CCM Sophomore Violinist Makes New York Carnegie Hall Debut

Described as a “wondrous and natural talent in the purest sense,” KayCee Galano performs J.S. Bach’s complete Solo Sonatas and Partitas on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, at Weill Recital Hall at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

Philippine violinist Kristine Clair Uchi “KayCee” Galano performs the complete J.S. Bach Solo Sonatas and Partitas from memory on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The 18-year-old violinist is currently a sophomore at CCM, where she studies with Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus, the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Classical Violin. Galano’s performance is presented by the Starling Project Foundation Cincinnati. Details and tickets for Galano’s New York recital are available on Carnegie Hall’s website.

Galano became an overnight sensation in her home country in October 2018 when she stepped in as a soloist for Max Brunch’s first violin concerto with the Philippine Philharmonic with just a few days’ notice. Conductor Gerard Salonga, Music Director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra and Resident Conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, said:

“In 2018 I had the good fortune of meeting KayCee for the first time in her hometown of Dumaguete in the Philippines. What immediately struck me about her was her beautiful sound, technical security, keen phrasing and natural musicality. KayCee is also a wonderful, positively charged human being, and a delight to work with. I really cannot say enough about what a talent she is, and how proud she is making her country. We should all look forward to hearing her contributions to the music world.”

From an early age, Galano had an irresistible fascination with the violin. At age 10, she attended the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing to study violin with Sassmannshaus. When she returned to her home in Brunei, Galano enrolled as a scholarship student in Sassmannshaus’ Starling Preparatory String Project at CCM, and she began weekly, long-distance lessons over Skype with Sassmannshaus. She quickly began to establish herself as one of the leading young violinists of her generation.

Galano has won first prize at the Malaysian Youth Music Festival and at the Great Wall Violin Concerto Competition in Beijing. At age 12, she performed in the first Asian broadcast of NPR’s “From the Top” show. The following year she performed Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto with the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra. At age 14, Galano toured the U.S. with renowned pianist Rohan De Silva, and has since collaborated and recorded with him many times.

“I tremendously enjoy performing with KayCee Galano,” said De Silva. “Her infectious musicality and magnetic stage presence were obvious in our first encounter. I foresee and wish her a blessed life as an important musician. Ms. Galano is a charming and stellar artistic ambassador for her native country of the Philippines.”

Her concert tours in China include performances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, as well as a tour of many Chinese cities with the Starling Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, Galano performed Korngold’s violin concerto with the Jena Philharmonic in Germany.

Five years after she began the Skype lessons with Sassmannshaus, Galano moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, to complete her studies in CCM’s Starling Preparatory String Project and finish high school. She enrolled at CCM to pursue a BM in violin in fall 2018.

In anticipation of her Carnegie Hall debut, Galano’s teacher and mentor Sassmanshaus said:

“KayCee’s affinity and love of Bach’s Solo works has been a source of inspiration in her young life for many years. Her captivating interpretations show the rare confluence of a youthful spirit and uncommon maturity — and both continue to deliver delightful surprises. Her New York Recital Debut of the complete Bach solo violin works at age 18 will be both the culmination of in-depth study of many years, and the beginning of a life-long journey.”

Recital Information

Carnegie Hall Debut by CCM Sophomore Violinist KayCee Galano
Presented by the Starling Project Foundation Cincinnati

Repertoire: J.S. Bach: Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo (Complete)

Time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019

Location: Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Please visit Carnegie Hall’s website for directions and parking.

Tickets: $30; student and senior discount tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office. Tickets can be purchased through Carnegie Hall’s website or over the phone by calling the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 212-247-7800.

About the Starling Preparatory String Project

Founded in 1987 by CCM Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus, the Starling Preparatory String Project is a specialized honors program training young string students. The program is generously funded through a grant by the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation. The superbly talented musicians perform as the Starling Chamber Orchestra and are selected by audition.

