CCM Professor Emeritus Eiji Hashimoto.

In Memoriam: CCM Professor Emeritus Eiji Hashimoto

We are saddened to share news of the passing of CCM Professor Emeritus Eiji Hashimoto, Professor of Harpsichord and Harpsichordist-in-Residence at CCM from 1968 to 2001. Hashimoto passed away on Jan. 14, 2021, at the age of 89. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Hashimoto; his three children: Christine (Kirk) Merritt, Ken (Allison Dubinski) Hashimoto, and Erica Hashimoto; and five granddaughters: Katherine and Elizabeth Merritt, Scarlette and Sabina Hashimoto, and Naomi Hashimoto. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.

An internationally renowned concert artist and scholar of baroque music, Hashimoto performed with critical acclaim throughout the United States and around the world. As a soloist, he dazzled audiences in more than 50 international tours and released numerous CDs. His own editions of 18th-century keyboard music remain highly regarded.

Born in Tokyo in 1931, Hashimoto began musical training as a child and graduated from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music with a major in organ in 1955. He came to the US under a Fulbright study grant to pursue graduate studies in musicology and composition at the University of Chicago (Master of Arts in 1959) and then in harpsichord at the Yale University School of Music (Master of Music in 1962) under Ralph Kirkpatrick.

Upon returning to Japan, Hashimoto taught at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo until he was invited by the French government to spend six months in France doing research in 1967. During his subsequent US tour, he performed in Cincinnati, which led to an invitation to teach at CCM beginning in 1968.

Hashimoto maintained an active performance and recording schedule throughout his 33-year long tenure at CCM. During this time he performed with many CCM ensembles, spent several summers conducting for CCM’s Opera Theatre of Lucca program in Italy, and also performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and at the May Festival.

Hashimoto also formed CCM’s Ensemble for Eighteenth Century Music, recording with the ensemble and taking it on several tours, including to Japan in 1988, to Mexico in 1993, and to many cities across the US. The El Porvenir newspaper in Monterrey, Mexico, declared “They came, they played and they conquered” following Hashimoto’s November 1993 performance with CCM’s Ensemble for Eighteenth Century Music. In 2001, Hashimoto’s then-colleague (and now emeriti faculty member) Clare Callahan told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “Eiji is our Baroque touchstone … and his dedicated work with the Eighteenth Century Orchestra gave students and faculty alike a sense of the fun people had with music of that time.”

In 1978 and 1981, Hashimoto received the Prize of Excellence from the Japanese government for his recitals in Tokyo. In 1984, he received UC’s coveted Rieveschl Award for Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Works. He was a recipient of the Ohio Arts Council’s solo artist grant, was also selected for the 1988-89 Arts Midwest Performing Arts Touring Program and was awarded the “Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels,” the highest honor awarded by the state of Kentucky for special achievements, by the governor of Kentucky in 1990. He was twice awarded research grants by the Rockefeller Foundation for scholarly residencies in Bellagio, Italy.

Please join us in sending your thoughts, prayers and condolences to Eiji’s family and friends. You can learn more about Eiji’s career by visiting Janelle Gelfand’s “Janelle’s Notes” blog. Tributes can be shared through the Neidhard-Young Funeral Home website. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. Eiji influenced and inspired multiple generations of students, colleagues and music lovers during his three decades at CCM. He will be deeply missed.

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CCM Professor Emeritus Oscar Kosarin.

In Memoriam: Emeritus Faculty Member Oscar Kosarin

CCM Professor Emeritus Oscar Kosarin.

CCM Professor Emeritus Oscar Kosarin.

We are saddened to report the passing of Professor Emeritus Oscar Kosarin, who served as Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at CCM from 1971 through 1985. Kosarin passed away on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the age of 98. He is survived by his wife, Dianne, daughter, Carli, and sons Kim and Oscar.

Initially taught piano by his mother, Kosarin also studied harmony and counterpoint with Boris Levenson, studied composition with Anis Fuleihan and Isadore Freed, and attended Leon Barzin’s conducting classes.

Kosarin began playing piano professionally at the age of 19, first performing with dance bands in night clubs before making the move to Broadway, where he also gained experience as a conductor, arranger and vocal coach. On Broadway, he conducted musicals such as Happy Time with Robert Goulet, Oh, Captain with Tony Randall, Fade Out, Fade In with Carol Burnett and Mr. Wonderful with Sammy Davis, Jr.

Kosarin was named to CCM’s faculty in the fall of 1971 as part of the expansion of the school’s still-nascent musical theatre degree program. Kosarin inaugurated his time at CCM by conducting productions of Bye, Bye Birdie, Brigadoon and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum during the 1971-72 season. He cited Sweeney Todd, West Side Story and Sugar as three of his favorite musicals from his 14-year tenure at CCM.

Kosarin retired from CCM in the spring of 1985. During a farewell banquet held in his honor, CCM Drama Professor Diane Kvapil observed:

“He’s much loved by the students. He teaches them what’s special about them and how to use it. His colleagues will miss him because we worked well together.”

At the time of his retirement, Kosarin referred to his decision to teach at CCM as the smartest move he ever made, commenting:

“I had a great advantage in that [the students] were a group of people who really wanted to study. We had a wonderful relationship.”

