CCM’s Fall Choral Series Includes Collaborations with Local High School Choirs, Early Music Guest Artists, CCM’s Department of Dance and More

Creative collaborations and varied programming are the defining traits of CCM’s Choral Series of concerts this fall!

CCM’s acclaimed choirs present a strikingly diverse series of productions, ranging from a concert of Shakespearean choral settings on Sunday, Sept. 21, to a concert of songs of peace and freedom on Wednesday, Nov. 5.

Highlights include a collaborative concert with CCM’s Café MoMus Ensemble and Ballet Ensemble on Oct. 18 and 19, featuring Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore.

CCM’s Choral Series also includes a newly composed chamber orchestra version of Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem performed at Calvary Episcopal Church on Nov. 9 and a large-scale concert production of Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 performed at Christ Church Cathedral on Nov. 16.

CCM closes out this fall’s Choral Series with the fan-favorite Feast of Carols on Dec. 6 and 7. A holiday tradition at the University of Cincinnati, this year’s Feast of Carols features CCM’s choirs and Concert Orchestra performing alongside guest choirs from Conner Middle School, Lakota East High School and Mason High School.

Event Information

All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Please see individual event information for single ticket prices and ordering information. New flex ticket packages and single tickets are currently on sale.

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CCM Review Round-Up: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘El Niño’

The critics can’t stop talking about CCM’s productions of Les Misérables and El Niño! Catch up with the latest “buzz” in today’s review round-up!

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

  • Rick Pender calls CCM’s new production of Les Misérables “magnificent” in his CityBeat review, concluding, “Peeled back to its raw essence, CCM’s staging of Les Misérables is powerful and memorable, one of the best musical theater productions on a Cincinnati stage this season.” Read the full review here.
  • Paige Malott reviews the production for iSPYCiNCY and observes, “Capturing the larger-than-life Les Misérables with perfection, CCM put on a better-than-Broadway performance that is guaranteed 2-4-6-0-fun.” Read the full review here.
  • In his Talkin’ Broadway review, Scott Cain explains, “Musicals presented at… CCM always feature splendidly talented student performers who rarely disappoint. Their current production, Les Misérables, is no exception and does showcase many stunning voices and meticulously detailed acting.” Read the full review here.
  • In his review for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard suggests, “I’ve seen a lot of shows in Cincinnati over the last couple of years… [and] CCM’s Les Misérables just might be the greatest production I’ve ever seen.” Read the full review here.
  • Rafael de Acha reviews the production for Seen and Heard International and writes, “Keeping the entire undertaking tightly reined in and mercifully devoid of any Broadway clichés, [Aubrey] Berg delivers a fresh and finely-wrought production.” Read the full review here.
  • Emily Begely reviews Les Misérables for UC’s News Record and concludes, “An exemplary cast, a familiar plot and simple props created an unforgettable work of art.” Read the full review here.
Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams' EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams’ EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

  • Janelle Gelfand reviews CCM’s “powerful” performance of John Adams’ El Niño for the Cincinnati Enquirer, and observes, “[Earl] Rivers balanced the work’s intimate emotions against powerful ones, propelled tempos well and drew excellent playing from the orchestra.” Read her full review here.
  • Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews El Niño for ConcertoNet and writes, “John Adams’ oratorio El Niño had its regional premiere in Cincinnati March 2, and it couldn’t have been in better hands. ” Read the full review here.

Performances of Les Misérables resume this evening (Tuesday, March 4) and run through Sunday, March 9. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/lesmiserables.

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CCM Presents Contemporary American Masterpiece ‘El Niño’ in Concert This Sunday, March 2

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This Sunday, March 2, CCM’s American Voices Concert Series proudly presents John Adams’ El Niño in concert.

According to the Wall Street Journal this stunning oratorio, “capture[s] the intimacy, mystery and apocalyptic nature of the Nativity story in a thoroughly contemporary idiom, fusing [Adams’] well-known minimalist style with a rich blend of text in English, Spanish, and Latin for an effect ultimately as timeless as the story itself.”

According to the New York Times, “John Adams’ celebration of the Nativity bears so many gifts that the senses stagger under the load.”

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael Maniaci, Eric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance. Tickets are on sale now.

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LISTEN: WVXU Previews CCM’s Concert Production of John Adams’ ‘El Nino’

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WVXU contributor Anne Arenstein recently spoke with CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers about our upcoming concert production of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams’ American oratorio El Niño.

You can listen to audio of the full interview here.

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael ManiaciEric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance.

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CCM’s American Voices Concert Series Proudly Presents John Adams’ ‘El Niño’ on March 2

"Mujer de Mucha Enagua, Pa'Ti Xicana" painting courtesy of Yreina D. Cervántez; Serigraph (SHG), 1999

“Mujer de Mucha Enagua, Pa’Ti Xicana” painting courtesy of Yreina D. Cervántez; Serigraph (SHG), 1999

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael Maniaci, Eric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance. CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers conducts.

“John Adams’ El Niño is a joyous composition,” says Rivers. The text of El Niño retells the traditional biblical story of the birth of Jesus. Although this composition is about a specific event, the true subject is larger and widely relate-able: the inexhaustible miracle of birth. “The opening movement of El Niño pulsates with repetitive, engaging rhythms,” Rivers explains. “The strong rhythmic drive of the opening sets the stage for the unfolding of the work.”

