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Published: Friday, 1/23/2004

Expect interesting, unique at 'Mozart and More'

BY STEVEN CORNELIUS
BLADE MUSIC CRITIC
Principal clarinetist Georg Klaas, who will play Weber's brief Concertino for Clarinet. Principal clarinetist Georg Klaas, who will play Weber's brief Concertino for Clarinet.
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Toledo Symphony musicians will be featured tomorrow night when the orchestra presents the year's first Mozart and More program at the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center at Lourdes College.

The chamber orchestra-sized ensemble will perform without a conductor.

"The concert gives everyone an opportunity to play directly with each other. That makes the evening more like a chamber music opportunity," said 29-year-old principal clarinetist Georg Klaas, who will play Weber's brief Concertino for Clarinet.

Expect some interesting music-making.

Without a conductor, Klaas will be counting on his orchestra colleagues to make sure the music unfolds securely.

"Classical music has the image that there is one perfect way of playing it, but that is not true. In order to be organic, music has to be free to a certain extent. We rehearse so that we know what we're going for, but ultimately, we're creating a piece of music as if it has never been played, or even composed, before. That sort of attention produces a unique result every time, even when it's replayed by the same person," said Klaas.

For Klaas, who is now in his third season in Toledo, this will be his solo debut with the orchestra.

A native of Stillwater, Minn., and born to German immigrant parents, Klaas grew up bilingual. He holds a master's degree from Indiana University and was working towards a doctorate at the University of Southern California when he won the Toledo position.

Klaas is one of several symphony musicians to be featured in the concert.

Violinist David Dyer will put away his fiddle and pick up a cigar-sized sopranino recorder to play a concerto by Telemann.

The instrument is tiny, "the smallest size I can get my fingers on," said Dyer.

Principal flutist Joel Tse will perform a concerto by Devienne; principal second violinist Elizabeth Shelton and concertmaster Kirk Toth team up on a work by Vivaldi.

The program is offered with support from a multiyear grant given by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Part of the grant's directive is to find ways to empower musicians through innovative projects.

Toledo Symphony musicians present a Mozart and More concert at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center at Lourdes College, 6832 Convent Blvd. Tickets are $25 and $30. Information: 419-246-8000.



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