Mark Gibson and the CCM Philharmonia.

CCM’s Spring Orchestra Series Commences With Richard Strauss’ Epic ‘Salome’ on Jan. 29

CCM’s Department of Orchestral Studies presents classics and contemporary masterworks alike in concert this semester.

Under the direction of Director of Orchestral Studies Mark Gibson and Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung, CCM’s acclaimed orchestral ensembles will give six concerts between January 29 and April 10, several of which are free and all of which are open to the public. Tickets are on sale now for all performances requiring paid admission.

CCM Assistant Professor Amy Johnson in Arizona Opera’s production of 'Salome.' Photography by Tim Fuller.

CCM Assistant Professor Amy Johnson in Arizona Opera’s production of ‘Salome.’ Photography by Tim Fuller.

The series commences at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, with a concert production of Richard Strauss’ 1905 masterpiece Salome. Capping off a year-long CCM festival, which celebrates music from the first decade of the 20th century, the Jan. 29 concert features Strauss’ one-act adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s controversial stage work and is a must see for opera, theatre and orchestral fans alike. Mark Gibson conducts.

The opera’s title, Salome, is drawn from the name traditionally given to the dancing woman from the New Testament gospels of Matthew and Mark who, after dancing for Herod Antipas, asks for, and receives, John the Baptist’s head on a platter.

Regarded as a story of dangerous female seductiveness, it was the unique blend of biblical narrative, murder and eroticism that attracted Oscar Wilde to write his controversial 19th century play about the mysterious figure.

Strauss’ operatic adaptation was just as controversial and was even banned in London and Vienna after its premiere in 1905. Today, the piece has become a well-established part of the operatic repertoire but still retains the same tantalizing excitement that was present at its premiere over 100 years ago.

A massive collaborative effort, this production of Salome features the talents of two CCM Voice faculty artists: Amy Johnson in the title role and Kenneth Shaw as John the Baptist. Salome also features guest artists Allan Glassman as Herod and Elizabeth Bishop, who sings the role of Herodias, Herod’s wife. Student soloists include Brandon Russell, Chelsea Melamed, T.J. Capobianco, John Humphrey, Blake Lampton, Pedro Arroyo, Christian Pursell, John Murton, Jacob Kinkaide, Alex Harper, Nicole Hodgins, Scarlett Rustemeyer. The production is semi-staged by faculty director Emma Griffin.

Listen to Mark Gibson discuss Salome on WVXU’s Around Cincinnati here.

The Philharmonia continues the collaborative spirit on Friday, March 11, with faculty-artists James Bunte and Douglas Knehans in American Voices XVIII, CCM’s yearly salute to modern American composers. This year features inspiring works by composers Julia Wolfe, Jennifer Higdon and the world premiere of a new symphony by Professor Knehans.

Under the direction of Aik Khai Pung, CCM’s Concert Orchestra will close out the concert series on April 10 with Charlie Parker with Strings, a collaboration between CCM’s Orchestral Studies and Jazz Studies programs featuring music from the classic orchestral jazz album of the same name.

Event Information
All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Some events do require purchased tickets; please see individual event information for single ticket prices and ordering information.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit for CCM Box Office hours and location.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 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 for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit 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



8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29
CCM Philharmonia
Featuring faculty artists Amy Johnson, Kenneth Shaw and Tom Baresel, guest artists Elizabeth Bishop and Allan Glassman, and student soloists
Mark Gibson, music director and conductor
Emma Griffin, stage director
The capstone of CCM’s festival celebrating “The Great Decade,” Richard Strauss’ 1905 masterpiece Salome represents the epitome of pre-World War I decadence, opulence and extravagance. An adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s controversial stage work of the same name, this staging is an hour and a half of irresistible drama and ecstatic hyper-romanticism. It is a must see for opera fans, theatre enthusiasts and lovers of massive orchestral sound.

Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.


8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2
CCM Concert Orchestra
Aik Khai Pung, music director and conductor
Featuring a new work by CCM student composer Xian Wang, along with classic works from European composers!
WANG: New Work TBA
BARTÓK: Viola Concerto
HINDEMITH: Symphonic Metemorphosis on Themes of Weber
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Admission: FREE


8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26
CCM Concert Orchestra
Aik Khai Pung, music director and conductor
PROKOFIEV: Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op. 60
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto TBA
Featuring the winner of the CCM Violin Competition
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Admission: FREE


8 p.m. Friday, March 11
CCM Philharmonia
Featuring faculty artist James Bunte, soprano saxophone
Also featuring recent music of faculty composer Douglas Knehans
Mark Gibson, music director and conductor
CCM presents the world premiere of a new symphony by faculty artist Douglas Knehans, along with the exhilarating soprano saxophone concerto of Jennifer Hidgon and “Cruel Sister” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe.
KNEHANS: Unfinished Earth
HIGDON: Soprano Sax Concerto
James Bunte, soloist
WOLFE: Cruel Sister
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.


8 p.m. Friday, March 18
Café MoMus
Aik Khai Pung, music director
Featuring the winners of the CCM Composition Competition.
Location: Cohen Family Studio Theater
Admission: FREE


7 p.m. Sunday, April 10
CCM Jazz Orchestra and Concert Orchestra
Aik Khai Pung and Craig Bailey, conductors
Our annual collaboration between Jazz and Orchestra! Join us for an exciting night of orchestral jazz featuring music from the classic album Charlie Parker with Strings.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.


