Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra cancels this year’s Summermusik

Sad news: The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, which presents a Summermusik festival in August, has canceled its 2020 festival due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chamber Orchestra, which is led by music director Eckart Preu, plans to return in 2021.

The CCO made this announcement in an email blast today:

Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, shown here with the Faux Frenchmen, at a Summermusik concert

“In the past few weeks the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, like so many of our arts peers around the country, has grappled with the uncertainty and disruption surrounding COVID-19, as well as the difficult financial situation confronting many of our donors. After much deliberation and soul-searching, the CCO Board and staff have made the heartbreaking decision to postpone our Summermusik 2020 festival until 2021.Read More »

CSO, Pops, May Festival cancel all concerts for the rest of the season


The May Festival has canceled its entire season due to Covid-19.

It’s not surprising, but the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra announced this morning that they are canceling all concerts and events through the remainder of the season due to the coronavirus.

In addition, the entire Cincinnati May Festival season is canceled, as well as performances by the professional chorus, the Vocal Arts Ensemble.

This year is the orchestra’s 125th anniversary season.

Of course, financially the effects of Covid-19 will be disastrous for all of Cincinnati’s major arts organizations. We await to learn whether Cincinnati Opera will be able to mount its much-anticipated 100th anniversary season, to open in June.

Here’s the CSO’s announcement with a listing of cancellations:

In compliance with Governor Mike DeWine’s standing mass-gathering prohibitions and the recent directive to stay at home, and given ongoing travel bans, international quarantines and the continued disruption of normal business activity caused by the Coronavirus, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announced today the cancellation of all CSO, Cincinnati Pops and May Festival concerts and events through May 31, 2020.

The CSO had previously cancelled concerts and events through April 5. President Jonathan Martin said that in light of the deepening national health crisis, the organization had no choice.Read More »

Covid-19 update: Digital resources to calm and entertain

The CSO and Pops are making recordings available online. Mark Lyons, photo

Here’s a list of things to do, thanks to ArtWave and other sources:

ArtsWave’s daily Mindful Music Moments This free online series offers 10 weeks of daily doses of guided meditation set to music by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Opera.

• Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center’s daily online art project

• The Children’s Theater of Cincinnati podcast and performance of
“Suffragettes: With Liberty and Voting For All”

• Cincinnati Art Museum online collection

• Cincinnati Museum Center’s Wonder Zone videos (starting with Kellogg the Corn Snake

• Cincinnati Opera’s podcast with Evans Mirageas. You’ll learn about the life and work of everyone who brings opera to life, from performers and seasoned stage directors to rising contemporary composers.

• Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Home Safaris Facebook Live events

Online classes with Clifton Cultural Arts Center

• Hear a live recording of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Concert

• Watch the Cincinnati Pops perform American Soundscapes: Star Trek

• Classics for Kids. Click here to find podcasts, activity sheets, lesson plans and more. The 6-minute episodes are produced by Cincinnati Public Radio.

• On-demand streaming from Know Theatre of Cincinnati (tickets required)

Musical Mornings with Linton Chamber Music Peanut Butter and Jam

• Sound Discoveries: Liz Wu instructs in musical instruments you can make at home.

Virtual story times from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton
County — including “Fiona’s Feelings”

Starling Chamber Orchestra: See Boyun Li play the Bruch Violin Concerto. Live recording from Starling Showcase of amazingly talented young students, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, conducted by François López-Ferrer. Recorded live on February 22, 2020 in Werner Recital Hall at CCM.

Covid-19 update: Pianist to stream Global Concert of Hope today

Pianist Jeffrey Beigel

As the song says, “we need a little Christmas.” You may see lights up in your neighborhood. Now New York-based pianist Jeffrey Biegel is offering a little cheer himself.

