Old 'Thinking About Music' lecture logo.

CCM’s Thinking About Music Lecture Series Opens Friday, Sept. 9

Each semester, CCM welcomes distinguished experts for a series of free Friday afternoon musical discussions. This fall, the Thinking About Music lecture series will present four free public talks, beginning with a presentation by Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Professor Halina Goldberg on Friday, Sept. 9, held as part of CCM’s Fall Polish Festival.

CCM's Fall 2016 Thinking About Music Lecture Series 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 Alabama Professor Stephen Peles (Sept. 16), Yale University Professor Brian Kane (Sept. 30) and Miami University Professor Tammy Kernodle (Oct. 28). 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.

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2016 FALL JOSEPH AND FRANCES JONES POETKER THINKING ABOUT MUSIC LECTURE SERIES

CCM's Thinking About Music Lecture Series welcomes Halina Goldberg on Sept. 9, 2016.2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9
THE NATIONAL COMPOSER / THE COSMOPOLITAN COMPOSER: IN SEARCH OF POLISH (?) MUSIC
Halina Goldberg, Jacobs School of Music

Dr. Halina Goldberg, acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost experts on Polish music, will present a lecture on aspects of Polish art and culture.
Location: Baur Room
Admission: FREE

Polish Festival Sponsor: Judith Heiny and Piotr Chomczynski
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CCM's Thinking About Music Lecture Series welcomes Stephen Peles on Sept. 16, 2016.2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16
HOW THE GIVEN IS TAKEN: BABBITT, PRINCETON AND THE PSYCHOLOGIZATION OF POSTWAR AMERICAN MUSIC ANALYSIS
Stephen Peles, University of Alabama

The public controversy engendered by Babbitt’s call for a “scientific” music theory has tended to overshadow other more enduring aspects of his meta-theoretical program. This lecture argues for the significance to Babbitt’s legacy of his insistence on the centrality of the listener (real and imagined) to analytic claims.
Location: Baur Room
Admission: FREE
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CCM's Thinking About Music Lecture Series welcomes Brian Kane on Sept. 30, 2016.2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30
HEARING DOUBLE: JAZZ ONTOLOGY
Brian Kane, Yale University
Philosophers have often considered the ontology of music, worrying over the relation between works, scores and performances — yet jazz has not received the same consideration. This lecture argues for a non-essentialist, network-based ontology of jazz standards.
Location: Baur Room
Admission: FREE
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CCM's Thinking About Music Lecture Series welcomes Tammy Kernodle on Oct. 28, 2016.2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28
I TOO SING AMERICA: BLACK WOMEN MUSICIANS, LANGSTON HUGHES AND THE ADVANCEMENT OF BLACK RADICAL EXPRESSIVE CULTURE IN COLD WAR ERA AMERICA
Tammy Kernodle, Miami University

This talk will explore how poet/activist Langston Hughes’ collaborations with Margaret Bonds, Odetta and Nina Simone provided the foundation for the type of radical expressive culture that advanced, musically, the ideals of political and social equality during the 1950s and 1960s.
Location: Baur Room
Admission: FREE
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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 U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

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

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A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, CCM is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

CCM News
'The Birth Song Cycle' rehearsals featuring Audrey Luna, Libby Larsen, Lydia Brown and Gwen Detwiler. Photography by Joseph Fuqua II.

CCM Faculty and Alumni Artists Premiere New Work by Grammy Award-Winning Composer Libby Larsen at SongFest 2015

This summer, a trio of faculty and alumni artists from CCM will premiere a new work by Grammy award-winning composer Libby Larsen.

The Birth Song Cycle will be performed at the Colburn School’s Thayer Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 12, as part of this year’s SongFest Signature Series of concerts. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Birth Song Cycle was written for CCM Associate Professor of Voice Gwen Coleman Detwiler and CCM alumna Audrey Luna (MM Voice, 1988). The two sopranos will collaborate with internationally renowned pianist and CCM Associate Professor of Opera Lydia Brown in performing this cutting edge composition, giving fresh and current perspective to the powerful subject of childbirth.

