CCM’s Britten Centenary Celebration Culminates with Birthday Concert on Nov. 22

Britten rehearsing 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' Op. 64, in Jubilee Hall in 1960. Image courtesy of www.britten100.org

Britten rehearsing ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ Op. 64, in Jubilee Hall in 1960. Image courtesy of http://www.britten100.org

CCM commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten with a celebratory concert on Friday, Nov. 22.

Under the baton of Mark Gibson, Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies, the CCM Philharmonia will present Britten’s orchestral showpiece The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, narrated by special guest Santa J. Ono, President of the University of Cincinnati.

One of Britten’s best-known pieces, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34 (1946), is a musical composition that was originally commissioned for an educational  documentary film called Instruments of the Orchestra, directed by Muir Mathieson and featuring the London Symphony. It is one of the three popularly used scores in children’s music education, along with Saint Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

Audience members may recognize this showpiece from the 2012 Wes Anderson film Moonrise Kingdom. Music drawn from Britten’s opera for children, Noye’s Fludde, and his Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, played an integral role in the movie’s conception and can be heard throughout the film. Watch Anderson discuss Britten’s influence here.

The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is not only one of Britten’s most played pieces but — in its original, 1940s film version — was a highly significant attempt to use the media of the day to introduce children to classical music. View a newly animated version of the showpiece below:

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The evening will also feature Britten’s Violin Concerto, Op. 15 (1939), a highly original piece that foreshadows the composer’s work on the famed opera Peter Grimes (1945).

In addition, the program includes Sir Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, the work that brought him to national prominence upon its production by Hans Richter at St. James’ Hall, London, in June of 1899. Like Britten, Elgar holds a place at the helm of his respective generation of British composers.

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CCM Celebrates Benjamin Britten at 100 With Special Events

'Spring Symphony' composer Benjamin Britten, circa 1949. Photography by Roland Haupt; courtesy of www.britten100.org.

Composer Benjamin Britten, circa 1949. Photography by Roland Haupt; courtesy of http://www.britten100.org.

CCM celebrates the 100th anniversary of composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten with a pair of free film screenings, a Mainstage Opera production, a concert performance and a special guest lecture by acclaimed film director Tony Palmer.

Beginning on Thursday, Oct. 24, and running through what would be Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday on Friday, Nov. 22, CCM’s Britten Centenary Celebration includes a guest lecture by filmmaker Tony Palmer, free public screenings of the films Nocturne and A Time There Wasplus a Mainstage Series production of Britten’s two-act opera Owen Wingrave.

The celebration culminates with a birthday concert on Nov. 22 by the CCM Philharmonia featuring the orchestral showpiece The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, narrated by special guest Santa J. Ono, PhD, President of the University of Cincinnati.

Please see individual listings below for additional information on the festival’s public events.

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CCM Drama, Dance, Choral, Piano, Musical Theatre And More On Display This Weekend!

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CCM’s stars of tomorrow will be shining bright in a wide variety of concerts and productions running this weekend!

CCM’s 2012-13 Studio Series concludes with a production of Emily Mann’s powerful docu-drama Execution of Justice, running through April 20 in UC’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. This production contains mature subject matter. Learn more about this production here.

CCM’s Ballet Ensemble also presents its annual Spring Dance Concert this weekend, with performances running through April 20 in Patricia Corbett Theater. This year’s program features unique collaborations with CCM’s Chamber Choir and Chamber Players. Learn more about this production here.

At 8 p.m. this Saturday, April 20, the CCM’s Chorale and Concert Orchestra join forces with a variety of special guests to present Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony and other works in Corbett Auditorium! Learn more about this performance here.

CCM’s annual celebration of the art of the piano returns at 7 p.m. this Sunday, April 21, as Pianopalooza VIII showcases our most spectacular student pianists! Learn more about this performance here.

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CCM Ensembles Join with Xavier University Concert Choir and Cincinnati Children’s Choir to Perform Britten’s ‘Spring Symphony’

'Spring Symphony' composer Benjamin Britten, circa 1949. Photography by Roland Haupt; courtesy of www.britten100.org.

‘Spring Symphony’ composer Benjamin Britten, circa 1949. Photography by Roland Haupt; courtesy of http://www.britten100.org.

CCM’s Chorale and Concert Orchestra join forces with the Xavier University Concert Choir and Bel Canto Choir of the Cincinnati Children’s Choir for a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony and other works at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. The program will also include Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis for string orchestra and Edward Elgar’s concert overture In the SouthTickets are on sale now.

Britten’s Spring Symphony, Op. 44, was commissioned and dedicated to Serge Koussevitsky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which shared the 1949 premiere with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in July (in Amsterdam) and August (with the BSO at Tanglewood). This choral symphony was written just four years after Britten’s widely acclaimed Peter Grimes opera when the composer was 35.

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CCM Opera Hits a High Note with Charming Winter Productions

Opera rehearsals at CCM.

Photography by Jing Huan.

CCM’s Opera Program rings in 2011 on a jovial note with the Mozart’s classic opera buffa The Marriage of Figaro and continues in the same vein with Offenbach’s lesser-performed opéra bouffe The Island of Tulipatan. Then, CCM students welcome everyone into their learning process by presenting scenes from operas, providing an eclectic and entertaining mix of tragedy, comedy and high-quality singing.

For more information on CCM’s operatic performances or to purchase tickets call the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or visit our website at ccm.uc.edu. Learn more about CCM’s Winter Opera Events after the jump!

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