Jesse Leong. Photo by Nicholas Viltrakis Photography.

CCM Alumnus Jesse Leong Named Julius Rudel/Kurt Weill Conducting Fellow

The Kurt Weill Foundation recently announced the appointment of CCM alumnus Jesse Leong (BM Piano, 2015; MM Orchestral Conducting, 2017) as the recipient of the Julius Rudel/Kurt Weill Conducting Fellowship. Established in 2015 to honor Rudel’s extraordinary artistic achievements and dedication to the music of Kurt Weill, this award enables a young conductor in the early stages of a career to assist a master conductor in the preparation and performance of a work by Weill or Marc Blitzstein and expand his or her knowledge of their works. The fellowship carries a stipend of $10,000.

Jesse Leong. Photo by Nicholas Viltrakis Photography.

Jesse Leong. Photo by Nicholas Viltrakis Photography.

Leong will serve as assistant conductor to Fellowship Mentor Ted Sperling, Artistic Director of MasterVoices, for that organization’s presentation of Weill’s Lady in the Dark in April 2019 at New York City Center. Leong, age 26, completed his Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance and Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at CCM. He has worked as assistant conductor at Cincinnati Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival; Interim Music Director at CCM Opera d’Arte; and currently holds the post of Associate Music Director at Queen City Opera in Cincinnati. His repertoire spans the standard operatic canon, as well as new works, and works of Golden Age and contemporary musical theater.

“I am thrilled and honored to be selected as a Julius Rudel/Kurt Weill Conducting Fellow,” said Leong. “I look forward to working with Maestro Ted Sperling, Victoria Clark, and everyone at both MasterVoices and the Kurt Weill Foundation! Coming from a Broadway family myself (my father is a fight choreographer, and my stepmom is a dancer/choreographer), I have always had a love and affinity for music theater.” As a passionate proponent of American music, he also plans to present several recitals this year focusing on the music of “crossover” composers, including Gershwin, Bernstein, Sondheim, Bolcom, Weill and Blitzstein.

Sperling, sharing in Leong’s enthusiasm, said, “We at MasterVoices are thrilled and grateful to be working with Jesse Leong. With his background in both opera and musical theater, he is a perfect fit for this position. Jesse will play piano for all cast rehearsals, and be a standby for me as conductor when we move into dress rehearsals and performances. As I’m both directing and conducting these performances, it’s crucial to have someone I trust to listen and watch for me, as well as to step in and conduct rehearsals so I can take a longer view.”

Sperling is a long-time proponent of Weill’s music. As Artistic Director of MasterVoices, he has directed concert performances of Knickerbocker Holiday and conducted The Firebrand of Florence. In 2015, he conducted the US premiere and world premiere recording of The Road of Promise. He has also previously served as a judge of the Lotte Lenya Competition. His history with Lady in the Dark dates back to 2001 when he directed the Prince Music Theatre production in Philadelphia. He returns to the work now 18 years later, in a new semi-staged concert version featuring choreography by Doug Varone, and starring Tony Award-winning theater, film, and television actor and director Victoria Clark as Liza Elliott. Sperling described the performances: “Our presentation of Lady is turning out to be quite ambitious. Our collaborations with Doug Varone and Dancers, as well as our incredible design team (which include contributions from couture designers Zac Posen, Christian Cowan and Thom Browne) are yielding very exciting results—this will be a one-of-a-kind event.”

Lady in the Dark will have two performances on April 25 and 26 at New York City Center, as part of its landmark 75th anniversary season. For more information, visit and

About The Kurt Weill Foundation
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. ( is dedicated to promoting understanding of the life and works of composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) and preserving the legacies of Weill and his wife, actress-singer Lotte Lenya (1898-1981). The Foundation administers the Weill-Lenya Research Center, a Grant Program, the Kurt Weill Book Prize and the Lotte Lenya Competition, and publishes the Kurt Weill Edition and the Kurt Weill Newsletter.

CCM News Student Salutes

Cincinnati Enquirer Previews CCM’s Kurt Weill Festival

This weekend, the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Jackie Demaline provided an early look at CCM’s yearlong Kurt Weill Festival. You can read her preview here.

The festival resumes next month with a Mainstage production of Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes and Elmer Rice’s great American opera Street Scene, conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by Steven Goldstein. Street Scene runs Nov. 15 – 18 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

Visit CCM’s official Facebook page for a behind-the-scenes look at the production!

