Blossom summer music program is awesome

Dawn Einsel

The 43rd annual Kent/Blossom Music summer program began this week, an intensive six-week study of chamber and orchestral music that will feature two concert series showcasing the talents of both students and faculty members.

“The main mission is to create great musicians,” said Ivan Chan, the interim co-artistic director of Kent/Blossom Music. “To give the students the best of both worlds in terms of ensemble training.”

Chan said the program is a partnership between Kent State and the Cleveland Orchestra that gives students the opportunity to share the classroom and stage with musicians who hold lead positions in some of the most highly regarded symphonies.

The festival is divided into three sessions, each lasting two weeks, Chan said.

During this period, students will spend each day practicing assigned pieces, focusing on their solo and orchestral repertoires as well as honing their skills as chamber musicians.

“I think what’s unique about this festival is you’re not just only working on your orchestral repertoire, but you’re able to do chamber music,” said graduate student Kei Fukuda, who is participating in the course for her second summer.


Faculty Concert Series:

Ludwig Recital Hall

June 30, 7:30 p.m.

July 7, 7:30 p.m.

July 21, 7:30 p.m.

July 28, 7:30 p.m.

August 4, 7:30 p.m.

Chamber Players Series:

Ludwig Recital Hall

Series I

July 9, 7:30 p.m.

July 10, 2:30 p.m.

July 11, 2:30 p.m.

Series II

July 23, 7:30 p.m.

July 24, 2:30 p.m.

July 25, 2:30 p.m.

Series III

August 6, 7:30 p.m.

August 7, 2:30 p.m.

August 8, 2:30 p.m.

Side by Side Concert:

Blossom Music Center

July 18, 7 p.m.

The participants will also receive coaching through private lessons and master classes with faculty, orchestra members and guest artists. Each session will conclude with three performances by the students in their chamber groups.

Between lessons, faculty members will give five performances during the festival. The series will feature prominent members of the Cleveland Orchestra, Miami String Quartet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among others.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet and create music with people from all over,” Fukuda said.

Fukuda, a violinist, is one of 44 students enrolled in the program this year. There are 39 orchestral musicians, which include strings, winds and horns, and five pianists.

But for Chan and Fukuda, the pinnacle of the series is the Side-by-Side Concert at the Blossom Music Center, a performance that Chan says will be “an unbelievable experience for the students and the audience alike.”

Here, the students will be given the opportunity to play alongside the Cleveland Orchestra.

“It’s the highlight of the festival,” said Fukuda. “The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the top five in the world. It’s amazing to play with them, and a great learning experience.”

All 14 concerts will be held in Ludwig Recital Hall in the Music and Speech Center.

The 2010 Centennial Celebration Chamber Players Series will be free to the public. Tickets for the 2010 Centennial Celebration Faculty Concert Series will be $15 for adults and $5 for students.

More information is available on Kent/Blossom’s website at

Contact entertainment reporter Dawn Einsel at [email protected].