Cleveland State University: Angelin Chang, Peter Otto, Brian Thornton

Featured Audio

We took you to Cleveland State University for this week's Cleveland Ovations, with a recital by faculty members Angelin Chang and Peter Otto, with guest Brian Thornton. They presented an evening of music by Johannes Brahms. 


Angelin Chang, piano
Peter Otto, violin
Brian Thornton, cello

Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78..….………….………….………...Johannes Brahms
Vivace ma non troppo (1833 - 1897)
Allegro molto moderato

Sonata for Piano and Cello No. 1 in e minor, Op. 38……………………………………….Johannes Brahms
Allegro non troppo (1833 - 1897)
Allegretto quasi menuetto

Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8 Revised Version (1889)………………………………Johannes Brahms
Allegro con brio – Tranquillo – In tempo ma sempre sostenuto (1833 - 1897)
Scherzo: Allegro molto – Meno allegro – Tempo primo
Finale: Allegro


Performer Biographies

Internationally acclaimed pianist Angelin Chang is the first American female pianist awarded the GRAMMY® for Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra. She is recognized for her sense of poetry and technical brilliance. Concertizing in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, Miss Chang’s concert tours have led her to such venues as the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), Lincoln Center (New York), Severance Hall (Cleveland), St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London), Zelazowa Wola (Warsaw), Shanghai Grand Theatre (China), Sala Luis Ángel Arango (Bogotá), Schnittke Philharmonic Hall (Russia) and the South African Broadcasting Corporation. She is the first American awarded First Prizes in both piano and chamber music during the same year from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, France. As the first Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.,

Dr. Angelin Chang is Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies and Chamber Music at Cleveland State University, where she is also Professor of Law at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She serves on the faculty of the Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Law Academy, a joint program of Case Western University School of Law and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. Previously, Dr. Chang taught on the piano faculty at Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey.

Angelin Chang has served as Vice President, Board of Governors of The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) and as Chair of the Education Committee and the Classical Task Force. She is Past President of the Ohio Music Teachers Association Northeast District and has served on the Board of Trustees for the Great Lakes Theater. Dr. Chang is the Co-Chair of the Research Committee on Asian and Pacific Studies of the International Political Science Association (IPSA/RC18). She also serves as a Cultural Agent of the United States Department of Arts and Culture.


Peter Otto has garnered considerable critical acclaim on an international scale as an artist of keen intellect and radiant virtuosity. Described as “eminently violinistic, … impulsive and passionate”, wielding “wonderfully facile … technique” (Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung), Peter Otto enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician and teacher. His intellectual curiosity and passion for the intersection of music, philosophy and mathematics have led to a profound appreciation of complex musical styles ranging from the pre-Baroque to the present day.

Peter Otto was appointed First Associate Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra in 2007 by Franz Welser-Moest. In the concertmaster chair he has collaborated with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Alan Gilbert, Pinchas Steinberg, David Robertson, Nicholas McGegan, and many more. He has performed many concertos with the orchestra to great critical acclaim. Highlights include Leonard Bernstein’s “Serenade” with conductor Marin Alsop, Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with Nicholas McGegan, and Haydn’s C major concerto with Jeffrey Kahane. Additionally, Mr. Otto has appeared as a soloist with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Czech Philharmonic, the Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata Rostockiensis, the National Youth Orchestra of Germany and the Cleveland Philharmonic. He has appeared as guest concertmaster of the Nashville Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Recitals and chamber music performances have taken him to the Heidelberger Fruehling Festival, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, the Cactus Pear Music Festival, the Kultur unter alten Daechern Festival in northeast Germany, MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) as part of Art Basel in Miami, MOCA Cleveland, the Cleveland Art Museum, Stan Hywet Hall and the Pulitzer Contemporary Music Festival in Saint Louis. He has collaborated with musicians such as Orli Shaham, Yehonatan Berick, Jennifer Montone, Andre Emilianoff, Judith Gordon and Peter Henderson.

Mr. Otto has performed live on national radio stations such as NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfink), Deutschlandfunk Berlin and WCLV Cleveland. Accolades include top prizes in the Max Rostal International Violin Competition in Berlin (1998) and the Kingsville Young Performers Competition in Texas. Major teachers have been Christiane Hutcap (Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater Rostock), Vera Kramarova (Mannheim) and Lewis Kaplan (Juilliard School, New York). Other significant musical influences were Roman Nodel, Igor Ozim and Felix Galimir.

He performs on a violin by G.B. Guadagnini from the year 1769

Brian Thornton is a multi-faceted musician that has touched the lives of thousands of people through his performances commemorating his teacher, Lev Aronson, and through musical outreach programs around the world. He is the founder of the Lev Aronson Legacy Festival at S.M.U. in Dallas, Texas, where his teacher, renown cellist Lev Aronson, taught for many years. The yearly festival is dedicated to Mr. Aronson's teaching and philosophy of cello playing. Mr. Thornton teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music and performs with the Cleveland Orchestra. His solo CD: Kol Nidrei and Beyond, Lev's Story, is centered on the vocal qualities of the cello, and is dedicated to the memory of his teacher, Lev Aronson.

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