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BlueWater Chamber Orchestra presents “Strings After Sundown”

February 3, 2018 7:30PM to 8:45PM

BlueWater Chamber Orchestra presents the third concert in its 2017-18 series, “Strings After Sundown,” on February 3, 2018 at 7:30 PM at Plymouth Church UCC , 2860 Coventry Road, Shaker Heights. The performance features the sensuous strings of BlueWater in works inspired by the night. Concertmaster Ken Johnston will lead his colleagues in Mozart’s famous Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Dvořák’s Nocturne in B Major, and Schoenberg’s romantic tone poem Verklärte Nacht.

The title of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik actually means “a little serenade.” Mozart’s biographer Wolfgang Hildesheimer considers the piece the most popular of all Mozart's works.  He writes: "Even if we hear it on every street corner, its high quality is undisputed, an occasional piece from a light but happy pen." The Nocturne of Dvořák evolved from two earlier chamber works, the String Quartet No. 4 in e minor and the String Quintet in G. Dvořák ended up removing this slow movement from both those pieces and developed the music into its own composition for string orchestra. Lasting only nine minutes, it is a calm, intimate work. Verklärte Nacht (“Transfigured Night”) was originally written for string sextet and was later arranged for string orchestra by Schoenberg himself. Although Schoenberg is known for his invention of 12-tone technique, this early work is entirely tonal and romantic in style. It is not a true tone poem, but was inspired by German writer Richard Dehmel’s poem Verklärte Nacht, in which a woman makes a secret confession, then is forgiven and accepted by her lover, transfiguring the night for them.

Concertmaster Ken Johnston is active as both a performer and teacher of the violin. This is the second concert in which he has led the BlueWater Chamber Orchestra in a conductorless performance. Also concertmaster of the Erie Philharmonic, he has also played with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and with the Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Wheeling and Virginia Symphonies. In addition, he has also been a member of the nuevo tango band The Oblivion Project. An inspiring teacher, he has served on the faculties of Ohio State University and Mercyhurst College, where he conducted Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute. He has taught and performed at the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival. Johnston graduated from CIM, where he studied with David Updegraff and served as his teaching assistant.

BlueWater Chamber Orchestra is a group of professional, local, world-class musicians committed to bringing a transformative musical experience directly into the neighborhoods of NE Ohio. Dedicated to engaging new and diverse audiences through high-level educational programming, community outreach, collaborative partnerships, and artistic excellence, BlueWater shares the luminous world of inspiring music in an inviting and accessible manner. Founded in 2010 under the creative leadership of the late Carlton R. Woods, BlueWater is in residence at The Breen Center for the Performing Arts at Saint Ignatius High School and also presents its series concerts at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights.

This family-friendly 75-minute concert will be played without intermission. Free parking is available at Plymouth, and the sanctuary is wheelchair accessible.

Tickets for the concert range from $10-50 and are now available online or by phone. To order tickets or to get more information, visit or call

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