While the canon of vocal literature touches on many deeply felt human experiences, the profound transformation of childbirth is scarcely addressed. Larsen’s The Birth Song Cycle breaks that taboo, exploring those human sensations of exuberance and loss, of pain and triumph that are the emotional fabric of childbirth.

Through humor and lyricism, Larsen illuminates our humanity with a genius blending of music and the words of modern authors including Pheobe Damrosch, M. K. Dean, Jennifer Gilmore, Lauren Groff, Langston Hughes, Heidi Pitlor, A. E. Stallings, Cheryl Strayed, Akiko Yosano and Gina Zucker.

You can learn more about this and other SongFest 2015 events by visiting www.songfest.us/2015-festival.

Following the work’s world premiere at SongFest, The Birth Song Cycle will be performed as part of CCM’s 2015-16 Faculty Artist Series on Saturday, Sept. 26.

About Libby Larsen

Grammy award-winning composer Libby Larsen.

Grammy award-winning composer Libby Larsen.

Libby Larsen is one of America’s most prolific and most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over 12 operas. Her music has been praised for its dynamic, deeply inspired and vigorous contemporary American spirit. Constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles and orchestras around the world, Larsen has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory.

Larsen has been hailed as “the only English-speaking composer since Benjamin Britten who matches great verse with fine music so intelligently and expressively” by USA Today; as “a composer who has made the art of symphonic writing very much her own” by Gramophone; as “a mistress of orchestration” by Times Union; and for “assembling one of the most impressive bodies of music of our time” by Hartford Courant. Her music has been praised for its “clear textures, easily absorbed rhythms and appealing melodic contours that make singing seem the most natural expression imaginable” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Libby Larsen has come up with a way to make contemporary opera both musically current and accessible to the average audience.”

Larsen has received numerous awards and accolades, including a 1994 Grammy as producer of the CD The Art of Arlene Augér, an acclaimed recording that features Larsen’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. Her opera Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus was selected as one of the eight best classical music events of 1990 by USA Today. The first woman to serve as a resident composer with a major orchestra, she has held residencies with the California Institute of the Arts, the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, the Philadelphia School of the Arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony. Larsen’s many commissions and recordings are a testament to her fruitful collaborations with a long list of world-renowned artists, including the King’s Singers, Benita Valente and Frederica von Stade, among others. Her works are widely recorded on such labels as Angel/EMI, Nonesuch, Decca, and Koch International.

As a past holder of the 2003-04 Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education at the Library of Congress and recipient of the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Larsen is a vigorous, articulate champion of the music and musicians of our time. In 1973, she co-founded (with Stephen Paulus) the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composers Forum, which has been an invaluable advocate for composers in a difficult, transitional time for American arts. Consistently sought-after as a leader in the generation of millennium thinkers, Larsen’s music and ideas have refreshed the concert music tradition and the composer’s role in it.

About Gwen Coleman Detwiler

CCM Associate Professor Gwen Coleman Detwiler.

CCM Associate Professor Gwen Coleman Detwiler.

Soprano Gwen Coleman Detwiler has been praised by music critics for possessing a voice of “divine beauty” with “sparkling coloratura” and “impressive high-flying top notes.” Her solo concert work includes appearances with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Detwiler made her European debut as the soprano soloist for the Klassiche Musikfest’s performances of Haydn’s Die Jahreszeiten and Beethoven’s Mass in C at the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria. Her opera role repertoire includes Gilda in Rigoletto, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Blonde in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, the Governess in Turn of the Screw, Monica in The Medium and the title role in Cendrillon, among others. Dr. Detwiler can be heard on the Newport Classic’s CD recording of Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe and as the leading soprano, Suleika, on Centaur Record’s world-premier recording of Schubert’s Der Graf von Gleichen.

