CLEVELAND (May 31, 2011) – The Cleveland Museum of Art's 2011-2012 VIVA! & Gala Performing Arts series will open at the end of September with an ambitious schedule that will take audiences on a musical journey around the world. Now in its seventh season, VIVA! & Gala is known for bringing artists to Cleveland that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the region.
This year's lineup ranges from the movement poetry of Maureen Fleming in Black Madonna, her mystical response on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of 9/11; to the Grammy Award-winning Cuban jazz pianist Chucho Valdés, as well as the pure genius of Catalan viola da gamba player Jordi Savall. Also back by popular demand is Max Raabe and Palast Orchester, the Berlin-based ensemble that mixes the big band music of the 1920s and '30s with a distinctively modern sound.
A number of free concerts will be offered this year, including violinist Gregory Fulkerson and harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani in the museum galleries, the semi-final round of the American Guild of Organists national competition for young artists, and a new monthly series of chamber music in the galleries featuring ensembles from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Case Western Reserve University early music program.
"Our 2011-12 season gathers some of the greatest living performing artists and ensembles in the world on the stage of one of the greatest museums in the world," said Massoud Saidpour, Director of Performing Arts, Music and Film and the Cleveland Museum of Art. "The perfect acoustics and the state-of-the-art facilities of the recently renovated Gartner Auditorium provide an ideal venue for the wonderfully varied programs on the VIVA! & Gala Performing Arts series – unique performances that are otherwise not available in our region."
All VIVA! & Gala performances take place in the museum's Gartner Auditorium, unless otherwise noted.
SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES
Maureen Fleming: Black Madonna
Friday, September 30, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
"Fleming did amazing things…She seemed to transcend the material work and enter a realm of pure spirit…Wondrous choreographic metamorphosis."—The New York Times
Crossing cultures and art forms, Maureen Fleming invents surreal movement poetry that transforms how we think of the human body. In the artist's mystical response to the 10th anniversary of the tragedy of September 11th, Fleming's evening length Black Madonna is a meditation on the possibilities of loss when seen within the context of the world's inner traditions, a world beyond rationality and nationality. In Black Madonna, Fleming juxtaposes her singular movement with three-dimensional video projections, designed by longtime collaborator Christopher Odo, to a stunning effect. Featuring music by Philip Glass and Kim Young Dong performed live by pianist Bruce Brubaker and Korean drummer Joongwon Lee. $43, $38; Museum members $42, $37.
Huun Huur Tu
Friday, October 7, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
"It is unfamiliar yet very accessible, an otherworldly but deeply spiritual music that is rooted in the sounds of nature."—The Chicago Tribune
The overtone singing of these remarkable musicians is unlike anything you have heard. It is at once spine-tingling beautiful, haunting and hypnotic, taking their audiences to a mind-boggling musical landscape. Performing in nearly every European country and all over North America, Huun Huur Tu has emerged as the leading international representative of the outstanding musical culture of Tuva, a South Siberian Turkic people, who uphold one of the world's oldest forms of music-making. $43, $38; Museum members $42, $37.
Jordi Savall: Music Dialogues from Orient & Occident
Sunday, October 9, 2011, 2:30 p.m.
"A performer of genius."—The New Yorker
In the field of early music, there is perhaps no more prominent artist than Grammy Award-winning viola da gamba player Jordi Savall, whose commanding presence succeeds at making the old new again. The Catalan string virtuoso's international prominence and fresh programs make him a major force for the continued relevance of early music for modern audiences and in finding unexpected musical linkages. Music Dialogues from Orient & Occident is a program of mixed pieces originating in Sarajevo, Israel, Afghanistan, Catalonia, Brittany and elsewhere. As The New York Times noted, "No one has played a more pivotal role" in the exploration of the ground that Western early music shares with Middle Eastern performance styles. Savall, performing on a lira da gamba from circa 1500 and a seven string bass viol from 1697, is accompanied by his son Ferran Savall, theorbo and voice. $41, $37; Museum members $40, $36.
