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CSO's "One City, One Symphony" Returns

Mary Ellyn Hutton
Posted: Oct 10, 2015 - 6:47:57 PM in news_2015

Louis Langrée
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will repeat its popular “One City, One Symphony” initiative Nov. 13 and 14 at Music Hall.

Inaugurated in 2012 to welcome Louis Langrée, then CSO music director designate “One City, One Symphony” comprises a series of events leading up to the concert itself. They include listening parties, distribution of materials and broadcasts by WGUC 90.9 FM of recordings of works to be heard on the concert. For the first time, a poetry contest will be part of the project. The overall objective of the event is to provide opportunities for audiences to connect and discuss music in depth.

The concerts, to be led by CSO music director Louis Langrée, are 11 a.m. Nov. 13 and 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at Music Hall. Tickets begin at $12, available by calling (513) 381-3300, or visiting www.cincinnatisymphony.org

The theme of this year’s “One City, One Symphony” is freedom. It commemorates the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment and honors the legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou. Dr. Angelou appeared with the CSO in November, 2013, narrating Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait,” one of her final artistic projects before she passed away.

The two-month initiative will culminate with a concert featuring the world premieres of three short works based on Dr. Angelou’s poetry: “Equality” by Jonathan Bailey Holland, “Forgive” by Kristen Kuster and “Elegy” by T.J. Cole. Also on the program will be Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (“from the New World”) and Beethoven’s “Leonore Overture No. 2.

Submissions for the poetry contest were accepted through Oct. 1 and were crafted as responses to the question, “What does freedom mean to you?” Applicants were encouraged to explore the poems by Dr. Angelou to be heard on the concert and to listen to the Dvorak Symphony for further inspiration.

Winners will receive $8,000 in cash prizes. Winning entries will be read at free poetry readings at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County according to the following schedule:

Grades 9-12 winners. 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, Corryville Branch

Adult winners. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, Main Library

The panel of judges includes Carl Phillips, Poet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati; Pauletta Hansel, Writer-in-Residence at WordPlay; Jori An Cotton, spoken Word Instructor at Elementz; and Alysia Nicole Harris, Duncanson Artist-in-Residence at the Taft Museum of Art.

The free neighborhood listening parties are designed to explore and discuss the music at locations throughout Greater Cincinnati. They will be moderated by CSO staff and musicians, plus leaders from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The schedule is as follows:

7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, Church of the Advent, 2366 Kemper Lane, Walnut Hills, with Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra violinist Stacey Woolley

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 3655 Harvey Ave., Avondale, with Dr. Newsome and CSO director of artistic administration Isaac Thompson

7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, Madisonville Recreation Center, 5320 Stewart Ave., Madisonville, with Dr. Michael Battle, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center vice president and provost, and violinist Stacey Woolley

7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, Kenton County Public Library, 502 Scott Blvd., Covington, Kentucky, with Dr. Battle and CSO principal English hornist Christopher Philpotts

6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5: MYCincinnati/Price Hill Will, 3120 Warsaw Ave., Price Hill, with Dr. Newsome and Christopher Philpotts

WGUC 90.9 FM will present five broadcasts of Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony leading up to the CSO performances: Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 3:14 p.m.; Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 11:18 a.m.; Friday, Oct. 23 at 2:16 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 2 at 10:15 a.m. and Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. Note the Nov. 12 broadcast will be of the CSO’s own recording of the Dvorak under former music director Paavo Järvi.

The Nov. 13 and 14 concerts will be recorded for broadcast on WGUC on Feb. 7, 2016.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s featured book of the month for November will be Dr. Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (available for checkout at www.cincinnatilibrary.org) 

There will be a post-concert celebration immediately following the Nov. 14 performance in the Music Hall lobby, hosted by the CSO. All concert ticketholders are invited to enjoy light bites, beverages and live music.

A full schedule of “One City, One Symphony” events, along with other information about the music, is available at cincinnatisymphony.org/onecity