Old 'Thinking About Music' lecture logo.

CCM’s ‘Thinking About Music’ Lecture Series Resumes on Jan. 29, 2016

Each semester, CCM welcomes distinguished experts for a series of free Friday afternoon musical discussions. This spring, the Thinking About Music lecture series will present five free public talks, beginning with a presentation by Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Professor Blair Johnston on Friday, Jan. 29.

CCM's Spring 2016 'Thinking About Music' Schedule.

CCM’s Spring 2016 ‘Thinking About Music’ Schedule.

Sponsored by the Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, these music theory and history discussions feature diverse topics presented by distinguished experts from all over the United States and are designed to engage participants’ imaginations and to consider music in new ways.

This semester’s guest lecturers also include University of California at Los Angeles Professor Daniel Neuman (Feb. 26), Yale University Professor Brian Kane (March 11), Cornell University Professor Annette Richards (April 1) and Tufts University Professor Emerita Janet Schmalfeldt (April 15). See the listings below for more information on this semester’s presentation topics.

Since its inception in 1997, the Thinking About Music Series has presented nearly 130 lectures and one symposium by guests from a number of different colleges, universities, schools of music, foundations, institutes, museums and publications.

The subjects of the lectures have covered historical musicology, music theory and ethnomusicology, along with the ancillary fields of organology, dance, music business and law, cognitive psychology, and the philosophy, theology and sociology of music.

Event Information
Unless otherwise indicated, all Thinking About Music lectures take place on Fridays at 2:30 p.m. in the Baur Room of CCM’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts, which is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

These events are free and open to the public. All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu for the most current event information.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.



'Thinking About Music' guest speaker Blair Johnston.2:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29
Blair Johnston, Indiana University

Orchestration—and, with it, the roles that timbre plays in musical rhetoric, expressive trajectories, and the choices made by performers—deserves more attention from scholars than it has received. In an ongoing project, Blair Johnston is examining the rich ways that orchestrational choices in post-Romantic symphonic works interact with the “structures” described by more conventional music analysis, an area that features music-theoretic vocabularies that do not always allow for easy discussion of certain dimensions of sound—in broad terms, its shapes, its colors, its densities—that are especially essential in music from this era. This talk will explore this through the use of late symphonic works by Sibelius (excerpts from the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Symphonies and Tapiola), music in which complex approaches to musical form and material are fused to a highly individual orchestrational language—indeed, music in which there may be almost no line between form, material and timbre.
Baur Room

'Thinking About Music' guest speaker Daniel Neuman.2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26
Daniel Neuman, University of California at Los Angeles

In this talk, Daniel Neuman considers the role of hereditary musicians in India in the recent past as well as today, as they become increasingly rare in the Hindustani classical music world. Some comparative gestures to Western classical music (and in particular J.S. Bach) highlight the important roles that genealogy, pedigree and biography play as different kinds of authentication markers and historical sources in each classical music practice.
Baur Room

'Thinking About Music' guest speaker Brian Kane.

Brian Kane’s March 11 lecture has been canceled. Stay tuned for information on his rescheduled presentation.
2:30 p.m. Friday, March 11
Brian Kane, Yale University

Philosophers have often considered the ontology of music, worrying over the relation between works, scores and performances. Yet, surprisingly, jazz has not received the same consideration, even though jazz—where performances of works such as “standards” vary widely in their properties—represents an even more challenging ontological problem than found in classical music. In this talk, Brian Kane will argue for a non-essentialist, network-based ontology of jazz standards. This argument will depend on two basic operations—chains of replication and chains of nomination—that together provide a robust basis for judgments concerning a performance’s identity and individuation. Also, just as jazz is an exemplification of a network-based ontology of music, Kane will try to draw out some wider implications for the ontology of music more generally.
Baur Room


'Thinking About Music' guest speaker Annette Richards.2:30 p.m. Friday, April 1
Annette Richards, Cornell University