National Chamber Choir of Ireland: An Irish Colloquy
Friday, October 14, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
"Fresh, positive, and full of energy."—The Irish Times
The National Chamber Choir of Ireland, founded in 1991 by composer/conductor Colin Mawby, is widely regarded as Ireland's most distinguished choral ensemble and is celebrated both nationally and internationally for its fresh and innovative sound. Their repertoire extends from early to contemporary music, and the centerpiece of this program is a new work by Grammy-nominated composer Tarik O'Regan (b. 1978). Scored for chamber choir of 16 singers plus harp and guitar, An Irish Colloquy is a musical rendering of the Acallam na Senórach (or The Colloquy of the Ancients), perhaps the most important Middle Irish narrative dating from the 12th or 13th century. The story follows two aged Irish warrior-heroes, Oisín and Caílte, as they travel across Ireland with the newly-arrived Saint Patrick, expressed through mystical stories and short poems in medieval Irish. Program also includes choral music of Bach, Brahms, Bax, C.V. Stanford and Kevin Volans. $41, $37; Museum members $40, $36.
Schola Cantorum de Venezuela: Acqua and Fiesta
Friday, October 28, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
"Must be counted among the handful of the world's great vocal ensembles, and they may be unrivaled for the range of sounds they can produce." —New York Observer
The 50-strong Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, founded in 1967, is the premiere touring chorus of Latin America. Its broad repertoire includes works from European Renaissance and Baroque as well as contemporary Venezuelan composers and a vast collection of Latin American traditional music. As a specialized ensemble with a uniquely dynamic way of arranging and performing, Schola Cantorum have premiered groundbreaking works such as the John Adams opera A Flowering Tree for Peter Sellers' 2006 New Crown Hope Festival in Vienna, and Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasión de San Marcos for the 2000 European Music Festival (and which also received Grammy nominations in the category of Best Choral Performance). In a mixed program of European and Latin American choral works that is sure to be a vivid and joyous experience, Schola Cantorum brings to life a breathtaking range of repertoire from sacred hymns to propulsive rhythmic and tuneful popular idioms of their rich culture. $41, $37; Museum members $40, $36.
Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba
Friday, November 4, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
"Spectacular…The virtuosity of Bassekou and his musical family is undeniable, but at the same time, it's readily accessible to any music fan."—NPR Music
Winner of the 2009 BBC3 World Music Award for Album of the Year, Malian Bassekou Kouyate is a musical wizard. He is one of Africa's most innovative bandleaders who have revolutionized Malian music by infusing the centuries-old rhythms with the spirit of rock 'n' roll and American roots music. Performing all over the world—from summer stages to Zankel Hall of Carnegie Hall—his seven-piece band plays propulsive dance-like grooves that have a hypnotic and euphoric impact on audiences. Bassekou—a Grammy nominee in 2011—is a much sought after player, from Bono and Bonnie Raitt to Youssou N'Dour and Bela Fleck, and has been singled out for collaborative music projects. $34, $29; Museum members $33, $28.
Yang Wei and Ensemble: Chinese Art Music
Friday, December 9, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
"The power, variety and eloquence of a master musician…The audience was spellbound during the whole 75-minute set."—ClevelandClassical.com
Yang Wei's tour de force concert was one of the highlights of VIVA! & Gala last season. The Chinese music master returns with an ensemble of Chinese virtuoso instrumentalists in a specially designed program to complement the museum's special exhibition, Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965).Yang Wei will lead the ensemble in a thoroughly absorbing evening of music focused on Chinese art music, both traditional and contemporary. $34, $29; Museum members $33, $28.
Natalie MacMaster: Christmas in Cape Breton
Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
"To call Natalie MacMaster the most dynamic performer in Celtic music today is high praise, but it still doesn't get at just how remarkable a concert artist this Cape Breton Island fiddler has become."—Boston Herald
Natalie MacMaster is back on the Gartner stage for a holiday special: a mix of traditional Christmas carols and secular Celtic classics. Equally at home on the concert stage or at a folk festival, Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster is one of the most versatile and exciting young musicians on both the folk and Celtic music scenes. MacMaster's many projects have seen her collaborate and perform with Alison Krauss, the Chieftains, Paul Simon and Pavarotti. Her live performances are a testament to her incandescent musicianship and boundless energy, featuring foot-tapping rave-ups, heart-rending ballads and world-class step dancing felt by audiences of all ages. $45, $40; Museum members $44, $39.
