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classical music

Colin Howe / Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra resumed in-person concerts  this summer by holding outdoor performances in Bronson Park and at the Gilmore Car Museum. The series will end at 8 pm Saturday, Aug 14 at the Gilmore Car Museum with a program filled with historic and contemporary meaning. Cara Lieurance welcomed music director Julian Kuerti, mezzo-soprano Melody Wilson, tenor Ben Gulley, and bass Scott Connor to the studio to talk about it. 

courtesy of the artist

The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra will take the stage at the Shadowlands Pavilion on Silver Beach in St. Joseph at 6:30 pm Saturday, July 17. The guest conductor, Matthew Aubin, will lead a program called "Belting Out Broadway," with special guest vocalist Nicole New. Aubin, a finalist for the position of music director with the SMSO, talked to Cara Lieurance for a preview of the concert.

Richard Bowditch

The Stulberg International String Competition for ages 20 and under ends on Saturday, May 22 with the announcement of the three medalists. The outcome has been determined by a panel of three adjudicators who watched the semifinalists' video performances. One of the adjudicators was Cynthia Phelps. The principal violist of the New York Philharmonic, Phelps told Cara Lieurance it was wonderful to watch the players and "witness the sheer musicianship and skill" on display. They also discussed the pros and cons of a "virtual" competition. As an adjudicator Phelps is looking for a contestant to have "something deep to say, using every tool in their box."

Janice Carissa

Avery Gagliano won the National Chopin Competition on March 1, 2020 at age 18. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Gagliano says that winning the competition was "unreal" and felt more like part of a process rather than an end point. She says she is eager to travel and be in front of audiences again, after spending a pandemic year practicing and learning new repertoire. 

At 4 pm Sunday, May 16 Gagliano will come to Kalamazoo to give a livestreamed performance on the Rising Stars Series presented by the Gilmore Keyboard Festival. She previews the Chopin, Bach, Beethoven and Dett that make up the music on her program.

Yukie Ota

Gabriel Renteria-Elyea and Yukie Ota lead different sections in the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, but they sit side-by-side for every rehearsal and performance, with Renteria-Elyea playing oboe and Ota playing flute. That closeness made it natural for them to appear on the Connecting Chords Music Festival, in a 60-minute program which will be livestreamed from La Luna Studios at 7 pm on Thursday, April 29. Cara Lieurance spoke to both musicians for a preview.