Special highlights on the classical music scene include the magnificent Brahms German Requiem sung by the combined Cornell choruses, prepared by Robert Isaacs, with soloists soprano Tamara Acosta and baritone Dashon Burton and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (CCO), conducted by Cornelia Laemmli Orth. The concert is at Bailey Hall on April 27.
On May 4 at the First Presbyterian Church, NYS Baroque presents a semi-staged concert version of Handel’s pastoral opera “Acis & Galatea,” with soprano Laura Heimes, tenors Jonas Budris and Andrew Fuchs, bass Andrew Padgett, plus early instruments, all directed by Michael Beattie. A listing of other outstanding events follows. Be sure to check dates and venues as schedules can change.
Orchestral and Ensemble Presentations
The Ithaca College (IC) Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, conducted by Octavio Mas-Arocas, perform music of Mozart and Lutoslawsky in Ford Hall on Feb. 17. NYS Baroque’s Concert #3, Fandango, on February 23 at the Unitarian Church celebrates 17th-century music and dance from Spain and the New World, and features dancer Peggy Murray, soprano Nell Snaidas and five instrumentalists. In Bailey Hall on March 2, Cornell’s Wind Symphony, directed by James Spinazzola, will perform music by Rimsky-Korsakov. The Cornell Symphony Orchestra presents a concert of Liszt and Mussorgsky on March 9, while on April 28 the ensemble plays Stravinsky and Brahms; both concerts, conducted by Adrian Slywotzky, are in Bailey Hall.
The CCO’s Concert #4, Partners in Time, will take place in Ithaca College’s Ford Hall on March 16, and will be conducted by Laemmi Orth. It features composers Karen Lefrak from New York, Ginastera and Márquez, as well as a concerto by Glazunov with saxophone soloist Steven Mauk. Cornell’s Chamber Orchestra, led by Timna Mayer, performs Bartók, Mozart, and Piazzolla on March 17 in Barnes Hall. On March 31 at CSMA, Music’s Recreation presents a puppet version of Stravinsky’s ballet “Pulchinella,” with the score adapted for small orchestra by William Cowdery.
IC Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Concert, conducted by Mas-Arocas, features the Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 4 with soloist Alexei Aceto on April 7, while on May 5 the ensemble, with the IC Choir, performs music of Beethoven, Bernstein, and Prokofiev. Both concerts are in Ford Hall. On April 14 in Barnes Hall, Ensemble X presents three works for sinfonietta conducted by Oberlin’s Timothy Weiss, plus a premiere by Cornell graduate student composer Loren Lioacono for piano four-hands (the duo of Ryan MacEvoy McCullough and Andrew Zhou), and the East Coast premiere of “I am Carmen Miranda” by Cornell composer Roberto Sierra, with mezzo-soprano soloist Abigail Fischer.
IC’s Faculty Recital on February 13 features Paige Morgan, oboe and English horn, with collaborators, and includes a premiere by local composer David Borden plus music of Britten, in the Hockett Recital Hall. In Barnes Hall on February 15, fortepianist Malcolm Bilson performs sonatas by Beethoven and Schubert, and smaller works by Dvorák, Schumann, and Fanny Mendelssohn. Also in Barnes on February 17, ICU—Cornell pianist Xak Bjerken and IC friends—play string duos by bass performer Nicholas Walker, plus Bjerken offering the Brahms Handel variations and joining others in the Vaughan Williams piano quintet.
The Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble gives its Spring Concert at the Unitarian Church on March 10, with music of Beethoven, including the “Archduke” Trio, and on May 5 the Almost Mother’s Day concert features Mozart, Schubert, and the Brahms clarinet quintet. Both concerts are in the Unitarian Church, while the Summer Concert at the Lodi Historical Society on June 2 presents music of Bridge, Mozart, and Dvorák. The FLCE Salon series at 102 First Street offers the Sinfonia Concertante in D by
Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf on February 10 and the Brahms 2nd cello sonata on April 7. Reservations are required. In Barnes Hall guest pianist David Kim plays Schumann and Schubert on March 20, while on March 21 violinist Noyuri Hazama, cellist Eva Lymenstull, and keyboardist Shin Hwang explore the singable works of Schubert and Beethoven. The Cornell Concert Series presents Christina and Michelle Naughton playing four-hand and two-piano repertory that includes works by Debussy, Mozart, and Rachmaninoff in Bailey Hall on March 22. On March 26 cellist John Haines-Eitzen, with violinist Aaron Berofsky and pianist Matthew Bengston, play Beethoven and Haydn in Barnes Hall, while on March 27, also in Barnes, pianist Amir Katz performs Chopin’s 27 Etudes.
The CCO Chamber series presents music by Milhaud, Tailleferre, Honegger, and Poulenc in the Unitarian Church on April 7, and on May 12 string quartets by Haydn and Mendelssohn in the First Baptist Church. Cornell violinist Ariana Kim performs on April 23 in the Carriage House. Our international chamber music Mayfest runs May 17–22 this year.
Choral/Other Vocal Music
The Ithaca Community Chorus and Chamber Singers, directed by Gerald Wolfe, perform the two French Requiems by Fauré and Duruflé at the First Presbyterian Church on Feb. 16. Their May 11 concert with the CCO, also at St. Paul’s, features Mendelssohn and Bach. In Clark Theatre, from Feb. 19–March 2, IC presents main stage productions of two one-act operas by Gian Carlo Menotti, “The Medium” and “The Old Lady and the Thief,” conducted by Christopher Zemliauskas. Cornell’s Chamber Winds concert at Klarman Hall on April 14 includes a semi-staged performance of Mozart’s comic opera “Bastien und Bastienne.”
Music of the German Baroque is provided by five IC faculty vocalists and four instrumentalists on March 2 in Ford Hall. On March 15 in Barnes, Ensemble X offers soprano Tony Arnold and pianist Gábor Csalog in music by György Kurtag. NYS Baroque presents “Bedlam” on April 5 (NB the unusual Friday date) in the Unitarian Church, with soprano Kayleen Sánchez and lutenist Laudon Schuette performing 16th- and 17th-century French and English lute songs.
On May 5, the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble at St. Catherine of Siena celebrates director Carl Johengen’s 10 years of leadership in a concert featuring music based on American poetry, while at Bailey Hall Cornell’s Wind Symphony, Chorale, and Chamber Singers explore the works of Percy Grainger and Stravinsky. On a high note, the Cornell Glee Club celebrates its 150th anniversary reunion on June 7 in Bailey Hall, with a plan to have 150 alumni from past years assembled to sing.