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 »


Kahane’s surprising encore in CSO appearance is unforgettable

Jeffrey Kahane delivered a ravishing performance of the Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major with the CSO. Provided, CSO

Pianist Jeffrey Kahane wowed in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. But it was his surprising encore that left the evening’s most indelible impression.

He made no announcement. But his somber, reflective improvisation on “America the Beautiful” felt like a memorial to the victims of the horrible events that had unfolded two days earlier in a Florida high school. The tune rested briefly in the minor mode before ending quietly. It was heartfelt and moving, and listeners stood in appreciation.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 »

Juanjo Mena’s ‘Leningrad’ Symphony with CSO vivid, powerful

Juanjo Mena led the CSO in Shostakovich’s sprawling “Leningrad” Symphony. Photos provided/CSO

It’s hard to fathom how Dmitri Shostakovich managed to write his Symphony No. 7, “Leningrad,” during wartime, even as the Nazis advanced and people were starving to death in his besieged city. In its first Leningrad performance, the players were given extra rations just to get through the 70-minute work.

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s performance of the sprawling, grandiose Seventh Symphony under Juanjo Mena would have made a powerful impact even without knowing that story. Its war-like imagery  — incessant drumming, trumpet fanfares, explosive outbursts in the brass and cynical themes in the winds — was brought vividly to life in Friday’s performance in Music Hall.Read More »

May Festival announces first woman conductor

Eun sun kim
Eun Sun Kim will be the first woman to lead the May Festival in its 145-year history. Photo provided/Cincinnati May Festival

Korea-born conductor Eun Sun Kim will make her Cincinnati May Festival debut on May 18, replacing James Levine, who was previously announced to open the season. The Cincinnati May Festival made the announcement on Thursday.

She will be the first woman to lead the festival in its 145-year history. The program is unchanged. Kim will lead the May Festival Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at Music Hall. 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 »