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by Daniel Hathaway

GROSSMAN-LizaLiza Grossman and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra always pack their concerts full of content, and the opening concert of the ensemble’s nineteenth season on December 7 in Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University continued in that tradition. In addition to two solo orchestra works and a concerto, CYO invited Isabel Trautwein and the young string players of El Sistema @ University Circle for a side-by-side, and welcomed The Oblivion Project for half a dozen nuevo tango pieces by Astor Piazzolla.

CYO and its dynamic conductor raised the curtain with John Adams’s high-energy overture, Short Ride in a Fast Machine. Driven by the pervasive rhythm of a wood block and propelled by an excellent brass section, the piece raced along like the top-performance sports car it invokes and safely arrived at its destination (and with no white knuckles on the curves!) Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

GROSSMAN-LizaYes, it’s hard to believe, but this is our nineteenth season and it’s the first year that CYO is older then its members,” says Contemporary Youth Orchestra founder and music director Liza Grossman. On Saturday, December 7 beginning at 7:00 pm in Waetjen Auditorium, Cleveland State University, CYO under the direction of Liza Grossman will present a concert featuring the music of John Adams, Frank Martin, Igor Stravinsky and Astor Piazzolla featuring musical guests The Oblivion Project.

The concert also includes a special performance by twenty-six young musicians of the El Sistema University Circle program in a side-by-side performance of Brian Balmage’s Burst. Grossman says that collaborating with El Sistema began actually began a couple of years ago when the program’s founder and Cleveland Orchestra violinist Isabel Trautwein began attending CYO concerts. “I am fascinated by and in awe of her commitment to bringing this kind of education to Cleveland. She even brings her kids to CYO rehearsals in hope of inspiring them,” Grossman said. “What a wonderful opportunity for us to share and inspire the El Sistema kids and the CYO members.”

Anyone who has attended a CYO concert knows that there is always a high level of fun happening on the stage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Daniel Hathaway
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executive editor
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