Lisa Wong conducts Cleveland Orchestra Chorus in first concert in 18 months

Lisa Wong associate professor of music at Wooster and director of choruses at The Cleveland Orchestra standing on a stage directing a chorus with two musicians seated at a piano in the lower right corner

Lisa Wong, associate professor of music at Wooster and director of choruses at The Cleveland Orchestra, conducted Brahms’ “A German Requiem” at Severance Music Center on Oct. 28, marking the first time the acclaimed chorus has performed in concert in nearly two years. A reviewer from cleveland.com called the event “nothing but the most luminous and expressive of performances.”

In an interview with Cleveland Classical before the concert, Wong said the Brahms selection was chosen for the concert partly because the work could be performed with piano, not a full orchestra. The Biblical messages in the work, including “Blessed are they who carry grief, they shall be comforted,” also delivered a message Wong felt was fitting to the times. “I think that this piece, because of its focus on the living and its intention of being a sort of comfort for the living, a balm for the living, makes it the perfect choice for this unique moment in time,” she told Cleveland Classical.

About 120 chorus members performed at the concert, along with two soloists and two pianists, including Daniel Overly, who is a staff collaborative pianist in the Department of Music at Wooster. The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus is a professionally trained, all-volunteer chorus that includes alumni from Wooster. Wong has been director of choruses at The Cleveland Orchestra since 2018, and was interim director and assistant director of choruses for several years prior to being named director. Wong is also co-chair of the Department of Music at Wooster and director of the Wooster Chorus.

Posted in News on November 4, 2021.

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