The last two weeks of August are traditionally slow ones for classical music in Northeast Ohio — but The Cleveland Orchestra is still busy at Severance Hall and the Blossom Music Center (they take vacation time in September), and Baldwin Wallace is already cranking up for a new season.
British-born early music specialist Nicholas McGegan will conduct back-to-back concerts with the Orchestra on Friday, August 21 at 7:00 pm at Severance Hall and on Saturday, August 22 at 8:00 pm at Blossom. Now celebrating this 30th anniversary with San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque, McGegan, a flutist, happened into early music at Cambridge University when the late harpsichordist and historical performance guru Christopher Hogwood invited him to play duets. Principal cello Mark Kosower will join McGegan and the Orchestra on both concerts, soloing in Joseph Haydn's C-Major Cello Concerto, a piece which somehow got lost and was rediscovered only in the 1960s. On Friday, McGegan’s program will add the second suite from George Frideric Handel's Water Music (written for an 18th century royal boating party on the Thames River) and Franz Schubert's smiling little fifth symphony. On Saturday, the menu includes J.S. Bach's brilliant Orchestral Suite No. 3, the G-minor Sinfonia by Bach's son, Johann Christian (who emigrated to England), and Wolfgang Amadè Mozart's Symphony No. 31, a.k.a. "Paris," composed for a huge orchestra during the composer's visit to the French capital. Read McGegan's conversation with Mike Telin here
. Tickets for both concerts are available online.
Baldwin Wallace Conservatory launches its school year late in August and has scheduled two faculty recitals to inspire its returning and entering students. Cleveland Orchestra musicians Daniel McKelway (clarinet), Jeffrey Rathbun (oboe), Jonathan Sherwin (bassoon) and Jesse McCormick (horn) will team up with staff pianist Christine Fuoco in a program including Mozart's Quintet for piano and winds on Friday, August 28 at 8:00 in Gamble Auditorium in Berea. On Sunday evening, August 30 at 8:00 pm, The Unconventional Trio — an admittedly odd combination of flute (Sean Gabriel), trumpet (John Brndiar) and piano (Debra Comodeca), will explore unusual repertoire they've managed to turn up. Both events are free.
Celebrated trumpeter Wynton Marsalis will bring his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to Cleveland for two performances on August 28 and 29. On Friday, August 28 at 7:00 pm, the orchestra will play a solo gig at Severance Hall (drinks and food available on the terrace beforehand). The next evening, Saturday, August 29 at 8:00 pm, JLCO will join guest conductor William Eddins and The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom for "Swing Symphony," an homage to jazz and pop styles of ragtime, mambo, bebop and church music. Tickets here.
For its last classical concert of the summer, The Cleveland Orchestra will welcome guest conductor Edo de Waart and violin soloist Gil Shaham for Max Bruch's first concerto and Gustav Mahler's first symphony, the grand, cinematic work that launched the composer's symphonic career in 1889. It was a bust at its first performance in Budapest, but Mahler obsessively reworked the piece until it was published in its present form in 1899. It's one of his shortest and most loveable symphonies, and its tunes will stick in your head. Tickets here.