Thursday March 18, 2010
Tags for: Cleveland Museum of Art's VIVA! & Gala Series Launches April With Two Cleveland Premieres
  • Press Release

Cleveland Museum of Art's VIVA! & Gala Series Launches April With Two Cleveland Premieres

exterior of the CMA building

Cellist Anssi Karttunen and the dancers and musicians of Romance de Tango take the Gartner stage on April 7 and 9

CLEVELAND (March 18, 2010) – The Cleveland Museum of Art's (CMA) VIVA! & Gala Performing Arts Series will launch April with two Cleveland premieres: Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen performs on Wednesday, April 7, followed on Friday, April 9, by the 14-member ensemble of Romance de Tango. Both performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the museum's Gartner Auditorium. Only a limited number of seats are available for Romance de Tango.

Karttunen has mastered the standard cello repertoire and expanded it, both in his guest appearances with the finest orchestras in the world and in his premieres of works by notable composers including Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg and Tan Dun. Karttunen has also discovered many forgotten masterpieces and arranged them for cello choir. His Cleveland debut will be a program of solo classics, after which he will be joined by I Cellisti, the octet of the Cleveland Cello Society, in performances of rare ensemble pieces.

A passionate advocate of contemporary music, Karttunen has had 18 concertos written for him, including Lindberg's Cello Concerto, Esa-Pekka Salonen's Concerto "Mania" and the Boston Symphony Orchestra's commission "Notes on Light" by Saariaho. Also a conductor and recording artist, Karttunen served as the artistic director of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra from 1994 to 1998, the Helsinki Biennale in 1995 and 1997 and the Suvisoitto Festival in Porvoo, Finland, from 1994 to 1997. He was the principal cellist of the London Sinfonietta from 1999 to 2005.

According to the Los Angeles Times, "The virtuosity on display was arresting — Karttunen [is] perhaps the most impressive cellist on the scene today." Tickets for the performance are $29 for the general public and $28 for CMA members. The performance media sponsor is WCLV 104.9 FM.

Romance de Tango's 14-member ensemble of dancers and musicians dazzles with their mastery of tango. Artistic director and violinist Leonardo Suarez Paz — hailed by Wynton Marsalis as a "virtuoso extraordinaire" — pairs the most dynamic Argentine tango dancers (all veterans from Broadway's tango hits) with some of the hippest and most talented young musicians.

Suarez Paz grew up in the midst of the Nuevo Tango revolution, alongside its greatest protagonists: his father Fernando Suarez Paz (Astor Piazzolla's long time collaborator in Nuevo Tango Quintet), Osvaldo Berlingieri and Horacio Salgan, among others. In 1990, he decided to fuse the influences of his tango heritage with the music of his newfound, urban American culture. He assembled the Cuartetango String Quartet in New York City in order to achieve the highest level Nuevo Tango musical performance on Western classical instruments. His production of Romance de Tango premiered in 2009 and has played to sold-out audiences across the United States and Argentina. Tickets for the performance are $39 or $38 for CMA members.

Group and student rates are available. Pending availability, students can also purchase "Pay What You Can" tickets at the door for any VIVA! & Gala performance. Tickets are available through the CMA Online Box Office at or by phone at 888-CMA-0033.

VIVA! & Gala 2009-2010 Season
In February, the museum's VIVA! & Gala series returned to Gartner Auditorium, following nearly five seasons of performances around town during the auditorium's renovation. Programs are 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. Additional support has been provided by The Musart Society and the John P. Murphy Foundation. The official media sponsor is WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN ideastream.

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

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