Students receive one hourly lesson per week, and take music theory, chamber music and orchestra each Saturday. Instructors include CCM faculty and graduate students specially trained and chosen by Professor Sassmannshaus. Most of the students are from the greater Cincinnati area, and many others commute on Saturdays from other states. SCO has a concert series at Robert J. Werner Recital Hall at CCM and tours regularly. For more information on the Starling Preparatory String Project, visit

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
Twin Towers partnership grows to embend 6 CCM students in senior living community

CCM and Twin Towers Partnership Embeds Six Student Artists in Senior Living Community

In 2015, CCM and Twin Towers partnered to create a new artist-in-residence program, which provided two CCM graduate students with free housing as they lived and performed in the senior living community. After two successful years, the program has grown to include six graduate students.

The program provides students with an immersive learning experience while bringing new musical talents to the Twin Towers residents. All six students reside on one of the Twin Towers neighborhoods as they work to complete their graduate degrees at CCM. They perform in monthly recitals and socialize with the community’s residents throughout the year in discussions and open rehearsals.

Twin Towers’ partnership with CCM has exceeded all expectations, says Executive Director Jim Lay:

“The personal connections that have developed between these exceptional young men and women and the Twin Towers residents have blossomed to levels and depth that were never anticipated. The student residents are part of the essential fabric of our community, and we are blessed to have this unique connection to the arts and to the aspiring artists. We can no longer imagine a Twin Towers without our beloved artists.”

Lay thanks the inaugural artists-in-residence, Master of Music student soprano Annie Barr and recent graduate Alyssa Griffith (MM Collaborative Piano, 2017), for being the “trailblazing artists” in the program.

Griffith’s connection to Twin Towers moved her fiancé to propose to her in front of two hundred residents and guests during a concert at the senior living community. The couple also held their wedding reception at Twin Towers.

This fall, Barr returns for her third year as an artist-in-residence. Second-year Master of Music students Anna Odell, harp, and jazz studies major Angie Coyle are also returning as artists-in-residence.

“I have met a majority of the residents and know many of them well,” says Barr. “Being here reminds me of one of the main reasons I love to perform — music is absolutely necessary for expression. So often I will practice or perform music the residents recognize from their past, or music that moves them to reflect on their life currently. Whether its a remembrance of sorrow or happiness, it is important. I’m glad that I can be a part of their lives in this small way.”

Barr’s fiancé Matt McAllister (BM Jazz Studies, 2013), who studies composition at CCM, is joining the program as an artist-in-residence this year. He is joined by Shu-Li Cheah, an Artist Diploma student studying cello, and Bryan Banowetz, a Master of Music student studying collaborative piano.

Banowetz was intrigued by the concept of sharing music with a senior living community and living among its residents. He moved into Twin Towers on Aug. 10 and says he can tell it will be an inspiring place with its quiet atmosphere and natural surroundings.

“Twin Towers offers free housing to its artists, and this was a big burden off of my shoulders as a young artist and as a student,” says Banowetz. “Now, I can really focus on my studies and my development as a musician.”

He says he also looks forward to the monthly recitals at Twin Towers, which will give him the opportunity to share repertoire that he may not typically get the chance to perform.

The artists-in-residence will hold their first recital at 6:30 p.m. on September 28 at Twin Towers. Visit for more information.

“We wait with excitement to see how this diverse array of young artists will collaborate to delight audiences with their creativity and immense talents,” Lay says. “The arts are alive and performances are live every month at Twin Towers. We are committed that this program will be part of our resident experience for years and years to come.”

Meet the new 2017-18 Artists-in-Residence

Bryan BanowetzBryan Banowetz grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated magna cum laude from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and English in May 2017. He was the winner of Luther College’s Concerto Competition and performed part of Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra in the spring of 2016. He is also a two-time winner of the Luther College Distinction in Accompanying and Collaborative Piano Award in 2015 and 2016. In August 2017, Bryan began to pursue a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano at CCM. He was awarded a vocal studio accompanying assistantship and the Artman Straub Scholarship.

