Five Classical Music Events You Shouldn't Miss This Week

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The Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, with Carl Topilow at the helm, will make the first of several visits down the street to Severance Hall on Wednesday, September 16 at 8:00 pm. The first concert of the season will be devoted to 20th century music, including William Schuman’s New England Triptych, Béla Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (featuring Yuri Noh) and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1. You can attend this show for free, but you’ll need a ticket from the Severance Hall box office (reserve online here).

Cleveland-based Burning River Baroque likes to perform 17th and 18th century music with all its original drama intact. Their one-off performance on Friday, September 18 at 7:30 pm at Lakewood Congregational Church (1375 W. Clifton Blvd.) entitled “Amore: Italian Songs of Adoration, Desire, and Remorse” will find Malina Rauschenfels, Paula Maust, and Bud Roach doing double duty as singers and performers on baroque violin, harpsichord, and guitar in Northern Italian music by Claudio Monteverdi, Claudio Merula, Biagio Marini, Bernardino Borlasca, Giovanni Felices Sances, and Girolamo Frescobaldi. The concert is free, but donations are welcome.

Music director Christopher Wilkins will lead the Akron Symphony in its opening night performance at E.J. Thomas Hall at the University of Akron on Saturday, September 19 at 8:00 pm. Wilkins enjoys putting together imaginative, themed programs, and “American Journey” will visit colorful works by Aaron Copland (El salón México and the ballet score for Rodeo), Baldwin Wallace composer-in-residence Clint Needham (Southern Air) and George Gershwin (Piano Concerto in F). Longtime University of Akron piano professor Philip Thomson will solo in the Gershwin concerto, which followed Rhapsody in Blue by one year. (Thomson talks about the work here in an interview with ClevelandClassical.) Tickets are available online.

“Ekklésia” may sound churchy, but the Greek word just means “assembly,” the name adopted by the extended woodwind quintet that includes Jennifer Anderson-Germaine, flute, Kristin Perry, oboe, Robert Davis, clarinet, Thomas Lempner, saxophone, Kathryn Stockmaster, bassoon, and Greg Hillis, horn. The group will play two free concerts in the area in the next week, on Saturday, September 19 at 7:00 pm in Drinko Hall at Cleveland State University, and on Wednesday, September 23 at 8:00 pm in Kulas Music Hall at Baldwin Wallace. The menu features French and Italian music by Pierre Max Dubois, Walter Hartley, Marcel Boucard, Gioacchino Rossini and Darius Milhaud, and both performances are free.

The Cleveland Classical Guitar Society will open its concert season with a “Showcase” concert of local professional talent on Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 pm at Plymouth Church, 2860 Coventry Road in Shaker Heights. Two duos — Stephen Aron, guitar and JoNell Aron, soprano; and Duo Amaral, Jorge Amaral and Mia Pomerantz-Amaral, guitars — will join Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux in a wide-ranging program of pieces for voice and guitar, two guitars, and solo guitar. Where else can you find Shine on, harvest moon and a Bach lute suite on the same program? No admission charge, but donations are welcome.

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