Symphony wraps up Classics season this weekend

Pianist Cornelia Hermann will perform with the Toledo Symphony Friday and Saturday.
Pianist Cornelia Hermann will perform with the Toledo Symphony Friday and Saturday.

This week marks the beginning of the end, the conclusion of 2012-2013 series concerts by Toledo’s many classical performance groups.

The Toledo Symphony will wrap up its 2012-2013 Classics series with 8 p.m. concerts Friday and Saturday in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle. Principal conductor Stefan Sanderling will conduct, bringing with him Austrian pianist Cornelia Hermann.

The orchestra originally had planned to close out the year with Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, a massive piece, but serious financial constraints that have forced the already bare-bones orchestra to dig more deeply into its $6 million budget drove reconsideration of the plan.

The symphony instead will offer as its finale Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. Written in 1888, it’s an aural catalog of the Russian composer’s many beloved musical tropes: haunting melodies, surging dance rhythms, and emotion-laden themes wrapped up courtesy of his famed brilliant orchestration techniques.

No doubt more familiar to most of the audience than the Strauss, the Tchaikovsky will come in a Sanderling wrapper. Although the music director has recorded several albums of the composer’s works with an Irish orchestra, he has never conducted this symphony in Toledo.

More novel this weekend will be the concert opener, a Haydn overture to one of the German composer’s operas, L’isola decapitate (The Desert Island). Haydn, known for major choral works and a seemingly endless array of crisp symphonies and quartets, also was a prolific composer of opera.

Hermann last performed with Sanderling and the Toledo Symphony in 2009. She will bring to life Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, K.491 in C minor, also a well-known and beloved work. Tickets for the concerts are $22-$55 at 419-246-8000 or

The Academy Brass Quintet will wrap up the First United Methodist Church concert series with a performance at 3 p.m. Sunday in the church, 200 West Second St., Perrysburg. The group is a professional quintet founded some 20 years ago by area musicians.

Members Bruce Heuring, Mitch Wechsler, Jason Jordan, Pete Vavrinek, and Michael Smith offer a wide variety of musical styles. For this performance their program will include Suite in E-flat by Gustav Holst, “A New Beginning” by David Marlatt, arrangements of big band classics including Glenn Miller’s “American Patrol,” and a Scott Joplin rag, plus patriotic music.

Admission is free. Information: 419-874-1911 or

The Tecumseh Center for the Arts will present its resident big band and singing group the VocalAires in a concert titled Salute to Swing at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Center, 400 N. Maumee St., Tecumseh. Information: 517-423-6617.

Piano students of Sylvania teacher Karen Tank will perform in a free public recital at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Recital Hall of the University of Toledo Center for Performing Arts.

Kerrytown Concert House will present its version of two 20th century masterpieces by Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg at 8 p.m. Saturday in the historic venue, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor.

L’Histoire du Soldat and Pierrot Lunaire are on the program, both directed by soprano Jennifer Goltz-Taylor, who also will perform.

Goltz-Taylor has recorded Pierrot Lunaire on the MSR Classics label. Relyea, who helped found and manage Kerrytown, will handle all the parts in L’Histoire du Soldat. Tickets are $5-$30 for assigned rows.

On Wednesday, the Beaumont String Quartet, joined by special guest pianist Louis Nagel, will present an 8 p.m. program of works by Richard Stohr and Robert Schumann. Members are violinists Priscilla Johnson and Judith Teasdle, viola Susan Schreiber, and cello Stefan Koch.

The quartet, based in southeast Michigan, believes this performance of Stohr’s String Quartet Op. 86, written in 1942 in Vermont while the composer was in exile from his Vienna home, is the first playing of the work since its initial hearing. With Nagel, University of Michigan piano professor, the quartet will conclude the evening with Schumann’s Quintet in E flat. Tickets are $5-$25.

Tickets can be reserved at 724-769-2999 or

Ballet Theatre of Toledo will hold an open house from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday in its headquarters, 1124 Corporate Ave., Holland. Activities will include tours, displays of costumes and props, and dance demonstrations.

Although the main concert season is nearly over, there will be plenty of upcoming classical events.

 For example, starting in June and stretching to July 7 the Ann Arbor Summer Festival promises an array of stimulating events indoors and out.

 Kicking off the fun will be the return of Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor at 5:45 p.m. June 1 in Hill Auditorium. Tickets are $35-$75. Preservation Hall Jazz Band from the New Orleans French Quarter will perform at 8 p.m. June 19 in the Power Center. Tickets are $30-$50. 

And Les 7 Doigts de la Main (Seven Fingers of the Hand), a circus troupe from Montreal, will perform at 8 p.m. June 22 and 5 p.m. June 23 in Power Center. Tickets are $10-$45. For the full schedule and more information, visit the Web site

Send items for News of Music to svallongo@theblade at least two weeks ahead of the event.