In addition to his diverse accompanying experience at Luther College, Bryan has also served as a collaborative pianist at Interlochen Arts Camp and the Cedar Rapids Czech School. He remains active as a freelance pianist. Bryan has given recitals in Iowa and in Vienna, Austria, where he studied German and music in Fall 2015. He has performed such works as Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy and J.S. Bach’s Italian Concerto. His teachers have included Dr. John Strauss (Luther College), Carol Morgan (Vienna), Dr. James Martin (Cornell College) and Matthew Burrier. He also studied collaborative piano with Dr. Jessica Paul and Dr. Nicholas Shaneyfelt at Luther College.

Bryan is a member of three honor societies: Phi Beta Kappa (liberal arts), Pi Kappa Lambda (music) and Sigma Tau Delta (English). His academic interests include feminist literary criticism as well as use of the body at the piano and in performance. More generally, he enjoys languages, literature and the occasional crossword.

Matt McAllisterMatthew McAllister, percussionist & composer, graduated from CCM in 2013 with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music in composition at CCM. During his time as an undergraduate, Matthew was a part of the FIPSE International Study Abroad Program and lived in Brasília, Brazil for six months. While there, he studied cultural rhythms, Brazilian percussion and learned to speak Portuguese.

Since graduating with his bachelor’s degree, Matthew has been an active performer, composer and educator. His performance styles range from big band jazz, traditional New Orleans jazz, original rock, Brazilian folk music and experimental music. Matthew also works with a variety of musical theatre companies and has performed in over ten pit orchestras.

As an educator, Matthew has worked in a multitude of environments with students of varying ages and experience levels. Since 2013, he has held a consistent studio of over fifteen students. Matthew also teaches group percussion classes. This year he created, developed and lead his first drum set camp. Matthew has taught master classes at Loveland High School, Middletown Middle School, Cincinnati Country Day and Xavier University.

In addition to performing and teaching, Matthew is very passionate about composition. Many of his compositions are written for and performed by his jazz trio, Animal Mother, which consists of tenor saxophone, electric bass and drum set. They have recorded two studio albums, both of which feature Matthew’s original music. Animal Mother has been reviewed by major news publications, such as The Washington Post, and they have performed in over 25 cities.

Shu-li CheahCellist Shu-Li Cheah is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at CCM. A native of Malaysia, she was a member of Orkes Praise Malaysia and a founding member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Since she began her studies at CCM in 2012, Shu-Li has performed with Cincinnati singer-songwriter Allan Pray at the Midpoint Music Festival and was featured on several pop songs and feature films both in Asia and America, including Lead the Way by Matt Bierwagen, Confession by Mariah Mu, Question in the Rain and Love Confession. As cellist in the Queen City Opera Orchestra and the CCM Philharmonia, she has played for operas like Siegfried, Don Giovanni, Alcina and The Magic Flute, as well as musicals such as Carousel, Les Misérables and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

A strong believer in the importance of engaging communities through music, Shu-Li’s desire to share the gift of music with others has brought her to unique performance locations such as the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Seacrest Studio. She also played in the music video of rEVOLUTION CINCY, a project by Liz Wu that challenges Cincinnati residents to “be the change” through their actions, donations, volunteer work and by remaining educated on current events. During the summer of 2014, Shu-Li interned with MYCincinnati, an El Sistema-inspired free orchestra program for children in the Price Hill area. Her experiences there have allowed her to witness how music can truly be a vehicle for social change. She continues to volunteer at MYCincinnati whenever possible and constantly searches for more opportunities to bring music, art and communities together.

Shu-Li recently received her Master of Music from CCM under the tutelage of Ilya Finkelshteyn, principal cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In 2015, she graduated summa cum laude from CCM with a Bachelor of Music in cello under the direction of Lee Fiser, cellist of the LaSalle Quartet.

