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Abdullah Impresses in His CSO Debut

    Posted: Oct 10, 2014 - 3:32:10 PM in: reviews_2014
Kazem Abdullah
American conductor Kazem Abdullah returned to Cincinnati to make his debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Oct. 9 at Music Hall in a well-chosen program, including a CSO premiere, a well-loved symphony and a pair of iconic 20th-century works. Born in Indiana, Abdullah grew up in Dayton, was principal clarinetist of the CSO Youth Orchestra and graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
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Langrée, CSO Bring Sea to Music Hall

    Posted: Sep 26, 2014 - 4:41:09 PM in: reviews_2014
Emanuel Ax
Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra brought the sea closer to Cincinnati Sept. 26 at Music Hall, with Debussy's "La Mer" and other maritime-themed works. Drenching the program with virtuosity was guest artist Emanuel Ax in Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor.
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Catacoustic Consort Brings Rare Program to Cincinnati

    Posted: Sep 22, 2014 - 4:31:17 PM in: reviews_2014
Buxtehude playing a viol, from "A Musical Party" by Johannes Voorhout (1674)
Cincinnati's early music series Catacoustic Consort opened its 2014-15 with a performance of the rarely heard "Membra Jesu Nostri," a set of seven cantatas by Danish-German composer Dieterich Buxtehude (famously known as the composer Johann Sebastian Bach walked 200 miles to hear). With authentic instruments, fine voices and the welcoming interior of the Church of the Advent in Walnut Hills, it made for a sublime experience.

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Mozart, Adams Combine for Perfect CSO Opening

    Posted: Sep 20, 2014 - 3:57:02 PM in: reviews_2014
Martin Fröst
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, led by music director Louis Langr
ée, opened its 2014-15 subscription season with a balanced program of Mozart and John Adams Sept. 19 in Music Hall. Guest artist in Mozart's intimate Clarinet Concerto was Swedish clarinetist Martin Frost. Adams' large scale Harmonielehre, a CSO premiere, made the perfect contrast to close the concert.
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CSO Sells Out Music Hall with Lang Lang, Beethoven

    Posted: Sep 14, 2014 - 2:37:39 PM in: reviews_2014
Lang Lang
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra opened its 120th season Sept. 13 at Music Hall with a triple threat: pianist Lang Lang, music director Louis
Langrée returning for his second season with the orchestra, and Beethoven. The result was a sellout, a rare accomplishment in 3,500-seat Music Hall.
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Cellist Miranda Brings Piatti into Focus

    Posted: Sep 4, 2014 - 1:29:48 PM in: reviews_2014
With this, his second solo CD, Venezuelan-American cellist Carmine Miranda makes an important contribution to the cello’s recorded repertoire. With Miranda's new release of  Carlo Alfredo Piatti's 12 Caprices for Solo Cello, it is to be hoped that the once-renowned cellist/composer will again grace the concert stage.
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Langrée's Inaugural Release with the CSO Powerful

    Posted: Aug 19, 2014 - 2:37:29 PM in: reviews_2014
With Aaron Copland's "A Lincoln Portrait," narrated by Dr. Maya Angelou, and world premieres by David Lang and Nico Muhly, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's first recording with music director Louis Langr
ée also celebrates the CSO's history of experimentation and innovation.

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LumenoCity Encore Thrilling

    Posted: Aug 2, 2014 - 3:06:03 PM in: reviews_2014
LumenoCity 2014, encore to LumenoCity 2013, was a well-done, well-attended event August 1 in Washington Park in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. With "projection mapping" by Cincinnati design and production company Brave Berlin -- digital images projected onto the facade of Music Hall and "choreographed" to the music -- it was a feast for the eyes and the ears.

