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by Mike Telin


Ghosts from the past, the present and the future were brought to life on Saturday, June 28 in Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music. But these were not the ghosts made famous by Charles Dickens but rather, through a 4,000 year-old Chinese tradition, where humans, spirits of the past and future and nature communicate with one another. All of this happened during ChamberFest Cleveland’s spectacular production of Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera for String Quartet and Pipa, [Chinese lute] with Water, Stones, Paper and Metal. Commissioned by the Kronos Quartet nearly 20 years ago, ChamberFest added another dimension to the haunting work with the world premiere of inventive and stylistically sensitive choreography by Groundworks Theater artistic director David Shimotakahara. Read the rest of this entry »


by Mike Telin

LIPPEL-DanCalled a “modern guitar polymath” (Guitar Review), guitarist Daniel Lippel feels fortunate to have carved out such a diverse career for himself. “You need to do a lot of things in this business to make a living,” Lippel told us by telephone from his home in Brooklyn, New York. “I’ve always been interested in a lot of different things and I feel pretty lucky that it’s worked out for me to be able to have a lot of variety in my career. I’m definitely not getting bored.”

On Thursday, December 12 beginning at 8:00 pm at the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Cleveland Classical Guitar Society presents guitarist Daniel Lippel in a concert that features contemporary solo and chamber music. Lippel will be joined by percussionist Luke Rinderknecht, Cleveland Orchestra principal oboist Frank Rosenwein and the Cleveland Institute of Music Guitar Quartet.

In addition to an active career as a solo performer, Lippel has commissioned or premiered more than fifty new solo and chamber works, many of which he has recorded for New Focus Recordings, the independent label he co-founded and directs. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

SCOTT-RaymondToday’s genre-bending musicians have nothing on Raymond Scott (born Henry Warnow in 1908), possibly one of the most eclectic musicians ever to have come out of Juilliard. Before suffering a debilitating stroke in 1987 — he died in 1994 — Scott had transformed swing music with the intricate, improvisation-suppressing compositions he crafted for his six-man band, called the Raymond Scott Quintette because it sounded “crisper,” made breakthrough experiments with electronic music, and somewhat inadvertently contributed to the soundtracks of Warner Bros. cartoons, through which you may have heard Scott’s music without knowing it.

Cleveland’s classy and enterprising new music ensemble, No Exit, led by Timothy Beyer and comprised of violinist Cara Tweed, violist James Rhodes, flutist Sean Gabriel, percussionist Luke Rinderknecht, cellist Nicholas Diodore, pianists Nicholas Underhill and James Praznik and assistant artistic director and composer Eric M.C. Gonzalez, invited guest performers Russ Gershon, saxophones and flute, percussionists Dinesh Joseph and trumpeter Scott McKee to celebrate Scott’s legacy in three concerts last weekend in Cleveland and Buffalo. I caught the third show on Monday evening in Drinko Recital Hall at Cleveland State University. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

DORMAN-AvnerCityMusic Cleveland has started a tradition of sponsoring a week’s worth of Intergenerational Concerts at the end of its season. This year’s cycle included four morning performances (opening with a limited access concert at the Juvenile Detention Center) and two evening concerts conducted by David Alan Miller. The morning events began with Rossini’s Thieving Magpie overture and continued with Avner Dorman’s Uzu and Muzu from Kakaruzu, based on the children’s book of the same name by Ephraim Sidon, featuring percussionists Haruka Fujii and Luke Rinderknecht. The two evening performances at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus and St. Noel, Willoughby Hills added Schumann’s fourth symphony.

I caught the Thursday morning performance at Fairmount Temple Auditorium, which got off to a bit of a late start waiting for school buses to arrive. When everybody was in place, the audience was as intergenerational as one could expect at 10:00 am: students, their teachers and aides and a number of older attendees — people whose commitments and schedules allow them to come to a true “matinee.” Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

DORMAN-AvnerEach season CityMusic Cleveland presents a series of intergenerational concerts devoted to music and educational activities that address the social concerns that stem from bullying as well as creating opportunities for discussions about conflict resolution. In 2011 CityMusic presented Margaret Brouwer’s Daniel and the Snakeman, and in 2012 the children’s opera Brundibár highlighted the orchestra’s Persistence of Creativity Series.

Beginning on Tuesday, April 16th, and running through Saturday, April 20th (see our concert listings pages for locations and times) CityMusic will present Avner Dorman’s Uzu and Muzu from Kakaruzu under the direction of guest conductor David Alan Miller.The work features percussionists Luke Rinderknecht and Haruka Fuji. The concerts also include Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie Overture and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 (Schumann for evening performances only)

Israeli composer Avner Dorman has quickly risen to become one of the leading composers of his generation. His unique approach to rhythm and timbre has attracted some of the world’s most notable conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Christoph Eschenbach, Riccardo Chailly, David Robertson, Andris Nelsons, Marin Alsop, and Justin Brown. Read the rest of this entry »

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