Holiday presentations by Cleveland Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Cleveland Pops, Apollo’s Fire, and more

Posted on: November 30, 2021

“Walk into almost any major theater or concert venue around Cleveland this time of year and you’re bound to encounter a ‘Nutcracker,’ ‘Messiah,’ or other festive presentation,” writes Zachary Lewis in Sunday’s (11/28) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). “Or just fire up your computer… thanks to virtual programs…. [The Nutcracker] gets a local twist in this world premiere collaboration between Cleveland’s Verb Ballets and the Akron Symphony Orchestra under Christopher Wilkins. In lieu of the work’s traditional settings, look instead for Main Street in Akron, Polsky’s department store, and Stan Hywet Hall. [In] the next program by the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra … music director Victor Liva [combines] holiday music with an intriguing program of Shostakovich, Milhaud, and De Falla, featuring guest soloist Charles Bernard, assistant principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra…. Nicholas McGegan presides over Apollo’s Fire and the most authentic account of Handel’s [Messiah] in the region…. The flagship Christmas event in Northeast Ohio … by the Cleveland Orchestra is … back in person at Severance Music Center with former associate conductor Brett Mitchell leading the orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra Chorus…. Conductor Carl Topilow and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra [perform an] early holiday show at the Connor Palace this year.”