Biennial Art Song Festival Returns to the Cleveland Institute of Music This Week


  • Ana María Martínez/ Courtesy Art Song Festival
As usual, after a final burst of energy, the winter-spring concert season tapers off the week before Memorial Day. This year, the biennial Art Song Festival at the Cleveland Institute of Music picks up some of the slack, with a full week of events dedicated to the intimate art form that involves only one singer and one pianist.

Art Song flowered during the Romantic movement of the 19th century, when music and poetry combined to create a new outlet for composers seeking to express human emotion. Franz Schubert alone wrote some 600 art songs or Lieder, and the tradition he and his contemporaries established continues into our own time.

Founded in 1985 by George Vassos, who taught at CIM for five decades, the Art Song Festival features master classes and recitals by guest artists, culminating in a concert on Saturday evening, May 26 by twelve singer-pianist teams who have gone through an extensive audition process to study with celebrity singers and their collaborative pianists.

This year’s guests are tenor Christoph Prégardien, pianist Roger Vignoles, soprano Ana Maria Martinez, and pianist Craig Terry. On Thursday, May 24, Prégardien and Vignoles will perform Schubert’s cycle Die schöne Müllerin. The following evening, Friday, May 25, Martinez will join Terry in Spanish and Latin American songs by de Falla, Rodrigo, Turina, and others. Both events begin at 8:00 pm in Mixon Hall. Tickets are available online.

Daily master classes are free, open to the public, and will give wonderful insights into how singers and keyboardists prepare for performances.

Check out details of these and many other classical music events on our Concert Listings page.

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