Classical Roots hosts its first artist-in-residence

Kelly Hall-Tompkins is the first artist-in-residence for the CSO’s Classical Roots program.

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, winner of the Honorarium Prize in the 2003 Naumburg International Violin Competition and a career grant from the Concert Artists Guild, is the inaugural artist-in-residence for Classical Roots, an outreach program of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

During her residency this week, the violinist will visit City Gospel Mission, where she and CSO musicians will perform Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale” for clients. The performance is inspired by her not-for-profit Music Kitchen, which takes live classical music to homeless shelters in New York City.Read More »


Reviews: CSO’s musical comaraderie, and opera at CCM

Mozart wind band music
Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 was played for the first time in 85 years by the CSO.

Here are my reviews from two of the shows I saw this week, which you can read free on the Business Courier:

CSO demonstrates musical camaraderie in smaller works

Gianni Schicci_ml-6738-2
Gianni Schicchi cast — note that there are two casts — (Left to right) Antonio Cruz, Samson McCrady, Michael Hyatt, Chandler Johnson, Lisa Rogali, Tyler Johnson, Amy Joy Stevens, Zane Hill. Photo: Mark Lyons

And at CCM: From tragedy to comedy, CCM double bill is a treasure

Women’s musical accomplishments heralded in local concerts

Brianna Matzke will play a piano concert of music by women.
Photo provided

Women in music will be celebrated in — at last count — three local events in March, Women’s History Month.

Salon 21 is a series of intimate recitals, often held in people’s living rooms or other small venues, in the style of the 19th-century salon. For International Women’s Day, March 8 – an observance that goes back to 1911 in America — Salon 21 will host a concert with pianist Brianna Matzke playing a program of music written by female composers with a Cincinnati connection.Read More »

Early Music Celebration a ‘show-and-tell’ of unique instruments

Lutenist Christopher Wilke, left, and Jennifer Roig- Francoli on Baroque violin in a 2017 Caladrian Ensemble concert at Old St. Mary’s Church. Photo by Tina Gutierrez

You may not know it, but Cincinnati has a thriving early music scene. With the Cincinnati Early Music Celebration in full swing, there’s no better time to sample it than this month.

Early music can be described as music written before 1750 from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque periods. Practitioners try to perform it as authentically as possible on period instruments, such as lute, viola da gamba, recorder and harpsichord.

“We are spotlighting groups that do this,” said Christopher Wilke, organizer of this year’s Cincinnati Early Music Celebration. “We are not served by the mainstream classical community. It just falls between the cracks of what we know in America as classical music.”Read More »

‘ArtsWave Days’ to present 12 days of free fun

Visitors hear an opera performance in the beautifully restored Corbett Tower during a free open house at Music Hall in October

If you missed the free community open house when Music Hall reopened in October, you’ll have another chance during ArtsWave’s upcoming campaign. Music Hall will be open to all on March 24. It’s just one of 12 Saturdays of free fun spanning the entire ArtsWave campaign.

The goal for this year’s 2018 “Make Waves” campaign will be announced early on Thursday.

ArtsWave, the nation’s oldest and largest community arts fund, previously offered an Arts Sampler Weekend of live performances, art and more.

The new concept, ArtsWave Days, will feature events at different venues with different themes on each Saturday between February 3 and April 21. In all you’ll find more than 100 free community performances throughout the campaign.Read More »

Program for the ‘Violins of Hope’ concert

Cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn
Mark Lyons, photo

In case you’re wondering what the music might be in tomorrow night’s concert of the Violins of Hope at Music Hall, I’ve asked Evans Mirageas, who is curating the event, to give us a few hints. Here are the musical selections to expect on the program:

Mendelssohn’s Octet (Scherzo) and Gideon Klein’s “Partita for Strings” — The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra under music director Eckart Preu

Saint-Saens’ “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso” — Giora Schmidt, violinist and Elena Kholodova, pianist

Weiner, “Yossel der Klezmer” — Simon Barrad, baritone; Giora Schmidt, violin and Ksenia Polstiankina, piano

Traditional, “El Malei Rachamim” — Simon Barrad, baritone; Ksenia Polstiankina, piano

Bruch, “Kol Nidrei” — Ilya Finkelsteyn, cello,  Michael Chertock, piano

Prokofiev, Sonata For Two Violins (excerpts) — Gershon Gerchikov and Alexandra Kazovsky, violins (members of the Ariel Quartet)

J.S. Bach, Concerto for Two Violins, Strings and Continuo — Kathryn Woolley and Stefani Collins Matsuo, violins; Members of the CSO, Louis Langrée, conducting

For tickets call 513-621-2787 or visit