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Cincinnati Opera's "Calisto" is Stylish Baroque Venture

    Posted: Jul 21, 2014 - 1:39:13 PM in: reviews_2014
Daniel Okulitch as Jove and Nathalie Paulin as Calisto (photo by Philip Groshong)
(first published at classicalvoiceamerica.org)
Francesco Cavalli's 1652 opera "La Calisto" was a first for Cincinnati Opera July 17, 2014 in Corbett Theater at the newly constructed School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. First-ever Baroque opera in the company's 94-year history, it delighted a sold-out crowd in the intimate, 750-seat theater, an alternative venue for smaller Cincinnati Opera productions.

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Puts' "Silent Night" Finds Light in the Darkness

    Posted: Jul 11, 2014 - 3:29:40 PM in: reviews_2014
L to R: Phillip Addis as Audebert, Thomas Blondelle as Nikolaus, Erin Wall as Anna and Andrew Wilkowske as Ponchel in Kevin Puts' "Silent Night," Cincinnati Opera, July, 2014
Cincinnati Opera's performance of Kevin Puts' 2011 opera "Silent Night" July 10, 2014 at Music Hall coincided with the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. Set to Mark Campbell's libretto based on the 2005 French film "Joyeux
Noël," the works casts light on a war that changed the world and on the nature of war itself.
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NANOWorks Closes Season Powerfully

    Posted: Jul 1, 2014 - 10:24:39 AM in: reviews_2014
L to R: Joel Wolcott, Brian Gonzalez and Lauren McAllister in Eric Knechtges' "Last Call," premiered by NANOWorks June, 2014
Cincinnati-based NanoWorks (North American New Opera Workshop) closed its 2013-14 season with a pair of short works, presented in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City (catalyst of the LGBT civil rights movement). Brooklyn composer Marie Incontrera's "At the Other Side of the Earth" (2012) was a Midwest premiere. Northern Kentucky University professor Eric Knechtges' "Last Call" (2014) was a world premiere.

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Cellist Samis Makes the Case for Reinecke Concerto

    Posted: Jun 26, 2014 - 3:50:22 PM in: reviews_2014
Asked to make his first CD for Delos, cellist Michael Samis searched out a forgotten work, the Op. 82 Cello Concerto by German composer Carl Reinecke. Convinced by what he learned from a piano reduction score (there were no orchestra parts), he finally discovered orchestra parts in a library in Philadelphia. After premiering the work in February, 2013 with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra in Tennessee, he recorded the work and presents in an attractive new release with works by Schumann, Ernest Bloch, John TavenerOsvaldo Golijov.

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Cincinnati Opera's "Carmen" Unqualified Success

    Posted: Jun 13, 2014 - 2:12:31 PM in: reviews_2014
Daniel Okulitch as Escamillo (center),Stacey Rishoi as Carmen (seated center front) in act II of Bizet's "Carmen"
It is rare that everything comes together in opera, but it did for Cincinnati Opera's "Carmen" by Georges Bizet June 12 at Music Hall, with splendid singing, acting, an eye-filling production and lithe, well-crafted conducting by French conductor Marc Piollet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

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Mahler Resplendent at May Festival

    Posted: May 18, 2014 - 9:14:04 PM in: reviews_2014
(first published at www.ConcertoNet.com)
The final program of the 2014 Cincinnati May Festival comprised Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 May 17 at Music Hall. With 3,516 seats and prized acoustics, Music Hall makes an ideal venue for Mahler’s so-called “Symphony of a Thousand.” For this performance, led by music director James Conlon, the participants totaled 496 by official count, with the May Festival Chorus, Nashville Symphony Chorus, Cincinnati Children’s Choir, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, eight soloists and an offstage brass choir.
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Beethoven, Tchaikovsky Come Together for Second May Festival Weekend

    Posted: May 17, 2014 - 12:57:48 PM in: reviews_2014
Cincinnati May Festival, May 16, 2014. front L to R: Erin Wall, Sara Murphy, James Conlon, Rodrick Dixon, Kristinn Sigmundsson
The second weekend of the 2014 Cincinnati May Festival opened with works by the mature Beethoven and the student Tchaikovsky. The one was his monumental Ninth Symphony, the other Tchaikovsky's graduation thesis from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. The thread tying them together was Friedrich Schiller's "Ode to Joy."

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