About the Twin Towers Senior Living Community
Located on Hamilton Avenue between Cincinnati’s Northside and College Hill neighborhoods, Twin Towers is committed to enhancing adult lifestyles through a philosophy of whole-person wellness. Specializing in both residential and assisted living, the community consists of patio and apartment homes throughout their Towers, Greeno, North and Parkview areas. Twin Towers provides a full neighborhood experience including an extensive dining area, full gym and pool, and multiple other locations for residents to meet, interact and partake in the arts.

Twin Towers is owned and operated by Loveland-based Life Enriching Communities, Inc. (LEC), a private not-for-profit corporation, offering an integrated family of lifestyle communities and senior living services in greater Cincinnati. Best known for their Twin Towers and Twin Lakes senior living communities, they deliver exceptional everyday experiences to everyone they serve. With a focus on quality living options and healthcare services, and a commitment to whole-person wellness, LEC has become one of the area’s leading senior living providers. Life Enriching Communities is affiliated with the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church and welcomes people of all faiths. For more information, please visit

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes
CCM faculty member Scott Belck, DMA.

CCM’s Faculty Artist Series Continues Jan. 9

Acclaimed faculty artists from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music take center stage during 12 diverse performances this spring! Running from January 9 through April 23, these programs highlight music from multiple genres, from classical styles to contemporary commercial music and beyond.


Each concert in CCM’s Faculty Artist Series is free and open to the general public, offering audiences the chance to hear recitals by internationally renowned artists in CCM’s stunning performance halls.

Please refer to the listings below for a complete schedule and additional performance information.


8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9
• Faculty Artist Series •
Dror Biran, piano
J.S. BACH: Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV 825
J.S. BACH: French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816
SCHUMANN: Carnaval for Piano, Op. 9
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10
• Faculty Artist Series •
Kimberly Trout, viola
John Kurokawa, clarinet
Hitomi Koyama, piano

MIKLÓS RÓZSA: Introduction and Allegro, Op. 44
MAX BRUCH: Selections from Eight Pieces, Op. 83
SCHUMANN: Märchenerzählungen, Op. 132
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15
• Faculty Artist Series •
Patricia Linhart, soprano
Julie Spangler, piano

2016 was a wild year, and we plan to kick it out of here in style. Pat and Julie promise a program full of surprises, assisted by James Bunte and Luke Dumm along with special guest Mary Stucky. Get here early for your party favors and stick around for the construction.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Admission: FREE

8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17
• Faculty Artist Series •
Thomas Baresel, tenor
Amy Johnson, soprano
Kenneth Griffiths and Mark Gibson, piano

Join us for an evening of art song featuring French duets by Hue, Duparc and Saint-Saëns, along with operetta duets by Lehár, Strauss and Milloeker. This program also features Alan Louis Smith’s Windows: Five Songs of Love and selected songs of Rachmaninoff.
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22
• Faculty Artist Series •
Daniel Weeks, tenor
Donna Loewy, piano

Featuring songs by Schubert, Quilter, Donizetti, Tosti and Dubois.
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23
• Faculty Artist Series •
Craig Bailey, saxophone
Featuring Steve Allee, piano; Dan Karlsberg, piano; Eric Lechliter, trumpet; Zak Granger, trombone; Aaron Jacob, bass; Juan Megan, drums and percussion; Art Gore, drums

Craig Bailey performs selections from throughout his career, including music by Ray Charles, Art Blakey, Panama Francis and original compositions inspired by his world travels.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Admission: FREE

8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25
• Faculty Artist Series •
James Bunte, saxophone
Location: Cohen Family Studio Theater

4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5
• Faculty Artist Series •
Awadagin Pratt, piano

CCM Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence Awadagin Pratt presents 300 years of fantasies and fugues – from Bach to the future – assisted by Charles Dennis Thurmond, Russell Burge and others.
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13
• Faculty Artist Series •
Kurt Sassmannshaus, violin
Christoph Sassmannshaus, cello
Rohan DeSilva, piano

This concert features Theodor Kirchner’s piano trio version of Brahms’ Sextet in B-flat, Op. 18, which was approved by Brahms but only recently published by Bärenreiter. Other works include Fritz Kreisler’s Syncopation, one of his few original works for piano trio, and Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne for violin and piano.
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15
• Faculty Artist Series •
Featuring CCM String Quartet-in-Residence, The Ariel Quartet

