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Published: Thursday, 8/11/2011

Toledo Symphony tour to take music fans to Blossom

BLADE STAFF
The Toledo Symphony under the direction of Principal Conductor Stefan Sanderling performs in the Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hall in New York in May. The Toledo Symphony under the direction of Principal Conductor Stefan Sanderling performs in the Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hall in New York in May.
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A carefree evening of beautiful music and glorious dance at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra, is offered in a special tour package devised by the Toledo Symphony. The program is at 8 p.m. Aug. 20.

The Joffrey Ballet will be guests, performing George Balanchine's choreography for the Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and a pas de deux set to music by Tchaikovsky. Also on the program will be Julia Adams' dance work, Night, set to music by Matthew Pierce; Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain, with music by Arvo Part, and Lar Lubovitch's Othello Duet, set to a score by Elliot Goldenthal.

The Cleveland Orchestra will accompany from the pit, with Tito Munoz conducting. Violinist Jung Min Amy-Lee will perform the Stravinsky concerto with the orchestra. Ashley Wheater is artistic director of the Joffrey.

The symphony's tour will begin at 2:45 p.m. Aug. 20, when travelers will board a motor coach at Symphony Space, 1838 Parkwood Ave., for the trip to Blossom. A picnic dinner will be served before the concert. Estimated return time is 12:30 a.m.

Cost per person is $75. Limited space is available. Reservations can be made through Julie Heigel at 419-418-0033 or jheigel@toledosymphony.com.

Also on the Blossom Festival calendar through August is a reprise of the Aug. 20 performance at 8 p.m. Aug. 21. Tickets are $37-$53 with box seats available at $93. A program of European music conducted by Baroque music specialist Nicholas McGegan, with violinist Stephen Rose, soprano Teresa Wakim, and the Blossom Festival Chorus is set for 8 p.m. Aug. 27, with works by Bach, Mozart, Handel, and Mendelssohn. Tickets are $27-$43.

Music by Bernstein, von Weber, Britten, and Elgar will be on tap for a 7 p.m. program Aug. 28 titled On the Town. James Feddeck will lead the Cleveland Orchestra, with clarinetist Franklin Cohen. Tickets for this performance are $27-$43.

Information: 800-686-1141 or visit the Cleveland Orchestra at www.clevelandorchestra.com.

Lisa Mayer, director of the Toledo Ballet School, has completed two of three levels of training required for certification by the American Ballet Theatre. Lisa Mayer, director of the Toledo Ballet School, has completed two of three levels of training required for certification by the American Ballet Theatre.
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Lisa Mayer, director of the Toledo Ballet School, has been taking some classes of her own in the past years as a participant in the American Ballet Theatre's National Training Curriculum. Designed to enhance and expand dance education across the country, the three-year professional program involves completing intense study of French, Italian, and Russian ballet styles at levels from beginner to advanced.

Mayer, a Toledo native who spent 20 years dancing on Broadway, has completed two of the three levels required for certification.

Chelsea Tipton II, former resident conductor of the Toledo Symphony, is nearing the end of his European travels with pop star Sting and his Symphonicity Tour. An interview with Tipton is accessible online at www.symphonynow.org.

All eyes and ears have been on Cleveland this summer as the International Piano Competition wound up last weekend with a new winner -- German pianist Alexander Schimpf. The 29-year-old musician from Wurzberg won the Mixon Prize of $50,000 plus bookings for 50 concert engagements for solo recitals and a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 with the Cleveland Orchestra.

Schimpf beat out two other men and a woman for the top prize, but all four finalists received cash prizes for overall performance. Others among the 22 contenders were honored for superiority in playing music by specific composers including Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, or styles such as Russian, Baroque, or contemporary.

Not far from Severance Hall, the Thomas and Evon Cooper Competition for young violinists is under way at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Like the young pianists, the top three finalists perform with the Cleveland Orchestra in Severance Hall. First prize is $10,000 and it comes with concert engagements in Beijing and Shanghai, China.

Started in 2010, the Cooper contest will alternate annually between violin and piano; candidates must be between the ages of 13 and 18. Last year's winner, George Li, performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama and guests.

This year's winners remain to be announced, but whoever takes the top prizes will appear with the Cleveland Orchestra at 8 p.m. Aug. 19 in Severance Hall, with Jahja Ling conducting.

Items for News of Music should be sent to svallongo@theblade.com at least two weeks ahead of the event.



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