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Kent State’s Partnership with The Cleveland Orchestra Continues in its 46th Year Kent/Blossom Music Festival

Posted Apr. 23, 2013

Kent/Blossom Music FestivalThe Kent/Blossom Music Festival (KBMF) is an advanced training institute operated by Kent State University’s Hugh A. Glauser School of Music in cooperation with The Cleveland Orchestra and Blossom Music Center each summer. Now in its 46th year, the KBMF is known as one of the finest summer music festivals in the country. Musicians Danna Sundet, oboist for the Erie Philharmonic, and Keith Robinson, cellist and founding member of the Miami String Quartet, have served as the Festival’s co-coordinators for the past three years. 

The program offers chamber music intensives for student performers in the areas of strings, woodwinds, and brass instruments.  This year, nearly 200 audition videos from all over the U.S., as well as Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and Colombia were received.  Students who applied attend such universities as Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, National Taichung University, Julliard, CIM, Longy School of Music, Columbia University, Yale, Manhattan School of Music, Rice, Indiana, and Oberlin.  Faculty review the audition videos, and a total of only 44 students are accepted into the program each summer.

“Kent/Blossom Music Festival draws students from all around the world to Kent State for an amazing five-week study intensive with world-renowned musicians,” said Sundet.  “Many alumni from our program now play with some of the most impressive orchestras, symphonies and notable ensembles.  One such alumnus is eight-time Grammy-winning violinist, Phil Setzer, with Emerson String Quartet; plus, the countless members of the Cleveland Orchestra who are also alumni.”

KBMF also provides opportunities for members of the community to experience the talents of renowned artists in intimate performance spaces.  A six-concert subscription series is available to the public for the upcoming Faculty Concerts, presented in Ludwig Recital Hall in the Music and Speech Building on the Kent State University campus. The Music and Speech Building is located at 1325 Theatre Drive.

The Kent/Blossom Music Festival Faculty Concerts feature performances by the high-profile musicians who serve as faculty for the students attending the summer music program, including members of The Cleveland Orchestra. All Faculty Concerts take place at 7:30 p.m. in Ludwig Recital Hall, Music and Speech Building, 1325 Theatre Drive in Kent.

A six-concert subscription, which provides subscribers with an $18 savings is $72 for adults and $60 for seniors.  To purchase a subscription, call the Kent/Blossom Music Festival office at 330-672-2613. Subscriptions may be purchased with check, Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

Single tickets will go on sale June 3, with adults $15, seniors $13 and students $5. For more information on the Kent/Blossom Music Festival, visit

Faculty Concert Performances:

Wednesday, June 26
Miami String Quartet with Spencer Myer, piano
Performing “String Quartet in f minor Op. 95,” Ludwig Van Beethoven; “String Quartet no. 9 in E flat major Op. 117,” Dmitri Shostakovich; “Piano Quartet in A major Op. 26,” Johannes Brahms

Saturday, June 29
Kulas Foundation Guest Artist
David Shifrin, clarinet; Spencer Myer, piano
Performing “Sonata for Clarinet and Piano,” Francis Poulenc; “Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet,” Igor Stravinski; “Sonata in f minor Op. 120 #1,” Johannes Brahms; “Dance Preludes,” Witold Lutoslawki; “Little Shepherd,” “Girl with the Flaxen Hair,” “Premiere Rapsodie,” Claude Debussy; “Introduction, Theme and Variations,” Gioacchino Rossini

Wednesday, July 3
Mark Kosower, cello
Performing “Suite for solo cello No. 4 in E flat major,” “Suite for solo cello No. 5 in c minor,” “Suite for Solo Cello No. 6 in D Major,” Johann Sebastian Bach

Wednesday, July 1
Jung-Min Amy Lee, violin; Tanya Ell, cello; Alicia Koelz, violin; Joanna Patterson Zakany, viola; Rich King, horn; Randall Fusco, piano
Performing “Duo For Violin and Cello Op. 7,” Zoltan Kodaly; “String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85,” Bela Bartok; “Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano,” Gyorgy Ligeti

Wednesday, July 1
Joela Jones, piano; Richard Weiss, cello; Danna Sundet, oboe; Barrick Stees, bassoon; Ying Fu and Jeffrey Zehngut, violin; Stanley Konopka, viola
Performing “Suite Popular Española for Cello and Piano,” Manuel de Falla; “Trio for Oboe and Bassoon and Piano,” Francis Poulenc; “Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84,” Edward Elgar

Wednesday, July 24
Peter Otto, violin; Joela Jones, piano
Performing “Partita for Violin and Piano,” Witold Lutoslawski; “Praeludium and Theme with Variations, Op. 48,” Carl Nielsen; “Omaggio a Giovanni Paisiello,” Matthias Pintscher; “Sonata for Violin and Piano in C minor, Op. 45,” Edvard Grieg

Faculty Concert Performers:

Miami String Quartet
The Miami String Quartet, in residence at Kent State University since 2004, features Benny Kim and Cathy Meng Robinson on violin, Scott Lee on viola and Keith Robinson on cello. The Miami String Quartet is the resident ensemble at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival.

