Heights Arts announces season 13 of chamber music series
Heights Arts is proud to announce the 13th season of its Close Encounters chamber music concerts. These popular salon-style performances take place in private homes or unusual venues in or near Cleveland Heights. All musicians this season are members of the Cleveland Orchestra or on the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory of Music. This is chamber music as it is meant to be: up close and personal. A wine and pastry reception is provided to audience members and musicians during the intermission of each concert.
The season begins Nov. 11 at an art-filled carriage house in Herrick Mews, with the string ensemble We Too presenting a program of chamber music written by women between five and 1,000 years ago. The oldest work is from a vast collection of religious chants written by Hildegard von Bingen, a German nun born in 1098. The newest composition is by 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, a composer and college friend of Cleveland Orchestra violinist Katherine Bormann, who will be leading and providing remarks to Shaw’s string quartet Entre’Acte.
The second concert takes place on Feb. 10, in the acoustically outstanding barn next to Dunham Tavern in Midtown. Featuring the talented Omni String Quartet, the show opens with Claude Debussy’s fiery String Quartet in g minor, an Impressionist masterpiece, and, adding four more players, concludes with one of the most popular chamber music works in the genre: Felix Mendelssohn’s String Octet, written by the composing genius when he was only 16. By design, this is a virtuosic violin concerto with a seven-piece mini-orchestra, abounding with youthful energy and optimism.
Next, on March 10, musicians will perform at a stately mansion on Eaton Road in Cleveland Heights. Richard King, the beloved principal horn player of the Cleveland Orchestra for more than 20 years, will fill the room with his magical sound in Johannes Brahms's Horn Trio. In the first half, the audience will be treated to violin and keyboard works by J.S. Bach and Igor Stravinsky. It is well known that Stravinsky was deeply influenced by Bach, and experiencing works by these composing giants next to each other will highlight their creative and counterpointed connections.
The last event of the season, on May 19, is a double-feature at a newly renovated century home in Chestnut Hills. Audience members can reserve a double-feature ticket for a home tour plus concert, or a ticker for just the concert. For patrons selecting both, a tour of all four floors of this grand estate and a champagne reception will be provided by the homeowner.
The concert will take place in the lower salon of the home and present a new work for electric violin and looping pedal created by Cleveland Heights composer Chris Auerbach-Brown and written for Isabel Trautwein, plus Maurice Ravel’s imaginative Duo for Violin and Cello. The concert will close with the nostalgic Clarinet Quintet by Brahms, featuring Cleveland Orchestra clarinetist Robert Woolfrey and four friends—one of them his wife, cellist Tanya Ell.
The musicians will dedicate this final concert to Heights Arts, an organization that has been a loyal friend to artists and to the Heights community for nearly 20 years.
All four concerts take place on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m., and all, except the May 19 concert, are fully accessible. To reserve tickets, visit the Heights Arts gallery at 2175 Lee Road, call 216-371-3457, or visit www.heightsarts.org/concerts. Advance reservations are required as there is limited seating available in these intimate venues.
Parents are encouraged to bring students to these concerts, where closely observing and approaching the musicians with questions or for autographs is welcome. Student and parent tickets are available at a 75-percent discount for all concerts.
A violinist in the Cleveland Orchestra, Isabel Trautwein is the artistic director of the Heights Arts Close Encounters chamber music series, and an enthusiastic Cleveland Heights bungalow owner.