In addition to his appointment at CCM, Kosarin also taught and directed musical theatre workshops at New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts and coached opera and musical comedy privately. He composed the ballet music for A Tree Grows in BrooklynPal Joey, Hazel Flagg and Canterbury Tales. He also composed music for films, including Virginia—Pursuit of Happiness, which won first prize at the Virgin Islands International Film Festival in 1975. In 1983, Prentice Hall published his book The Singing Actor: How to Be a Success in Musical Theatre and Night Clubs.

CCM’s upcoming production of A Chorus Line will be dedicated to the loving memory of Professor Kosarin. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.

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In Memoriam: Emeritus Faculty Member Ronald de Kant

We are saddened to share news of the passing of Ronald Zecher de Kant, Emeritus Professor of Clarinet at CCM. Born in Lancaster, PA, on Oct. 30, 1931, de Kant passed away in Cincinnati on June 22, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Brenda Mitchell of Cincinnati, daughter Monique (Niki) of Vancouver, BC, and cousin Barrie Zecher (wife Leoma) of Lititz, PA.

CCM Professor Emeritus Ronald de Kant.

CCM Professor Emeritus Ronald de Kant.

De Kant was professor of clarinet at CCM from 1987 until his retirement in 2004. During his tenure at CCM, he also served as chair of woodwinds and brass from 1989-2004. Many of his former students have held positions in major Canadian and US orchestras and military bands.

De Kant received the Artist Diploma from Juilliard in 1953, where he studied with Daniel Bonade. Following Juilliard, during his military service, he taught for two years at the U.S. Naval School of Music in Washington, DC. He then performed as principal clarinet for a year in Toronto with Canada’s National Ballet Orchestra. He was principal clarinet with the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra from 1956-65, then principal clarinet of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra from 1965-80. He was also principal clarinet of the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra 1967-83 and performed with the Santa Fe Opera 1970-72. An active chamber musician, at various times he was a member of the New Orleans Woodwind Quintet, the Vancouver Woodwind Quintet, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, and the Cassenti Players. He was a soloist with both the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra. Recordings as clarinet soloist include the Mozart Quintet with the Purcell String Quartet and the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra.

In addition to his time as a CCM faculty member, De Kant taught at the university level concurrently with his orchestral appointments in both New Orleans and Vancouver. He also taught part-time at the University of British Columbia from 1965-80, then full-time until 1983. From 1977-84 he coached woodwinds at the Banff Centre for the Arts, where he premiered the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Oscar Morawetz. He was professor of clarinet at Arizona State University 1983-87. He taught clarinet at Louisiana State University during the 2004-05 academic year.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Professor de Kant’s family and friends during this time. You can share your memories of Ronald de Kant online at contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.

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CCM Welcomes Jesse Blumberg and Martin Katz for Schubert Residency in February

CCM alumnus Jesse Blumberg, baritone.

CCM alumnus Jesse Blumberg, baritone.

Next month, CCM welcomes alumnus Jesse Blumberg, baritone (MM, ’03), and renowned collaborative pianist Martin Katz for FREE performances of Franz Schubert’s two great Lieder cycles!

Blumberg and Katz will perform Shubert’s Die schöne Müllerin at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 and Winterreise at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Both song cycles will be performed in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall and are open to the general public. Reservations are not required.

Below, watch Blumberg and Katz perform “Der Wegweiser” from Winterreise at the inaugural Collaborative Works Festival in Chicago.

This residency is made possible by support from the Jeannine Philippe Art Song Fund. Learn more about that fund’s namesake, CCM Professor Emeritus of Voice Jeannine Philippe, here.

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CCM’s Choirs Celebrate the Life of Elmer Thomas on Sept. 30

Elmer Thomas at CCM for the occasion of his 80th birthday in October, 2010.

Elmer Thomas at CCM for the occasion of his 80th birthday in October, 2010.

CCM’s Chamber Choir and Chorale, UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses, Cincinnati Children’s Choir and Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble combine at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30 in Corbett Auditorium to celebrate the life of Elmer Robert Thomas, a pioneering choral director who left an enduring legacy in Cincinnati. Thomas died of respiratory failure at the age of 81 on June 13, 2012.

Professor emeritus Elmer Thomas founded CCM’s choral studies program over 45 years ago and built it into a program recognized far and wide for its excellence. His caring nature and passion for his art made him an admired mentor by his students and a revered colleague and friend by his peers. He remained director of the program until 1995.

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In Memoriam: CCM Choral Studies Founder Elmer Thomas

Professor Emeritus Elmer Thomas

Professor Emeritus Elmer Thomas

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Janelle Gelfand has penned a moving remembrance of Elmer Robert Thomas, professor emeritus and founder of the department of Choral Studies at CCM. You can view her story here.

Professor Thomas died of respiratory failure on June 13 at University Hospital. He was 81.

“He often spoke of the joy of living his life surrounded by the great music of great composers, and he frequently reminded his students that in their careers they would always find joy, and solace, as needed, in great musical works,” said Earl Rivers, CCM director of choral studies. “Elmer remained my mentor throughout our relationship. He was the first person whose insight and opinions I sought when studying, preparing, and executing masterworks for chorus and chorus and orchestra.”

We would like to express our sincerest condolences to all of the members of the Thomas family.

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