For the first time, CCM’s acclaimed jazz faculty artists collaborate with CCM’s renowned String Quartet-in-Residence, the Ariel Quartet. World premieres by faculty members Steve Allee, Craig Bailey and Kim Pensyl will feature virtuoso string sounds combined with exciting improvisations. Grammy Award-winning New York composer and CCM alumnus Michael Patterson will also debut a new work. Featured on stage will be paintings by internationally recognized visual artist Anna Socha VanMatre.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Admission: FREE

8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24
• Faculty Artist Series •
Percussion Group Cincinnati and Friends

Featuring music spanning composer Lou Harrison’s entire career, including music written for Percussion Group Cincinnati.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Admission: FREE

4 p.m. Sunday, April 23
• Faculty Artist Series •
Michael Unger, organ
Featuring solo and chamber music by Mendelssohn, Haydn and others, celebrating the historic 1866 Koehnken and Company Organ at Plum Street Temple.
Location: Isaac M. Wise Temple, 720 Plum Street, Cincinnati 45202
Admission: FREE

Event Information
All events listed here take place in CCM Village on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise noted. Admission to Faculty Artist Series performances is free and reservations are not required.

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 information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit 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 Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM Preparatory Hosts Annual Scholarship Fundraiser Recital Oct. 30

Music students in the Preparatory and Community Engagement Department at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music will perform in a benefit recital for the Gino James DiMario Memorial Scholarship at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30 in Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

CCM Prep students dressed in Halloween costumes for last year's Gino DiMario Scholarship Recital.

CCM Prep students dressed in Halloween costumes for last year’s Gino DiMario Scholarship Recital.

The scholarship fund is in honor of Gino DiMario, a second-grade student in the CCM Preparatory program who tragically and unexpectedly passed away in 2005. He was involved at CCM Preparatory and the Junior Music Experience for several years, and he had already performed in several recitals and competitions.

His memorial scholarship gives other preparatory students the opportunity to experience one of Gino’s favorite things — music.

To apply for the scholarship, students must complete a rigorous application process called the DiMario Scholars Program, which includes community service, three public performances, a concert review, an essay and two evaluations by a CCM Preparatory faculty member. Scholarship winners are chosen by the music advisory cabinet, CCM Preparatory staff and Gino’s parents, Michael and Sharron DiMario, on the basis of teacher evaluations, enthusiasm for and commitment to musical studies and participation in wider experiences, such as community service.

Recipients of the scholarship for the current year are encouraged to perform in the annual scholarship recital. Students are not eligible to receive the scholarship more than once, so they will be raising funds for future recipients through this recital. The performance will feature CCM Preparatory guitarists, oboe players, pianists, violinists and singers.

Including the current recipients, 51 young musicians have received the Gino James DiMario Memorial Scholarship, which amounts to a total of approximately $15,000 over the program’s 11 years.

CCM Prep offers private music lessons and music theory classes to children and adults seeking to receive foundational training in music. The preparatory department also offers lessons and classes in dance and theatre arts.

For additional information on the Gino James DiMario Scholarship Recital, please call CCM Prep at 513-556-2595 or visit

CCM Preparatory Musicians
Ayan Mehta, guitar
Oliver Powell-Campbell, guitar
Franziska Sturdevant, guitar
Joe Welage, guitar
Amy Dennison, oboe
Peggy Grant, oboe
Cheryl Johnson, oboe
Isaac Scott, oboe
Christopher Wolfzorn, oboe
Henry Campbell, piano
Gina Fanelli, piano
Caty Leahy, piano
Maggie Leahy, piano
Ellie Mays, piano
Josie Mays, piano
Darcy McMahon, piano
Sebastian Morales, piano
Yousef Mostafa, piano
Jaida Mostafa, piano
Natasha Saputra, piano
Corrinne Smith, piano
Sophia Suwiryo, piano
Charlotte Wagstaff, piano
Shelby Wagstaff, piano
Andrew Zhou, piano
Jason Zhou, piano
Mina Shen, violin
Ishana Galgali, voice
Maggie Schoettker, voice
Ke’Andra Warren, voice

Performance Time

3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30
Reception to follow


Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission is free. Donations will be accepted.