In recital, Dr. Detwiler’s repertoire includes literature spanning Baroque chamber music, German lieder, and the modern American art song. Audiences have enjoyed her performances at the Chautauqua Institute in New York, Summerfest Chamber Music Festival in Missouri, the Grandin Chamber Music Festival in Ohio, the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Ohio, the Fredonia Opera House in New York, the Château de Vianden in Luxembourg and in Central City, Colorado, among many others.

A 1999 Metropolitan Opera National Council regional winner, Dr. Detwiler has won numerous national awards for her artistry, including a MacAllister Award, the Italo Opera Award, a Presser Award and the Naftzger Young Artists Auditions first prize. She received her vocal and opera training at Northwestern University, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Opera Center Merola Young Artist Program.

Dr. Detwiler is currently an associate professor of voice at CCM. In the summer of 2012, she joined the faculty of SongFest at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. In addition, she has taught at the Spoleto Festival in Italy (2011), the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg (2010) and the State University of New York at Fredonia (1999-2010). Her vocal students have sung on the some of world’s most illustrious stages from the New York Metropolitan Opera to the stages of Broadway, others have attended prestigious graduate schools in the United States and in Europe. Dr. Detwiler was the recipient of the 2006 Revolutionary Woman on Campus Award and the 2001 Outstanding Professor Award. Dr. Detwiler performs and provides vocal master classes throughout the United States. She currently lives in the greater Cincinnati area with her husband, Jim, and two children, Jacob and Katelyn.

About Audrey Luna

CCM alumna Audrey Luna.

CCM alumna Audrey Luna.

Audrey Luna has been heard in international festivals and concert halls across the US, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. She launched her career abroad on tour with the famous Hagen Quartet and in Germany as a fest soloist in Bremen, where she was lauded as “musically and theatrically first class… with technical sovereignty, she laid before us so much warmth, expression, and sensitivity that it was pure joy.”

Luna has enjoyed a widely varied career opera, oratorio, chamber music, art song recitals and contemporary music. Among her credits are the Salzburger Festspiel, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiel, Mettlach Chamber Music Festival, Jerusalem Festival, Shanghai Spring Festival, Lexington Bach Festival, Konzerthaus Wien, Berlin Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Queens Hall, the Louvre, St. John the Divine and the Kennedy Center to name a few.

Luna’s love of chamber music has led to collaborations with not only the Hagen Quartet, but also the Artis Quartet, Baseler Quartet, Ciompi Quartet, Amernet Quartet, Carpe Diem Quartet and the Bennewitz Quartet. She works regularly with renowned percussionist and CCM faculty member Allen Otte in recital and experimental theatre and recently performed at the Lucerne Festival with Walter Levin (of CCM’s legendary string quartet-in-residence the LaSalle Quartet) in his lecture recitals. A frequent collaborator with pianists Brad Caldwell and CCM Eminent Scholar in Chamber Music James Tocco, she has appeared in numerous recitals across the Midwestern United States and at the Great Lakes Chamber Festival. Recent performances with Laura Hynes and their soprano duo Detour de Force, have received wide acclaim.

Luna’s extensive work in contemporary music is marked by her invitation to sing with the Hagen Quartet at the historic opening of the Schoenberg Institute in Vienna and to premier music of Chinese composer Qu Xiao-Song at the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival. Dramatic work with Dagmar Birke led to the commission of the monodrama CLOTHO, based on original writings of Camille Claudel, for soprano, percussion and computer. Her most recent contemporary music projects include work in Paris with Hungarian composer György Kurtag, which resulted in her recording of his Kafka Fragmente, as well as work with Chinese composer Chen Yi, German composer and guitarist Wolfgang Netzer and American composers Moiya Callahan, CCM Professor Mara Helmuth, Allen Otte and John Corigliano. Luna also appeared in New York City Opera’s Showcase of American Composers series.

Luna currently teaches at Miami University of Ohio and during the summer teaches voice and the Alexander Technique at SongFest at the Colburn School. Her students are singing in opera houses internationally, have toured worldwide with William Christie and Chanticleer and are winners in competitions in the US including the Metropolitan Opera Regional and District Council Auditions, Columbus Opera and NATSAA. Luna’s students sing with young artist programs and in opera houses across the US and attend some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the US and Europe: CCM, Eastman, Mannes School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, Rice University, the Royal College of Music in London and Paris Conservatory. Luna has mentored students to win Fullbright, Marshall and Frank Huntington Beebe scholarships.

