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Webful of Concerts with a Whiff of the Season

Mary Ellyn Hutton
Posted: Oct 29, 2008 - 8:23:18 PM in news_2008

The concert calendar is filling up fearsomely on this Halloween/All Soul’s Day weekend.  From Tchaikovsky to “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” you can find plenty of music to entertain and intrigue you.

illustration by Till Lassmann for "Where the Wild Things Are"
concert:nova, the wickedly boundary-busting chamber ensemble comprising members of the Cincinnati Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, leads off with both at 7 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 30) at the Contemporary Arts Center.  Performing on both acoustic and electric instruments, the group will present American composer Randall Woolf’s “Where the Wild Things Are” based on the well known children’s book by Maurice Sendak.  The concert will include projections of a new set of illustrations by German illustrator/animator Till Lassmann and opens an exhibit of his work on the CAC’s sixth-floor Unmuseum.  Also participating  will be WGUC-FM’s Naomi Lewin.   (For more information, see “Features” on this site.)

Leonid Grin rehearsing the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (photo by David Phillippi)
The CSO led by guest conductor Leonid Grin performs Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony at 11 a.m. Friday (Oct. 31), 8 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 1) at Music Hall.  Guest artist is violinist Tai Murray in Samuel Barber’s sweetly romantic Violin Concerto.
Tai Murray
Ukrainian-born Grin, who, incidentally, was CSO music director Paavo Järvi’s conducting teacher after the Järvis immigrated to the U.S. in 1980, will open the concert with Dvorak’s exuberant Scherzo capriccioso.  Tickets are $12-95, $10 for children, at www.cincinnatisymphony.org or call 381-3300. (See also “Features” on this site.)

promotional art for Cincinnati Ballet's "Dracula"
Cincinnati Ballet continues its 2008-09 season at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Proctor and Gamble Theater at the Aronoff Center for the Arts with, fittingly enough for a Halloween opening, “Dracula.”  There will be music by Henryk Górecki, Philip Glass, Wojciech Kilar and Francis Poulenc, but don’t look for it in the pit.  Live music is endangered at Cincinnati Ballet and at other ballet companies throughout the nation, so be happy with the undead.  Note:  if you’d like to help change this and restore live music to Cincinnati Ballet productions, an endowment drive is underway for that purpose.  If you’d like to help, contact Rosemary Schlachter, chair of the Ballet’s Live Music Task Force, at (513) 922-5047, or Cincinnati Ballet at (513) 621-5219.

Cincinnati Symphony assistant conductor Vince Lee
The CSO presents it first Lollipop Family Concert of the season with bugs at 10:30 a.m.  Saturday (Nov. 1) at Music Hall.  CSO assistant conductor Vince Lee will conduct.  Expect everything from Rimsky-Korsakoff (“Flight of the Bumblebee”) to Caletta Bertrand.  Bertrand wrote “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” which will be performed as a sing along at the concert.
There will be an “instrument  petting zoo” and an opportunity to meet CSO musicians beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Music Hall lobby.  Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for children at www.cincinnatisymphony.org or (513) 381-3300.

Liang Wang
The Linton Chamber Music Series spotlights the oboe at 4 p .m. Sunday (Nov. 2) at First Unitarian Church, Linton and Reading Roads in Avondale,  and 7:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 3) at Congregation Beth Adam, 10001 Loveland-Madeira Road in Loveland.  Guest artist will be Liang Wang,, principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic, in Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Minor for flute, oboe, violin and bassoon, Mozart’s Quartet in F Major for oboe and strings and Dvorak’s Serenade in D Minor for winds and strings.A native of Qing Dao, China, Liang Wang was principal oboe of the CSO before joining the New York Philharmonic in 2006.  He will be joined by members of the CSO and others, including Indianapolis Symphony principal violist Michael Strauss and cellist Judith Serkin, a frequent performer at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont.  Tickets are $30, $10 for students at (513) 381-6868 or online at www.lintonmusic.org.

Paavo Jarvi
In other news, the CSO led by music director Paavo Järvi will perform at Mason Middle School, 6370 Mason-Montgomery Rd.  at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 as part of its community outreach program, “CSO in Your School.  The initiative partners the CSO with local schools by performing fundraising concerts in support of school  instrumental music programs.  The CSO will perform at Walnut Hills High School at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20.

The program for each concert includes Mozart’s Overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8.  Soloists Nov. 12 and Jan. 20, respectively, will be associate principal flutist Jasmine Choi (Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2 in D Major) and principal French hornist Elizabeth Freimuth (Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat Major).

Tickets for the concerts are $10 for students, $20 for adults, $100 for patrons, available by contacting Trese Dvorsky at (513) 777-3929 or dvorskymt@hotmail.com (Nov. 12) and the Walnut Hills High School Alumni  Foundation  at (513) 363-8500 (Jan. 20).  Patrons receive preferred seating and an invitation to a post-concert reception with Järvi.

Inaugurated last fall at Lakota West High School, “CSO in Your School” seeks community partner schools with worthy fundraising projects, suitable performance spaces and parent/support organizations that can help subsidize costs through sponsorship.   Proceeds from Nov.12 will help fund a trip by the Mason High School Symphony and Concert Orchestras to the National Orchestra Cup on Apr. 5, 2009 at Lincoln Center in New York.  Mason is one of 12 high school orchestras selected each year for the National Orchestra Cup.  The Nov. 20 concert will help fund a grand piano for Walnut Hills High School.

And hear the CSO on the airwaves at 8 p.m. Nov. 11 on “SymphonyCast,” a national public radio feature showcasing the world’s great orchestras.  The weekly broadcast is carried locally by WGUC-FM, 90.9.  Recorded in March, the concert includes Arvo Pärt’s “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten,” guest artist Janine Jansen in Britten’s Violin Concerto No.1 and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 (“Great”).  This will be the third time the CSO has been heard on “SymphonyCast” this year.  The program airs on more than 90 public radio stations across the country with a weekly audience of over 227,000 listeners.