Spencer Myer
Pianist Spencer Myer has been a part of Kent/Blossom Music since 2007. He has performed as a soloist with ensembles including The Cleveland Orchestra, and has appeared with New York City’s Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, among others.

David Shifrin
David Shifrin, clarinetist, is an orchestra soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony and the Denver Symphony, among others, along with orchestras in countries including Italy, Germany and Korea. He has served as principal clarinetist for ensembles including The Cleveland Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Mark Kosower

Mark Kosower, principal cello of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2010, also serves as faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Kosower’s solo appearances include performances with the Orchestre de Paris, Hong Kong Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. He has also appeared with the symphony orchestras in U.S. cities including Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Seattle.

Jung-Min Amy Lee
Amy Lee, violinist, joined The Cleveland Orchestra as associate concertmaster in March 2008 and has worked with Kent/Blossom Music since 2009. Lee was a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age fifteen, and she has performed with ensembles including the Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, the National Gallery Orchestra and Germany’s Baden-Baden Philharmonic.

Tanya Ell
Cellist Tanya Ell joined the Cleveland Orchestra in 2007, after serving as assistant principle cello for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Ell earned a bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School and a master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has participated in summer music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and the Sarasota Music Festival.

Alicia Koelz
Violinist Alicia Koelz joined The Cleveland Orchestra in 2005. Koelz’s solo appearances include performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Chicago Civic Orchestra. She has appeared at such summer music festivals as the Music Academy of the West, Encore School for Strings and the Chautauqua Institute.

Joanna Patterson Zakany
Joanna Patterson Zakany has been a member of the viola section of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2006. She has previously served as principal viola for the Canton Symphony Orchestra and the Sarasota Music Festival Orchestra. Zakany has performed as a soloist with ensembles including L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and the Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra.

Richard King
Richard King has been a part of The Cleveland Orchestra since 1988 and has served as principal horn since 1997. He began working with Kent/Blossom Music in 1996, and he also serves on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. King is an active chamber musician and soloist and a member of the Center City Brass Quintet.

Randall Fusco
Randall Fusco, an active piano soloist, also serves as a professor of music at Hiram College. He has appeared as a soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra and Alliance Symphony Orchestra. Fusco and Cleveland Orchestra bassoonist Barrick Stees have released two Opera Transcriptions and Paraphrases recordings together.

Joela Jones
Joela Jones, principal keyboard of The Cleveland Orchestra, has performed more than fifty different concertos in 200-plus performances with The Cleveland Orchestra. Jones chairs collaborative piano at Kent/Blossom Music, and also teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in cities including Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Richard Weiss
Richard Weiss, first assistant principal cellist of The Cleveland Orchestra, joined the Kent/Blossom Music faculty in 1985. Weiss was a Kent/Blossom Music scholarship student in 1972. Weiss is also a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio, and he coaches the cello sections of the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestras, the New World Symphony and The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

Danna Sundet
Danna Sundet is an assistant professor of oboe at Kent State University and the co-artistic coordinator of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. She also serves as the principal oboe of The Erie Philharmonic and the director of the John Mack Oboe Summer Camp in Little Switzerland, North Carolina. Sundet is a founding member of Cleveland chamber ensemble Panoramicos.

Barrick Stees
Barrick Stees is the assistant principal bassoon of The Cleveland Orchestra. He previously served as principal bassoon with the Hartford Symphony. He has performed as a soloist with such ensembles as the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, in addition to a solo tour of Hong Kong and China.

Ying Fu
Violinist Ying Fu has been a part of The Cleveland Orchestra since the 2011-2012 season. Fu received his bachelor’s degree from the Shanghai Conservatory and his master’s degree from Rice University. He is also currently a doctoral candidate at Rice University.

Jeffrey Zehngut
Violinist Jeffrey Zehngut has been a part of the second violin section of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2011. Zehngut studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has previously served as associate principal second violin of the San Diego Symphony and principal second of the Canton Symphony Orchestra.

Stanley Konopka
Stanley Konopka has been a part of The Cleveland Orchestra viola section since 1991 and has served as principal viola since 1993. Konopka previously served as principal violinist and soloist for the National Repertory Orchestra. He is also a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Peter Otto
Peter Otto, violinist, is the first associate concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra. Otto previously served as assistant concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony. Otto’s solo performances include appearances with the Czech Philharmonic, the Saint Louis Symphony and the Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany and his master’s at the Juilliard School.


For more information contact:
Effie A. Tsengas,, 330-672-8398