In Goethe’s Triumph der Empfindsamkeit (1777), sensibility, feeling and sympathy are brutally exposed as trivial obsessions with postures and props. Excess, bad taste and poor behavior are the focus of Goethe’s hilarious critique of the craze unleashed by his own Sorrows of Young Werther. Embodied in this strange and funny text is satire aimed not only at the cult of Empfindsamkeit and at the works of the artist himself, but also at the conspicuous blurring of public and private spheres, the untoward exposure of personal proclivities and private feeling. Given the ubiquitous textbook designation of C. P. E. Bach as the architect of the ‘Empfindsamer Stil’ in music, Dr. Annette Richards takes another look at what ‘Empfindsamkeit’ might mean, especially for the composer’s late keyboard works. By examining this music (along with then-contemporary views on humor, satire and other cultural elements), the audience may have to reconsider Bach’s own claims about the competing aesthetics of public and private music.
Baur Room

'Thinking About Music' guest speaker Janet Schmalfeldt.

2:30 p.m. Friday, April 15
Janet Schmalfeldt, Tufts University Professor Emerita/Boston University Visiting Professor
Location: Baur Room


CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM’s Thinking About Music Series is sponsored by the Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel; along with support from Dean Landgren’s Office, the Graduate Student Association, and the Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory at CCM.

CCM News
The Ariel Quartet, string quartet-in-residence at CCM.

The Ariel Quartet Opens CCM’s 2014-15 Concert Series With Distinguished Guest Artist Menahem Presser

The legendary Menahem Pressler joins the Ariel Quartet for Brahms' Piano Quintet on Sept. 9.

The legendary Menahem Pressler joins the Ariel Quartet for Brahms’ Piano Quintet on Sept. 9.

CCM’s internationally acclaimed string quartet-in-residence the Ariel Quartet will be joined by legendary pianist Menahem Pressler for a program of Haydn, Berg and Brahms on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

Grand Prize winners at the 2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and 2014 recipients of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, the Ariel Quartet thrilled audiences with its first complete cycle of Beethoven’s String Quartets at CCM last season.

During the CINCYinNYC showcase week this May, the New York Times proclaimed that the Quartet has “a gift for filling the pristine structures of Classicism with fire.”

The Ariel Quartet opens CCM’s 2014-15 Concert Series with a performance featuring legendary pianist Menahem Pressler. Founding member and pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio, Pressler will join the Quartet for a performance of Brahms’ majestic Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34. See full concert program details below.

CCM News

UC Hosts Free Performing and Visual Arts College Fair for Creative College-Bound Students on Oct. 15

nacacPVAThe University of Cincinnati welcomes the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and its Cincinnati Performing and Visual Arts College Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 7–9 p.m. at the Tangeman University Center Great Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

College-bound high school students interested in pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies in the areas of music, dance, theatre, visual arts, graphic design and other related disciplines are encouraged to attend this informational event.

CCM will also be hosting “Choosing the Right Music School for You – The Fit Factor Workshop,” a special panel discussion from 5:45–6:30 p.m. in room 417 of the Tangeman University Center. Panelists from major music schools and conservatories, including the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University will discuss different types of music schools and how to choose the one to best suit your needs. Students and parents attending the NACAC fair are invited to participate in this discussion.

CCM News

Cincinnati Public Television Broadcasts CCM Philharmonia Concert on June 10

Mark Gibson and the CCM Philharmonia.

Mark Gibson and the CCM Philharmonia. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s internationally-renowned Philharmonia Orchestra will be coming to a television near you this month courtesy of CET, Cincinnati Public Television. The CET Arts channel will premiere CCM’s Orchestra Series: Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 in D Minor at 8 p.m. on Monday, June 10.

This broadcast is part of an ongoing collaboration between CCM and CET, which will bring CCM’s world-class performances to PBS viewers throughout the Greater Cincinnati viewing area. CET Arts, which is celebrating three years on-air, brings the world stage to Greater Cincinnati and showcases the arts in our community.

Recorded in March, this performance was part of CCM’s day-long “Mahler Marathon,” which featured performances of Gustav Mahler’s Third and Fourth Symphonies and other selections by the CCM Philharmonia and Concert Orchestras. CCM Director of Orchestral Studies Mark Gibson conducted the entire “marathon” performance.

