The days are hot and muggy, the Reds are in last place, the Bengals are limping into their regular schedule with a hopeful eye on a .500 year and our lawns are hay fields from the lack of rain. What is there to anticipate in this season of wither? The fall Classical programs, naturally, where the prospects for a successful season seem infinitely brighter.
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra raises the curtain on its 114th season Sept. 12-13 with Maestro Paavo Jarvi leading the CSO through Tchaikovsky's "Festival Coronation March," followed by superstar pianist Andre Watts' performance of Rachmaninoff's stirring "Piano Concerto No. 2" and closing with the CSO and Rachmaninoff's "Symphonic Dances."
The CSO presents an all Dvorak program featuring renowned cellist Gautier Capuçon Sept. 19-20, a Russian Rhapsody Oct. 3-4 and The Mahler Experience Oct. 17-18 directed by Robert Porco. It will welcome conductor Leonid Grin and violinist Tai Murray Oct. 31-Nov. 1 for a Dvorak/Barber/Tchaikovsky program, and maestro Jarvi returns for the November concerts featuring baritone Matthias Goerne (Nov.7-8), violinist Chloe Hanslip (Nov. 15-16) and violinist Julia Fischer and the women of the May Festival Chorus (Nov. 20-22).
Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Pops' fall program crackles with Back to School on Broadway (Sept. 26-28), pianist Christopher O'Riley (Oct. 24-26) and a vibrant holiday presentation featuring vocalist Sy Smith, the May Festival Chorus, the Cincinnati Children's Chorus, the Cincinnati Studio for Dance and the Cincinnati Pops Bell Choir (Dec.12-14).
Information on tickets and details on the CSO/Pops series and performances are available at www.CincinnatiSymphony.org.
Chamber Music Cincinnati opens its 79th season at CCM's Corbett Auditorium at the University of Cincinnati Oct. 7 with the exciting Daedalus Quartet accompanied by pianist Awadagin Pratt. The CMC's season continues Nov. 12 with pianist Joseph Kalichstein and Dec. 9 with the Pro Arte Quartet, both of which take place at the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.
For further information and ticket details, visit www.cincychamber.org or call 859-581-6877.
Speaking of CCM, the College-Conservatory of Music opens another stellar and packed season with piano duo Eugene and Elisabeth Prido Sept. 28 performing a program of Mendelssohn/Liszt, Piazzolla, Holst and Liszt, and the Faculty Artist Series continues Oct. 2 with pianist Phil DeGreg taking the stage at the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall. CCM's busy October includes the Drama 25th Anniversary Reunion Gala (Oct. 4), Sonic Explorations -- Music for Piano and Electronics in the Chamber Music Series with director Mara Helmuth and pianist Shiau-uen Ding (Oct. 10), the Faculty Jazztet (Oct. 12), the faculty's Polygon Trio (Oct. 13), the Tchaikovsky Festival which will also serve as the introduction to new CCM dean Douglas Knehans (Oct. 14-16), the Amernet String Quartet and pianist James Tocco (Oct. 21) and more events through the end of the year than can be detailed here.
For full program information on these generally free events (although some require reservations), including times, locations and directions, visit www.ccm.uc.edu or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.
The Catacoustic Consort begins its fall program with A New Musical Cosmos Oct. 11 at Clifton's Immanuel Presbyterian Church and Oct. 12 at Glendale's St. Gabriel Catholic Church. Locations and times are mirrored for Awakening of the Harpsichord, presented Nov. 15-16. For series information and ticket inquiries, visit www.catacoustic.com.
The Linton Chamber Series kicks off its autumn schedule Oct. 5 with a program of Mozart and Schumann, featuring Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker, violist Aloysia Friedman, CSO principal cellist Eric Kim and his brother, violinist Benny Kim. Liang Wang, principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic and former principal oboe of the CSO, returns to play Mozart, Vivaldi and Dvorak Nov. 2. Also featured will be violinist Gil Shaham, pianist Orli Shaham and principal horn of the Montreal Symphony John Zirbel, performing Brahms Horn Trio Dec. 14. All concerts take place at the First Unitarian Church (536 Linton St., Corryville/Avondale) at 4 p.m. For more information about tickets or the program, visit www.lintonmusic.org.
For a comprehensive list of local classical music productions, see the Fall Arts Calendar here.