No Exit Launches Its 11th Season and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch This Week in Cleveland


  • Courtesy No Exit

Following the success last September of a two-day festival marking the centenary of the end of World War I, Oberlin violin professor Sibbi Bernhardsson was eager to launch the new school term with four concerts and two panel discussions organized around a similar theme. Oberlin’s End of Life, End of Time Festival, which runs from Saturday, September 7 through Sunday, September 8, features late-career or final works by composers who were contemplating their mortality or thinking about endings — a theme that fascinates Bernhardsson, and was originally inspired by Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.

Bernhardsson will join faculty colleagues Richard Hawkins, clarinet, Darrett Adkins, cello, and Haewon Song, piano, for the Messiaen Quartet during the second concert on Saturday at 7:30 pm in Stull Recital Hall. Other concerts on Saturday at 1:30 pm and Sunday at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm will feature a variety of chamber music accompanied by poetry and preceded by lectures by Oberlin faculty. Panel discussions by faculty members and guests on Saturday and Sunday at 3:30 pm will consider the theme from musicological, geological, classical, and religious perspectives. All the events are free and will be live streamed. Check our Concert Listings for the complete schedule.

No Exit new music ensemble will launch its eleventh season with three performances featuring cimbalom virtuoso Chester Englander, performing on the Hungarian hammered zither that fascinated such classical composers as Stravinsky and Kodály. It’s also led to a recent work by Kati Agócs (Saint Elizabeth Bells), which will share the program with works by Phillip Blackburn (Air), Adonai Henderson (ngoma), Sean Parks (Trio Species Planetarium, Liber II), and No Exit’s pianist-composer Nicholas Underhill (Passing Lane). Those last three pieces will be enjoying their first performances on Friday, September 6 at 8:00 pm at SPACES, Saturday, September 7 at 7:00 pm at Heights Arts, and Friday, September 13 at 8:00 pm in Drinko Hall at CSU. All three are free.

Sundays are favorite occasions for free classical music performances, and this coming weekend will feature a number of them. Saxophonist Howie Smith continues his long-standing Concert in Progress series (or maybe he’ll play an hour-long improvisation or a combination of the two) on the Music for Miles series at Waterloo Arts in Collinwood at 4:00 pm.

There are two interesting events this Sunday for pipe organ fans. Oberlin visiting organ professor Crista Rakish will join flutist Alexa Still and soprano Katherine Krebs in an unusual mix of music by Cécile Chaminade, Jeanne Demessieux, Margaretha Christina de Jong, and James Woodman (his Four Mirthless Songs) on the Fisk organ in Finney Chapel at 4:00 pm. And New York-based organist Colin MacKnight will play music by J.S. Bach, Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, and David Goode (his Fantasy on Themes by Gershwin), including some of his own arrangements, on the Schantz organ at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Akron at 5:00 pm.

And at 5:00 pm on Sunday at Christ Church in Hudson, Music From the Western Reserve begins its new season with a concert by clarinetist Carl Topilow and friends. Tickets are available online.

For details of these and other classical concerts, see our Concert Listings page.

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