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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Visiting Artists Sponsor: The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel

Orchestral Sponsor: Mr. & Mrs. Joseph W. Hirschhorn

CCM News
CCM's renowned Philharmonia Orchestra.

CCM Announces Initial Concert Schedule for 2014-15

CCM is pleased to announce initial details on its 2014-15 Concert Series. From J.S. Bach and W.A. Mozart to Leonard Bernstein and Ray Charles, CCM’s student ensembles, faculty artists and guest performers will traverse the breadth and depth of the performing arts in this dynamic series of events.

Encompassing over 50 different concerts, this series begins with a performance by the internationally acclaimed Ariel Quartet with legendary guest artist Menahem Pressler on Sept. 9, 2014, and concludes with a number of performances by CCM’s Preparatory Department running May 1 – 9, 2015.

Other highlights of CCM’s 2014-15 concert series include:

  • a performance of Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Cello featuring the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Timothy Lees and Ilya Finkelshteyn,
  • choral concerts celebrating the Shakespearean Quadricentennial,
  • a Wind Orchestra tribute to Leonard Bernstein,
  • a guest artist recital by renowned German countertenor Andreas Scholl,
  • a joint faculty artist recital by CCM’s two Naumburg gold medalists Awadagin Pratt and Soyeon Kate Lee,
  • a rare stateside performance by the Cambridge-based Academy of Ancient Music,
  • jazz concerts celebrating the music of Ray Charles and Duke Ellington,
  • a guest artist recital by renowned pianist Stephen Hough co-presented with the Xavier University Classical Piano Series,
  • a CCM Ballet Ensemble production of Stravinsky’s Les Noces,
  • and much more!

Several perennial favorites are also returning this season, including the Feast of Carols holiday concert, the Steel Drum Band’s annual performance, the 18th PRISM showcase and the 10th installment of PIANOPALOOZA, which celebrates the piano concerti of Rachmaninoff.

CCM News

CCM and Constella Festival Present Bach’s ‘St. John Passion’ This Sunday


The Cincinnati Enquirer has named CCM’s Sunday, Nov. 3, staging of J. S. Bach’s St. John Passion as its “top pick for the weekend!”

According to the preview, “it should be one of the most moving events of the entire fall season.” Tickets are still available for this unique staged performance at Cincinnati’s Christ Church Cathedral.

Learn more about CCM’s production of this cherished Baroque masterwork here.

CCM News

CCM Presents a Grand Recreation of a Beloved Bach Masterpiece on Nov. 3

Graduate student Conor McDonald performs the role of Jesus in CCM's production of J.S. Bach's 'St. John Passion,' presented at Christ Church Cathedral on Nov. 3. Photography by Dottie Stover.

Graduate student Conor McDonald performs the role of Jesus in CCM’s production of J.S. Bach’s ‘St. John Passion,’ presented at Christ Church Cathedral on Nov. 3. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra join forces to perform a unique staged production of Johann Sebastian Bach’s visceral rendering of the St. John Passion as the next installment in CCM’s 2013-14 Prestige Concert Series. The monumental work will be presented at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, at Christ Church Cathedral under the direction of Earl Rivers, staged by Omer Ben-Seadia, and in conjunction with the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts.

Bach composed his St. John Passion for the congregations of Leipzig, Germany for Good Friday services in April 1724. The story is narrated by the character of the Evangelist and emphasizes the conflict of Pontius Pilate. “Bach’s interpretation provides us with a dramatic and physiological account,” explains stage director and Artist Diploma directing student Omer Ben-Seadia. “The staging will portray the drama through symbolic elements and light. The text and historical reflection are just as pungent today as ever – and the staging confronts these truths head on.” Ben-Seadia will also direct CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Don Pasquale in April 2014.

“Performances of Bach’s Passions, particularly in light of the attention that Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ received, present an opportunity for Christians and Jews to confront issues of religious intolerance, and the role of the arts and how the arts might, advertently or inadvertently, promote intolerance,” explains conductor and Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers. “By exploring these issues, we will know the music better and we will know each other better.”

The concert will be performed at the magnificent setting of Christ Church Cathedral, which enjoys a long tradition of great choral music and is hosting the collaboration between CCM’s Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra and the Constella Festival for a second year. In 2010, the CCM Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Orchestra presented the 400th Anniversary of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 at the downtown location, and the Cathedral presents a wide variety of performances throughout the year.

CCM alumnus and Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Visiting Artist Jeffrey Thompson, tenor, will sing the role of the Evangelist. CCM graduate voice majors Conor McDonald and Jeffrey Byrnes, baritones, perform the roles of Jesus and Pilate, respectively. The roles of aria soloists will be sung by CCM graduate voice majors Danielle Adams, soprano; Laurin McAlister, mezzo-soprano; Alec Carlson, tenor; Jonathan Cooper, baritone; and Stefan Egerstrom, bass. Guest Artist Adriana Contino, cellist, plays continuo cello and Michael Unger, Assistant Professor of Harpsichord and Organ, is featured as harpsichordist. Student obbligato soloists include Haoli Lin and Yang Liu, violin; Xue Su and Carol Joe, flute; and Katelyn Kyser and Martha Peck, oboe.

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