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Piano Weekend and More in Cincinnati

Mary Ellyn Hutton
Posted: Jul 8, 2008 - 8:20:52 PM in news_2008

Michael Cavanaugh
It’s the weekend of the piano in Cincinnati.
   Singer/pianist Michael Cavanaugh, alias Billy Joel, alias The Piano Man, comes to Riverbend at 8 p.m. July 12 for “Music of Billy Joel and More” with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra led by Steven Reineke.
   Meanwhile, pianists in the artist division of the 2008 World Piano Competition will be preparing for the winners’ gala concert at 3 p.m. July 13 in Jarson-Kaplan Theatre at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.
    The emphasis will be on the vocal across the river in Kentucky with the first of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra’s summer al fresco concerts at 7:30 p.m. July 11 at Boone Woods Park, 7:30 p.m. July 12 in Covington’s Devou Park Amphitheatre.  Theme of the concert, to be led by KSO music director James R. Cassidy, is “one-hit wonders,” 50 years of them, including Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine.”
poster art for Cincinnati Opera's "Florencia en el Amazonas" by Daniel Catan
And don’t forget Cincinnati Opera’s regional premiere of Daniel Catan’s “Florencia en el Amazonas” at 7:30 p.m. July 10 and 12 at Music Hall (see story in Features).  The opera, to be sung in Spanish with English supertitles, is loosely based on Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’ novel “Love in a Time of Cholera.”   P.S. For information and to see Cincinnati Opera artistic director Evans Mirageas fly, see www.cincinnatiopera.org
   The Pops’ “Piano Man” Michael Cavanaugh was hand-picked by Joel to perform his music in “Movin’ Out,” which played 1,307 performances on Broadway from 2002-05.  The show takes its name from the Billy Joel single of the same name (also known as “Anthony’s Song”) from his 1977 album “The Stranger.”  Cavanaugh will perform Joel’s greatest hits, plus music of Elton John, The Who and others.
    Tickets are $26-$46, $12.50 for children 12 and under (pavilion) and $18, children 12 and under free with a ticketed adult (lawn).  Call (513) 381-3300, or order online at www.cincinnatipops.org.
Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati, Ohio
World Piano Competition semi-finals are 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 3-6 p.m. July 11 in Jarson-Kaplan Theatre.  Admission is free.
    Tickets are $35, $10 for students and seniors, for the July 13 finals concert at 3 p.m. at JKT.  Get them at the Aronoff Center ticket office, 650 Walnut St. downtown from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, order online at www.cincinnatiarts.org./ticket or call (513) 621-2787.
    Contestants will perform concerto movements with orchestra conducted by Giselle Ben-Dor.  Judges are Oksoo Han and Hyekyung Liz Yoon ( South Korea), George Vatchanadze ( Republic of Georgia), Robert Thomas (U.S.A.) and Dor ( Uruguay). 
   Eighteen pianists ages 18-30 from nine countries are participating in this year’s artist division.  They are: Inkyung Bae, Yoonjung Han, DoHaeng Jung, Jayoung Kim and Sangmi Lim of South Korea, Dror Baitel of Israel, Yunjie Chen, Mudi Han, Rui Shi and Nicole Wang of China, Tihamer Hlavacsek of Hungary, Claire Huangci of the U.S.A., Alex Peh of Malaysia, Jose Menor of Spain  and Irma Svanadze of Georgia.  Winners receive cash prizes and performance opportunities.
    You can see videos of the contestants performing their qualifying preliminary auditions on the Fountain Square LED board from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 9 and in rotation until July 15.
   The young artist division of the 2008 WPC (ages 5-17), with 150 competitors from nine countries, was held July2-5, also at the Aronoff Center.  Winners in that event will perform a joint concert Oct. 18 in Weill Recital Hall at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra performing in Devou Park Amphitheatre
The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra's 21-piece Boogie Band and eight vocalists will perform 23 “one-hit wonders” in arrangements based on their popular recorded versions at 7:30 p.m. at Boone Woods July 11 and  Devou Park July 12.
   They will include” “Hot, Hot, Hot (Buster Poindexter), “Happy Days” (Pratt and McClain”), “Hooked on a Feeling” (Blue Suede), “Just the Two of Us” (Grover Washington Jr.), “Venus” (Shocking Blue), “Afternoon Delight” (Starland Vocal Band), “Vehicle (Ides of March), “Wipe Out” (The Surfaris), “Get it On” (Chase), “Turn the Beat Around” (Vicki Sue Robinson), “My Sharona” (The Knack), “Far from Over’ (Frank Stalone), “Baby Face" (Wing and a Prayer Fife and Drum Corps), “Walking on Sunshine” (Katrina and the Waves”), “Electric Boogie” (Marcia Griffiths), “Macarena” (Los del Rio), “King Tut” (Steve Martin), “You Light Up My Life” (Debby Boone), “What’s Left of Me” (Nick Lachey), “Rockin’ Robin” (Bobby Day), “Funkytown” (Lipps, Inc.), “Good Vibrations” (Loleatta Holloway) and “Play hat Funky Music” (Wild Cherry).
    On vocals will be Steve Brun, Charlie Fletcher, Lesley Hitch, Troy Hitch, Rick Marksberry, Chris Shenton, Michelle Wells and Angela Williamson.
    Admission and parking are free, with a $5 donation suggested.
    The KSO’s summer series at Devou Park continues at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 with “Shaken Not Stirred,” featuring excerpts from the James Bond films, and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30 with “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You” featuring an all-star big band performing Latin jazz.  On the program are Chuck Mangione’s “Children of Sanchez,” Lalo Schifrin’s “Latin Jazz Suite,” Johnny Richards’ “Cuban Fire Suite” and Ernesto Lecuona’s “Malaguena.”
    Information at www.kyso.org or call (859) 431-6216.
    In news of music (and the arts) in Cincinnati, the 2008 Fine Arts Fund has allocated $11,302,970 to its member and associate member organizations and to the Fine Arts Fund Grants Programs (to provide smaller operating and project grants to other non-profit groups).
    Allocations are made from the proceeds of the annual Fine Arts Fund and unrestricted endowment income through a review process by independent volunteer committees made up of representative of the donor community.  These committees evaluate “the fiscal health and governance strength of each organization over a three-year period” in addition to artistic quality and efforts to include “a broader and more diverse constituency.”
    Chairing this year’s member and associate member allocations committees were Mitchel D. Livingston and Eric K. Combs, respectively.
    Allocations were made as follows:

  • Cincinnati Art Museum -- $2,064,164.
  • Cincinnati Ballet -- $984,539
  • Cincinnati Opera -- $1,185,669
  • Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park -- $1,340,546
  • Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra -- $3,491,270
  • Contemporary Arts Center -- $526,393
  • May Festival -- $406,342
  • Taft Museum of Art -- $379,410

    Associate Members

  • ArtWorks -- $42,871
  • Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center -- $26,039
  • The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati -- $89,741
  • Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra -- $32,410
  • Cincinnati Shakespeare Company -- $44,803
  • Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati -- $102,154
  • Fitton Center for Creative Arts -- $59,974
  • Kentucky Symphony Orchestra -- $56,954
  • Learning Through Arts -- $18,600\
  • Madcap Puppet Theatre -- $54,990

    Fine Arts Fund Grants Program

  •  $396,101