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 information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit
Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM’s Music for Food Concert Series Continues Sunday, April 3, 2016

CCM’s Music for Food concert series continues at 4 p.m. this Sunday, April 3. Student and faculty performers will use their artistry to fight hunger through this new chamber music series, which benefits Cincinnati’s Freestore Foodbank.

Organized by CCM’s string quartet-in-residence, the Ariel Quartet, along with faculty artists Lydia Brown and and Gwen Coleman Detwiler, the performance takes place in Room 300 of CCM’s Dieterle Vocal Arts Center. This intimate space provides the perfect setting for an afternoon of chamber music!

In lieu of paid admission, concert attendees are asked to provide non-perishable food items or a cash donation. All proceeds benefit the Freestore Foodbank.

About Cincinnati’s Freestore Foodbank
The Freestore Foodbank is the largest emergency food and services provider to children and families in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. The organization distributes 20 million meals annually to low-income individuals and families. The Freestore Foodbank supports more than 250 community partners in 20 counties throughout Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, including food kitchens, homeless shelters, emergency food pantries and social service centers.

By providing emergency food distribution, the Freestore Foodbank responds to the issue of poverty and food insecurity in our community and provides an array of services (emergency clothing, housing services, SNAP assistance, Medicaid outreach and others) aimed at creating self-reliance. The Freestore Foodbank is a member of Feeding America and United Way.

The Freestore Foodbank is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more by visiting

About Music for Food
Music for Food is a musician-led initiative for local hunger relief. The organization’s concerts raise resources and awareness in the fight against hunger, empowering all musicians who wish to use their artistry to further social justice.

Now in its sixth season, Music for Food has created over 250,000 meals through donations made at concerts on behalf of more than a dozen hunger-relief organizations. Started in Boston, Music for Food now has chapters in nine US cities. More than 100 artists and ensembles have performed for Music for Food worldwide.

Music for Food is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Learn more by visiting

Performance Time
4 p.m. Sunday, April 3

Room 300, Dieterle Vocal Arts Center
CCM Village, University of Cincinnati

Non-perishable food items or a donation to the Freestore Foodbank. Suggested donation: $20 general, $15 students.

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 campus of the University of Cincinnati. 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

CCM News
Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s Bearcat Piano Festival Presents Guest Artists and Student Showcases March 29 – April 3, 2016

CCM showcases the world of classical piano this spring with the return of the annual Bearcat Piano Festival! The festivities begin on Tuesday, March 29, and conclude on Sunday, April 3 with the Piano-POW-Looza showcase featuring CCM’s own talented student performers. All events will take place in the intimate Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

Launched in 2010 by CCM Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence Awadagin Pratt, this year’s festival invites several internationally acclaimed artists to the stage. Concert pianist Caroline Hong, hailed for her “expressive and powerful playing,” “formidable technique” and “keen sense of lyricism and the classical style” opens the series with a recital at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29. Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning composer John Corigliano referred to her as “one of the greatest pianists [he has] ever heard.”

Ann Schein performs a recital at 8 p.m. on April 1, followed by a master class at noon on April 2. “Thank heaven for Ann Schein,” the Washington Post observed of her talents, “what a relief it is to hear a pianist who, with no muss or fuss, simply reaches right into the heart of whatever she is playing—and creates music so powerful you cannot tear yourself away.” Stein served on the piano faculty of Peabody Conservatory from 1980-2001. In addition, she has been an artist-faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 1984, and served as a visiting faculty member at Indiana University from 2008-09.