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CCM Announces 2013 Opera Scholarship Competition Winners

Five voice students were named winners of CCM’s 2013 Opera Scholarship Competition, which was held Saturday, March 16, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. The annual competition welcomes current and incoming CCM voice students to compete for scholarships and cash prizes, and a panel of judges composed of opera industry professionals selects each year’s class of prizewinners.

The 2013 CCM Opera Scholarship Competition winners are:

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Opera Scholarship Competition Brings Bright Young Stars to the Stage on March 16

CCM invites local audiences to hear tomorrow’s opera stars today, as CCM hosts its prestigious scholarship competition beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Admission to this event is free, and reservations are not required. Audience members may enter and exit Corbett Auditorium at appropriate times throughout the day.

Twenty-three current and incoming young artists will compete for approximately $100,000 in tuition grants and $62,500 in other named awards, including the Corbett Award, Italo Tajo Memorial Award, Andrew White Memorial Award, Seybold-Russell Award and John Alexander Memorial Award. Each contestant will be judged on the basis of voice, acting, language, musicianship and style in a complete dramatic performance of an aria.

A panel of judges composed of world-renowned opera-industry professionals will select the winners. The judges’ panel for this year’s competition includes:

  • Peter Kazaras, Director of Opera at UCLA, Professor of Music at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and Artistic Director of the Seattle Young Artists Program
  • Kevin Murphy, Professor of Practice and Head Opera Coach at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater and director of music administration at the New York City Opera
  • Lenore Rosenberg, Associate Artistic Administrator of the Metropolitan Opera

The winners will be announced on Saturday afternoon, March 16, following the conclusion of the competition.

CCM News

‘Cincinnati Enquirer’ Previews CCM’s March 2 Mahler Marathon

The CCM Philharmonia.

The CCM Philharmonia.

Janelle Gelfand provides an in-depth preview of CCM’s Mahler Marathon for the Cincinnati Enquirer. If you missed the feature in the Enquirer‘s Feb. 24 issue, you can find it online here.

CCM’s Concert Orchestra presents Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G Major, along with selections from his Des knaben Wunderhorn, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 2.

After a program break for dinner, the CCM Philharmonia will be joined by choirs from throughout the region at 8 p.m. for Mahler’s massive Symphony No. 3 in D Minor.

CCM News

CCM Orchestras Mount a Mahler Marathon This March

Mark Gibson leads the CCM Philharmonia in rehearsals. Photography by Dottie Stover.

Mark Gibson leads the CCM Philharmonia in rehearsals. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s Philharmonia and Concert Orchestras proudly present Gustav Mahler’s Third and Fourth Symphonies, along with other selections from the composer’s oeuvre, during a unique double-bill performance on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

This unique undertaking begins with a 4 p.m. performance by CCM’s Concert Orchestra, featuring selections from Mahler’s Des knaben Wunderhorn (The Youth’s Magic Horn), followed by his Symphony No. 4 in G Major.

At 8 p.m. that evening, the CCM Philharmonia will then present Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 in D Minor, his longest piece and the longest symphony in the standard repertoire.

Due to its length and the significant forces it requires, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 is performed in concert far less frequently than his other symphonies, making this double-bill an especially rare feat. CCM Director of Orchestral Studies Mark Gibson conducts both symphonies.

“The Third and Fourth Symphonies of Mahler, based on the worldview and musical material from Des knaben Wunderhorn, outline the progress of humankind from earthly life to heavenly life,” Gibson explains. “I, along with 300 gifted student performers in our orchestras and choruses, look forward to sharing this unique spiritual and sonic journey with the Cincinnati public on March 2.”

CCM News

CCM Jazz Presents the Music of Legendary American Composer Hoagy Carmichael

CCM's Jazz Ensemble

CCM’s Jazz Ensemble.

CCM’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band celebrate a great American tradition with “Heart and Soul – The Music of Hoagy Carmichael” at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Scott Belck and Dominic Marino conduct.

In the typical folksy style for which Carmichael was so widely loved, “Heart and Soul” features timeless classics like “The Nearness of You,” “Skylark” and “Stardust,” brought to life in the contemporary arrangements of guest composer Brent Wallarab and the acclaimed stylings of guest vocalist Mary Ellen Tanner. The concert will also feature a special tribute to our veterans and Glenn Miller’s Army Air Corps Band.

CCM News