The third concert of the Cliburn’s Beethoven at 250 festival had remarkable work from the guest artists.
by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, TheaterJones

The 2020 Cliburn Festival, Beethoven at 250, was a series of five concerts in celebration of his 250th birthday. All that was missing was the cake, but the fire department probably wouldn’t allow 250 candles to be lit in the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Instead, the fire came from the excellent performances of a wide variety of his music in the third concert (2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29), including a sonata, a song cycle, and ending with a compositional tour de force set of variations.

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This brought us to To the Distant Beloved, Op. 98. Just seeing the name of the superb and locally based baritone David Grogan on the program assured us of a marvelous performance. And paired with the perceptive pianist Kenny Broberg, that is exactly what we got. I cannot remember a better performance that fully realized all of the mood changes in this widely varied work. Grogan, who has a perfectly focused voice that can rise to operatic heights, carefully kept it within the confines appropriate for the recital setting and the smallish room. Broberg was always with him and supportive, skillfully setting up the next phrases with his in-between solo passages.

Read the full review here.