The Best of This Week's Classical Music Events in Cleveland

by

Ana Vidovic
  • Ana Vidovic
Clarinetist Franklin Cohen retired as principal of The Cleveland Orchestra at the end of the last Severance Hall season, but he’s busy pursuing an active solo career. You can hear him twice this week in completely different programs. On Wednesday, October 21, he’ll join pianist Zsolt Bognár in an 8:00 pm faculty recital in Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music (music by Francis Poulenc, Carlos Guastavino, Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann & George Gershwin). Then on Sunday, October 25, Cohen will play on the Arts Renaissance Tremont Series (3:00 pm at Pilgrim Church) with different colleagues: violist Kirsten Docter, cellist Bronwyn Banerdt, and pianists Sergei Babayan and Rafael Skorka. Sunday’s program will feature the premiere of the first movement of Lakewood-born composer David Conte’s Clarinet Sonata, written for Cohen. There’ll also be three Viennese classical period works on the menu: Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 11 trio, nicknamed the “Gassenhauer” because its third movement is based on a tune so popular that people were whistling it in the streets (Gassen), Wolfgang Amadè Mozart’s E-flat trio, known as the “Kegelstatt” after a bowling game the composer enjoyed, and Franz Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata, originally written for a type of bowed guitar. Both concerts are free, but Arts Renaissance Tremont will appreciate your donation at the door.

The Cleveland Classical Guitar Society will continue its international series on Saturday, October 24 at 7:30 pm at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights with a recital by the Croatian virtuoso Ana Vidović, who took up the instrument at the age of five and began performing internationally when she was only eleven years old. She’ll be playing a program of music by Spanish and South American composers (Fernando Sor, Federico Moreno Torroa, Agustín Barrios Mangoré, Isaac Albéniz, and Antonio Lauro), plus music by J.S. Bach and Toru Takemitsu. Tickets are available online.

The first of seven Cleveland POPS concerts this season will feature jazz vocalist Barbara Knight, trumpeter Jack Schantz, drummer Jim Rupp, pianist Rock Wehrmann, and trombonist and arranger Paul Ferguson in “Big Bands and All That Jazz” on Saturday, October 24 in Severance Hall. Carl Topilow conducts (and will likely bring out one of his colorful clarinets for this tribute to America’s Big Band Era). Tickets can be ordered online through the Severance Hall box office.

Opera Circle Cleveland has joined forces with VOCI (Voices of Canton Inc.) and the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra for a production of Bedřich Smetana’s popular Czech opera The Bartered Bride. They performed the show in Canton last weekend and will move the whole enterprise to the Bohemian National Hall in Broadway/Slavic Village on Sunday, October 25 at 3:00 pm. Robert Cronquist will conduct, and Dorota Sobieska will double as stage director and Marenka. Other cast members will include Brian Skoog (Jenik), Adam Holcomb (Vasek), James Binion (Kecal), Cynthia Wohlschlager (Ludmilla), Amy Yekel (Hata), Charles Spencer, (Krusina), Paolo Parodi (Micha), Darius McBride (Principal komediantu) & Jessica Crowell (Esmeralda). Reserve your seats by calling 216.883.0675.

So many shows have already been produced at the Bop Stop that it’s hard to believe that the Music Settlement’s West Side “listening room” is only celebrating its first anniversary this weekend. There are two shows that classical music fans should be sure to catch. On Friday, October 23 at 8:00 pm, the Almeda Trio (Robert Cassidy, piano, Cara Tweed, violin, and guest cellist Nick Diodore), who opened the Bop Stop’s series a year ago, will return to play Ludwig van Beethoven’s Trio in B-flat, Op. 11, Aaron Copland’s rarely-performed Vitebsk, and Paul Schoenfeld’s witty Café Music. Then on Saturday, October 24 at 8:00 pm, the Gruca White Ensemble (Robert Gruca, classical guitar and Linda White, flute) will fold the spooky sounds of the theremin (played by Beth Friedman-Romell) into a program called “The macabre and fantasy aspects of Halloween.” White will bring all the members of the flute family into the fray — piccolo, alto, bass, and contrabass flutes will be featured in music by Jennifer Conner, Bryan Johanson, Serge Lancen, and Nakita Koshkin, plus original improvisations. Suggested donation for both events is $10, and bar service and food will be available.

Check out a complete two-week calendar of classical music events here.


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