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Cincinnati's Corbett Foundation Makes Final Gift

Mary Ellyn Hutton
Posted: Nov 7, 2014 - 3:20:36 PM in news_2014

J. Ralph and Patricia Corbett
The Corbett Foundation, angel of the arts and culture in Cincinnati for over half a century, has made its final disbursement. The one-million-dollar gift, announced Nov. 4, will benefit the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. The chair provides scholarships for graduate students of voice and coach accompanying, support for touring productions, an archive and partial funding of a distinguished professional in opera. The position is currently held by stage director/CCM opera department chair Robin Guarino.

The Corbett Foundation, which closed its doors in August, was established by J. Ralph and Patricia Corbett in 1955. Over the years, it has donated more than $70 million to Cincinnati arts organizations, including CCM, Music Hall, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Riverbend Music Center and PNC Pavilion, CET programming and a theater and string quartet-in-residence at Northern Kentucky University.

J. Ralph Corbett, who died 1988, was founder of the electrical manufacturing company NuTone. His wife Patricia passed away in 2008. It was the intention of the Corbetts from the beginning to distribute all of the Foundation's assets.

In other news:

The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has named Kelly Kuo interim music director. Kuo, who served as CCO assistant conductor from 2007-09, will help the orchestra re-configure its season from year round to a festival format, beginning in August. His contract is for one year. The search for a permanent CCO music director is ongoing. Former music director Mischa Santora stepped down in June after 14 years.

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra will embark on a four-city tour of Florida in December. It will be the Pops’ first tour under conductor John Morris Russell and will include stops in St. Petersburg, Ft. Lauderdale, Key Largo and Sarasota.

Guest artist on the tour will be Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell. The program will have a holiday theme and will feature selections from the Pops’ three holiday CDs, including “Home for the Holidays.”

The tour schedule is as follows:

Dec. 7. 7 p.m. The Mahaffrey Theater, St. Petersburg

Dec. 8. 8 p.m. Broward Center for Performing Arts, Ft. Lauderdale

Dec. 10. 8 p.m. Ocean Reef Cultural Center, Key Largo

Dec. 11. 8 p.m. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota

Tickets available through the concert venues.