Weather alert: May Festival’s ‘Messiah’ community sing postponed

Cincinnati May Festival

The Cincinnati May Festival has announced that its community sing event, scheduled for Saturday Jan. 13 in Music Hall, has been postponed due to the weather. The event will now take place on Jan. 20.

Here are the details:

Have you always wanted to sing with the world-famous May Festival Chorus? The chorus is hosting a free Community Sing at Music Hall with conductor Robert Porco and the May Festival Chorus, now slated for Jan. 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the chorus rehearsal hall at Music Hall.

The May Festival seeks singers of all voice types to join an all-new May Festival Community Chorus, a volunteer ensemble that will perform with the May Festival Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in a complete performance of Handel’s Messiah on May 26, 2018. Read More »


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 »

Review: Goossens symphony a pleasant surprise

Garrick Ohlsson made his 15th appearance with the CSO. Photo provided, by Dario Acosta

Nearly 74 years after Eugene Goossens put the finishing touches on his Symphony No. 2 in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra gave its Music Hall premiere.

Goossens’ Symphony may have been an unknown curiosity to most concertgoers in Saturday’s Cincinnati Symphony concert, the first of 2018. But guest conductor Sir Andrew Davis made a strong case for the work, which turned out to be a surprisingly good piece that was well-executed by the orchestra.

Frigid temperatures didn’t keep the audience away, for there was also a very fine known entity on the program. Pianist Garrick Ohlsson, in his 15th appearance with the orchestra, delivered an engaging performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, followed by a memorable Beethoven encore. And the evening opened with J.S. Bach’s lovely chorale prelude “Sleepers Wake,” as orchestrated by Leopold Stokowski.Read More »

Clip and save: What to see this winter

The incomparable Jamie Barton performs Jan. 26 at Memorial Hall

Baby it’s cold outside – but Winter is the season when the arts heat up. In the coming weeks, there are many tempting concerts and events to warm you up. So, bundle up, because there are a few that you won’t want to miss.

Jan. 11-12: Canticle. The Vocal Arts Ensemble reprises Kile Smith’s gorgeous “Canticle,” a setting of the biblical Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs), 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 and 12 in Memorial Hall. Tickets start at $25. 513-381-3300,

Jan. 12-13: Conlon returns. James Conlon, music director laureate of the Cincinnati May Festival, returns to conduct the CSO in Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. Violinist Jennifer Frautschi is soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Music Hall. Tickets: 513-381-3300,

James Conlon at the 2016 May Festival
Photo provided

Jan. 19: Star soloist at Moveable Feast. CCM’s biggest fundraiser, this year on Friday, Jan. 19, will feature a performance by alumnus and star trumpeter Brian Newman, who will solo with the CCM Jazz Orchestra as the “opening course” in the CCM Village.  Read More »

Year in review: Classical music made news in 2017

The orchestra is now seated on risers, shown here on the “thrust” stage.

The year 2017 was a year of big change for Cincinnati’s arts organizations. The most significant story – one that garnered a large piece in the New York Times — was about Music Hall, home to the city’s major performing arts groups, which finished up a massive, ambitious renovation costing at least $143 million.

Music Hall reopened with fanfare on Oct. 6 and 7. The weekend included a community open house that drew thousands. Opening night revelers basked in the elegant new decor and patron-friendly amenities, which include cup holders for the first time on wider seats, more bars and more restrooms.

Reuben Springer now presides over a new bar at Music Hall.

There are now more than 1,000 fewer seats and Springer Auditorium is physically smaller. The musicians sit on risers on a new “thrust” stage, 12 feet closer to the audience than before. All of that – including new materials such as concrete floors – means that the acousticians are still in the “tuning” phase of what is really a new hall-within-a-hall.

Memorial Hall’s renovation beautifully preserved the historic theater (built by Hannaford & Sons) and also enhanced the acoustics. Shown here with the Vocal Arts Ensemble. Photo by Michael T. Moore, Jr.

The renovation was just one sign of the importance of Cincinnati’s growing arts district surrounding Washington Park. Read More »