This year’s Bearcat Piano Festival also sees the continuation of CCM’s collaboration with the University of Michigan’s doctoral piano program. This year, pianist and DMA student Azariah Tan performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 2. Tan is a highly acclaimed performer who has won top prizes at competitions including the American Prize in 2012, the WPTA International Piano Competition in 2013, the New York International Artists Association Piano Competition in 2014 and numerous others.

Finally, the 2016 Bearcat Piano Festival comes to a close with Piano-POW-looza at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 3. Organized by Piano Department Chair Michael Chertock and curated by Andy Villemez and Sophie Wang the event spotlights the talents of a select few from CCM’s nearly 100 dazzling piano majors; these young artists will provide witty repartee and stunning performances in a triumphant conclusion to the series.

This series only happens once a year, so make sure to not miss out!


8 p.m. Tuesday, March 29
J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE


2 p.m. Wednesday, March 30
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE


7 p.m. Wednesday Thursday, March 31
Featuring CCM student pianists Jing’er Xu, Youkyoung Kim, Sanwei Zhang, SanSung Aum, Xuan Guo, Narae Lee, Jaesung Kim, Jordan Neiman, Brendan Jacklin, Dobin Park, Kseniia Polstiankina, Sejeong Jeong, Hanqing Chang, Jeffrey Anderson, Shing-Ming Liao, Julan Wang and Patrick Lechner

Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

8 p.m. Friday, April 1
Beethoven: Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major, Op. 81a
Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6
Chopin: Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE


12 p.m. Saturday, April 2
 Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE


8 p.m. Saturday, April 2
Featuring Azariah Tan, DMA Candidate
Chopin: Two Nocturnes, Op. 62
Beethoven: Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110
Schubert: Sonata in A Major, D. 959
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE


7 p.m. Sunday, April 3
Andrew Villemez and Sophie Wang, music curators
Celebrate April as CCM’s leading pianists shower the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall with cascades of notes, lightning-fast arpeggios and thunderous octaves. Selected from CCM’s nearly 100 piano majors, these young artists are already carving out their own places in the sun and will triumphantly help us conclude a week of special events in our annual Bearcat Piano Festival!
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.


Event Information
All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. The Piano-POW-looza Student Showcase concert requires paid admission. All other Bearcat Piano Festival events are free and open to the general public.

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

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

All-Steinway School Sponsor: The Corbett Endowment at CCM

CCM is proud to be an All-Steinway School


Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies and CCM alumnus Kevin Norton (DMA Saxophone, 2015)

CCM News
CCM's inaugural artists-in-residence at Twin Towers: Alyssa Griffith and Annie Barr.

McKnight’s Senior Living Magazine Spotlights CCM Artist-in-Residence Program With Twin Towers

The McKnight’s Senior Living magazine and media brand has turned the spotlight on CCM’s new artist-in-residence program with the Twin Towers Senior Living Community.

As previously reported, this partnership offers free housing to two CCM graduate students on one of Twin Towers’ campuses for the duration of their degree programs. In return, these students will perform one recital per month and allow the community’s citizens unprecedented interaction through discussions and open rehearsals.

The inaugural artists-in-residence are soprano Annie Barr and collaborative pianist Alyssa Griffith, both of whom are first-year Master of Music students at CCM.

In the recently published McKnight’s article, Twin Towers Executive Director Jim Lay explores the surprises brought about through this intergenerational program:

“The simple vision that these students would provide pleasing musical entertainment for Twin Towers’ residents has blossomed into a depth of kinship and connection between unlikely acquaintances,” Lay observes. “When semester break led to the students heading home to be with their families for the holidays, their Twin Towers family anxiously anticipated their January return.”

Barr and Griffith have expressed similar enthusiasm for the innovative new program.

“I loved the idea of living in the Twin Towers community, having more opportunities to perform and practice for the residents’ enjoyment,” Griffith says.

“I feel honored and thankful to have this opportunity,” Barr adds. “I love interacting with all of my neighbors, they’re all so sweet and kind. The neighborhood is a happy place to live.”

