CIM Winter Chamber Music Festival

CIM Winter Chamber Music Festival
launched on November 22 by Cavani Quartet
by Mike Telin

In the end, the point of learning a piece of music is to perform it for an audience. “The audience is part of the chamber music equation – and we need the audience because, in a way, they are the other member of the group,” says Cavani String Quartet violinist and Cleveland Institute of Music faculty member Annie Fullard.

On Friday, November 22 in Mixon Hall, Fullard was joined by her Cavani colleagues Mari Sato, violin, Kirsten Docter, viola and Merry Peckham, cello, for the opening concert of CIM’s 2013 Winter Chamber Music Festival. The concert, entitled "Influences and Inspirations I," featured Bartók’s Quartet No. 2, Op. 17, Mozart’s Quartet in A, K. 464 & Debussy’s Quartet in g, Op. 10.

Fullard says that end-of-semester chamber music marathons were part of CIM when the Cavanis became the school's quartet-in-residence in 1988, and with the creation of CIM’s Intensive Quartet Seminar the following year, even more performances were added to the school's already robust end-of-semester concert schedule.

“Over the past ten years it has developed into an all inclusive, school-wide festival of chamber music featuring both faculty and student performances and master classes.” This year's festival features faculty recitals and master classes, guest master classes with pianist Leon Fleischer and the Daedalus Quartet.

Student performances include concerts by woodwind and brass ensembles and quartets of the Intensive String Quartet Seminar as well as the Chamber Music Marathon. Fullard thinks that what is extraordinary is that the public can hear so much great chamber music for free.

“We want the Northeast Ohio Community to know how fabulous our students are and the incredible dedication they have to the study of chamber music. Audiences can also observe the process which that musicians go through, the discussion and the joy of discovery at the master classes. There’s a little bit of something for everybody, and it’s all free.”

A more recent inclusion on the Winter Chamber Music Festival schedule is participants in the Advanced Piano Trio Program, founded last year by cellist and CIM faculty member Sharon Robinson. As cellist in the renowned Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, she agrees with her colleague Annie Fullard that it is very important for students to have opportunities to perform for an audience.

“As a performer I have found that you don't really get a piece into your heart without performing it. You can play it in the practice room or in the master class but it's not until you get out into the community and see how audiences react to the music that you discover the importance of not just playing the notes, but communicating the music.”

Robinson says she has wanted to create a Piano Trio Program for some time, but it was not until coming to CIM that the opportunity presented itself. “When I moved here I mentioned it to Joel Smirnoff and he immediately said absolutely, let's start an Advanced Piano Trio Program.”

Robinson modeled the program on the existing Intensive String Quartet program. “I spoke to Annie Fullard about how they run that program and how it benefits the students. Each trio is preformed by students who find their own colleagues.” This year, three trios are involved in the program, and were chosen through a highly competitive selection process. “They are committed to their trios and want to make it a big focus of their semester.”

Prior to their performances at the Winter Festival, the trios are required to play at least two outreach concerts in the community. The December 3rd concert features Piano Trios of Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky.

“It is so interesting to see the younger people grow and blossom through chamber music,” Robinson says, “because instead of practicing alone until your fingers bleed, you can be with your colleagues, talk about the music and bounce ideas off people you respect. For me, even today one of the best ways to grow and learn is to play with people who are better then I am and people that I respect.”

The 2013 Cleveland Institute of Music Chamber Music Festival schedule is:

Friday, November 22 - 8pm Faculty Recital: Cavani String Quartet

Monday, November 25 - 4pm Master Class: Cavani String Quartet, Peter Salaff

Monday, December 2 - 4pm Master Class: Leon Fleisher, piano - 7pm Master Classes: Daedalus Quartet

Tuesday, December 3 - 4pm Concert: Advanced Piano Trio Program Gala –
7:30pm Concert: Daedalus Quartet (Cleveland Chamber Music Society)

Thursday, December 5 - 6:30pm Chamber Music Marathon

Sunday, December 8 - 6pm Concert: Intensive String Quartet Seminar Gala

Monday, December 9 - 7:30pm Concert: Woodwind Ensembles

Tuesday, December 10 - 8pm Concert: Brass Ensembles

Wednesday, December 11 - 8pm Faculty Recital: Cavani String Quartet, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson

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