March 1, 2022

CIM Orchestra Plans Triumphant Return to Severance with Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar

Carlos Kalmar and the CIM Orchestra at Severance

Guests and performers alike are in for an exceptionally varied treat this March when the CIM Orchestra and principal conductor Carlos Kalmar return to Severance Music Center, home of The Cleveland Orchestra.  

On Wednesday, March 23, at 7pm, the orchestra will present a free concert featuring a wide array of music representing the 20th and early 21st centuries. In addition to seminal works by Ives, Prokofiev and Vaughan Williams, the group will present the world premiere of Alee, written in honor of CIM’s centennial by Keith Fitch, Vincent K. and Edith H. Smith Chair in Composition.  

“As director of orchestral studies at CIM, it is my goal to challenge the students and the audience with diverse and innovative programming that gives everyone something to think about. Sometimes these programs can be like a journey through different time zones and styles,” said Kalmar, who made his Severance debut with the CIM Orchestra in October 2021. “I believe this concert accomplishes this uncommonly well with a world premiere, a beloved piano concerto by a Russian composer born in Ukraine, as well as American and British works. Our audience at Severance will relish the enormous vitality and emotional depth of the music and the orchestra will learn a great deal from performing works by masters past and present.” 

Fitch completed Alee in September 2021 on a commission from CIM in celebration of its 100th anniversary. (The originally scheduled premiere was postponed due to the pandemic.) About the title, he said, “Alee is an old nautical term describing the act of steering a ship away from bad weather or the wind. I thought that it was a nice metaphor for the school moving into its next century.”

Fitch described the piece in two parts – a slow opening section, followed by what is essentially a long accelerando. Dedicated in part to the students of CIM, it contains solos for numerous instruments, including places where the percussionists are asked to improvise. “I hope that the students enjoy playing it, and that the audience enjoys the ride,” Fitch said.

Listeners also can look forward to the bracing Symphony No. 4 by Vaughan Williams and to Ives’ enigmatic The Unanswered Question. Lastly, DMA student pianist Jacob Bernhardt (Pontremoli) will join Kalmar and the orchestra in a performance of Prokofiev’s beloved Piano Concerto No. 3. 

Explore the Program 

Wednesday, March 23 | 7pm
Severance Music Center, 11001 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra 

Carlos Kalmar, conductor
Jacob Bernhardt, piano, student artist 

FITCH   Alee (2019-21) (world premiere)
PROKOFIEV   Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26
IVES   The Unanswered Question (1908)
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS   Symphony No. 4 in F minor (1931-34) 

Reserve Your Seats 

Free general admission tickets are required. They are available through the Severance Music Center box office at or 216.231.1111.