CCM Presents a Plethora of Piano Performances This February

CCMWinter2014PianoPerformancesCCM will celebrate the art of the piano with a series of special events this February. The fifth annual Bearcat Piano Festival presents master classes and guest artist concerts from Feb. 6 – 11 in the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall and the Mary Emery Hall Master Classroom, followed by the ninth edition of CCM’s Pianopalooza showcase at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16, in Corbett Auditorium.

Launched in 2010 by CCM’s Piano Department Chair Awadagin Pratt, the Bearcat Piano Festival has grown into a veritable piano spectacular with several days of master classes and recitals by piano greats. This year’s Festival will feature a “Friends, Family and Favorites” theme:

  • Performances by “friends” include Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Louisville Dror Biran and University of Michigan doctoral student pianists.
  • The festival celebrates “family” as Professor Emeritus Frank Weinstock returns to the CCM stage, while Momoro Ono – Juilliard graduate and brother of UC President Santa J. Ono – makes his CCM debut.
  • As for “favorites,” CCM presents performances by acclaimed pianist Boris Slutsky and 2013 World Piano Competition Gold Medalist Marianna Prjevalskaya (who also studied with Slutsky). This will mark the first time in the history of the World Piano Competition that the winner is presented in a public recital.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Pianopalooza IX, directed by CCM’s Division of Keyboard Studies Head Michael Chertock, will include songs of love and romance. The program showcases spectacular student pianists and features special appearances by CCM faculty artists including Awadagin Pratt, James Tocco and Chertock himself. Pratt will perform music by Rachmaninoff, Tschaikovsky, Schumann and celebrated jazz pianist (and Cincinnati native) Fred Hersch. Tocco and Chertock will present selections from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.

Pianopalooza IX and the Bearcat Piano Festival promise to excite audiences with the beautiful sound and versatile styles that this popular and complex instrument has to offer — the perfect listening opportunity for music and keyboard enthusiasts of all ages.

Event Information
Please see individual listings below for additional information. The Boris Slutsky, Marianna Prjevalskaya and Pianopalooza IX concerts require paid admission. All other Bearcat Piano Festival events are free and open to the general public. All dates and programs are subject to change.

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CCM Concert Orchestra Presents Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 on Nov. 26

Guest conductor Ken Lam with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra at the Memphis Symphony Orchestra International Competition in May 2011.

Guest conductor Ken Lam with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra at the Memphis Symphony Orchestra International Competition in May 2011.

On the heels of last season’s acclaimed Beethoven Festival, CCM’s Concert Orchestra performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 under the direction of guest conductor Ken Lam at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26, in Corbett Auditorium.

Beethoven’s eighth symphony was composed in 1812 and is generally light-hearted, including various passages often interpreted by listeners as musical jokes.

Hindemith’s virtuoso turn for viola solo, Der Schwanendreher, will round out the program with medieval German folk melodies.

CCM’s celebration of the music of Beethoven will continue throughout 2014 as the internationally acclaimed Ariel Quartet presents its first complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets in January, February and March. You can learn more about this momentous undertaking by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/arielsubscription.

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CCM’s Departments of Jazz Studies and Musical Theatre Present Duke Ellington’s ‘Nutcracker Suite’ and Holiday Concert on Nov. 24

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CCM’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band team up with CCM Musical Theatre dancers to present Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite and Holiday Concert at 2 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, in Corbett Auditorium.

This swinging seasonal favorite features stunning new choreography by Diane Lala and musical direction by Scott Belck and Dominic Marino. Back by popular demand, this powerful partnership presents two performances this season.

Duke Ellington recorded The Nutcracker Suite for the Columbia label in 1960, featuring jazz interpretations of well-known melodies by Tchaikovsky.

Of collaborating with Belck, Lala says, “When he asked if I wanted to do the Nutcracker Swing with him, I jumped at the chance. It is a great opportunity for our musical theatre students to be able to dance with such a wonderful band.” View an excerpt from last year’s concert below.

