new music ensemble Ars Futura describe themselves as a forward-thinking, mixed-chamber, new music ensemble dedicated to commissioning, performing and popularizing new works. The group’s mission is to insure the continuation of their art form by steadily adding to the repertoire and exposing audiences to the great artists who are composing today. “Our first season is dedicated to the Cleveland connection,” says pianist Shuai Wang who co-founded the group with flutist Madeline Lucas. “I have a great respect for musicians in Cleveland,” Wang adds, “and this season all of the compositions we performed were by Ohio composers.”

On Friday, May 17 beginning at 7:00 pm at Survival Kit Gallery, located on the 3rd floor of 78th Street Studios in the Gordon Square Arts District, Ars FuturaShuai Wang and Hyunsoo Kim, piano, Madeline Lucas, flute, Jinjoo Cho, violin and Carlos Javier, cello — present the final performance of the group’s inaugural season. The concert features the music of Keith Fitch, Marshall Griffith, Eric Charnofsky, Tim Mauthe and Joseph Hallman. (Pictured above: Wang and Hallman). Read the rest of this entry »

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Daniel Hathaway
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