You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Orion Weiss’ tag.

by James Flood

WEISS-OrionFriday marked the second installment of the Cleveland Orchestra’s very new Summers @ Severence series with an all-Beethoven program under the baton of Jahja Ling. The evening included light food and drink before and after the 7:00 pm performance, with dance music piped through both the hallways and the terrace afterward to add to the more casual ambiance.

Apparently to lighten the evening, the program itself was downsized a little from the Orchestra’s typical offering, placing Beethoven’s modestly-sized 4th Symphony between the four-minute “Overture to the Creatures of Prometheus” and the 20-minute “Choral Fantasy” and excluding an intermission.

The opening overture boasted crisp, clean and energized 16th notes in the strings, generating a quick burst of excitement that was the perfect start for a summer evening at Severance Hall. Read the rest of this entry »


by Nicholas Jones

CFC-June-29-TrioThree has been the magic number throughout ChamberFest 2014, and nowhere more than in its closing concert in CIM’s Mixon Hall on Sunday afternoon. The music was rich and, as usual with ChamberFest, the musicianship masterful. This very enjoyable program, titled “3X,” included three works, each featuring instruments in multiples of three.

The contribution of “three” was the well-known Beethoven Piano Trio in D, opus 70, known as the “Ghost.” Like other chamber works from Beethoven’s middle period, the “Ghost” is intense, full of contrasts that surprise and excite. Violinist Diana Cohen (ChamberFest’s artistic and executive director), cellist Gabriel Cabezas, and pianist Orion Weiss gave a performance that brought out both the strength and the subtlety of the piece. Read the rest of this entry »

By Daniel Hautzinger

DSC_6439Intelligent programming at its best not only uncovers interesting musical connections, but can also lend insight into the world beyond music. The repertoire for ChamberFest’s eighth concert, at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, is a fine example. The juxtaposition of three works from a 35-year period by “Three Bouncing Czechs” provided a glimpse into different historical moods, revealing the drastic psychological damage wrought by World War I.

Erwin Schulhoff was born in Prague in 1894. He was wounded in WWI while serving in the Austro-Hungarian military, and ended the war in an Italian POW camp. The first movement of his String Sextet was composed in Dresden in 1920, two years after the end of the war, the final three movements in Prague in 1924. It is an intense work, devoid of hope: the death and desolation of the war Schulhoff had just witnessed pervade every note. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hautzinger

Clara-Schumann“I would write to you only by means of music,” said Robert Schumann in a letter to his wife, the composer and pianist Clara Schumann. Theirs is a storied coupling, beginning against the wishes of Clara’s father, ending with Robert’s mental breakdown and early death, and complicated by their close relationships with Johannes Brahms. All three being heart-on-their-sleeve Romantic composers, and with Robert’s letter in mind, it makes sense to explore this “Love Triangle” through their music.

On June 26 in the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Mixon Hall, ChamberFest did just that in a sold-out concert, presenting a work by each of the three with intermingled readings from their letters by ChamberFest Speaker Patrick Castillo (the above quote comes from those). Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hautzinger

ChamberFest-LogoChamberFest Cleveland is doing it right. With ten concerts over eleven days blends thoughtful programming, diverse venues, exceptional musicians, and a convivial vibe for a musical experience as refreshing and sweet as the ice cream that’s served after some of the concerts.  It’s an ideal model for the future of classical music.

On June 20 at Harkness Chapel, all of these attributes mixed beautifully in a “Mélange à Trois” (the twee but clever program titles are just another aspect of ChamberFest’s affability). The program linked trio pieces spanning a 270-year period, with each consecutive work more than a century distant from its neighbors. Yet the music evinced stronger connections than are often found in a standard concert. Three of the four pieces featured Eastern European accents (be they Gypsy, Hungarian, or Jewish), and each had a rambunctious wildness fearlessly channeled by the musicians. Read the rest of this entry »

by Nicholas Jones


The third season of ChamberFest Cleveland opened Thursday in CIM’s Mixon Hall, on a beautiful late spring evening. With a packed house and a splendid program, the concert was a third birthday party for this young and thriving member of northeast Ohio’s vibrant musical family.

