Also featuring photos from our monthly supplement...

Oakwood homes during the
'teen' years -
1913 to 1919

DPO string quartet plays with passion, musicality

Maestro Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic love challenging the acoustic wonders of the Schuster Center. The April Demirjian Chamber Concert was another challenge and another great success. Instead of a chamber sized orchestra, the program was played entirely by the orchestra’s Principal String Quartet.  

These talented musicians have performed for several years and have been reviewed in these columns.  The personnel have changed slightly.  Principal 2nd Violinist Kirstin Greenlaw and Principal Violist Sheridan Kamberger Currie are original members.  The present Concertmaster Aurelian Oprea joined the quarter on his appointment.  Assistant Principal Cellist Tom Guth is the latest addition.  

Devoted to the Classical Era, Beethoven’s 1st Quartet and Mozart’s Clarinet Quartet made up the program.  Both works are expressive, varied and full of virtuosic passages.  The quartet navigated the music with passion and musicality.

The Beethoven displayed the delicate communication among the instruments.  Each of the players took subtle cues from the others.  The result was a mellifluous flow of great music with crystalline clarity.

There were many young persons in the audience. After the stunning second movement, they broke into spontaneous applause. The same enthusiasm greeted each movement of both works.

In the Mozart, Principal Clarinet John Kurokawa delivered a sound which blended to perfection with the other instruments. His soaring tone and delicate trills were transporting.  

During the lyrical second movement, the beautiful clarinet air was reminiscent of the magnificent K.622 Clarinet Concerto. During that movement, the strings provided masterful paraphrases of the song. Cellist Tom Guth had a recurrent pizzicato. Perfect intonation made those moments unforgettable.    

Maestro Neal recognizes what a treasure this quartet is. I know we will have many opportunities to hear them.  The sooner the better, I say.  

9th annual WSU Arts Gala

Nine years ago a prediction was made.  The initial committee to create the Wright State Arts Gala met to plan the format for the event.  It was to be an exposition of the amazing talents of the WSU artists and groaning boards of fine food and conviviality.

As the plans took shape, someone on the committee, OK it was me, stated that this party would become the most successful and fun event in Dayton.  Rarely am I right but concerning the WSU Gala, I hit the bull’s eye!

The ninth annual Gala lived up to all expectations and surpassed many.  Co-chairs Karen and Jim Tinney added several features. The problem remains the same.  The remarkable schedule of events makes it impossible to do everything.  It is also impossible not to have so much fun and joy that you smile for days after.

Foods, hospitality, warmth with friends all are secondary to the experiences with the gifted students of all genres.  Musicians, singers, dancers, artists, all beautiful in their own way, display their gifts.  It is truly intoxicating.  

Even though it will be a year until the 10th Gala, mark your calendars as a highlighted don’t miss.

Dayton Playhouse Oedipus Trilogy

The Dayton Playhouse loves challenges.  Executive Director Amy Brown follows the lead of retired director Adam Leigh by defining the role of community theater.

This season, their Flip Side series, free and far out, featured an amazing experiment in the limits of theater.  The company performed Sophocles’ Oedipus Trilogy in one weekend.  The three plays, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone represent a thread of tragedy which has woven itself into the warp and woof of Western thought and culture.  

Who does not connect with Oedipus.  He kills his father, marries his mother, sires a family. When he discovers his unredeemable sin, he blinds himself and wanders the earth looking for his death.  

The story, like all great myths, is a personal tragedy.  Wagner celebrated Wotan’s dysfunctional family, Euripides dealt with Agamemnon’s and Sophocles with Oedipus’ unhappy kinfolk.

To make this grand experiment a reality, writer, director and actor Tony Dallas was engaged to adapt the three plays.  Tony could take the New York telephone directory and make it into a successful play.  He restaged Sophocles’ plots and, more important, characters, into a relevant and absorbing series of plays.  

Tony was able to connect the events of two and a half millennia ago into those of today.  He did so without sacrificing the relentlessness of the tragedy and the helplessness of its victims.

I was able to see only Antigone, the final play, due to other major conflicts. Fortunately I was completely familiar with the entire trilogy.

I had even seen Oedipus the King over 50 years ago in the Theater of Herod Atticus at the base of the Acropolis in Athens.  Yes, it was in Greek and the stone seats were hard and very rutted, but the effect will never be forgotten.  I feel the same about Tony Dallas’ recreation of the plays and the incredible delivery by the Dayton Playhouse company.

Dayton Ballet to present 4 works in 1 week

Karen Russo’s A Streetcar Named Desire is based on the popular Tennessee Williams play and displays not only ballet technique but also character acting by Dayton Ballet Company members.  Permission to utilize A Streetcar Named Desire material is by arrangement with The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.  

Gregory Robinson’s Corazon goes to the “heart” of traditional Latin music, delving into its passion through movement, color and sound.  Hineline’s Thresholds II is a modern ballet that pushes the boundaries of classical ballet to its thresholds.

Caprice is a series of children’s ballets written by William Whitener.

MODA fashion show returns to DAI April 30

MODA, the Italian word for fashion, returns to The Dayton Art Institute on Wednesday, April 30 in a showcase of the latest fashions by Elan to benefit Vanguard Concerts, one of the museum’s long-standing programs.

The afternoon begins with a tea and ends with the fashion show. Guests will also enjoy a private viewing of The Dayton Art Institute’s special exhibition, LIMITED EDITIONS: 20th-Century Prints from the Ponderosa Collection.

Raffle prizes include a Roberto Coin diamond bracelet from James Free Jewelers; a 7-night stay in a Palm Springs, or Biloxi condo; a set of flat-screen televisions from Rex Stores; a night-out at The Greene with limo service, dinner, and movie tickets; a catered dinner for ten by Silver Spoons Catering; and his and hers home lounge outfits from Whispers Fine Lingerie and Gifts.

All proceeds from MODA support an endowment for Vanguard Concerts, which was founded in 1962 to present Dayton with an annual international chamber music series at The Dayton Art Institute. For 46 years, Vanguard has presented the world’s most acclaimed chamber ensembles and soloists on the stage of the Art Institute’s auditorium.

Tickets for MODA 2008 are available by calling The Dayton Art Institute at 223-5277. Grand Patron tickets, with preferred seating for the fashion show and a special gift, are $100 per person. Patron level tickets are $75 per person.

DSPS announces Spring Art Show April 27

The Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors, celebrating its 70th Anniversary, announces the 2008 Annual Juried Open Spring Show at the 48 High Street Gallery located in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill Historic District.  Artist Yan Sun, Associate Professor of Art and Director of the Art Gallery at Muskingum University judged entries in the five categories of People, Places, Things, 3-Dimension, and Abstract.

The Opening Reception will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on April 27 with the award ceremony at 3 p.m.  Continuing through May 18, Gallery hours are Thursdays & Fridays 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays & Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. There is never a charge at the Gallery and parking is free across the street in the Bomberger Center lot.  

For additional information call 937-297-0916 or email

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April 22, 2008
Volume 17, No. 17

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