Randy Brecker to visit Caffe Vivace

It’s a chance to see a world-class trumpeter in a venue not much bigger than your living room, says Brent Gallaher, co-owner of Caffe Vivace in Walnut Hills.

Caffe Vivace, the hip new coffee house by day, jazz venue by night, is hosting Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker in its listening room next weekend. He’ll play four sets over two nights — Feb. 15 and 16 — with two different groups of outstanding local musicians.Read More »

Scot Woolley was a multi-talented performer and mentor to many

Scot Woolley at the keyboard with his brother, CSO violinist Stacey Woolley

Scot Woolley will be remembered as one of Cincinnati’s brightest stars and an indispensable member of the region’s arts community from Northern Kentucky to Dayton.

He was a gifted pianist, singer, conductor, arranger, dancer and composer who worked around the world. He was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a faculty member at Wright State University, where he was music director and voice instructor.

Mr. Woolley died on Jan. 26 after suffering a medical emergency while driving to his Westwood home. He was 60.

“A terrible void has been left and nobody can fill it,” said his brother, Stacey Woolley, a violinist in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. “Scot really revered the Great American Songbook and the old Broadway. He loved Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin and George Gershwin. He revered the lyrics of Johnny Mercer and the high bar that was set by the MGM Studio. That’s what he tried to pass along to the generation that followed, that you must look back and understand that you’re all standing on the shoulders of giants.”Read More »

Young musicians encouraged to apply for unique scholarship

Scholarship winners who performed last spring at Greenacres

Young musicians from across the Tristate area are invited to compete for the Nancy F. Walker Memorial Scholarships (total of $50,000) for singers and instrumentalists now being offered by Matinée Musicale Cincinnati.

These have been made possible by recent generous donations in memory of Nancy Fuldner Walker and a bequest from the estate of Louise Dieterle Nippert.

As an extension of its longtime mission to advance the careers of young instrumentalists and singers, Matinée Musicale invites applications from juniors and seniors in college and high school. Awards will be given to both instrumentalists and singers.Read More »

Chamber Orchestra clarinetist to perform at Holocaust & Humanity Center opening

John Kurokawa

As part of the community celebration of the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center on Sunday, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra principal clarinetist John Kurokawa will lead a program of music celebrating our nation’s diversity driven by immigration, and touching on local survivors’ stories featured in the new Holocaust Museum.

The Center opens to the public at its new home at Union Terminal on Sunday, Jan. 27.

Kurokawa performs a FREE concert of about an hour in length at 3 p.m. in Reikert Auditorium at Union Terminal.

His program includes  “Viktor’s Tale” from the movie The Terminal; Bonia Shur’s “Fleeting Thought” (the late composer at HUC was a Latvian native who escaped the Nazi invasion, fleeing to Israel and later moving to the United States where he would become a major musical force in the Reform Jewish Movement in America); and Messiaen’s “Abyss of the Birds,” a movement from the “Quartet for the End of Time,” which was written and premiered in a prisoner-of-war camp in Görlitz, Germany.

Sarah Weiss, executive director, talks about the mural at the entrance of the new location of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center at Union Terminal during a hard hat tour last month.

There will also be selections from the movie “Schindler’s List” as well as the music of Bella Kovacs, a celebration of Klezmer music.

Kurokawa will also perform the Sonata for clarinet and piano by Francis Poulenc, dedicated to the memory of his friend Arthur Honneger, which Kurokawa says is “a wistful and somber remembrance of his friend as well as a celebration of life.”

Read more about the new Holocaust and Humanity Center at Bizjournals.com/cincinnati. Remember, the Arts Front is free, but you may need to register for a FREE subscription.

Many refugees came through Union Terminal during World War II

Here’s the whole Grand Opening schedule on Sunday, Jan. 27:

1:00 PM Holocaust survivor & descendants processional followed by opening ceremony and ribbon cutting
2:00 PM Holocaust survivor Renate Frydman shares her husband’s survival story
3:00 PM Special performance by the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s John Kurokawa
Union Terminal was a welcome sight for the U.S. service men and women returning from the war, as well as for refugees.

4:00 PM The making of Cincinnati’s Newest Museum panel discussion with exhibit designers Berenbaum Jacobs & Associates and Jack Rouse Associates

For more info: holocaustandhumanity.org

Reviews in the New Year

I’m ,thinking how fitting it was to hear “Winter” from “The Four Seasons” this weekend, and then wake up to this. I meaasured 9 inches on my patio.

In case you missed the CSO reviews of the first two concerts of 2019, here are the links. Remember that you can sign up for a FREE subscription to the Arts Front at bizjournals.com/cincinnati.

Fireworks at Rach 3 in first concert of year. It’s amazing to think that Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor was the composer’s own calling card to play on an American tour in 1909. Like his more famous Second Concerto (which he played in Cincinnati on that tour), it is lushly scored and features one great romantic tune after another. But technically, the Third goes a step further with nonstop fireworks for the pianist.

Benjamin Beilman in his debut with the CSO, conducted from the harpsichord by Richard Egarr. Photo by Lee Snow

Beilman wows in Four Seasons with CSO. I don’t think I’ve heard Baroque music played with such atmosphere and emotion while maintaining the “historically informed” performance style of clear textures and brisk tempos.

 

Year in review: Great performances of 2018

It’s always revealing to look back at the best things I saw – and heard — over the year. Cincinnati audiences heard memorable performances, musical rarities and world premieres. There were also some musical milestones, such as the Cincinnati May Festival’s first concert conducted by a woman. Here are a few of my personal favorites from 2018.

Jamie Barton red dress sm
The incomparable Jamie Barton

In January, a rare recital: Jamie Barton and pianist Kathleen Kelly launched their road tour in the Queen City with the recital that they performed in December at Carnegie Hall. The recital tour was part of a big season for the mezzo-soprano, who was honored with the 2017 Beverly Sills Artist Award by the Metropolitan Opera. Her program was a journey of discovery — with many unexpectedly delicious moments. That was partly because, in a rare occurrence on concert stages today, fully half of her program consisted of music by women: Elinor Remick Warren, Lili and Nadia Boulanger, Amy Beach and Libby Larsen.

Presented by the venerable, 105-year-old music club Matinée Musicale, the event was held at the beautifully-restored, circa-1908 Memorial Hall in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine historic district.  Its 550-seat theater was packed to the rafters.Read More »

André Watts cancels Linton appearance

André Watts

The Linton Chamber Music series has announced that piano legend André Watts has had to cancel his January 20 and 21 appearances due to a temporary hand injury.The dates were to mark Watts’ second-ever performance on the chamber music series, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this season.

Pianist Anna Polonsky is stepping in to perform on the program, which has been revised.
Artistic directors Sharon Robinson (cello) and Jaime Laredo (violin), as well as violinist Bella Hristova and violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama will join Polonsky in Dvořák’s Piano Quintet, one of the most treasured works of the chamber music repertoire. Music by Mozart and Beethoven will round out the program.
Concerts are at 4 p.m. Jan. 20, First Unitarian Church in Avondale; 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Congregation Beth Adam, Loveland.
Tickets and information at lintonmusic.org; 513-381-6868 or email info@lintonmusic.org.