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Hadelich, Premieres Liven Exceptional CSO Program

    Posted: Apr 12, 2014 - 1:57:18 PM in: reviews_2014
Augustin Hadelich performing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra April 11, 2014 at Music Hall
Guest conductor Juanjo Mena and violinist Augustin Hadelich brought old and new to life at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra April 11 at Music Hall. Hadelich was soloist in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, while Mena presided over two CSO premieres, Alberto Ginastera's
“Panambí” and Gabriel Pierné’s Overture to "Ramuntcho."
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Boychoir's "All Quiet" Powerful

    Posted: Apr 7, 2014 - 4:10:51 PM in: reviews_2014
The Cincinnati Boychoir observed the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II with a special "All Quiet" program April 6 at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral. It was a moving experience, both in concept and reality.
Heard was music by all-French composers, chosen because of France's centrality to the epochal conflict.
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CCM's "Don Pasquale" a Delight

    Posted: Apr 5, 2014 - 3:03:05 PM in: reviews_2014
Charles (Zach) Owen as Pasquale in Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music April 3 had everything: great singing, sharp acting and a beautiful period production.
From the melodious Overture (with the CCM Concert Orchestra, led by Mark Gibson) to the pop of silver confetti at the end, it was a delight (first published in the Cincinnati Enquirer April 5, 2014).
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Ariel Quartet Caps Beethoven Cycle Splendidly

    Posted: Mar 31, 2014 - 2:28:11 PM in: reviews_2014
left to right: Amit-Even Tov, Jan Grüning, Alexandra Kazovsky and Gershon Gerchikov
It's a long journey from Op. 18 to Op. 135, but the Ariel String Quartet, quartet-in-residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory, ended the traversal of the complete string quartets of Beethoven on a high note March 29 in CCM's Corbett Auditorium. On their program, like all of them a mix of early and later quartets, was Op. 18, No. 6, Op. 74 and Op. 132.

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Midori Guests with CSO Chamber Players

    Posted: Mar 30, 2014 - 2:12:22 PM in: reviews_2014
left to right: Midori, Ted Nelson and Marna Street
Violinist Midori made a visit to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players a part of her stay in Cincinnati March 27-30 as guest artist with the CSO. She joined the Chamber Players in Dohn
ányi's Serenade for String Trio, Op. 10. Also on the program were Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 4 and the Duo for Violin and Cello by Kodály. The concert took place March 28 at the Erich Kunzel Center for Arts and Education on Central Parkway.
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Midori, CSO Luxury Casting

    Posted: Mar 28, 2014 - 3:25:36 PM in: reviews_2014
Violinist Midori made a welcome return appearance with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra March 27 at Music Hall. Her calling card was Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, a "serious" work withheld from publication by the composer until after Josef Stalin's death, when license serious works was finally allowed. The CSO, led by guest conductor Jun Märkl, rounded out the program with a Suite from Wagner's "Ring" cycle arranged by Märkl.

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CSO, MusicNOW Align for Exciting New Collaboration

    Posted: Mar 25, 2014 - 12:44:38 PM in: reviews_2014
Langrée conducting Aaron and Bryce Dessner (left and right) in Bryce's "St. Carolyn by the Sea"
(first published at
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by music director Louis Langrée paired with Bryce Dessner of the alternative rock band The National for the 2014 edition of Dessner's MusicNOW Festival in Cincinnati. Dessner and his brother Aaron, also of The National, performed on electric guitar, there were world premieres by Nico Muhly and David Lang, music to stretch the audience by Krzysztof Penderecki and Jonny Greenwood of the rock band Radiohead, plus a pair of scores challenging in their day by Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Prokofiev.