One of the joys of a festival is the variety of performers one hears on any one night, in this case all excellent. This first night of ChamberFest featured ten musicians – including the festival’s founders and driving forces, Cleveland Orchestra principal clarinet Franklin Cohen and his daughter Diana, concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic. By the time the festival ends next week, ten concerts will have presented 24 musicians from around the world.

After a warm welcome from the Cohens, the music got underway with Rachmaninoff’s exuberant Suite for Two Pianos, Opus 17, a piece of grand pianistic music in the late nineteenth century tradition (the piece was premiered in 1901). Read the rest of this entry »

by Timothy Robson

Albers Trio Orion WeissThe Albers Trio (Laura Albers, violin, Rebecca Albers, viola, and Julie Albers, cello) and guest pianist Orion Weiss were greeted by a large audience on Tuesday, February 4, in their concert for the Cleveland Chamber Music Society at Plymouth Church UCC in Shaker Heights. This was despite a winter storm warning and steady snowfall as the audience arrived. The concert was a pleasant respite from this year’s seemingly unending blasts of Cleveland winter.

There was a certain down home feeling between the audience and the performers; three of the four have strong Cleveland connections, either through family relationships or study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. The local ties for the concert were further emphasized with some cross-organizational marketing: Richard Fried, the President of the Chamber Music Society, introduced the program and gave the usual plug for future concerts. He then introduced Diana Cohen and Frank Cohen, masterminds of the summer ChamberFest Cleveland, who spoke about the close relationship between the two organizations, as well as with the evening’s performers. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

WEISS-OrionI love playing in Cleveland,” says 32 year old pianist and native Clevelander Orion Weiss, “it’s always an honor to come home and I’m looking forward to the concert very much.” On Tuesday, February 4 beginning at 7:30 pm in Plymouth Church, the Cleveland Chamber Music Society presents the Albers Trio — violinist Laura, violist Rebecca and cellist Julie — with pianist Orion Weiss. The program includes Beethoven’s Trio in G major Op. 9, No. 1, Martinů’s Trio No. 2, H. 238 and Dvorák’s Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 87. A pre-concert interview hosted by Eric Kisch begins at 6:30 pm.

Since graduating from the Juilliard School in 2004, Orion Weiss has performed with many major North American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, Weiss is enthusiastic about playing chamber music. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

CCMS-Logo-64The lineup for the sixty-fourth season of the Cleveland Chamber Music Society has its board members buzzing with enthusiasm. “Yes, there are world famous string quartets,” said Melvin Arnoff, “but also three pianists, a guitarist, a soprano, clarinets, flutes and percussion. And the composers range from Bartók, Beethoven and Britten to Dean, Dessner and Parry. This promises to be a “WOW” season.”

Anthony Addison agrees and mentions his favorites. “All six Bartók quartets and a return of eighth blackbird are the high spots of the season, as far as I am concerned. Cuarteto Casals with Manuel Barrueco on guitar, and Pavel Haas playing Janáček, Britten and Beethoven are a very close second. It’s a fascinating season.”

CCMS’s season begins at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights on Tuesday, October 15 at 7:30 with a program of salon music from the British Isles, Russia, France, Germany and Italy performed by soprano Susanna Phillips, pianist Anne Marie McDermott and violist Paul Neubauer.

Barbara Green is especially enthusiastic about the first concert in the series. “I first heard Susanna Phillips when she was still a student at Juilliard and a participant in the Art Song Festival. She had a lovely voice, a fine command of the texts, and that certain quality which I can only describe as ‘presence’. I have followed her career for many years and was delighted to read the review of her performance [at the Metropolitan Opera] in today’s New York Times. How exciting it will be to hear her again!” Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

CFC-June-28a-AdamsAlthough the 2013 ChamberFest Cleveland theme is [It’s] About Time, a secondary theme could easily be Variety is the Spice of Life. On Friday, June 28 at Harkness Chapel the superb ChamberFest musicians presented a thoroughly engaging program full of musical variety from start to finish titled A Tempo.