A piece told in three languages, El Niño was originally a co-commission by four major arts organizations: the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center in New York City and the Barbican Center in London. It was created to be performed as either an oratorio or a staged production. CCM will be presenting the work as an oratorio.

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CityBeat’s Annual ‘Best of Cincinnati’ Issue Spotlights CCM

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We are delighted to be named “Best Place to Catch a Rising Star” in CityBeat‘s annual Best of Cincinnati issue, which is on newsstands (and available online) now! CityBeat‘s editors write:

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music is one of the top three musical theater programs in the nation. Every year hundreds of aspiring high school kids audition for one of 20 or so slots in the freshman class. (That’s more selective than most Division I sports teams.) Following graduation, they head straight for Broadway where multiple productions typically feature CCM alumni. It’s not unusual for one or two to be nominated for Tony Awards, such as Karen Olivo as Anita in the recent revival of West Side Story.

We are equally thrilled to report that CCM student Kris Rucinski was recognized for performing the year’s “Best Piano Concerto” during last November’s American Voices XV concert. Again, CityBeat‘s editors write:

At a November American Voices concert honoring great American Modernist composers, UC College-Conservatory of Music first-year graduate student Kris Rucinski wowed and thrilled an audience with his performance of Lou Harrison’s challenging, complicated Piano Concerto. The late Harrison wrote it for Keith Jarrett, an indication of just how demanding a work it is. By turns fiery and meditative, developing through four challenging movements, it is as much Cecil Taylor-ish eruptive Jazz as it is calm Classical, but Rucinski showed himself more than up for the task and ready to be Jarrett’s successor – or anyone’s. One only hopes there are more chances to see him while he is a student here and before he becomes an in-demand concert soloist.

We would like to congratulate all of our friends and partners also featured in this special issue of CityBeat, too!

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‘CityBeat’ Reviews CCM’s Nov. 29 American Voices Concert

CCM Master of Music candidate Kris Rucinski.

First year Master of Music in Piano Performance student Kristofer Rucinski.

Steven Rosen shares his thoughts on the Nov. 29 conclusion to CCM’s month-long Cage Centennial Celebration in a recent CityBeat blog post, writing:

I attended the crowded event to see the group I had featured, Percussion Group Cincinnati, perform Cage’s Music for Three while the CCM Philharmonia played Cage’s Renga. It was as charming and strange, as enigmatically mysterious, as one expects of Cage.

But what was completely unexpected — and absolutely, breathtakingly, thrilling — was the performance before that, CCM student Kris Rucinski’s mastery of the four movements of Lou Harrison’s Piano Concerto.

You can read Rosen’s review of the concert here and his original feature here.

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‘Music in Cincinnati’ Reviews CCM’s Cage Centennial Celebration Conclusion

First year MM in Piano Performance student Kris Rucinski.

First year MM in Piano Performance student Kristofer Rucinski.

Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews the Nov. 29 conclusion to CCM’s month-long Cage Centennial Celebration for Music in Cincinnati.

Hutton writes: “the signal event of the evening was (Lou) Harrison’s (Piano) Concerto,” performed by first year Master of Music student Kristofer Rucinski.

You can read her full review here.

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CityBeat Previews CCM’s Nov. 29 John Cage Centennial Celebration Concert

Percussion Group Cincinnati with John Cage (far left) in Witten, Germany, 1983. Photo courtesy of Allen Otte.

Percussion Group Cincinnati with John Cage (far left) in Witten, Germany, 1983. Photo courtesy of Allen Otte.

Steven Rosen previews CCM’s Nov. 29 Philharmonia and Percussion Group Cincinnati concert in this week’s issue of CityBeat. The concert concludes CCM’s month-long John Cage Centennial Celebration.

“CCM’s concert is special for Cage enthusiasts,” Rosen writes. “Percussion Group Cincinnati — a CCM ensemble-in-residence for 30-plus years — not only knew Cage (who died in 1992 at age 79), but he wrote the piece they will perform Thursday, ‘Music for Three,’ just for them back in 1984. The piece is written for three percussionists and 150 (!) instruments of their choice.”

Learn more about Cage’s extensive history with CCM (the composer was a CCM artist-in-residence in 1968) as detailed by Rosen here.

Learn more about the concert and guest conductor Neal Gittleman here.

CCM News

CCM’s Cage Centennial Celebration Concludes with Philharmonia Concert on Nov. 29

Guest conductor Neal Gittleman leads the CCM Philharmonia on Thursday, Nov. 29. Photography by Andy Snow.

Guest conductor Neal Gittleman leads the CCM Philharmonia on Thursday, Nov. 29. Photography by Andy Snow.

CCM’s month-long Cage Centennial Celebration comes to a close at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29 with the Philharmonia Orchestra’s annual “American Voices” concert, featuring special guests Percussion Group Cincinnati. CCM welcomes guest conductor Neal Gittleman for this concert.

“American Voices XV – Celebrating John Cage at 100 features Charles Ives’ Three Places in New England, John Cage’s 4’33″, Lou Harrison’s Piano Concerto (with Kris Rucinski, soloist) and John Cage’s Renga, with Music for Three (with Percussion Group Cincinnati).

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