Carl Topilow, the music director and conductor for the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, has helped build the orchestra's audience by bringing in outstanding soloists. Next year, he's arguably outdone himself.
One of the soloists for the recently-announced 2014-2015 season is violinist Jaime Laredo. He'll playing with his wife, cellist Sharon Robinson, for a Feb. 21, 2015, performance of Brahms' "Double Concerto for Violin and Cello." Tickets for the next season are on sale now.
If I tried to list all of the awards and honors Laredo has garnered, this would be the longest blog post ever. But here are a few:
-- Playing on an all-star team that included Yo-Yo Ma on cello, Emanuel Ax on piano and Isaac Stern on violin, he won a Grammy Award in 1992 for the group's recording of Brahms' piano quartets. (Laredo play viola on the album).
-- He recorded the Bach sonatas for violin and harpsichord with legendary Canadian pianist Glenn Gould.
-- He's the music director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.
-- With his wife and pianist Joseph Kalichstein, he's a member of the acclaimed Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, which have recorded all of the Beethoven trios, all of the Brahms trios, Shostakovich chamber music, etc. A critic for the Washington Post wrote in 2012, "Among the superstars of the chamber music world, few induce as much open-mouthed rapture as the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio."
-- He's a native of Bolivia. A stadium back home is named after him.
The other soloists next season include pianist Stanislav Khristenko, who will perform on Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto. Khristenko won the Cleveland International Piano Competition in 2013. He's a native of the Ukraine who also has won awards in Russia and has played with big orchestras in Hong Kong, Berlin, Moscow and other cities.