My favorite things: Winter arts picks in classical music and dance

The arts are in full swing when it’s cold outside. Here are a few of my favorite things to “clip and save” in the coming weeks from Classical and Dance calendars:

Aaron and Bryce Dessner performed Bryce Dessner?s ?St. Carolyn by the Sea? with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra last year. Photo courtesy of CSO
Aaron and Bryce Dessner performed Bryce Dessner’s “St. Carolyn by the Sea” with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra last year. Photo courtesy of CSO

MusicNOW: Bryce Dessner’s MusicNOW Festival enters its 11th season in March. Details are still to be announced, but you can bet that there will be bold musical choices and interesting collaborations. The festival has evolved from its indie-rock roots – and some of the biggest names in contemporary music — into a full-fledged collaboration with symphony orchestra in Music Hall – last year with Dessner’s band, The National. Best of all, that aura of experimentation has continued – in smaller venues around the city, and even in the lobbies of Music Hall. Dessner collaborates with Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in two evenings that are sure to be creative, and maybe even inspiring. Because, Dessner said last year, “I believe in the transporting power of music.” 8 p.m. March 18 and 19, Music Hall, Over-the-Rhine. Tickets: 513-381-3300; Watch for the full lineup of festival events to be announced soon.

The Ariel Quartet
The Ariel Quartet

The Ariel Quartet: The quartet-in-residence at CCM, is joined by clarinetist David Krakauer, who specializes in Klezmer, world music, classical and jazz. Their inventive program includes Debussy’s ravishing String Quartet in G Minor, Webern’s Six Bagatelles, Op. 9; and Osvaldo Golijov’s “The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind,” featuring Krakauer on clarinet. 8 p.m., Jan. 26, Corbett Auditorium. Tickets: $25; $15 non-UC students, UC students free. 513-556-4183,

Orchestra of voices: Chanticleer, the Grammy Award-winning male vocal ensemble, returns with an all new a cappella program. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19, St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, Downtown. Tickets: $40; $15 students. 513-421-2222,

Baroque violinist Krista Feeney joins Catacoustic Consort
Baroque violinist Krista Feeney joins Catacoustic Consort

Cincinnati Early Music Festival: Superstar Baroque violinist Krista Bennion Fenney joins Catacoustic Consort, Cincinnati’s early music ensemble, for music from the early days of virtuoso violin playing. She plays Bach, Biber and Leclair, accompanied by viola da gamba and harpsichord. It’s just one of 20 events throughout the metro area in February as part of the Early Music Festival – 1,000 years of early written music played on period instruments. 3 p.m. Feb. 14, Church of the Advent, Walnut Hills. Tickets: 513-772-3242, To see the whole calendar visit

Year of the Monkey: The Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society celebrates the New Year with the Beijing Bamboo Orchestra, Jianbin Hu (who has played with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble) and cellist Yijia Fang, with the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Mark Gibson, conductor. 7:30 p.m., Feb. 20, Corbett Auditorium, CCM. Tickets: Contact the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society at 513-658-3852 or 513-600-0143 or e-mail

Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander

George from Seinfeld: Jason Alexander, also known as George Costanza of “Seinfeld,” takes center stage with John Morris Russell and the Cincinnati Pops in three evenings of song, dance and comedy. The program includes music from “The Music Man,” “Pippin” and “Merrily We Roll Along.” 8 p.m. March 4, 8 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6, Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Tickets: 513-381-3300;

Voices Remembered with Hope: Celebrated violinist Daniel Hope curates a Linton Music program of chamber music by composers whose voices were silenced by the Holocaust, including Krasa and Schulhoff. Artists include the CSO’s concertmaster Timothy Lees, former principal cellist Eric Kim, violinist Benny Kim, violist Philip Dukes, cellist Keith Robinson and pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips. 4 p.m. March 6, First Unitarian Church, Avondale; 7:30 p.m. March 7, Congregation Beth Adam, Loveland. Tickets: $30. 513-381-6868,

Mary, Queen of Scots: CCM Opera d’arte presents Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda” in Cohen Family Studio Theater at CCM. A treasure of “bel canto” (beautiful singing), the opera tells a story of intrigue and tragedy, based on the lives of the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots (Mary Stuart) and her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. 8 p.m. March 11 and 12; 2 p.m. March 13. Free, but reservations required. 513-556-4183;


Cincinnati Ballet's "Cinderella" will include children in the cast
Cincinnati Ballet’s “Cinderella” will include children in the cast

Belle of the Ball: Cincinnati Ballet’s “Cinderella” returns to the Aronoff Center for Valentine’s Day weekend. Choreographed by Victoria Morgan, the fairytale production has been freshened since its last outing in 2010 with new choreography, refurbished sets and updated costumes. All of your favorites will be on hand: the hilarious stepsisters (male dancers in drag), the enchanted pumpkin and of course, Cinderella and Prince Charming. New this time: More children’s roles and Cinderella’s mice will be played by puppets. Carmon DeLeone conducts the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Prokofiev’s glorious score. 8 p.m. Feb. 12; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Feb. 13; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14, Aronoff Center, Downtown. Tickets from $32. 513-621-5282,

Exhale Dance Tribe presents “Wohali.” The name is the Cherokee Native American Indian word for ‘Eagle’ and illustrates the duality between earth/sky and (wo)man/bird. Wohali is a meditation on sacred messenger connecting the two continents by this majestic, elusive bird. 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., March 5, Jarson-Kaplan Theatre, Aronoff Center. $32.25, 513-621-2787,

“Wild Sweet Love.” Cincinnati Ballet’s The company collaborates with BalletMet Columbus in works by dance legend George Balanchine, Cincinnati Ballet favorite Trey McIntyre and BalletMet’s artistic director Edwaard Liang. The showcase features the corps de ballet in Balanchine’s “Who Cares?”, choreographed to Gershwin’s “The Man I Love,” “I Got Rhythm” and “Who Cares?” 8 p.m. March 18; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. March 19: Tickets: 513-621-5282,


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