Tuesday September 11, 2018
Tags for: The Cleveland Museum of Art Announces 2018–19 Performing Arts Series
  • Press Release

The Cleveland Museum of Art Announces 2018–19 Performing Arts Series

exterior of the CMA building

Tickets on Sale Now

Cleveland, OH (September 11, 2018)—The Cleveland Museum of Art’s 2018–2019 Performing Arts Series features some of the most acclaimed performing artists from around the globe. As ever, the museum’s series continues its exciting schedule with a range of artists from traditions far and wide, old and new. New this year is the establishment of a major commissioning program in which six internationally known composers will create original compositions inspired by works of art from the museum’s collection. The composers in the commissioning program are: Luciano Chessa, Çenk Ergün, Aya Nishina, Sophie Nzayisenga, Henry Threadgill, and Aleksandra Vrebalov. Co-sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program, these compositions will be performed in Cleveland over the next two years beginning in January of 2019. 

 “This is a truly exciting moment in the history of the museum,” said Thomas M. Welsh, the museum’s director of performing arts. “Embarking on this journey with these composers to bring major new works to life adds a dimension to both our legacy and our future. We are delighted by the Cleveland Foundation’s visionary support and eagerly look forward to what these marvelous artists will do. This is a wonderful evolution of the performing arts series and I’m looking forward to the original compositions that will be presented this season.”

Other season highlights include the Cleveland debut of Belgian early music vocal ensemble Vox Luminis, under the direction of Lionel Meunier and with special guests Anthony Romaniuk (organ) and Ricardo Rodriguez Miranda (viola da gamba) performing an all-Bach program; mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital joins jazz bassist Omer Avital in a program whimsically titled “Avital Meets Avital,” drawing on their shared Jewish Moroccan roots; a rare solo recital by violinist Carolin Widmann; ongoing series collaborations with the premier ensembles at the Oberlin Conservatory as well as the joint program of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University; organ recitals by up-and-coming stars Paul Goussot and Emmanuel Culcasi, in addition to the young artists from the CIM studio of Todd Wilson; and more. 

Tickets for individual performances are on sale now. Special student rates are available for select performances. Tickets and more details are available by calling the Cleveland Museum of Art ticket center at 888-CMA-0033 or online at clevelandart.org/performingarts. 

Performing Arts 2018–19 Season

All CMA performances take place in the museum’s Gartner Auditorium unless otherwise noted. Programs are subject to change.

Chamber Music in the Galleries
Free; no ticket required; program and concert locations to be announced 

We welcome the start of a new season of the popular chamber music concert series featuring young artists from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the joint program with Case Western Reserve University’s early and baroque music programs. Outstanding conservatory musicians present mixed repertoire ranging from the standard to unknown gems amid the museum’s collections for a unique and intimate experience. 

Wednesday, October 3, 6:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, November 7, 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 5, 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 6, 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 6, 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 3, 6:00 p.m. 

Wednesday May 1, 6:00 p.m.

Vox Luminis 
Wednesday, October 24, 7:30 p.m. 
$43–59, CMA members $38–53
Led by founder and artistic director Lionel Meunier, the Belgian early music vocal ensemble has been celebrated for its unique sound, appealing as much through the personality of each timbre as it does through the color and the uniformity of the voices. The ensemble performs over 60 concerts a year, appearing on stages in Belgium, across Europe, and around the world. The ensemble’s 12 albums have enjoyed international critical acclaim and have won numerous prizes including the prestigious Gramophone Recording of the Year in 2012. With special guests Anthony Romaniuk (organ) and Ricardo Rodriguez Miranda (viola da gamba). 


J. S. Bach Motets
Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225
Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226
Komm, Jesu, Komm, BWV 229
Ich lasse dich nicht, BWV Anh 159
Jesu meine Freude, BWV 227

Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble 
Sunday, November 11, 2:00 p.m.
$10, CMA members free
Timothy Weiss conducts the next concert in our collaborative series with Oberlin CME that features guest pianists Sarah Gibson and Thomas Kotcheff and includes works by composers-in-residence at Oberlin. 


Sarah Gibson*, Prefer Living in Color (2017)
Thomas Kotcheff*, That in shadow or moonlight rises (2014)
Aliya Ultan, Title TBD (premiere/student composer) (2018)
Stephen Hartke, Sonata (2014)
Donald Crockett*, And the River (2018)

Paul Goussot 
Sunday, December 9, 2:00 p.m.
Free, no ticket required
Paul Goussot is titulaire of the famous Dom Bedos organ at the medieval Abbey of St-Croix in Bordeaux, France. He recently won first prize for improvisation at the 26th International Organ Festival in Saint Albans, in the United Kingdom. Born in 1984 in Bordeaux, Goussot’s organ playing career took off at the age of 16, when he entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris where he first studied the harpsichord and basso continuo with Olivier Baumont and Blandine Rannou. Following his studies with Michel Bouvard and Olivier Latry, he graduated from the Conservatoire National and gained numerous first prizes, including two teaching diplomas that qualified him as professor of harpsichord and organ studies. Goussot is a prize winner of various international organ competitions, namely at the “Musica Antica” festival in Bruges, Belgium, as well as at St-Maurice, Switzerland, and in 2007 he won first prize for improvisation at an international organ festival in Luxembourg. In 2009, as part of a joint program between the cathedral-basilica in New Orleans and the Paris Conservatoire, he was named “First Young Artist”-in-residence at Saint Louis Cathedral, in New Orleans. 

