The Musical Arts Series Port Clinton Announces Resumption of Concerts at The Firelands Presbyterian Church

The Musical Arts Series/Port Clinton steering committee continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 virus recommendations of the CDC, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Ottawa County Health Department.

We hope that with the continued vaccination availability to more age groups in Ohio, the continued use of masks, and social distancing that we can safely continue indoor concerts. This will be dependent on whether the recent decline in COVID-19 cases in Ottawa County and nationwide continues.

If the COVID numbers remain lower, we plan to resume all of our 2022-2023 concerts at The Firelands Presbyterian Church located at 2626 East Harbor Rd. Port Clinton, Oh. 43452, with the exception of the Burning River Brass Christmas concert which will be held at the Port Clinton High School Performing Arts Center. We understand that our patrons and performing artists prefer the intimacy of the Firelands Presbyterian Church venue for chamber music type concerts.

Attendees will no longer be required to provide proof of full COVID vaccination or a certified negative COVID test within (3) days of the concert. All attendees will still be encouraged to wear a mask during the entire performance. Free masks will be available at the ticket booth.

Anyone feeling ill or experiencing symptoms related to a cold or infectious disease is asked to take care of their health and protect others by staying home.

We will observe all current pandemic health recommendations and regulations in effect at the time of each concert. Please check this website or our Facebook page frequently for the latest information about our concerts in 2022 and 2023.

We greatly appreciate the ongoing financial support of our sponsors and season ticket holders.

The Musical Arts Series/Port Clinton Steering Committee

James D'Leon

Saturday, May 13, 2023 @ 7:30 pm

James D’León – Pianist

Piano with powerful emotion and dazzling artistry

The Program:

Suite in E major, HWV 430 – Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759)
Air with 5 Variations (“The Harmonious Blacksmith”)

Ballade No. 2 in b minor (1854)  – Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

 Milonga del Angel (1965) – Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)

La muerte del Angel (1965)

Resurreccion del Angel (1965) 

Libertango (1975)


From North American Ballads (1978-79) – Frederic Rzewski (b. 1938)

Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues

Part VII (2016) – Keith Jarrett (b. 1945)
From the “Bordeaux Concert”

Solar (1954) – Miles Davis (1926-1991)

Variations on a Theme from Bizet’s “Carmen” (1968) – Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989)

The Artist:  James D’León

Born in South Korea into a musical family, James D’León began the piano at the age of 4 and performed his first recital at the age of 5. After receiving early piano training from his mother, he was awarded a full scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a pre-college student. As the winner of both the San Francisco Symphony and the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra competitions, he performed the Grieg Piano Concerto and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, respectively, at the age of 12. He then relocated to Pennsylvania where he honed his technique and performance skills. By the age of 14, he had won every regional competition culminating in his debut performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music.

He continued his piano studies with the late George Sementovsky in Philadelphia, which resulted in top honors as a summa cum laude graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia. This study greatly influenced his style, refined his technique, and formulated his philosophy of piano performance, especially in regard to physical movement. He was subsequently awarded a fellowship to the Eastman School of Music in New York where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Literature.

From there, he won praise in many international piano competitions such as the Bachauer, Kapell, Leeds, and the Van Cliburn Competition. He was also a top-five finalist in the Naumburg International Competition where he was selected out of 250 extraordinary pianists. Afterwards, he received top honors in the New York Artist International Competition that led to his New York Debut at Carnegie Hall, and the Gold Medal at the New Orleans International Piano Competition, which helped launch his performance career.

In 2009, he was selected as an official Steinway Artist on both the prestigious New York and Hamburg, Germany rosters. Since then, he has performed in England, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Canada, and 40 states throughout the continental United States.

His performances have garnered critical praise from audiences and critics everywhere, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, which stated that he performed with “exciting pianism filled with powerful emotion.” The Salt Lake Tribune commented that “D’León was a musical sorcerer who mesmerized the audience with every note.” After his performance at the prestigious Reading Festival in England, International Piano Magazine stated that “D’León is one of the latest U.S. pianists to watch, and his recital was a sheer and dazzling delight!” His busy summers have included performances at the Banff Festival in Canada, the Boyle Festival in Ireland, the Schlern Festival in the Italian Alps, and the Mendocino Music Festival on the northern California coast.

As a chamber musician, he has performed with the world’s finest chamber groups including the Muir String Quartet, and the Shanghai String Quartet, with whom he performed the Brahms Piano Quintet for a capacity audience that resulted in a 10-minute standing ovation. He is also in great demand as a master-class presenter and adjudicator. To date, he has given master classes at more than 75 universities around the world and has served as a judge in international piano competitions of all ages.

As a recording artist, the American Record Guide stated “D’León’s performance is a revelation and a real treasure!” In addition, E-Music Magazine called his performance of the Schubert and Liszt “amenable and remarkable!” Upcoming projects include the first recording of Argentine composer Ástor Piazzolla’s complete tangos transcribed for piano quintet. He is also a frequent guest conductor of the Prescott Symphony and the Prescott Chamber Orchestra in Arizona. Recent concerto performances have included the Mendocino Festival Orchestra, the Symphony of the Redwoods, and the Arizona Philharmonic, with whom he performed the world premiere of American composer Henry Flurry’s “Currents,” a piano concerto based on the events of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Today, D’León is known as a rare and completely versatile pianist who is just as comfortable performing a concerto as he would be playing a solo recital or collaborating with a chamber music group. He continues to dazzle audiences and keep them on the edge of their seats with his commanding technique, expressive body movement, and searching interpretations.

For more information or to contact Mr. D’León, go to

Venue:  The Firelands Presbyterian Church,  2626 East Harbor Rd.
Port Clinton, Oh. 43452

Wearing of masks and social distancing are encouraged  for attendance at all concerts.

Sponsored by: Anonymous donor and Shumaker, Loop, and Jack Hilbert.


Max Rabinovitsj

Please note that this performance has been rescheduled from Sunday, June 4th, 2023 to Sunday June 18th, 2023 @ 3:30 pm

Max Rabinovitsj – Violinist and the Trio da Vinci

Outstanding piano, violin, cello

Venue:  The Firelands Presbyterian Church,  2626 East Harbor Rd.
Port Clinton, Oh. 43452

Wearing of masks and social distancing are encouraged  for attendance at all concerts.

Sponsored by: The Miller Ferries and Bassett’s Markets

The lovely rose garden in front of Firelands Presbyterian Church honors Dr. Jay M. Mann, Professor Emeritus of Music at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, where he was Professor of Voice and Chorus for 29 years. After retiring and moving to Lakeside in 1998, Dr. Mann and his wife, Margaret, were musicians at Firelands Church. Dr. Mann also served as President of the Musical Arts Series in Port Clinton, and coordinated pre-concert talks for the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra. He retired fully in 2012, and moved to Colorado Springs to be closer to his family.

Sandusky Register

Intimate music series continues in Port Clinton

There’s no shortage of world-class musical talent in Northern Ohio. However, most performances are taking place in Toledo and Cleveland.

That is unless it’s a  Musical Arts Series – Port Clinton concert, which six to eight times a year features topnotch artists from around the world, showing off their talents at the intimate Firelands Presbyterian Church venue.