CCM News

CCM’s Resident Kurt Weill Expert Featured in New York Times

Railroads on Parade Program Cover

CCM’s resident Kurt Weill scholar, Associate Professor of Musicology bruce mcclung, was quoted in an Oct. 21 New York Times article on the discovery of a previously unknown recording of Weill’s “Railroads on Parade” composition from the 1939 World Fair.

Record collector Guy Walker discovered the recordings in 2007 and plans to release the music on CD this month, with liner notes by mcclung. Read the full New York Times article here.

CCM’s yearlong Kurt Weill Festival kicked-off earlier this month. You can learn more about that unprecedented series of events here.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM Celebrates Iconic Composer Kurt Weill With Yearlong Festival

Theatre composer Kurt Weill in New City, ca. 1945 (photo: Engel). Image courtesy of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.

Theatre composer Kurt Weill in New City, ca. 1945 (photo: Engel). Image courtesy of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.

Beginning this month, CCM will celebrate the iconic work and enduring legacy of composer Kurt Weill with an unprecedented series of events. Opening on Friday, Oct. 19, and running through Tuesday, March 12, CCM’s Kurt Weill Festival will incorporate the renowned theatre composer into a broad range of both public performances and classroom exercises.

Perhaps best known for The Threepenny Opera and its opening ballad, “Mack the Knife,” Weill’s work has been championed by performers as diverse as Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, Nina Simone, The Doors, Judy Collins, Teresa Stratas, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Todd Rundgren, Tom Waits, Lou Reed and Sting.

CCM’s yearlong Kurt Weill Festival will include Mainstage opera and musical theatre productions, cabaret performances, collaborative concerts, master classes and more. Funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, CCM has never before hosted a festival of this magnitude.

CCM News

CCM Announces Fall 2012 Calendar of Major Events


CCM is delighted to announce its fall schedule of performances. The largest single source of performing arts events in the state of Ohio, CCM presents more than 100 public performances this fall, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported opera, drama and musical theatre productions.

This fall’s schedule includes a Beethoven Festival (Sept. 14 – Oct. 12), a Kurt Weill Festival (Oct. 19 – March 10) and a Cage Centennial Celebration (Nov. 5 – Nov. 29). CCM also collaborates with Cincinnati Opera on public workshop performances of two new American operas (Oct. 27 – 28 and Dec. 4 – 5) and presents a pair of concerts in conjunction with the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts (Oct. 10 and Oct. 28).

Download a digital copy of CCM’s Fall 2012 Calendar of Major Events today. Physical copies are also available at the CCM Box Office in the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

CCM’s 2012-13 Season Includes Opera, Musical Theatre and Drama Special Events

CCM proudly presents a series of special events as part of its landmark 2012-13 performance series.

This series kicks off in October with Speak Low, a cabaret-style evening celebrating the work of Kurt Weill, and also includes the return of CCM’s popular Musical Redux and TRANSMIGRATION programs.

Please see the listings below for full production and ticketing details.


CCM Celebrates 50 Years As a UC College With 50 Major Performing Arts Events

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is delighted to announce its 2012-13 schedule of major events. From September through May, CCM will present a series of 50 performances spanning the spectrum of the performing and media arts.

This series begins with the internationally-acclaimed Ariel Quartet’s inaugural concert as CCM string-quartet-in-residence on Tuesday, Sept. 11 and concludes with a Sunday, May 5 performance by the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, gold medal-winners at the 2012 World Choir Games.

The 2012-13 performance schedule also features festivals showcasing the works of German composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Kurt Weill, jazz tributes to the music of Stevie Wonder and Frank Zappa, a dynamic revival of the rock musical Chess, a performance of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor presented in conjunction with the Constella Festival and much more.

These creative collaborations are part of a year-long celebration, ushering in CCM’s second half-century as a college of the University of Cincinnati (UC). In August of 1962, the then century-old Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music joined UC as its 14th college. This merger created the institution now known as CCM, an institution built on the synergy of education, innovation and performance. Learn more about CCM’s history by visiting

CCM News

CCM’s 2012-13 Season Brochure is Now Available Online

Subscription and flex ticket packages are now on sale for the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s 2012-13 performance season. This year’s season includes 50 major events, ranging from fully staged operas and musicals to intimate chamber music concerts and holiday-themed choral extravaganzas.

Download a digital copy of this year’s season brochure today. Physical copies are also available at the CCM Box Office.

CCM News