CCM Welcomes Guest Artists Gerald Finley and Julius Drake in Concert on Feb. 5

From left to right: Gerald Finley and Julius Drake come to CCM for a guest artist concert on Feb. 5, 2014.

From left to right: Gerald Finley and Julius Drake come to CCM for a guest artist concert on Feb. 5, 2014.

CCM welcomes acclaimed guest artists Gerald Finley, baritone, and Julius Drake, piano, for a performance of Franz Schubert‘s celebrated song cycle Winterreise at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Corbett Auditorium.

One of Schubert’s greatest masterpieces, Winterreise (or Winter Journey) is a cycle of 24 songs for voice and piano, adapted from poems by Wilhelm Müller. These songs depict a journey in which a lovelorn wayfarer goes on a quest through the wintry landscape of his own soul. “Something not very nice has happened to him,” Drake explains. “The girl has left him who he’s in love with, and he has to cope with it just like we all have to cope with trials in life.”

Hyperion Records will release a highly anticipated recording of Finley and Drake’s Winterreise next month, but Cincinnati audiences can experience this mesmerizing journey for themselves on Feb. 5. “For people to have a chance to experience these amazingly beautiful, iconic and fundamental works of western culture is a rare opportunity,” suggests Finley. Tickets are on sale now.

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CCM Video: The Ariel Quartet Presents ‘The Cycle’

In honor of tonight’s opening installment of the Ariel Quartet’s Beethoven Cycle, we proudly present an excerpt from the Quartet’s very first concert while in residence at CCM! Enjoy an excerpt from Beethoven’s String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135, recorded live in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall on Sept. 11, 2012.

Also, be sure to pick up this week’s issue of CityBeat for an in-depth preview of “The Cycle,” courtesy of Anne Arenstein. The Jan. 22 issue of CityBeat is on newsstands now and is also available online here.

For more information about “The Cycle,” please visit http://ccm.uc.edu.

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CCM’s Bearcat Piano Festival and Pianopalooza Showcase Return Feb. 6 – 16, 2014

CCM's 2014 Bearcat Piano Festival.

Next month, CCM celebrates the art of the piano with a star-studded series of master classes, guest artist concerts and more! Launched in 2010 by Piano Department Chair Awadagin Pratt, the 2014 Bearcat Piano Festival welcomes a plethora of visiting pianists this February, including:

The celebration culminates with the return of Pianopalooza on Feb. 16. In honor of the Valentine’s Day holiday, this year’s concert celebrates “Keys to Love and Romance!”

For a complete schedule of festival events and additional information, please visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/bearcatpianofestival. Some performances require paid admission.

Stay tuned for even more information about this exciting series of events!

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CCM Welcomes Guest Artists Gerald Finley and Julius Drake on Feb. 5, 2014

Guest artist Gerald Finley, baritone.

Gerald Finley, baritone, and Julius Drake, piano, bring their acclaimed recital tour of Franz Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise to CCM’s Corbett Auditorium at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

Below, watch Finley and Drake discuss the power and beauty of WinterreiseTickets for their Feb. 5 performance are on sale now.

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The Ariel Quartet Presents a Complete Tour of Beethoven’s String Quartets in Early 2014

From left to right: Alexandra Kazovsky, Jan Grüning, Amit Even-Tov and Gershon Gerchikov are the Ariel Quartet.

From left to right: Alexandra Kazovsky, Jan Grüning, Amit Even-Tov and Gershon Gerchikov are the Ariel Quartet. Photography by Saverio Truglia.

The Ariel Quartet proudly presents its first Beethoven Cycle during a series of six concerts in January, February and March of 2014. The acclaimed string quartet-in-residence at CCM will present a complete tour of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s 17 string quartets (including the “Große Fuge” or “Grand Fugue”) in a performance series dubbed “The Cycle.”

With this series, the Ariel Quartet (Alexandra Kazovsky and Gershon Gerchikov, violinists; Jan Grüning, violist; and Amit Even-Tov, cellist) is poised to become one of the first professional Quartets to publicly perform the complete Beethoven cycle before its members reach the age of 30.

These six concerts will also mark the first time a complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets has been performed at CCM. The series is believed to be Cincinnati’s first complete Beethoven Cycle, as well.

“The members of the Ariel Quartet and I began speaking of their interest in performing the Beethoven Quartet Cycle almost as soon as they began their CCM residency,” explains Peter Landgren, Dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM. “I view the performance of all of the Beethoven String Quartets as the scaling of Mount Everest for not just the performers, but also the listeners.”

Beethoven’s 17 string quartets are considered by many to be the greatest achievement in the history of western chamber music. The members of the Ariel Quartet have had a longstanding fascination with these pieces, exploring Beethoven’s quartets one by one as a young ensemble.

“The quartets exhibit the gradual transformation of Beethoven’s musical language and were of tremendous influence on the development of music history,” the members of the Quartet explain. “Beethoven’s tragedies and struggles in life come through this music. The complete cycle of his string quartets translates into a journey leading to the most intimate and spiritual heights of the human soul.”

While many Quartets perform the cycle over a year’s time or longer, Dean Landgren challenged the Ariel Quartet to consider a “festival-style” approach to its upcoming cycle, keeping the performances in close proximity. The result is a concert series running on three pairs of consecutive Thursdays and Saturdays at the end of January, February and March. See complete schedule below.

“Hearing these masterpieces performed by the Ariel Quartet – not one member of which will be 30 years old at the time of these performances – will be life-changing for our audiences,” says Dean Landgren. “We have plans to record these live performances for posterity.”

