The first of three Gourmet Matinees was June 25. The matinees are at Knight Grove on the grounds of Blossom Music Center and sponsored by the Blossom Friends of The Cleveland Orchestra. BFCO is the governing board of six Blossom Friends chapters in Northeast Ohio whose goal is to promote and financially support our esteemed Cleveland Orchestra at its summer home, Blossom Music Center.

The Gourmet Matinees will provide three informal musical afternoons to "Meet the Artists," featuring Cleveland Orchestra family members. A gourmet luncheon including wine and dessert precedes the musical presentation followed by a question and answer session with the artists.

The June 25 performance featured two members of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra: Célina Béthoux, violin; and Mikel Rollet, viola. They were accompanied by Carolyn Gadiel Warner, an accomplished pianist who had kind words to say about these young musicians. Warner has been with The Cleveland Orchestra since 1979.

Béthoux started playing as a five year old. She is a student of Cleveland Orchestra violinists Isabel Trautwein and Jessica Lee. Béthoux is a poised and mature 14 year old and incoming high school freshman. She has served as concertmaster of COYO and is a chamber music student at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Béthoux was a co-winner of the 2018 COYO concerto competition and winner of Duquesne Young Artist National Concerto Competition. She will be attending the Heifetz International Music Institute this summer. 

Béthoux delighted those present with the first two movements of Mozart’s Concerto No. 3, playing her violin without the music score and from memory alone.

Mikel Rollet, violist, has been involved with music since he was six years old and will be a senior at Montessori High School this coming school year. He studies with Jeffrey Irvine in the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Young Artists Program. Also a gifted and mature young artist, Rollet has held principal positions in COYO, as well as orchestras in Interlochen, Tanglewood and A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Rollet’s choice of music for the matinee was a Vieuxtemps Sonata in B-flat major, Op. 36, which he played with poise beyond his years.

Both Célina and Mikel play in a quartet, chamber and solo. 

Save the date for two more matinees this summer, July 30 with Jeffrey Rathbun, oboe, who became the assistant principal oboe of The Cleveland Orchestra in 1990 and served as principal oboe from 2001-03; and Aug. 20 with Beth Woodside, violin, who has been a member of The Cleveland Orchestra’s second violin section since 1994.

For information and tickets, call Pat Volpe at 330-995-4975. Reservations may be made through the Cleveland Orchestra’s website at Matinee. Reservations must be received at least one week prior to each event.