In the news: Local musicians win awards

Soprano Jessica Rivera (photo provided)

Cincinnati Song Initiative, established by Samuel Martin, is one of this year’s recipients of the arts network Ovation TV and Spectrum’s Stand for the Arts Awards. The new award is presented to arts organizations across the country who demonstrate efforts to be inclusive, accessible, and relevant to the needs of the communities they serve.

Cincinnati Song Initiative is one of 10 arts groups across the country to be honored. It will receive the award in a ceremony on Oct. 10 at Willis Music Steinway Gallery, 8118 Montgomery Rd.

Cincinnati Song Initiative kicks off its third season on Sept. 22 with Alma de España, a survey of art song from Spanish-speaking nations, 7:30 p.m. in Willis Music Steinway Gallery. The performers include Grammy Award-winning soprano Jessica Rivera, Mexican mezzo-soprano Paulina Villarreal, pianist Marie-France Lefebvre, and guitarist and lutenist William Willits. For information about the program and tickets, visit cincinnatisonginitiative.org.

Isaac Selya

Conductor Isaac Selya, known to local opera lovers as the founder of Queen City Opera, is the 2017-18 winner of The American Prize in Conducting in the professional opera division. He was recognized for Wagner’s Siegfried, in both Opera Production and Conducting.

Selya — who recently joined the music faculty as an orchestra conductor at Xavier Universitywas selected from applications reviewed recently from all across the United States. The American Prize recognizes the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize has awarded more than $50,000 in prizes in all categories since 2010, and is presented annually in many areas of the performing arts.

David Katz, chief judge and creator of The American Prize, was selected as one of Musical America’s “Professionals of the Year, 2016.” To see the other winners in all divisions, click here.

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Matinée Musicale announces grants to 10 arts programs

Students from MYCincinnati. Photo provided

Thanks to a bequest from the estate of the late arts patron Louise Dieterle Nippert, Matinée Musicale is awarding $72,000 in grants to 10 deserving music education and outreach programs in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

They are all achieving great things in the arts. The list:

Benjamin Carlson-Berne Scholarship Fund, which provides weekly private lessons and mentorship to youth of middle school age to high school age.Read More »

UC names new dean for CCM, and he’s a CCM grad

Kristi A. Nelson, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Cincinnati, today announced the appointment of Stanley E. Romanstein, PhD, as Dean of the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

Romanstein’s appointment becomes effective July 1, 2018, pending approval of the University’s Board of Trustees.

The CCM graduate returns to CCM from Georgia State University’s Creative Media Institute, where he has served as a professor of practice/music and the arts for the past four years. He was President and CEO of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (2010-14), among other posts.

Romanstein earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Carson-Newman College in 1976. He then came to CCM to earn a Master of Music in Choral Conducting in 1980 and a PhD in Music in 1990. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Israel in 1985-86 and in Japan in November-December 1998.

Read more about the new dean in the press release here.

Music critic Mary Ellyn Hutton: ‘The community was enriched by her knowledge’

Mary Ellyn Hutton wrote music criticism for 23 years for the Cincinnati Post.

Mary Ellyn Hutton will be remembered as a journalist with unflagging dedication to Cincinnati’s musical arts. The longtime classical music critic for the Cincinnati Post continued to cover the classical scene for more than a decade after the demise of Cincinnati’s afternoon newspaper in 2007.

She died surrounded by her family on May 28 after a battle with lung cancer. The Hyde Park resident was 77.Read More »

CSO’s Baroque gems with Bicket a rare treat

Countertenor Iestyn Davies joined Harry Bicket and the CSO in a rare Baroque concert at Music Hall. Photo provided by CSO/Kayla Moore

Harry Bicket’s Baroque concert of Handel and Rameau brought a breath of fresh air to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra over the weekend.

A glance at the program told the story of how rare it was to hear these Baroque gems in Music Hall. Every single piece on the program – even Handel’s Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 11 – was being performed by the orchestra for the first time.

And there was no better partner in this repertoire than the superb British countertenor Iestyn Davies, who made his Cincinnati debut in arias from Handel operas. Davies is one of a new generation of countertenors now making international waves. Read More »

André Watts, stellar artists to join Linton for 40th anniversary season

Andre watts8_print
André Watts

Superstar pianist André Watts and a stellar lineup of other artists will help Cincinnati’s Linton Music Series celebrate its 40th anniversary next season.

“In planning Linton’s 40th anniversary season, we wanted to uphold Dick Waller’s tradition of ‘music-making among friends’ that he established 40 years ago,” said co-artistic directors Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, speaking of Linton’s founder Dick Waller.

“The season features so many world-class artists that are looking forward to gathering in Cincinnati to make great music together. It’s the combination of these artists, intimate settings, and captivated audiences that really makes Linton Chamber Music concerts so special.”Read More »

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 »