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Flutist Bezaly Bows in with Mozart

    Posted: Sep 22, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
Not a bad mix, Mozart and Bartok, both of which got special treatment Friday morning at Music Hall. Guest artist with Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony was flutist Sharon Bezaly, who put both artistry and showmanship into Mozart's Concerto No. 2 in D Major and Andante in C Major, K.315. After intermission, Järvi and the CSO delivered a superlative performance of the Bartok,   - [Read more]

"Masters and Commanders," "Magma," New CDs from Kunzel and Järvi

    Posted: Sep 20, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
A couple of outstanding new CDs evoke land and sea: Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops' salt-sprayed "Masters and Commanders" and the aptly named "Magma" by Erkki-Sven Tüür featuring percussionist Evelyn Glennie with Paavo Järvi and the Estonian National Orchestra.
  - [Read more]

Paavo Järvi Opens Seventh Season with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

    Posted: Sep 15, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
It felt like home at the Cincinnati Symphony's opening concert of the season Friday night at Music Hall. 113th season for the CSO, seventh for music director Paavo Järvi.   - [Read more]

Really grand "Aida"

    Posted: Jul 26, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
Now that's grand opera. Even without the elephant. Verdi's "Aida" marched onstage Wednesday night at Music Hall with all the creatures in place that make opera the ultimate theatrical experience.   - [Read more]

Building Bridges: Black Violin

    Posted: Jun 1, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007, commentary_2007
Good things do happen on Friday the 13th.  One of them was Black Violin, featured on "The Mayor's 801 Plum Concert” held in Cincinnati city council chambers at City Hall in April.
The African-American duo – violinist "Kev Marcus” (Kevin Marcus Sylvester) and violist "Wil-B” (Wilner Baptiste) brought a new perspective to the municipal arena, not by beating city hall, but by bringing a beat to it.

  - [Read more]

A May Festival Premiere for "L'Enfance du Christ"

    Posted: May 26, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
This was the premiere May Festival performance of this piece and perhaps James Conlon said it best, when in his opening comments, he remarked: “I don’t know how the May Festival missed this piece.”   - [Read more]

Viva Verdi, May Festival

    Posted: May 21, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
Music director James Conlon brought Italian opera back to the May Festival with a vengeance Saturday night at Music Hall. The occasion was a concert performance of Verdi’s “Il Travatore,” an opera which is all about vengeance. It’s been nearly 20 years since the last complete Italian opera was heard on a May Festival program (Verdi’s lesser known “Luisa Miller” in 1988).   - [Read more]

Haydn's "Seasons" Mirrors Life

    Posted: May 19, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
Haydn was 69 when he finished his oratorio, "The Seasons" in 1801, not quite as old as the Cincinnati May Festival (134) but feeling his mortality nonetheless (he died eight years later in 1809).  In a way, it was his life story, combining seriousness and reflection with his trademark humor and down-to-earth humanity.   - [Read more]

Muni's "Werther" at CCM Fraught with Beauty, Meaning

    Posted: May 12, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
“Werther," the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s production of Jules Massenet’s opera that opened Thursday evening in Corbett Auditorium, has as many layers as an onion. Make that a rose, for director Nicholas Muni’s concept, as realized by the faculty and student artists at CCM, is far more beautiful.   - [Read more]

Cincinnati Sound Soars on Season Finale

    Posted: May 4, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
The last notes heard on the Cincinnati Symphony’s final concert of the season Thursday evening at Music Hall were principal hornist Elizabeth Freimuth’s soft echo of the hymn of thanksgiving in Beethoven’s "Pastorale" Symphony, capped by an affirmative, fortissimo chord. How fitting. It has been quite a year and “quite a week,” said CSO president Steven Monder, who announced that music director Paavo Järvi, 44, will lead the CSO until at least 2011 under the terms of an "evergreen" contract extension ratified by the board of trustees Wednesday.
  - [Read more]

Trumpeter Balsom Debuts in Cincinnati

    Posted: Apr 28, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
Just back from a successful (and scenic) tour of Southern California, Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra painted some vivid soundscapes for the home audience Friday morning at Music Hall. Two tone poems by Sibelius, "Night Ride and Sunrise" and "The Bard," had their CSO premieres on the concert, which also marked the CSO debut of English trumpeter Alison Balsom.   - [Read more]

Violinist Kuusisto, CSO Pack Surprises in Nordic Program

    Posted: Apr 13, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
Nordic was the theme of Thursday night's Cincinnati Symphony concert at Music Hall.  Led by music director Paavo Järvi, the program had the “one from column A, one from column B, one from column C” configuration. But there were surprises. “Zeitraum," by Jarvi's fellow Estonian Erkki-Sven Tüür, was a CSO premiere. Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 (Inextinguishable”) had a touch of theater. Most surprising of all was the Violin Concerto by Sibelius, direct from column A, featuring guest artist Pekka Kuusisto in his CSO debut.   - [Read more]

"Polusmiak and Friends" Anchor Chamber Music in Northern Kentucky

    Posted: Apr 2, 2007 - 12:00:30 AM in: reviews_2007
Music in Greater Cincinnati just got richer with the debut of Northern Kentucky University’s “New Beginnings” Sunday afternoon in Greaves Concert Hall.
The series, three chamber music concerts a year featuring pianist/NKU artist-in-residence Sergei Polusmiak with local and international artists, is the first ongoing chamber music series in Northern Kentucky.
  - [Read more]

Berlioz Reaps a Roar

    Posted: Mar 26, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
You might hear it in a stadium or a basketball arena. But the roar that went up at the end of Berlioz’ “Symphonie fantastique” Saturday night at Music Hall was out-of-the-ordinary for the Cincinnati Symphony. It was unanimous and sustained, and when the crowd refused to stop, music director Paavo Järvi led a fitting encore, the “Rakoczy March” from Berlioz’ “Damnation of Faust.”   - [Read more]

KSO Current, Resourceful, Accomplished

    Posted: Mar 19, 2007 - 12:00:00 AM in: reviews_2007
The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra showcased red, white and blue music Sunday afternoon in Northern Kentucky University’s Greaves Hall. Led by KSO music director James R. Cassidy, “Made in the USA” spanned 61 years (1936-1997), from Aaron Copland to John Adams. A distinguished visitor, clarinetist Ricardo Morales, did the honors in Copland’s 1948 Clarinet Concerto.   - [Read more]