Theatre of Voices: Arvo Pärt Creator Spiritus
Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
"Everything Paul Hillier touches turns to choral gold." —The New York Times
The serenely beautiful choral music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is at the heart of this program by Theatre of Voices, widely recognized as one of Europe's foremost vocal groups. Pärt's spare and deeply moving sacred music appeared prominently in the west after the demise of the stifling Soviet state, and yet sounds like music we have known for centuries. Since the creation of Theatre of Voices twenty years ago, director Paul Hillier has championed Pärt's music, performing it globally. He was Principal Conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (2001-2007) and has been Chief Conductor of Ars Nova Copenhagen since 2003. In 2006 Hillier was awarded an OBE for services to choral music, and his hundreds of recordings have earned worldwide acclaim and numerous prizes. The program also includes choral music by Guillaume de Machaut, John Dunstable, Kevin Volans and Pelle Gudmundsen Holmgreen, and features organist Christopher Bowers-Broadbent. $41, $37; Museum members $40, $36.
Chucho Valdés With The Afro-Cuban Messengers
Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
"Few headliners bring such colossal technique, expressive exuberance and ancient artistic tradition to a single performance."—Chicago Tribune
Hailed as "the dean of Latin jazz" and "one of the world's great virtuosic pianists" by The New York Times, multi-Grammy Award winner Chucho Valdés has recorded over eighty CDs during his illustrious career, performing with countless jazz masters, including Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Chick Corea. $45, $40; Museum members $44, $39.
Signal: Music of Steve Reich
Friday, March 9, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
"The most original musical thinker of our time."—The New Yorker
Process music, pulse music, minimalism. None of these well-known descriptors fully captures the essence of perhaps the major musical innovation of the second half of the 20th century, but it is instantly recognizable to the ear. The shimmering, revolving, driving sounds of the minimalist composers stripped away ornament and artifice in music in the service of hypnotic power, and composer Steve Reich (recently turned 75) is its best known proponent. The exciting young ensemble Signal, conducted by Brad Lubman, is dedicated principally to the music of Reich, who describes his work as "compositional process and a sounding music that are one and the same thing." Program features Sextet (1985) and Double Sextet (2007), which won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music and receives its CMA premiere in the rare, entirely-live version. $32, $28, Museum members $31, $27.
Max Raabe and Palast Orchester: You Cannot Kiss Alone
Sunday, March 11, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
"Enormous grace and acuity…and a dapper host of unflappable silliness."—Plain Dealer
Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester return by popular demand! With a slick, nostalgic and unmistakably modern sound, the Berlin-based ensemble channels the high style musical glory of the 1920s and early-1930s Weimar big band with uncanny precision and humor. A singer of incredible range, Raabe has a singular ability to capture the cunning rasp of the cabaret singer, the confident belcanto hero, the oily melodiousness of the revue beau, the carefree timbre of early jazz, as well as the falsetto of ragtime, all backed by his stellar 12-member band. The concert includes a pre-concert reception. $55, $51; Museum members $54, $50.
Masters of Indian Music: Pandit Jasraj
Friday, April 27, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
"Pandit Jasraj cast his magic spell on the audience… For the 20,000 music lovers who were waiting to experience the ragas by Pandit Jasraj, it was a dream come true."—Indian Express
While renowned instrumentalists such Pandit Ravi Shankar have brought the gift of Indian classical music to the world through their chosen instrument the sitar, Pandit Jasraj has done it through the gift of nature, his voice. He is one of India's most celebrated cultural ambassadors to the world. Blessed with a soulful and sonorous voice, which traverses masterfully over all four and a half octaves, Jasraj's vocalizing is characterized by a harmonious blend of the classic and opulent elements projecting traditional music as an intense spiritual expression, at once chaste and sensuous. This gives his music a unique and sublime emotional quality, reaching out to the very soul of the listener. In his Cleveland appearance he will be accompanied by a five-member ensemble of accompanying vocalists and instrumentalists. $41, $37; Museum members $40, $36.
Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar
Friday, May 4, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
" A stunning blast of exuberance and virtuosity."—The New York Times
Fasten your seat belts and get ready for this furiously fun Balkan Brass Band! Boban Markovic, widely recognized as the king of the genre and the greatest trumpet player to emerge from the region, has received worldwide acclaim and won the highest awards in his native Serbia. The genre of Balkan Brass Band is a distinctive style of music originating in 19th century Serbia when trumpeters in the military transposed folk music during harsh times. The beats are usually fast and accompanied by kolo (dance). Through his marvelous films, the Serbian film maker Emir Kusturica made the style an international phenomenon. $45, $40; Museum members $44, $39.
