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Kent/Blossom Music Festival Concludes Its 2011 Faculty Concert Series with Latin-Inspired Music, July 27

Posted Jul. 15, 2011

The Kent Blossom Music Festival is pleased to announce the final concert in its 2011 Faculty Concert Series. “Soul …del sol!” is an intimate evening of dynamic Argentine, Spanish and Latin-inspired music by Astor Piazzolla, Joachín Turina and two world premieres by Northeast Ohio composer Margi Griebling-Haigh.

Photo of Richard Weiss for Kent/Blossom Music FestivalThe concert takes place on Wednesday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Kent State University’s Ludwig Recital Hall located in the Music and Speech Center, 1325 Theatre Drive, Kent, Ohio. Tickets are available at the door for $15 adults and $5 students, by cash or check. Reservations are not accepted, and sales are first-come, first-served. All proceeds benefit the Kent/Blossom Music Festival, celebrating its 43rd season in partnership with The Cleveland Orchestra.

The program will begin with Peter Otto, violin; Richard Weiss, cello; and Joela Jones, piano, performing Círculo: Fantasía para piano, violín y violoncello, Op. 91 (1936) by Joachín Turina (1882 – 1949).

Continuing will be the dynamic sounds of Frank Rosenwein and Danna Sundet, solo oboe; Barrick Stees*, solo bassoon; Peter Otto and Emma Shook*, violin; Stanley Konopka, viola; Richard Weiss, cello; and Scott Haigh, bass. They will perform the world premiere of Griebling-Haigh’s Sinfonia Concertante (2010).

The second world premiere will be performed by Joela Jones, accordion; Danna Sundet, oboe; Peter Otto, violin; Stanley Konopka, viola; Richard Weiss, cello; Scott Haigh, bass; Ted Rounds, dumbek and tambourine; and Donna Lee, piano.  The piece, titled Alegrías, was composed by Griebling-Haigh and had been commissioned in honor of local philanthropist and arts supporter James D. Ireland III.

Finally, Joela Jones, accordion; Peter Otto and Emma Shook*, violin; Stanley Konopka, viola; and Richard Weiss, cello, perform the amazing mix of tango, jazz and classical in the Piazzolla pieces Milonga del Angel and Libertango from Five Tango Sensations for Bandoneón (Accordion) and String Quartet.

* Denotes guest artist; all other performers are faculty members of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival.


The repertoire for “Soul …del sol!” was chosen for its festive, fun, summer-time qualities and will end the faculty chamber music series of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival on an energetic and optimistic note. The concert serves as a vehicle to demonstrate the exuberance, virtuosity and sensitivity of the 11 exceptional performers, most of whom are long-time members of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival faculty. A special treat is the appearance of Joela Jones as an accordion player.

Círculo: Fantasía para piano, violín y violoncello, Op. 91 (1936)
In his final essay for piano trio, Turina seems to have hit upon a program tailor-made to his penchant for cyclical forms: the progress of a single day, from dawn (Amanecer), through midday (Mediodía), to dusk (Crepúsculo). Círculo was Turina’s final composition completed before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, although its elegiac mood almost willfully refutes the incertitude and menace of the contemporary political scene.

Sinfonia Concertante for two solo oboes, solo bassoon and strings (2010) by Margi Griebling-Haigh was commissioned by N. David and Sue Larky in honor of founding Kent/Blossom Music Festival faculty member and long-time principal oboist of The Cleveland Orchestra, John Mack (deceased). Larky, who holds patents on the television color tube, has the distinction of being Mack’s oldest friend, their history together going back to preschool in Somerville, N.J. 

Alegrías for the unusual combination of accordion, oboe, strings, dumbek (Middle Eastern hand drums), tambourine and piano (2009) by Margi Griebling-Haigh was commissioned by Linda Silver, president of the Great Lakes Science Center, in honor of James D. Ireland III as a surprise 60th birthday gift. Ireland is known to Northeast Ohioans as a generous trustee, patron and contributor to area cultural organizations.

Astor Piazzolla wrote Five Tango Sensations for himself to play with the Kronos Quartet. Piazzolla did for the tango what Chopin did for the polonaise, writing music of substance and passion that rewards repeated listening. These five pieces for string quartet and bandoneón (here played on the accordion) explore a range of emotions that will speak differently to everyone.


Joela Jones, accordion and piano, an artist of exceptional versatility, plays piano, organ, harpsichord, celesta, synthesizer and accordion with The Cleveland Orchestra. As soloist with the orchestra, she has performed more than 50 different concertos in more than 200 performances at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center as well as on tour in Europe and Asia. Recent appearances as piano soloist with Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducting include Stravinsky’s Movements, Messiaen’s Sept Haï-Kaï and Bernstein’s The Age of Anxiety. Since the renovation of Severance Hall’s Norton Memorial Organ in 2001, Jones has performed works for organ and orchestra by Barber, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns, Janáček, MacMillan and Ives. She is also principal accompanist for The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and visiting vocal soloists.

Frank Rosenwein, oboe, joined The Cleveland Orchestra as principal oboe at the beginning of the 2005-06 season. From 2002 to 2005, he served as principal oboe of the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera. Rosenwein holds a bachelor of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with former Cleveland Orchestra Principal Oboe John Mack, and a master of music degree from the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with Elaine Douvas, co-principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In 1999, he participated as a scholarship student in the Kent/Blossom Music program.

Richard Weiss, cello, is first assistant principal cellist of The Cleveland Orchestra. He was national first prize winner of the Music Teachers National Association Competition and was a concerto soloist at the Tanglewood Festival. With The Cleveland Orchestra, he has performed the concerti of Lalo, Saint-Saens (No. 2), Schumann and Tchaikovsky. His recording of Schubert's Trio in B-flat with the late Daniel Majeske, Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster, and Joela Jones, received high praise from Fanfare Magazine. Weiss was a Kent/Blossom Music scholarship student in 1972 and has been a member of its faculty since 1985.

Peter Otto, violin, a graduate of the Juilliard School, currently holds the position of first associate concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. Previous to his engagement in Cleveland he served as assistant concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony. Otto received his bachelor’s degree in Germany, his native country, at the Music Academy of Rostock. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Czech Philharmonic, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Rostock Philharmonic, the Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Germany. He has appeared in solo and chamber music recitals throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Japan.

Danna Sundet, oboe, plays principal oboe with the Erie Philharmonic and the Trinity Chamber Orchestra of Cleveland. She played regularly with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Opera and the Cleveland/San Jose Ballet. She specializes in performing for Bach festivals where she is featured on English horn, oboe d'amore and oboe, including the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival and the prestigious Carmel Bach Festival. Sundet holds a degree in music performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with John Mack. She is heralded as one of the most prolific and influential teachers of young oboe students in Ohio. Her students are dynamic soloists, chamber musicians and section players.

Barrick Stees, bassoon, has been assistant principal bassoon of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2001. Stees received a bachelor’s degree and performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with K. David Van Hoesen. Stees has concertized extensively in Europe, South America and Asia, including a solo tour of Hong Kong and China. He has given recitals throughout the United States. His solo appearances include performances with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra. Stees teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music and has taught at Michigan State University, the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Brevard Music Center. He was previously principal bassoon with the Hartford Symphony and has played with the symphony orchestras of Pittsburgh and Detroit as well as with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

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Photo Caption:
Richard Weiss, first assistant principal cellist of The Cleveland Orchestra who also serves on the faculty of Kent/Blossom Music, works with students on a piece during the five-week intensive music camp.

Photo Note:
Additional digital Images of some of the performers are available. 

Media Contact:
Effie Tsengas,, 330-672-8398