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 »


‘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 »

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 »

‘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.

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 »

Review: Pops ‘Star Wars’ show is glorious tribute to John Williams

a multi-generational crowd filled Music Hall for the “Star Wars” show at the Pops. Mark Lyons, photo.

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, John Williams composed the first soundtrack for “Star Wars.” That collaboration with George Lucas  (later subtitled “A New Hope”) launched one of the most successful  space epic film series of all time.  Today, it’s hard to imagine these space odysseys where aliens and humanoids coexist with robotic droids without Williams’ thrilling symphonic scores.

On Friday, Williams’ music, famous for its big brass and sweeping strings, took the starring role, as John Morris Russell led the Cincinnati Pops in a retrospective of some of the Hollywood legend’s greatest themes. The second half of the program was entirely devoted to the “Star Wars” franchise, while the first sampled from other films, such as “Harry Potter” and “E.T.”

It was the Pops’ first performance in Music Hall following a $143 million renovation that has updated the 140-year-old building and completely reconfigured the orchestra’s home in Springer Auditorium. A multi-generational, sold-out crowd filled the hall. In the new Pops configuration, it seats nearly 2,500. (A few tickets might be available for Sunday’s show.) Read More »

Don’t miss BLINK

BLINK Parade
Example of a parade such as will be seen at BLINK tonight at 7 p.m. Photo provided

BLINK starts tonight with a parade from Findlay Market to Washington Park in OTR. What exactly is BLINK? Think Lumenocity on steriods. The four-night event, 7 p.m. to midnight each night, is a spectacle of light “projection mapping,” art installations, lighted displays, Cincinnati’s famous murals “painted” with light, and much more, along the path of the Cincinnati Bell Connector. There will be interactive displays for “hands-on” participation as well as live entertainment all along the 3.6 mile streetcar line, from Findlay Market to The Banks.

And it’s all free.

“It’s shaped around unity and the values we hold as a community,” says Timothy Maloney, president & CEO of the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, founding sponsor.

But with 60 attractions spanning 20 city blocks, you need a plan. Take it all in (or parts of it over a few days) by planning dinner, drinks or a performance in tandem. I plan to go the Cincinnati Pops season opener in the newly renovated Music Hall — which is incidentally right across the street from many of the attractions, and right on the streetcar line. I might decide to just jump on the streetcar and hop on and off.

Click here to see the map or download the event guide.

However you decide to see it, you can be sure that BLINK will be like nothing Cincinnati has ever seen.