Greg Kostraba has lived in Toledo only five years, yet through his work, he's gained decades worth of information about the area's active classical music scene. As classical music director and senior radio host at WGTE-FM (91.3), Kostraba has used his spot as host of the weekly radio show, Live from FM 91, to learn about and, often, introduce top local performers to area listeners.
"I like the area of Lake Erie West," he says. "I know the symphony, freelance, and academic music scenes."
A performer himself, Kostraba, who has a doctorate in piano performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, also notes, "One thing I've found is, aside from academics and the (Toledo Symphony), there are not many outlets for chamber music."
In hopes of countering that, and to enrich the local arts scene, Kostraba has established Chamber Music Toledo, a not-for-profit agency set to make its debut Nov. 4 with a 3 p.m. recital by Sax 4th Avenue. The concert will begin a four-concert series in the Maumee Indoor Theater, 601 Conant St., Maumee.
Formed in 1991, the group comprises Stanley George, soprano saxophone; Shannon Ford, alto sax; Kevin Heidbreder, tenor sax, and Jason Yost, baritone sax. With innovative programs mixing classical works with jazz, rock, and original compositions, the quartet maintains a busy performance schedule throughout the Midwest.
On the program will be music by Gershwin, Beethoven, des Prez, Bach, Gibbons, Piazzolla, King Crimson, Bizet, Glass, and Pete Ford. Tickets are $1 for anyone younger than 18, $5 for college students, and $12 for adults. They're on sale through the Toledo Symphony, 419-246-8000, and at the door.
Bowling Green Opera Theater will present the North American premiere of La virt de' strali d'Amore by Francesco Cavalli at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 and 3 in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center at Bowling Green State University. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Preceding each performance will be a free lecture about the opera in the Moore center's Bryan Recital Hall.
Also in Bryan, the BGSU Chamber Orchestra will present a free concert at 3 p.m. Nov. 4, Chris Buzzelli will direct the Vocal Jazz Ensemble in a concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 6, and hornist Andrew Pelletier, accompanied by Michael Gartz, will perform in the Faculty Artist Series at 8 p.m. Nov. 7.
Guitarist and composer Neil Jacobs will perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 in Schomburg Auditorium on the campus of Defiance College. Tickets, $10, are available at the front desk in Defiance Hall or at the door. Young's appearance is part of this year's Schomburg Series at the Defiance, Ohio, college.
The BGSU Graduate String Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6 in the Music from Bowling Green at the Manor House series at Wildwood Preserve Metropark, 5100 West Central Ave.
Area dancers who wish to participate in the Chicago Festival Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at the Ritz Theatre in Tiffin are invited to audition Saturday at the theater, 30 South Washington St. The production is set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 in the Ritz. Dancers ages 9-12 should be ready by noon Saturday to try out; dancers 13 and older will be auditioned at 12:30 p.m. Pre-registration for auditions is required. Chosen dancers will be asked to stay after auditions to learn the choreography. Information and registration: 419-448-8544.
The St. Petersburg Philharmonic, with conductor Yuri Temirkanov and guest violinist Julia Fischer, will perform works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Prokofiev at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Universtiy of Michigan's Hill Auditorium, 825 North University, Ann Arbor. Tickets range from $10 to $75. Information: 734-764-2538.