CCM Dean Peter Landgren views this new partnership as a natural extension of the college’s ongoing community engagement activities throughout Greater Cincinnati. “An important part of CCM’s responsibility as a training ground for the performing and media arts is to provide aspiring artists with opportunities to interact with and give back to their communities,” he says.

Read the complete McKnight‘s article online at

Learn more about CCM’s partnership with Twin Towers at

CCM News Student Salutes
'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

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 students Jillian McGreen, Matthew Umphreys, Nave Graham, Michael Arbulu, Walter Park and Amy Pirtle rehearse Schoenberg's 'Pierrot Lunaire.'

CCM Students Bring ‘Pierrot Lunaire’ to Stages Across Cincinnati This March and April

A group of CCM students will revive Arnold Schoenberg’s 1912 melodrama masterpiece Pierrot Lunaire—both in excerpts and in its entirety—during several free performances across the city this March and April.

The CCM ensemble consists of Jillian McGreen, soprano; Matthew Umphreys, piano; Nave Graham, flute; Mikey Arbulu, clarinet; Walter Park, violin; and Amy Pirtle, cello.

The sextet will first perform excerpts of the work at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, at the Cincinnati Art Museum as part of their MUSE Concert Series.

The ensemble will next give a complete performance of Pierrot in CCM’s Albino Gorno Memorial Music Library as part of their “Music in the Library” series at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 12.

A month later, the group will again perform the entire work at Northside Tavern during the monthly Classical Revolution Cincinnati event at 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 12. The performance will also be part of the annual Constella Festival and will occur alongside other featured musicians including Detroit Symphony Orchestra bassist Rick Robinson and his group CutTime and acclaimed local cellist (and CCM Preparatory Department instructor) Nathaniel Chaitkin.

Based on French poet Albert Giraud’s cycle about a deformed, lunar-obsessed harlequin and his misfit puppet companions, Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire still stands as a landmark in German Expressionist music. It is particularly noted both for its revolutionary atonal approaches to music as well as its employment of Sprechstimme, a “sing-speak” style in which vocalists aim for non-pitched, approximate notes often followed by a sudden fall to create an eerie type of rhythmic speaking. The combination of these two techniques—as well as the small, varied ensemble required—helps evoke an atmosphere that is scary and jarring but also beautiful and engaging, setting a world in which Pierrot explores various vices and decadences.

If you have the opportunity, don’t miss out on hearing these free performances by CCM students of one of the most acclaimed works of the twentieth century!

CCM News Student Salutes
CCM faculty artists Soyeon Kate Lee and Awadagin Pratt. Photo by Andrew Higley.

CCM Piano Professor Soyeon Kate Lee Performs at Lincoln Center on Jan. 29

CCM welcomes Assistant Professor of Music in Piano Soyeon Kate Lee to its faculty. Her appointment begins in August of 2014.

CCM Assistant Professor of Music in Piano Soyeon Kate Lee.

New York residents, mark your calendars: Assistant Professor of Piano Soyeon Kate Lee will play a concert at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29.

Lee’s performance is part of the Chamber Music Society New Music series, which champions modern composers of chamber music and invites listeners to witness musical innovation in the stunning Kaplan Penthouse.

For those not based in New York, the concert will also be streamed live at

Lee joined CCM’s faculty in the fall of 2014 and played a sold-out joint faculty artist recital with CCM Chair of Piano and Artist-in-Residence Awadagin Pratt in October. Lee’s appointment to the Department of Piano gives CCM the rare distinction of having two Naumburg Gold Medalists on faculty! Learn more about Lee’s appointment by visiting

For more information about Lee’s upcoming performance at Lincoln Center and to purchase tickets, please visit

About the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
The Chamber Music Society is one of 11 constituents of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the largest performing arts complex in the world. Along with other constituents such as the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center Theater and the Metropolitan Opera, the Chamber Music Society has its home at Lincoln Center in Alice Tully Hall. Through its performance, education and recording/broadcast activities, it draws more people to chamber music than any other organization of its kind.

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