Columbus' chamber orchestra gears up for first performance outside of Ohio

If Chicago is on your summer travel short list, you can enjoy the Windy City and support your hometown during the second week of June. That’s when Columbus’ ProMusica Chamber Orchestra will be displaying the kind of world-class musicianship that local Central Ohio audiences have come to appreciate for years.

The orchestra will be featured in Chicago’s seventh annual North Shore Chamber Music Festival June 7, 9 and 10. The prestigious three-day event, which includes performances from artists representing not only the Chicago Symphony, but also players from the Cleveland Symphony, the Canadian Brass and New York’s Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, takes place at the Village Presbyterian Church in Northbrook.

ProMusica’s performance will close the festival on June 10. It will feature Mozart’s Rondo for Violin and Orchestra in C major featuring the Arkady Fomin Scholarship Fund recipient Joshua Brown, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A major, Tausky’s Coventry: A Meditation for Strings and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major featuring violinist Vadim Gluzman, ProMusica’s Creative Partner and the key to the local troupe’s Chicago appearance.

Gluzman and his wife, concert pianist Angela Yoffe, created the North Shore Chamber Music Festival in 2010. He’s also long has been a friend and frequent creative partner to the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, as well as a fan favorite for not just his skill but his performing flare.

“The chemistry is very special and unique in terms of what he brings, not only to ProMusica, but to Columbus,” says ProMusica’s executive director Janet Chen.

Gluzman first performed with ProMusica nearly 10 years ago, hired as a guest soloist during the orchestra’s 30th anniversary season. After that first appearance, Chen says she and Gluzman stayed up talking until 2 a.m. “We talked about ProMusica, and what he saw coming in as an outsider, and sensing the musicians being hungry to bring more to the table.”

He was named creative partner a few years later, and appears with ProMusica at least twice every season. “He brings to the table different ways to present and approach the music-making a little differently than traditional,” says Chen.

ProMusica’s North Shore debut will be performed under the direction of music director David Danzmayr. The different energies that Danzmayr and Gluzman each bring invigorate the orchestra. “David’s strength is the more traditional classical masterworks, and he’s exceptional. Having them together—it’s like having Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen in your band. It really is like going to a rock concert,” Chen says. “You feel the energy. You feel the connection. They feed off of each other and know each other’s idiosyncrasies and strengths.”

ProMusica is the first chamber orchestra to be invited to the North Shore festival, which has typically been filled with performances by trios, quartets and quintets. Chen says the performance "comes at a time when we felt ready to go farther out there and present Columbus and ProMusica to a wider audience.”

It will be ProMusica’s first time playing outside of Ohio. “We want to be an ambassador for Columbus,” Chen says. “Now is the right time for us, so we decided, ‘Let’s go for it.’ "

A group of more than 50 ProMusica supporters are planning to accompany the 37-member orchestra to Chicago. Single concert tickets are $50 for section A, $40 for section B and $30 for section C, with student and senior discounts offered. Visit nscmf.org to purchase tickets. For more information on ProMusica’s Chicago debut, visit promusicacolumbus.org.