Music Hall parking 101

It’s better to plan ahead for parking if you are going to Music Hall.

If you’ve gone to the Cincinnati Symphony, Pops or Cincinnati Ballet at Music Hall this fall, you’ve likely discovered that parking isn’t what it used to be. Here’s how to BE PREPARED for the new changes since Music Hall reopened after its 16-month renovation:

Parking for the CSO: In order to park in Washington Park Garage for the CSO, you need to purchase a $15 ticket ahead of time in order to get in. And sometimes those tickets are sold out. (That garage only holds 450 spaces, and some – but not all — of those are reserved on CSO concert nights.)Read More »


‘Around Cincinnati Christmas’ to feature local celebs, Christmas music

Carmon DeLeone reads “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” on Around Cincinnati Christmas

A holiday tradition continues with the 13th annual Around Cincinnati special airing at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Here’s the lineup of stories and music from producer/host Lee Hay:


A new reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” from the Cincinnati Ballet’s longtime conductor, Carmon DeLeone.

A new Memories from the Hills of Home story from Katie Laur.

Our theater contributor Rick Pender reads the story ‘Postage.”

CCM Professor Michael Burnham recites “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”


The late Katie Reider’s beautiful rendition of “Silent Night.”

Rosemary’s Clooney’s iconic “White Christmas” is featured

Maysville, Kentucky native Rosemary Clooney‘s performance of “White Christmas.”

Native American musician Douglas Blue Feather performs “Angels We Have Heard on High.”

Local Grammy nominee Zak Morgan sings ‘O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Hamilton, Ohio’s world group The Klaberheads perform their “Christmastime in Margaritaville.”

Cincinnati’s Keith Little (The Cincinnati Blues Man) with his rendition of “The Christmas Song.”

Adagio Trio (harp, flute, cello) performs “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Finally, it’s the Steve Schmidt Organ Trio with “Merry Christmas, Baby.”

Around Cincinnati Christmas will air at 7 p.m. on December 24 on 91.7 WVXU, 88.5 WMUB,, and on the free WVXU mobile app.

VAE’s ‘Candlelit Christmas’ a radiant celebration of the season

Earl Rivers with the Vocal Arts Ensemble and Canterbury Brass. The concert will air on WGUC (90.9) at 7 p.m. Thursday. Thanks to John Ewalt, photo.

The Vocal Arts Ensemble’s annual Candlelit Christmas concert offered transformative choral treats spanning centuries and continents.

Sunday’s concert in Over-the-Rhine’s Memorial Hall was packed – the third sellout of the season. And small wonder. The all-professional vocal ensemble has developed a following for its inventive programs and peerless execution.

With the collaboration of the Canterbury Brass, this program captured the holiday spirit with a few entertaining and humorous selections, too. Who could ever forget the brass quintet’s “Twelve Days of Christmas”? The clever arrangement by Howard Cable altered the lyrics to include “some brass music on a CD,” with a dozen snippets from the classical hit parade played by the brass musicians between verses. The audience cheered.Read More »

Music of the season

The Vocal Arts Ensemble

The holidays are upon us. You’ll find inspiring music in many of the region’s sacred spaces, as well as in the newly renovated Music Hall — now beautifully decorated for the holiday season. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite concerts coming up this month, and discovered a few new ones, too.Read More »

Levine’s May Festival appearance canceled amid sex abuse allegations

James Levine. Photo courtesy of the Met Orchestra.

The Cincinnati May Festival has canceled the appearance of James Levine this May following allegations over the weekend of sexual misconduct that began in the 1960s.

The festival announced on Monday that the performance of Verdi’s Requiem will take place as scheduled on May 18, 2018. A replacement conductor will be announced at a future date.

The festival’s decision followed news that the Metropolitan Opera has suspended Levine after reports surfaced that he had allegedly molested at least three young men for years, according to the New York Times.

Levine, now 74 and suffering from Parkinson’s disease, is a native of Cincinnati, where he began his musical training and was a graduate of Walnut Hills High School. He was scheduled to open the festival on May 18 with Verdi’s Requiem, a work that he conducted in New York on Saturday, which was broadcast live over public radio from the Met.

Levine was May Festival music director from 1973 to 1978. His last appearance at the festival was in 2005. His appearance was to have celebrated the return of the May Festival to Music Hall after its $143 million renovation.

The New York Post broke the news on Dec. 2 about a 2016 Illinois police report detailing the allegations of sexual abuse of a then-teenage musician in 1986, while Levine was music director at the Ravinia Festival outside of Chicago. Peter Gelb, general director of the Met, told the New York Times that, at the time, Levine had denied the accusation and the Lake Forest Police Department did not follow up.

However, in graphic accounts reported by Michael Cooper in the Times online edition on Sunday, two more men have come forward to allege sexual misconduct with Levine when they were teenagers.

Levine is one of the most celebrated conductors in America. Salacious rumors have swirled around his private life for decades, but he has consistently denied any wrongdoing.  According the Times, Gelb said that the Met had investigated allegations twice previously during Levine’s 40-year tenure at America’s most important opera house.

Levine has been a beloved figure at the Met, where he has conducted more than 2,500 performances. Now confined to a motorized wheelchair after widely-publicized health problems, he stepped down to become music director emeritus last year.

The Met has canceled his upcoming conducting engagements.