Northeast Ohio Gears Up for Busy Classical Music Season

As summer fades after the Labor Day weekend, the Northeast Ohio concert season begins a gradual crescendo. By the middle of September, concertgoers will once again have to make difficult choices among several attractive events.

Take Saturday evening, September 17 for example, when Burning River Baroque, a Bascom Little Fund anniversary concert, and season openers of BlueWater Chamber Orchestra and the Oberlin Artist Recital Series will be competing for your attention.

Burning River Baroque’s 7:00 pm program, “Twisted Fate: Famed and Forgotten Female Composers,” will take place at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. Sopranos Malina Rauschenfels and Josefien Stoppelenburg, viola da gambist Phillip W. Serna, and harpsichordist Paula Maust will perform music by Hildegard von Bingen, Jacquet de la Guerre, Princess Anna Amalia, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Barbara Strozzi, Isabella Leonarda, and Martha Bishop.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland-based chamber music ensemble Panorámicos and friends will mark the 50th year of the Bascom Little Fund’s service to composers and new music. The 7:30 pm concert in Cleveland State University’s Drinko Recital Hall will feature music by the late Bascom Little himself, as well as other notable Cleveland composers, “past, present, and future.” Emceed by Mark Satola, Daniel Goldmark, and Joe Mosbrook, the evening will end with a champagne reception.

At the same hour, Cleveland Orchestra first assistant concertmaster Peter Otto will join Carlton R. Woods and BlueWater Chamber Orchestra for Antonín Dvořák’s Violin Concerto at the Breen Center in Ohio City, an intermission-less concert that also includes Georges Bizet’s Symphony in C.

And at 8:00 pm on the 17th, clarinetist Eddie Daniels will usher in the latest cycle of Oberlin Artist Recitals with a concert in Finney Chapel. Joined by Darek Oles, bass, Alan Pasqua, piano, and Joe LaBarbera, drums, Daniels will include jazz standards and original compositions. (The Oberlin series continues with the Zukerman Trio — violinist Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth, and pianist Angela Cheng — on September 30 at 8:00 pm.)

Having to make choices is the price we gladly pay for living in a region with such a lively classical music scene. But there are options: if you had to miss Burning River Baroque at St. Alban’s on the 17th, you can catch them at Christ Church in Hudson on the 18th, when the ensemble opens the new season of Music From the Western Reserve.

Other concert series openers during September include the Stambaugh Auditorium Organ Series in Youngstown (duo-organists Raymond and Elizabeth Chenault on September 18 at 4:00 pm); the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society (a showcase concert with Duo Allant, Adam Larison, and the Gruca White Ensemble on September 24 at 7:30 pm at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights); and the Akron Symphony (with conductor Christopher Wilkins and pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi at E.J Thomas Hall on September 24 at 8:00 pm).

The Cleveland Chamber Music Society and Tuesday Musical Association will both open their seasons on September 27 at 7:30 pm, CCMS with the Montrose Piano Trio at Plymouth Church, and TMA with the Emerson String Quartet at E.J. Thomas. (If you have to miss the Emerson that night, they’ll be playing on the Wooster Chamber Music Series on April 2 at 3:00 pm.)

Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra have interesting plans for their season launch on Thursday, September 29 at 7:30 pm: a concert featuring organist Paul Jacobs in Aaron Copland’s Organ Symphony, plus Charles Ives’s Symphony No. 3 and Jan Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2, repeated on Saturday the 30th at 8:00 pm.

And Ross Duffin’s Quire Cleveland gets in its first concert of the season just before the end of the month, a free, all-Monteverdi program on Friday, September 30 at 7:30 pm at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland.

And the rich offerings of Northeast Ohio’s academic institutions begin a whole new cycle in September. Among other events, Baldwin Wallace’s faculty ensemble, the Elysian Trio, performs on the 18th in Gamble Auditorium. The same afternoon, the Kent State University Keyboard Series gets underway with an all-Debussy program featuring faculty pianists Donna Lee and Jerry Wong, clarinetist Daniel Gilbert, and cellist Keith Robinson, along with paintings by Jance Lentz and narration by Françoise Massardier-Kenney. And among many other events, the Oberlin Conservatory will line up its Chamber Orchestra, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Orchestra, and Sinfonietta for a block of four concerts on adjacent evenings from September 22-25.

Back in Cleveland, the Cleveland Institute of Music gets busy with a CIM Orchestra concert at Severance Hall on September 21 at 8:00 pm; a faculty recital by cellist Mark Kosower and pianist Jee-Won Oh on September 23 at 8:00 pm dedicated to the music of Alberto Ginastera; and the first in a very interesting series of six fall concerts curated by Keith Fitch honoring the legacy of Pierre Boulez on Sunday, September 25 at 4:00 pm.

Speaking of contemporary music, Cleveland State University’s Contemporary Players Artist in Residence Series will present Cleveland’s No Exit new music ensemble in the first concert of its season on September 29 at 8:00 pm in Drinko Recital Hall.

That’s just for starters. listed 1,785 concerts during the 2015-2016 season. Keep an eye on our Concert Listings page for all the details about the rich menu of forthcoming events in Northeast Ohio.

Published on September 6, 2016.

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