Five Classical Music Events to Hit This Week

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The Cleveland Orchestra is the host organization for the annual League of American Orchestras conference this week, inspiring an impressive four days of concerts at Severance Hall led by music director Franz Welser-Möst. Richard Strauss’s one-act, 90-minute opera, Daphne, is scheduled for Wednesday, May 27 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, May 30 at 8:00 pm, featuring an international cast of vocal stars and an auditorium transformed into the great outdoors. (Daphne, the Greek mythological figure, is forced to choose between her love of men and her love of nature; thanks to the intervention of Zeus, she turns into a tree at the end). On Thursday, May 28 at 7:30 pm, the orchestra plays Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony and Strauss’s Symphonia domestica, returning on Friday, May 29 at 8:00 p.m., with Oliver Messiaen’s Hymne and Chronochromie, along with Dvorak’s fifth symphony. Tickets for all four events here.

CityMusic Cleveland is also a featured ensemble for the League of American Orchestras conference, and the chamber orchestra that usually moves around town will stay put in Masonic Temple Auditorium for two concerts on Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29 at 7:30 pm. Committed to raising community awareness of issues like genocide, bullying and refugees, CityMusic is concentrating this season on homeless children with an all-day conference on May 28 and a pair of evening concerts featuring Grammy-winning vocalist Heather Headley. Also on the program, a popular concerto for two percussionists by CityMusic’s music director Avner Dorman, featuring Luke Rinderknecht and Haruka Fuji. Concert tickets are available here.

Fans of the classical guitar can look forward to the fifteenth installment of the Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival. Beginning at 10:00 am on Thursday, May 28 and continuing through Sunday evening, May 31 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, CICGF will present recitals and master classes by Antonis Hatzinikolaou (Greece); Nigel North, lute (England); Cleveland’s own Jason Vieaux and harpist Yolanda Kondonassis (USA); Paul Galbraith (Scotland); Ricardo Gallen (Spain); Duo Melis (Susana Prieto, Spain, and Alexis Muzurakis, Greece); and Pavel Steidl (Czech Republic). See the ClevelandClassical concert listings for details. Masterclasses and the recital by Hatzinikolaou are free. Tickets to other performances can be ordered online.

Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini achieved rock star status in the early 19th century, some think by making a Faustian pact with the Devil. Bernard Rose, who directed the Beethoven film Immortal Beloved is back with a new release, The Devil’s Violinist, to be screened in Morley Lecture Hall at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Friday, May 29 at 6:45 pm and again on Sunday, May 31 at 1:30 pm. German pop and crossover violinist David Garrett plays Paganini in this two-hour musical biopic. Tickets available online.

British countertenor David Acres and his professional vocal ensemble, Contrapunctus, will take listeners on a tour of “The Glories of Spanish Polyphony from the 13th to the 17th centuries” in a concert on Sunday, May 31 at 3:00 pm in the splendor of Mary Queen of Peace Church on Pearl Road in Cleveland. Musicians on the Iberian peninsula did their own thing for centuries with little cross-fertilization back and forth with the continent, so the music of Tomas Luis de Victoria, Alonso Lobo, Mateo Flecha and Alfonso X has its own special character. The concert is free.


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