“BlueWater Chamber Orchestra is a jewel in the local arts scene’s crown.”


BlueWater Chamber Orchestra at the Breen Center
(Sept. 16, 2018)

September 18, 2018
Sometimes, the concerts that a music-lover remembers best revolve around isolated points of interest: a moving phrase here, a glowing chord there, the consistent verve of one player over the course of an evening. However, some performances contain such long successions of bright points that a pattern forms, and the entire experience becomes one protracted highlight. When the musicians of BlueWater Chamber Orchestra opened their ninth season last weekend, it became difficult to miss the forest for the trees: delightful moments kept arriving. | READ MORE »

Nicholas Stevens

New ‘Emergent Universe Oratorio’ unites BlueWater Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Choir (preview)
(July 1, 2017)

June 27, 2017
Classical concerts rarely inspire action. Typically, one simply attends, listens, and goes home.

This Friday is different, however. Should you show up for the performance of “Emergent Universe Oratorio” by the BlueWater Chamber Orchestra and Cleveland Chamber Choir, you’re apt to want to go out and make some changes.

That’s because, unlike abstract symphonies and concertos, Sam Guarnaccia’s new oratorio, headed to the Maltz Performing Arts Center, exists to proclaim a non-musical message, to goad people into thinking and caring about the planet they call home.

When it comes to climate “disruption,” Guarnaccia said, “There needs to be a cultural response. It’s important to put art, language, and science together so that people see themselves differently. That’s how the big shifts take place.”

The first big shift is for first-time collaborators BlueWater and the Cleveland Chamber Choir, both of which are taking on their largest work to date. | READ MORE »

Zachary Lewis

The Plain Dealer |

BlueWater Chamber Orchestra at Plymouth Church
(May 13, 2017)

September 18, 2018
BlueWater Chamber Orchestra is a jewel in the local arts scene’s crown. It’s always a treat to hear these highly talented regional musicians, and their concert under the direction of guest conductor Thomas Hong at Plymouth Church on May 13 was no exception. Titled “Flying High,” the program included two works with bird themes. | READ MORE »

Jane Berkner

BlueWater Chamber Orchestra delights large audience with ‘Sleepy Hollow’ concerto (review)
(November 1, 2014)

November 3, 2014
BlueWater Chamber Orchestra can’t be anything but delightful. Even when it tries. Never mind the date, Saturday, the day after Halloween, or that its main attraction derived from Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The group’s latest performance under Carlton Woods at Plymouth Church was anything but truly spooky.

In part that’s because the work itself, Jon Deak’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra: “The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow,” is largely whimsical. Although it ends, like the story, on an eerie, suspenseful note, the 1992 piece consists mostly of animated character portraits. A lively dance sequence provoked nothing but smiles. | READ MORE »

Zachary Lewis

The Plain Dealer |

Blue Water Chamber Orchestra makes splendid debut
(September 12, 2010)

September 13, 2010
Arts organizations don’t often come to life when economic times are inordinately challenging. So raise a toast to the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, which made its debut Sunday at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts at St. Ignatius High School.

As led by artistic director Carlton Woods, the orchestra gave first-rate performances of works by Ravel, Hanson, Beethoven, Elgar and Ginastera, plus a movement from a Mendelssohn symphony to serve as eloquent encore.

It shouldn’t be too surprising that Blue Water is an excellent ensemble. Most of its members once made up the core of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, which has been gone for a decade.

But to hear such cohesion, elegance and vitality at an inaugural concert certainly is out of the norm. The orchestra was aided in part by the Breen Center’s fine acoustics, which sent the music clearly into the hall and revealed inner details in all their natural glory. The auditorium should become one of the city’s prime destinations for classical concerts. | READ MORE »

Donald Rosenberg

The Plain Dealer |