Jamie Barton gives voice to women in music

The time is right, says opera mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, seen here in the Richard Tucker Gala, to put women composers in the spotlight. Photo by Dario Acosta

“Being able to do a brilliant piece by a female composer written in my own language — it feels very much like home,” said mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton.

Barton, a young American opera singer whose sumptuous voice is being compared to that of legends such as Kirsten Flagstad, was discussing the recital program that she will sing for Matinée Musicale next week. Cincinnati is a stop in her five-concert tour that began in December at Carnegie Hall.

Notably, half of her selections are by women: Elinor Remick Warren, Lili and Nadia Boulanger, Amy Beach and Libby Larsen. Even though women are gaining more recognition in classical music than perhaps ever before in history, it’s still remarkable to find concert programs that include very much, if any, music by women.

The time was right, Barton felt, to put women in the spotlight.Read More »


In memoriam Nancy Walker: Arts patron, influential classical music devotee

Nancy Walker with ClaireHuangci__ 2015
Nancy Walker shown with pianist Claire Huangci

Nancy Fuldner Walker was devoted to Cincinnati’s arts, with a special passion for Matinée Musicale.

An accomplished pianist, oboist and teacher, Mrs. Walker headed the 105-year-old music club for nearly five decades. During her tenure, Matinée Musicale presented a stellar roster of rising stars, thanks to her contacts with artist agents and her immense knowledge about the classical music industry.

“Walker was the heart and soul of Matinée Musicale, selecting music performers for recitals on their way to famous careers,” said Rick Pender, a theater critic and member of Matinée Musicale. “Her knowledge, judgment and great musical instincts sustained the organization at the forefront of local presenters for nearly half of its 105-year existence.”

Mrs. Walker died on Oct. 30 at Jewish Hospital. The longtime resident of Mount Lookout was 87.Read More »

It’s almost Fall — Matinee Musicale turns 104

I can’t believe the fall season is upon us. I am getting season lineups daily in my inbox, and I’m going to try to post many of them on this blog.

First up is the 104th season of the venerable Matinee Musicale, which has launched the Cincinnati debuts of hundreds of major artists. Mark your calendars:

Sept. 18: Cellist Amit Peled performs a Tribute to Casals. The Israeli musician will perform two recitals on his historic Gofriller cello (1733) that once belonged to the eminent Pablo Casals, loaned to him by Casals’ widow Marta.  His program features music the legendary cellist frequently performed in recitals. Sunday, Sept. 18, 3 p.m., at Anderson Town Center (7850 Five Mile Road, Cincinnati 45230),

On Monday, Sept. 19, the personable Peled will offer a lecture/recital, “Journey with My Jewishness,” discussing his personal, musical and spiritual evolution. His program will include traditional numbers as well as Max Bruch’s “Kol Nidrei,” Mark Kopytman’s “Kaddish” and Ernest Bloch’s three scenes “From Jewish Life.”  Sept. 19,  7:30 p.m., a program presented jointly with the Isaac M. Wise Center (8329 Ridge Road, Cincinnati 45236), Read More »