By Mike Telin
With so many outstanding conservatories and schools of music located in Northeast Ohio, it was only a matter of time before the area became a new hotbed for contemporary classical music. And why shouldn’t it be? On Sunday, April 12 at 6:00 pm, the most recent addition to this increasingly vibrant scene, The Syndicate for the New Arts, will make its debut with a Launch Party at the BOP STOP. The evening will feature works by Jeffrey Mumford, John Sokol, Geoffrey King, Peter Kramer, Andrew Stock, John Burnett, Jessie Downs and Joshua Rosner. In celebration of the event, the BOP STOP chefs (Scene Magazine award winners for best food truck) will prepare a special menu to accompany the concert.
“I see the evening as an opportunity to meet and learn from the people who actually made the music,” Syndicate executive director and composer Joshua Rosner said during a telephone conversation. “The launch is really about getting all of the composers and performers together with the audience, and making the event as interactive as possible. After the concert we’ll open things up for a huge party so that everyone will have the chance to get to know each other.”
Formed at Oberlin College and Conservatory, The Syndicate for the New Arts is committed to championing the works of living composers, especially those who are based in the Rust Belt. However, the inspiration for the group can be traced back to a summer that Rosner spent working for the New York City-based Wet Ink Ensemble. “During my time at Oberlin I realized that contemporary music was something that was really important to me, something I enjoyed and admired,” Rosner recalled. “I really just wanted to how groups like Wet Ink that I respected so much were making it all work.”
With financial assistance from Oberlin’s Creativity and Leadership Grants, Rosner received internship fellowship money which allowed him to go to New York and work for Wet Ink. That turned out to be a life-changing experience. “What I discovered is that New York is a great city for the arts, but it has a high cost of living and there are very few opportunities available in comparison to the number of artists who live there.”
However, that experience didn’t dampen Rosner’s desire to become a contributing member of the contemporary music scene. “I started looking at cities like Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and of course Cleveland, where I eventually ended up. I think Cleveland and the Rust Belt in general is perfectly situated to be a hub for contemporary culture in this country. So I started the ensemble with some Oberlin colleagues with the idea of trying to champion artists in Northeast Ohio. And to show other cities what incredible talent and great performance venues the area has.”
Read the rest of the preview at ClevelandClassical.com.