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Oboist Parry Highlights Cincinnati Bach Festival

    Posted: Mar 17, 2014 - 11:35:29 AM in: reviews_2014
Dwight Parry
The Cincinnati Bach Festival honored the oboe on the second concert of its 2014 inaugural season March 16 in Centennial Chapel at Christ Church Cathedral downtown. Dwight Parry, principal oboist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, joined baritone Jonathan Cooper in Bach's Cantata "Ich habe genug." Also on the program were works by Bach's sons Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian Bach, as well as the inimitable Peter Schickele, aka P.D.Q. Bach. Schickele's "After Hearing Bach" was a Cincinnati premiere.

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Galway, the CSO and Bruckner: Charm and Awe

    Posted: Mar 16, 2014 - 11:44:17 AM in: reviews_2014
James Galway performing with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra March 14 at Music Hall
It is always an occasion when Sir James Galway appears with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. March 14 at Music Hall was no exception and the occasion was even more serendipitous coming just before St. Patrick's Day. Music director Louis Langrée sealed the program with power in the Symphony No. 7 by Anton Bruckner.
(first published at www.cincinnati.com)
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"Classical Roots" Has Cincinnati Resonance

    Posted: Mar 8, 2014 - 1:03:39 PM in: reviews_2014
"Classical Roots" 2014 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, CSO Youth Orchestra Nouveau Chamber Players, Greater Cincinnati Indian Community Choir (foreground( and Classical Roots Community Mass Choir (rear) led by John Morris Russell
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's annual "Classical Roots" concert celebrates African-American music. This was demonstrated across a variety of genres March 7, 2014 at sold-out Music Hall. Guest artists included Marvin Winans and Adrienne Danrich, with participation also by the CSO Youth Orchestra Nouveau Chamber Players and the Greater Cincinnati Indian Community Choir. There was even a world premiere, Winans' "Even Me."
(first published in the Cincinnati Enquirer)
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CCM's "El Niño" Reverential, Emotional

    Posted: Mar 4, 2014 - 9:37:49 AM in: reviews_2014
John Adams' oratorio "El Niño" is about the birth of Christ. But it has a broader frame of reference, taking in the human experience from birth to violent death. The work had its regional premiere March 2, 2014 by ensembles of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music led by Earl Rivers in a performance that was both deeply reverential and emotional. (first published at www.ConcertoNet.com)

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A Verdi Requiem as Fine As One Could Wish

    Posted: Mar 1, 2014 - 4:57:17 PM in: reviews_2014
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducting Verdi's Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, May Festival Chorus and pictured left to right, soloists Angel Blue, soprano, and mezzo-soprano Julia Gertsova, mezzosoprano
Verdi's Requiem has had many outing in Cincinnati, both by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the annual May Festival. As led by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos Feb. 28 at Music Hall, the canonical work, with the May Festival Chorus and a quartet of well chosen soloists rivals any within this reviewer's memory.

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Ariel Provides Overview Midway in Beethoven Cycle

    Posted: Feb 24, 2014 - 11:55:26 AM in: reviews_2014
The Ariel String Quartet, in residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, offered one each from Beethoven's early, middle and late quartets Feb. 22 in Corbett Auditorium at CCM. With Op. 18, No. 3, Op. 59, No. 2 and Op. 131, they have reached the midpoint in their complete Beethoven cycle.

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Järvi Leads Captivating CSO Concert

    Posted: Feb 21, 2014 - 3:32:36 PM in: reviews_2014
Music director laureate Paavo
Järvi made a return visit to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Feb. 20 at Music Hall for the second time since he stepped down  as music director in May, 2011. His calling card was Mahler's Symphony No. 4.The concert was doubly notable, marking the CSO debut of pianist Zhang Zuo in Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1.
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"Camelot" a Triumph for Cincinnati Ballet

    Posted: Feb 17, 2014 - 9:51:01 AM in: reviews_2014
Cincinnati Ballet observed its 50th anniversary in a big way Feb. 13-16, 2014, with the world premiere of "King Arthur's Camelot," a world premiere with a newly commissioned score by Canadian composer John Estacio. With everything going for it, including live music by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the $1.9 million project was a triumph for the Ballet.

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