For their part, the members of the Ariel Quartet are equally enthused about this concert series. “After exploring these works for so many years, we feel very lucky to have the opportunity to perform all of them as a cycle following the historical path these quartets reveal. This will be our first complete cycle, which will add so much to the unbelievable excitement and thrill!”

“The Cycle” will be held in UC’s acoustically stunning Corbett Auditorium with performances scheduled for 8 p.m. on January 23 and 25, February 20 and 22 and March 27 and 29, 2014.

Subscription packages and single tickets are on sale now. Subscribe to the full concert series for just $90 and save 25% off single ticket prices. See below for more information.

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CCM and Constella Festival Present the Music of Missy Mazzoli on Oct. 16

Constella Festival Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli.

Constella Festival Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli.

Café MoMus, CCM’s new music ensemble, explores the work of Constella Festival Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli in a free concert performance at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

Described by the New York Times as “one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working,” Mazzoli is a composer of chamber, orchestral and operatic works. Her music has been played the world over by performers as varied the Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, violinist Jennifer Kohn, violist Nadia Sirota, Dublin’s Crash Ensemble and her own group, Victoire.

Victoire’s debut album, titled Cathedral City, was named one of 2010′s best classical albums by the New York Times, the New Yorker and NPR. Her opera, Song from the Uproar, premiered in New York in 2012. The original cast recording was released in November.

Mazzoli joins CCM’s new music ensemble, led by music director Jing Huan, for a special performance as part of the 2013 Constella Festival. On Sunday, Nov. 3, CCM and the Constella Festival will also co-present a unique staged performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. John PassionYou can learn more about that performance here.

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CCM’s Art of the Piano Master Class and Recital Series Continues July 20 – 24

Although the winner of the 2013 World Piano Competition’s Artist Division may have already been crowned, the world-class piano activities continue at CCM Village this summer!

24 talented young pianists join 10 of today’s most sought-after artists and teachers for the Art of the Piano Master Class and Recital Series at CCM. Experience the artistry yourself during the following upcoming concerts:

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CCM Winds, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Guitar And More On Display This Weekend!

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You will find something for everyone on the CCM stage this weekend!

At 8 p.m. this evening (Friday, April 12), the CCM Wind Orchestra closes out its successful 2012-13 season with a survey of contemporary American composers. The eclectic program will include works by Samuel Barber, Warren Benson and more! Learn more about this performance here.

CCM welcomes acclaimed tenor Lawrence Brownlee to the stage at 8 p.m. this Saturday, April 13, for an encore performance of the program from his recent Carnegie Hall debut. Brownlee will be accompanied by composer, conductor and pianist Damien Sneed for this special performance. Learn more about this performance here.

CCM’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band will celebrate the impact of adjunct instructor of jazz drums and “living guru of big band drumming” John Von Ohlen with a swinging tribute concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. Learn more about this performance here.

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CCM Presents Guest Artist Lawrence Brownlee in Recital on April 13

Acclaimed tenor Lawrence Brownlee presents a guest artist recital at CCM on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Photography by Derek Blanks.

Acclaimed tenor Lawrence Brownlee presents a guest artist recital at CCM on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Photography by Derek Blanks.

CCM presents a special recital by tenor Lawrence Brownlee at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, in Corbett Auditorium. This performance is presented by the CCM Busse Fund. Tickets are on sale now.

Brownlee will be accompanied by composer, conductor and pianist Damien Sneed, whose spiritual arrangements will be featured on the program. In addition, Brownlee will sing works from the 19th and 20th centuries, including music by composers Giuseppe Verdi and Francis Poulenc. Brownlee recently performed the same program at his Carnegie Hall debut, accompanied by pianist and conductor Martin Katz, with whom he recorded an album of Italian songs under EMI Classics in 2006.

Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Brownlee has had a quick rise to sought-after status as an operatic tenor. Since graduating from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2001, he has won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and received the Richard Tucker Award and Marian Anderson Award. Brownlee has taken the stage with some of the world’s top opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House, Hamburg State Opera and Opéra National de Paris. In addition to his EMI Classics release of Italian songs, he is featured on EMI’s release of Rossini’s Stabat Mater and on the Metropolitan Opera’s Met in HD recording of Rossini’s Armida, both from 2010.

Brownlee’s performing career has taken him back to Ohio before, for performances of Bach’s Magnificat with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2002 and of Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra in 2003. His return for this CCM encore performance of his Carnegie Hall debut program will be an event not to be missed.

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CCM Welcomes Internationally Renowned Trombonist Jörgen van Rijen For Feb. 21 Master Class and Recital

Guest artist Jörgen van Rijen comes to CCM on Feb. 21, 2013.

Guest artist Jörgen van Rijen comes to CCM on Feb. 21, 2013.

The CCM Trombone Studio is proud to present acclaimed trombonist Jörgen van Rijen in a 4 p.m. master class and 8 p.m. recital on Thursday, Feb. 21 in UC’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

Principal trombone of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, Van Rijen’s commitment to promoting his instrument, developing new repertoire, and bringing existing repertoire to a broader audience has taken him throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia as a soloist and teacher.

According to Luister Magazine, “Van Rijen is a real ambassador of his instrument, which is still not often used as a virtuoso brass instrument among composers. But there are not that many trombonists who reach the brilliant level of Van Rijen. In sound, dynamic colour, musical understanding and expressiveness, Van Rijen is unequalled…”

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