Who are the next leaders in the arts?

One of the most interesting stories I have had the privilege to write for the Business Courier was about 10 up-and-coming young arts patrons who will be guiding our great Cincinnati arts institutions in the decades to come. For as long as I’ve covered the arts here, there has been hand-wringing over who will replace those great philanthropists and board leaders who have gone before. The Nipperts and Corbetts are just two of most well-known names from the previous generation, among many others.

Cincinnati has a great history of generosity and stewardship that goes back more than a century. You only need to consider this:

The CSO turns 125 in 2020

Cincinnati Opera turns 100 in 2020

Art Academy of Cincinnati turns 150 in 2019

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music is celebrating its 150th this year.

That kind of legacy takes leadership and creativity. And it takes changing with the times. Who could have imagined that an arts event called Blink could bring a million people downtown last year?

These young leaders already hold some of the city’s most important board roles. I think the arts are and will be in very good hands.

So who are the 10? Read the story here.

Where to find arts news and reviews: Visit the new Arts Front at bizjournals.com/cincinnati. It’s free, but you may need to register for a free subscription. For the latest CSO review of Beethoven’s Ninth, click here.


Brahms Concerto shines with Ehnes in CSO season finale

James Ehnes performed Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major with the CSO. Photo provided

Violinist James Ehnes’ inspired playing in the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra over the weekend can only be described as masterful. The golden sound that he achieved on his 1715 Stradivarius violin was stunning. In Saturday’s concert, it was equally fascinating to hear Ehnes reveal the Cincinnati connection behind his $8 million instrument.Read More »

Terracotta Warriors have arrived

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the Chinese Terracotta Warriors exhibition right before the opening at Cincinnati Art Museum this week.  Here’s my interview for the Business Courier with co-curator Hou-mei Sung. It is a rare opportunity to see these Chinese treasures. And don’t forget, you need a timed ticket to see it.

Chinese officials were also here this week, as well as reporters from the China Daily News. Enjoy my small gallery of photos.Read More »

Sapling sculptures grow at Taft

So, earlier this week I took a peek at the environmental stick work sculptures that are going up on the lawn of the Taft Museum of Art. It was interesting to see the scaffolding-like structure that the sculptures were being created around.

Sculptor Patrick Dougherty happened to be there, working hard with his crew of volunteers, so I asked him what anchors them down. The saplings are actually planted into the ground. They don’t have roots, but sometimes they actually do sprout roots, he said.

Here’s my interview with him for the Business Courier. Enjoy the photos.

Read More »

Taft Museum: Volunteers needed for monumental stick sculpture

Ready or Not, (2013) North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, NC. Used by permission. Photo: Juan Villa

The Taft Museum of Art is seeking volunteers to work outdoors at the museum this April on a monumental art installation by Patrick Dougherty. Dougherty, who was born in Oklahoma and raised in North Carolina, specializes in creating large interactive sculptures out of tree saplings.

The sculpture will take three weeks to create — with your help — and it will last for two years. Visitors will be able to touch and walk through the sculpture.Read More »

How ‘cool pictures’ became a groundbreaking book about Music Hall


Matthew Zory. Photo by Michael Wilson

You’ve seen double bassist Matthew Zory performing in a tux with the bass section at the back of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra each week since he joined the orchestra in 1993.

But maybe you don’t know that for 16 months, Zory was inside Music Hall’s construction zone, wearing a hard hat with his camera slung over a shoulder, documenting the $143 million renovation project from the basement to the Rose Window.

“I could go anywhere, wherever I wanted,” said Zory, “When there were guys working overhead, they would put up danger tape. I know it’s a standard construction site — there were holes in the floor and no rails up yet. But the (construction crew) would help me out.”

What began as curiosity and a hunt for “cool pictures” by Zory, who “dabbles in photography,” evolved into a substantial photography book documenting the process and the people behind Music Hall’s renovation.

“Through the Lens: The Remaking of Cincinnati’s Music Hall,” a limited edition by Cincinnati Book Publishing, will be available Dec. 1.Read More »

Classical notes: Arts news around town

Young Professionals Choral Collective performing at Rhinegeist Brewery. Provided: YPCC

Innovative OTR chorus to host national directors, singers:  The Young Professionals Choral Collective (YPCC), the innovative local choir that is led by KellyAnn Nelson, plans to  bring together more than 150 young professionals and choir directors from across the country for a weekend of song and exploring the “City that Sings.”

The event, Oct. 21-22, will share the innovative choral collective model with national choral leaders.

YPCC artistic director KellyAnn Nelson

What makes this choir so special? The group appeals to 20-to-40-somethings who love to sing and socialize — sometimes simultaneously.  They rehearse, perform concerts and — yes, party too — in bars, breweries and other alternative venues in the OTR area. The chorus is diverse, with as many men as women. They perform demanding literature, and do it well. Since Nelson founded it in 2012, membership has swelled to more than 900.Read More »