Gregory Fulkerson: J. S. Bach complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin
Wednesdays, November 9 & 16, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
"Transparent, lucid readings ... countless interpretive shadings."—The New York Times
Acclaimed violinist Gregory Fulkerson has gained an international reputation as a virtuoso performer with a zest for exciting repertoire both old and new. It was as a major exponent of American contemporary repertoire that Fulkerson rose to prominence, winning First Prize in the International American Music Competition sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Kennedy Center. He has since gone on to perform more than 30 concerti with orchestra, under conductors including Riccardo Muti, Robert Spano, Marin Alsop and others. Fulkerson's recording of the J.S. Bach complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin was hailed by the New Yorker as one of the best CDs of 2000. His performance of this monumental set of solo works in the museum's galleries is a solo tour de force, split over two evenings.
Mahan Esfahani: Solo Keyboard
Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
"Nothing could have prepared me for the brilliance and artistry of Mahan Esfahani." –Keyboard Magazine
Praised by The Times of London as "exceptionally gifted" and by Early Music Today for his "sensitivity and vibrance," Mahan Esfahani is fast gaining international recognition as a soloist and collaborative artist on the harpsichord, fortepiano and organ in both early and contemporary repertoire. The first harpsichordist to be named a BBC New Generation Artist, Esfahani, at a young age, is already appearing at some of the finest festivals and venues including the City of London and York Early Music Festivals, BBC Proms, the Library of Congress and the Frick Collection. In addition to appearing with outstanding ensembles including the BBC Concert Orchestra, Esfahani also has directing engagements with the Manchester Camerata, the Arion Baroque Orchestra of Montreal and the English Concert. Esfahani makes his CMA debut in a gallery recital of music by Byrd, J. S. Bach, D. Scarlatti and Mel Powell, featuring keyboards from the museum's collection.
AGO National Competition: Organ Marathon
Friday, May 25, 2012, daylong
The Cleveland Museum of Art hosts the Cleveland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists' semi-final round of their annual National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. The competition is intended to serve as a springboard for emerging organists to develop their performance ability by participating in the various demanding stages of this competition. Seven fast-rising stars will compete in this round and three will advance to the finals in Nashville. Repertoire in these short recitals includes: J.S. Bach: From Clavierübung III: Trio on "Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr'," BWV 676; J.S. Bach: From Clavierübung III:"Wir glauben all' an einen Gott," BWV 680; Georg Böhm: Praeludium in C; César Franck: Choral No. 2 in B Minor; and Anton Heiller: Tanz-Toccata. This daylong event is free to the public.
Chamber Music in the Galleries
Featuring Students from Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University
Various dates throughout 2011 and 2012
The galleries come alive with chamber music in a regular series of free concerts devoted to highlighting the extraordinary wealth of classical music talent around University Circle. From string quartets to keyboardists to unexpected small ensembles, young artists from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Case Western Reserve University early music program perform a wide range of repertoire in matinee performances. Programs to be announced week of performance via the museum's web site, Facebook page and Twitter.
VIVA! & Gala subscriptions go on sale beginning July 5 to museum members and July 18 to the general public. Subscribers can save up to 15 percent off single ticket prices through packages that include all concerts ($440-$494 non-members; $428-$482 for museum members) or select programs ($158-$347 non-members; $154-$338 for museum members). Individuals may also choose to create their own, custom packages by selecting four or more concerts at a savings of 5 percent. Details can be found at www.ClevelandArt.org/VivaGala.
Single tickets for individual performances go on sale beginning August 10 for museum members and August 17 for non-members. Tickets are available by calling the Cleveland Museum of Art box office at
888-CMA-0033 or online at www.ClevelandArt.org.
The VIVA! & Gala season is made possible in part by the Ernest L. and Louise M. Gartner Fund, the P. J. McMyler Musical Endowment Fund and the Anton and Rose Zverina Music Fund. Season Sponsor: Glidden, an AkzoNobel brand. Additional support provided by the Musart Society. Gallery concerts are made possible in part by an anonymous donor.
About The Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 40,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Currently undergoing a multi-phase renovation and expansion project, it is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education. Admission to the museum has been free since its founding charter.
The Cleveland Museum of Art has a membership of nearly 25,000 households and is supported by a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. The museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Additional support comes from the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund the museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. For more information about the museum, its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit www.ClevelandArt.org.
Editor's Note: Music and/or video samples as well as photographs of artists are available upon request. Programs subject to change.
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