Luna has sung with such noted conductors as Niklaus Harnoncourt, Marcello Viotti, Anthony Pappano, Jesús López-Cobos, Helmut Rilling, José-Luis Novo, Stephen Cleobury and Stephanie Gonley. Luna is recording the music for soprano and percussion in Mode Records’ integrated edition of the complete music of John Cage with Percussion Group Cincinnati, as well as the voice and percussion music of Qu Xiao-Song for Peer Publishers. She can be heard on the Bonneville Classics, Oehms Classics, and arsmoderna labels.

About Lydia Brown

CCM Associate Professor Lydia Brown.

CCM Associate Professor Lydia Brown.

Lydia Brown has performed extensively as a soloist and collaborative pianist throughout the world. A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she currently serves as assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.

Brown won the Second Prize of the 1996 New Orleans International Piano Competition and was honored as an NFAA Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Her recital appearances include notable venues such as the Salle Cortot, the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, the Dusseldorf InselFestival, Alice Tully Hall, 92nd St. Y, Caramoor, the Goethe Institute of New York, the Phillips Gallery and Steinway Hall among others.

Brown holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano from the Juilliard School as well as degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Yale University. She studied art song with Elly Ameling and pianist Rudolf Jansen and has served on the musical coaching staffs of the Spoleto Festival USA, Opera Cleveland, Chautauqua Institute Voice Program, the Marlboro Music Festival and the Ravinia Steans Institute.

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CCM Slideshows: The Threepenny Opera

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CCM proudly presents The Threepenny Opera, running tonight, March 1, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

Learn more The Threepenny Opera here.

“[Stage Director Robin] Guarino fearlessly goes back to the musical satire’s socio-political roots in 1920s Berlin,” Jackie Demaline writes in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Everything about The Threepenny Opera carries out Guarino’s vision, as the cast prowl scenic designer John Arnone’s industrial set of catwalks, with the small orchestra (in costume) perched at the top. Musical director Roger Grodsky as always asks much and gets all from singers and musicians.”

Read Demaline’s full review here.

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A New Sneak Peek at the Scenic Design of ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Assistant to the Scenic Designer Alexandra Kuntz provides these previews of 'The Threepenny Opera.'

Assistant to the Scenic Designer Alexandra Kuntz provides these previews of ‘The Threepenny Opera.’

CCM’s acclaimed Mainstage Series resumes this week with Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s epic musical The Threepenny Opera. Today, we are happy to provide a preview of the show’s set, courtesy of Alexandra Kuntz, a sophomore in CCM’s Scenic Design program and Assistant to Guest Scenic Designer John Arnone on this production.

Learn more about this dynamic new production, which features set designs by Tony Award-winner John Arnone.

“Set in the mid-19th century, Macheath (otherwise known as ‘Mack the Knife’) runs the town with his rag tag band of ruffians and gets what he wants,” Kuntz explains. “His latest want just happens to be Polly Peachum, daughter of the Beggar’s Lord of London (Johnathan Jeremiah Peachum), who doesn’t take too kindly to Mack the Knife’s interest in his daughter. Doing anything to keep them apart, Peachum uses broads, bribes and blackmails to get Mack out of the picture, while Macheath’s life hangs in the balance.”

This production contains mature subject matter.