Henry Threadgill 
Friday, January 11, 7:30 p.m.
$25, CMA members $22
For over 40 years, Henry Threadgill has been celebrated as one of the most forward-thinking composers and multi-instrumentalists in American music. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2016, Threadgill has been called “perhaps the most important jazz composer of his generation” by The New York Times. His remarkably agile ensemble Zooid will be augmented by the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble for a world-premiere performance of an expanded and improvising chamber ensemble. 

*A Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion commission.

CIM Organ Studio 
Sunday, March 3, 2:00 p.m.
Free, no ticket required
Outstanding conservatory musicians from the Cleveland Institute of Music’s studio of acclaimed organist Todd Wilson present an afternoon recital of works for solo organ on the museum’s McMyler Memorial Organ. Program to be announced.

Aya Nishina 
Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m.
$25, CMA members $22
Japanese composer and sound artist Aya Nishina creates music of amazing fragility and beauty. Counted among her guiding lights are Ryiuchi Sakamoto and John Zorn, for whom she recorded “Flora” in 2013. Following an intensive study of the museum’s collection, Japanese composer Aya Nishina was struck by a common theme, and the result is the world premiere of her “Symphonia,” a multi-movement work inspired by the “opened-mouth creatures” she found throughout the collection. The work is for choreographed voices and mixed large ensemble. 

*A Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion commission.

Carolin Widmann 
Friday, March 29, 7:30 p.m. 
Venue and pricing to be announced
A wonderfully versatile musician, violinist Carolin Widmann’s activities span the great classical concerti, new commissions especially written for her, solo recitals, and a wide variety of chamber music. Widmann was awarded the Bayerischer Staatspreis for music in 2017, honoring her individuality and exceptional musicianship. Named “Musician of the Year” at the International Classical Music Awards 2013, Widmann has enjoyed collaborations with some of the world’s leading orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Orchestre National de France, and many others. She rarely performs in the US, and this solo performance of old and new repertoire will be a special treat. Program TBD.

Emmanuel Culcasi 
Sunday, March 31, 2:00 p.m.
Free, no ticket required
Born in 1993 in Montpellier, France, Emmanuel Culcasi began his musical studies at age 6 in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille in piano performance under the instruction of Michel Bourdoncle and in the organ classes of Chantal De Zeeuw and André Rossi. After winning numerous prizes at international piano competitions, Culcasi entered the organ class of the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique (CNSMD) of Lyon under the tutelage of François Espinasse and Liesbeth Schlumberger. In 2018 he began studies in improvisation with Thierry Escaich at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et Danse of Paris. Upon being awarded a two-year research fellowship in 2014, he attended the CNRS-Aix-Marseille University and began a research program focusing on the impact of music training on the brain’s structural plasticity and long-term memory interactions. Trained as a musician and a scientist, Culcasi is well on his way to a versatile career as a recitalist, collaborative scientist, and educator. Since 2016 Emmanuel Culcasi has served as co-titulaire organist of the 1854 Ducroquet/Cavaillé-Coll organ of Saint-Sauveur Cathedral in Aix-en-Provence with Chantal De Zeeuw. Program TBD. 

Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble 
Sunday, April 7, 2:00 p.m. 
$10, CMA members free
Timothy Weiss conducts the next concert in our collaborative series with Oberlin CME. Program to be announced. 

Avi Avital & Omer Avital 
Wednesday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.
$33–$45, CMA members $30–$40
“Avital meets Avital” is a dialogue between two musicians who come from different worlds but share a common richness of musical heritage. Grammy-nominee mandolinist Avi Avital comes from a classical tradition while award-winning bass virtuoso and oud player Omer Avital is an acclaimed jazz performer and composer. In “Avital meets Avital,” these two musicians, joined by Omer Klein on piano and Itamer Doari on percussion, draw on the diverse influences of Moroccan and North African sounds, folkloric and classical traditions, as well as Israeli harmonies and Mediterranean rhythms to create a musical melting pot where the finesse of chamber music meets the raw emotional energy of jazz. 

Çenk Ergün 
May 2018, date to be announced, Ames Family Atrium
Çenk Ergün, born in Istanbul, Turkey, is a composer and improviser whose work has been performed by So Percussion, JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, Yarn/Wire, and others at venues in New York, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Istanbul. Ergün has participated in the NY Phil Biennial, Lincoln Center Festival, Gaudeamus Music Week, MATA Festival, Bang on a Can Marathon, WNYC’s New Sounds Live, Peak Performances at Montclair University, Stanford Lively Arts, and San Francisco Electronic Music Festival. His music is frequently characterized by long durations of meditative soundfields in alternate tuning systems, occupying a unique space between concert and sound installation.

*A Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion commission. 

Creative Fusion: Composers Series is part of the Cleveland Foundation’s ongoing Creative Fusion program. Since 2008, Creative Fusion has brought to Cleveland more than 80 international artists-in-residence.

Series Sponsors:

Medical Mutual, The Musart Society

Museum Sponsors:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Ohio Arts Council

The Cleveland Museum of Art is supported in part by Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this exhibition with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261