Pianist Stewart Goodyear made his debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2004 with an electrifying performance of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. He’s been back twice, but this weekend Goodyear returns not only as a soloist, but as a featured composer. The CSO will perform his fanfare Count Up.
American Negro Spirituals are one of American history’s great ironies. “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Go Down, Moses” and “The Battle of Jericho” are among the world’s most beloved melodies, created in the harsh, degrading reality of slavery. We love these songs, but do we really know them?
It's a law of choral singing that solo voices never stand out, but for once soloists take center stage as MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir, presents a cabaret fund-raiser at Below Zero Lounge (1122 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine). MUSE is internationally acclaimed for its unique sound and you can hear some of the talents who contribute to that extraordinary blend.
America's musical heritage starts with Negro Spirituals, says Dr. Everett McCorvey, founder and director of the internationally acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble. "I call Spirituals the mother music, an art form truly founded in this country," he says. American Negro Spirituals are one of American history's great ironies. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Go Down, Moses" are among the world's most beloved melodies, created in the harsh, degrading reality of slavery.
In 1983, the young maverick director Peter Sellars convinced composer John Adams to write on opera based on Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China. "I realized that it was a perfect idea," Adams says. "It was right to find our own mythology in our own contemporary history." What could be more outsized, more operatic, than Air Force One touching down in Beijing for the first time?
Gustav Mahler's music is better known for irony rather than a comic sensibility, but his 'Symphony No. 7 in E minor' will make you reconsider. Mahler has never been more of a shape-shifter as he moves from moody introspection to marches to lush string melodies in a matter of measures. The two "Night Music" movements are fully realized soundscapes of nocturnal worlds surrounding the central scherzo’s galumphing waltz that conjures up ghosts of the wrong side of Oktoberfests past.
Puccini’s opera Turandot challenges even the biggest opera companies. But if the singers have the dramatic heft required and the orchestral and choral forces are on board, outsize sets and costumes hardly matter. Fortunately, UC’s College-Conservatory of Music has the musical resources to mount a concert performance of Turandot, presented in collaboration with Beijing’s Central Opera Troupe and the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society.
Puccini's opera 'Turandot' challenges even the biggest opera companies. But if the singers have the dramatic heft required and the orchestral and choral forces are on board, outsize sets and costumes hardly matter. Fortunately, UC's College-Conservatory of Music has the musical resources to mount a concert performance of 'Turandot,' presented in collaboration with Beijing's Central Opera Troupe and the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society.
Bonia Shur is a rarity among composers of sacred music. More than 300 of his compositions are standards in Reform Jewish synagogues and he has written scores for film, theater and television. Shur's 88th birthday will be celebrated as Hebrew Union College inaugurates the Classical Concerts on Clifton series with a program of contemporary and classical chamber music performed by the internationally acclaimed Constella Trio.
Last month, the Cincinnati Pops announced the appointment of John Morris Russell as its conductor, succeeding the legendary Erich Kunzel, who died in September 2009. The usual flurry of laudatory press coverage followed the announcement, but there wasn’t much focus on a significant part of Russell’s career that will be crucial for the Pops future — his commitment to community outreach.