CCM News

The Epic Theatre of CCM’s ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s year-long Kurt Weill Festival resumes this month with a dynamic new production of the iconic musical The Threepenny Opera. Composed by Kurt Weill with book and lyrics by dramatist Bertolt Brecht (adapted into English by Marc Blitzstein), The Threepenny Opera weaves the riveting tale of notorious bandit and womanizer Macheath (“Mack the Knife”) and his seedy companions in London’s underworld. Weill’s innovative score invented a new form of musical theatre, leading the way for such shows as Chicago and Cabaret.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of this jazz-infused musical is directed by Robin Guarino, with musical direction by Roger Grodsky, choreography by Patti James and scenic designs by Tony Award-winning guest artist John Arnone. The Threepenny Opera runs Thursday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

CCM News

‘Seen and Heard International’ Reviews CCM’s ‘Street Scene’

Rafael de Acha reviews CCM’s historic production of Street Scene for Seen and Heard International, praising stage director Steven Goldstein‘s “unfaltering hand,” conductor Mark Gibson‘s “fervent leadership” and scenic designer Brian Ruggaber‘s “impressively life-like three-story set,” along with “Abbi Squires spot-on costumes, Amy Whitaker authentic wigs and make up, David LaRose’s summery lighting and Danny Jama’s hyper-realistic sound design. Usually unsung heroes, the diction coaching of Rocco dal Vera and the musical preparation of Sylvia Plyler amply equipped the cast with authentic accents and stylish musicality.”

You can read de Acha’s full review here.

CCM News

Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jackie Demaline Reviews CCM’s ‘Street Scene’

'Street Scene' photography by Mark Lyons.

‘Street Scene’ photography by Mark Lyons.

Jackie Demaline reviews CCM’s first-ever production of Street Scene for the Cincinnati Enquirer, proclaiming: “It’s a glorious synthesis by composer Kurt Weill and the artistic team and their company of singers and musicians deliver a production that will stand as a high point of the Cincinnati stage season.” Running tonight through Nov. 18 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater, Street Scene is part of CCM’s year-long Kurt Weill Festival.

You can read the full review here.

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CCM Slideshows: Street Scene

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CCM proudly presents Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes and Elmer Rice’s Tony-Award winning opera Street Scene tonight through Nov. 18 in UC’s Patricia Corbett TheaterMark Gibson conducts with stage direction by Steven Goldstein.

Jackie Demaline previewed the American opera in last Sunday’s Cincinnati Enquirer. You can read the full story here.

Anne Arenstein also previewed Street Scene, along with the rest of CCM’s groundbreaking Kurt Weill Festival, in this week’s issue of CityBeat. You can read the feature here.

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CCM Welcomes Kurt Weill Foundation President For A Series of Talks On Nov. 15 and 16

Guest speaker Kim Kowalke.

Guest speaker Kim Kowalke.

CCM is delighted to welcome Richard L. Turner Professor of the Humanities at the University of Rochester and President of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music Kim Kowalke for a series of talks this week in conjunction with the Mainstage production of Street Scene.

Kowalke will speak to students enrolled in CCM’s “Kurt Weill’s Music Theatre” course on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 15 and then present a free talk before the opening performance of Street Scene. This talk is open to the public and will last from 7:15 – 7:45 p.m. in the Baur Room of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.

Kowalke will also present a Thinking About Music lecture on “What Makes Weill Weill” at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16. This talk will be held in the Baur Room and is also free and open to the general public.

A full schedule of related public events is listed below. Click here for more information on CCM’s 2012-13 Kurt Weill Festival.

CCM News

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Scenic Design of ‘Street Scene’

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CCM’s history-making production of Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes and Elmer Rice’s Tony-Award winning opera Street Scene opens tomorrow evening (Nov. 15) and runs through Sunday, Nov. 18 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

With its mammoth cast, this highly theatrical opera has something for everyone: rising melodic lines, lively American jazz phrases and even a few Broadway style dance numbers. It is a story of love, passion, greed and death – all set in front of a tenement building in 1946 Manhattan.

Today, we provide a behind-the-scenes look at how this tenement building came to life, courtesy of Scenic Designer Brian Ruggaber and the rest of Street Scene‘s production staff.

Street Scene is the latest installment in CCM’s 2012-13 Kurt Weill Festival, which is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, IncMark Gibson conducts with stage direction by Steven Goldstein. Street Scene will be sung in English without supertitles.

CCM News CCM Slideshows