The technically commanding and musically sensitive cellist Robert deMaine began the evening with a high energy performance of Alberto Ginastera’s Pampeana No. 2, Rhapsody for cello and piano. The brief work depicting the Argentine pampas or treeless plains gave deMaine ample room to demonstrate his soulful side as well as his virtuosic prowess. Pianist Matan Porat was a keen collaborator, performing with rhythmic precision.

Porat, together with violinist Yehonatan Berick and cellist Julie Albers, were of one musical mind during their captivating performance of Ravel’s Trio in A minor. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

CFC-June-29ChamberFest Cleveland continued to pack ’em in on Friday evening at CIM’s Mixon Hall, when an enthusiastic, capacity crowd gathered for a program entitled Riot [Like It’s 1913]. It wasn’t 1913 until the second half and even then the closest thing to a popular uprising was an immediate standing ovation, but the work that generated the theme of the evening was Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Not the big one, but the composer’s rehearsal version for two pianos (played by Orion Weiss and Matan Porat), spiffed up for the occasion with percussion parts arranged by Scott Christian and Alexander Cohen (who played them) and Diana Cohen (who rooted from the audience).

Stravinsky’s orchestration is rich with color and vibrant with rhythm. The two-piano version necessarily sheds a lot of symphonic hues (something that’s obvious from the opening bars, when that strained high bassoon solo gets translated to the keyboard), but the visceral quality of the composer’s groundbreaking rhythms only becomes enhanced on the piano. Add to that five timpani, bass drum, cymbals, gongs and other instruments culled from the orchestral batterie, and the effect is super-thrilling. Read the rest of this entry »

by Nicholas Jones

Harkness-062313After opening with two intense concerts on Thursday and Friday, the musicians of ChamberFest Cleveland 2013 let their hair down on Sunday. This was my first opportunity to attend this second year of Franklin and Diana Cohen’s ambitious and highly successful venture, and it was a pleasure to be there with a hall full of Cleveland’s seasoned musical connoisseurs. In addition, thanks to the festival’s decision to give free tickets to 18-and-unders, there were a bunch of youngsters in the audience.

The first half was for strings only. The concert opened with a Boccherini quintet from Opus 11, the one with the famous Minuet that every beginning violinist learns. It is not a demanding piece, technically, but the excellent players brought to it every bit of their formidable technique anyway. Scrupulous attention to Boccherini’s dynamics made the most of his pre-Romantic expressionism, rich with ebbs and flows. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

Mixon-062013The second iteration of ChamberFest Cleveland opened June 20 in CIM’s Mixon Hall on festive, thoughtful and ecstatic notes with music by Matan Porat, Mozart and Messiaen, preceded by a free preludial concert by Sphinx Competition prize-winning cellist Gabriel Cabezas and pianist Orion Weiss.

ChamberFest is an extended family affair that draws a number of close musical friends into its orbit, but its immediate family is Franklin, Diana and Alexander Cohen, an unusual trio of clarinet, violin and timpani for whom Matan Porat wrote an ingratiating festival fanfare entitled Start Time. Ringing changes on ChamberFest’s theme, (It’s) About Time, the short piece gave all three instruments a workout as they joined in and responded to one another after an arresting timpani solo.

The main work on Thursday evening’s program was Olivier Messiaen’s mystical Quartet for the End of Time, a work so emotionally intense that it can fill out an entire concert all by itself without the need for musical companionship. Read the rest of this entry »

Donation Banner

Daniel Hathaway
founder & editor
Mike Telin
executive editor
Jarrett Hoffman
assistant to the editors

James Flood
J.D. Goddard
Jarrett Hoffman
Nicholas Jones
Timothy Robson
Robert & Gwyneth Rollin
Alexandra Vago
Tom Wachunas