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CCM Jazz Ensembles ‘Git Sassy’ on Sunday, Nov. 10

Guest artist Diego Rivera joins the CCM Jazz Ensembles for a musical tribute to Thad Jones on Sunday, Nov. 10.

Guest artist Diego Rivera joins the CCM Jazz Ensembles for a musical tribute to Thad Jones on Sunday, Nov. 10.

The CCM Jazz Ensembles present “Don’t Git Sassy – The Music of Thad Jones” as the next installment in CCM’s 2013-14 Jazz Series. This evening of homage to jazz master Jones will be presented at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, in Corbett Auditorium under the direction of Scott Belck and Dominic Marino. Guest artist Diego Rivera, saxophone, joins the CCM Big Bands for this one-night-only celebration!

Thad Jones (1923-86) was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader. His music embodies the height of sophistication, the depths of hard-driving swing, the relentless groove of the blues and the beauty of a compositional style like no other.

The audience will enjoy jazz classics such as Jones’ hymn-like “To You,” a piece once performed by the Count Basie Orchestra combined with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in their only recording together, and other soulful favorites including “Low Down” and “Willow Weep for Me.” Certainly, the evening wouldn’t be complete without energetic renditions of “This Bass Was Made for Walkin’” and, of course, “Don’t Git Sassy.”

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CCM Wind Orchestra Invites Audiences on ‘Romantic Voyages’

CCM's Wind Symphony. Image by UC Photographic Services.

CCM’s Wind Orchestra. Image by UC Photographic Services.

The CCM Wind Orchestra presents a program of musical “Romantic Voyages” at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, in Corbett Auditorium under the direction of Professor Glenn D. Price.

The CCM Wind Orchestra is poised to deliver an evening of rich music featuring compositions by Brouwer, Graham, Ellerby and de Meij. Despite the diversity of styles among the pieces, each one will similarly transport the listener through the evening’s festive set of romantic programming.

Scottish composer Peter Graham’s Harrison’s Dream was commissioned by the United States Air Force Band and won the 2002 American Bandmasters Association Ostwald Award. Extreme Makeover by Dutch composer Johan de Meij consists of a set of metamorphoses on a theme from Tchaikovsky’s well-known Andante cantabile from String Quartet No. 1 in D. The audience will also hear Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s famous Cancion de Geste (For the Boat Loaded with the Future) and English composer Martin Ellerby’s Neapolitan Serenade to round out the program.

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

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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.

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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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CET Cincinnati Public Television Broadcasts Premiere of ‘Monteverdi From CCM’ on May 12

From left-to-right: Vivian Montgomery, harpsichord; vocalists: James Onstad, Derrell Acon and Xi Wang; Jennifer Roig-Francoli, Baroque violin; and Annalisa Pappano, viola da gamba. Photography by Dottie Stover.

From left-to-right: Vivian Montgomery, harpsichord; vocalists: James Onstad, Derrell Acon and Xi Wang; Jennifer Roig-Francoli, Baroque violin; and Annalisa Pappano, viola da gamba. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CET Cincinnati Public Television will premiere Monteverdi from CCM at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, on the CET Arts channel. This program is part of an exciting new collaboration between CCM and CET, which will bring CCM’s world-class performances to PBS viewers throughout the Greater Cincinnati viewing area.

You can read more about this collaboration here.

Monteverdi from CCM was shot on location in CCM Village in November of 2012. The performance features CCM’s Chamber Choir, Early Music faculty members, students and guest artists presenting highlights from Claudio Monteverdi’s Madrigals of Love and War and Selva Morale e Spirituale.

You can learn more about the November performance here.

Monteverdi from CCM is scheduled to air on the CET Arts channel during the following times:

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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 Slideshows: Execution of Justice

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The final installment of CCM’s 2012-13 Studio Series opens this evening with the Michael Burnham directed Execution of Justice. Emily Mann’s riveting docu-drama runs April 18-20 in UC’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. This production contains mature subject matter.

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