ClevelandClassical.com editors’ top six event picks for this week. Read, enjoy, attend.
Isserlis & Levin play Beethoven
. British-born cellist Steven Isserlis (an Oberlin Conservatory grad) and pianist Robert Levin (who's finished some of Mozart's abandoned works and regularly goes out on a limb to improvise cadenzas to his piano concertos) play three Beethoven cello sonatas and a set of variations on period instruments (in Levin's case, an 1825 Viennese fortepiano). Even if you know these pieces, you'll be amazed at the difference. Tuesday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights on the Cleveland Chamber Music Series. Tickets here.
Mozart's La finta giardiniera (The pretend Gardener)
, second take. Mozart wrote this crazy opera at the age of 18. Jonathon FIeld's Oberlin Opera Theater takes a second look at its possibilities on Wednesday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m. in Hall Auditorium (Baldwin Wallace performed its version last month.) Field is justifiably famous for his edgy, clever staging, and rabbits — Ralph, Rachel, Richard, Rebecca, Robert and Rosalie — play a big role in his garden. Repeated on Friday and Saturday evenings, March 13 & 14 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 15 at 2:00 p.m. (Different casts sing Wednesday-Saturday and Friday-Sunday.) Tickets here.
CityMusic in four places.
Cleveland's itinerant chamber orchestra begins its next set of concerts at Mentor High School on Thursday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. with a guest conductor from Toronto (Joaquin Valdepeñas) and a guest violinist (Adele Anthony). Anthony will perform Carl Nielsen's violin concerto, and the orchestra will be featured in Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 and in Arvo Pärt's Symphony No. 4, dubbed “Los Angeles.” All four performances are free, and you can catch the other three on Friday, March 13 at Lakewood Congregational Church (7:30 pm), on Saturday, March 14 at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus in Slavic Village (7:30 pm) or on Sunday, March 15 at Christ Episcopal Church in Shaker Hts. (3:00 pm).
Luisi, Thibaudet and The Cleveland Orchestra.
Fabbio Luisi, who stepped in to conduct a bunch of performances at the Metropolitan Opera when James Levine was on the mend, joins pianist Jean-Yeves Thibaudet for Franz Liszt's second piano concerto on Thursday, March 12 at 7:30 and Saturday, March 14 at 8:00 pm in Severance Hall. There's also something old and something new on that program: Beethoven's seventh symphony and Luca Francesconi's Cobalt, Scarlet: Two Colors of Dawn. In between, the Orchestra invites you to another Fridays@7 concert on the 13th. No Liszt that evening, but Snarky Puppy will be the band for both the pre-concert and post-concert party. Tickets here.
, the bad boy of the organ world, brings his futuristic International Touring Organ to E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron on Friday, March 13 at 7:30. He can play anything with his hands and his feet, so the program could range from classical favorites to the completely unpredictable. If you're normally bored to tears by organ music, you'll be very surprised. Tickets here.
Baritone Elliot Madore.
Every other year, the Baldwin Wallace Art Song Festival brings in an international singer for a solo recital. This year's attraction is Canadian baritone Elliot Madore, who gave up a promising career in hockey to play Don Giovanni and other characters in the opera world. He’ll sing songs by Poulenc, Wolf, Schumann and Ives with Natalia Katyukova at the piano on Sunday, March 15 at 7:00 pm in Gamble Auditorium at Baldwin Wallace. Tickets here.
Check out the details of these and many other classical concerts in Northeast Ohio on ClevelandClassical.com’s Concert Listings page.