At 5 p.m. today (March 21), Biegel will be streaming Christmas in March: A Concert for Hope on Facebook Live and YouTube. He says:

“Please join me in a global effort to share music for love, peace and goodwill toward humanity. Music shares a common bond that will always unite during times like these. It will be on Facebook Live and, for the global public at the YouTube link listed below.”

His playlist will include music and arrangements by: Matt Edwards, Ann Hampton Callaway, Carolyne McGougan Taylor, David Foster, popular titles like “My Grown Up Christmas List”, “Christmas Lullaby”, “The Christmas Song”, “Auld Lang Syne”, and classical composers Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Percy Grainger, Grieg, Handel, Haydn, Liszt, Reger, Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky.

Many are brilliant fusions of ‘Classical Carols’ by Carolyne McGougan Taylor combining best-loved carols with classical composer’s music.

Says Biegel: “Join me; prayers to everyone, wash your hands more than ever, and please be safe.”

Covid-19 update: More online, social media offerings as arts groups hunker down

Watch CSO music director laureate Paavo Järvi lead the Berlin Philharmonic — free

I just finished watching Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” along with an international “watch group” on Facebook, a production streamed from Teatro Carlo Felice, the opera house in Genoa, Italy.

Watch parties are popping up, as are myriad other options for watching opera (see the Met Opera‘s Live in HD post below), dance — I caught Cincinnati Ballet’s Victoria Morgan leading a stretching class on my Instagram feed — and concerts.

Check out Paavo Järvi’ s latest concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic on Digital Concert Hall. It’s free.

Know Theatre says it will be stepping up its streaming capabilities by the end of this week. It’s called Know-to-Go: The Stream Team. In case you missed “Alabaster,” by Audrey Cefaly, the company has received permission to stream it for a limited time. Those who already have tickets may watch free; others will be charged $15 for access to the digital recording.

And, thanks to the Know’s ethos of experimentation, it has a video library. They’ll be rolling out some titles from 2015 and 2016, Andy’s House of [blank’ and Darkest Night at the Gnarly Stump. AND they are working with local playwrights as we speak to create new audio works, for purchase through the website. Information and streaming passes at

More coming soon!

Met Opera overwhelmed: Streaming suggestions for tonight

Tonight’s free On Demand from the Met is a 2008 production of La Bohème. The scene shown is Act II from the production of this season. Photo Evan Zimmerman / Met Opera

Not surprisingly, an unprecedented surge of opera lovers across America tried to tune in to the Metropolitan Opera’s Free On Demand streaming of “Carmen” last night — only to experience difficulty. This morning, I contacted the Met to see what we need to do. The website is working now — but the best way to access On Demand is to download the app to your device.

Here is their statement:

Due to overwhelming, unprecedented demand and traffic for the Met’s first free opera stream last evening, our web site experienced intermittent outages, with users having to wait to access the site or receiving a message that the service was unavailable.

The Met’s IT and On Demand team have been working through the night and this morning to come up with fixes and solutions to make this a smoother user experience.

We urge users, if they can,  to go directly to the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple, Amazon, and Roku devices and Samsung Smart TV. From there, the user should click on the “Explore the App” option which will take them directly to opera stream page.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

COVID-19 update: Classical cocooning

Hear a broadcast of the CSO’s 125th anniversary concert tonight on WGUC

Around the globe, live concerts by performing arts groups are shut down for the foreseeable future. As you can see in this article that I contributed to on Classical Voice North America, “Sound of Silence Banishes Music Across the Land,” the arts are being hit hard around our country.

I might add, that if you have concert tickets, you  might consider donating them back to the organization. The impact of Covid-19 may be catastrophic to many of those who make their living in the arts.

Many organizations are offering live streams of concert performances and operas. I’m starting a list below.

Tonight, tune in to your radio (or online at at 8 p.m. to WGUC 90.9 FM to hear a broadcast of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra‘s 125th anniversary concert. Here is my review for that performance of Jan. 18-19.

Here are a few ways to bring the concert hall into your living room:Read More »