CCM Assistant Professor of Violin Giora Schmidt.

Acclaimed Violinist Giora Schmidt is Named Assistant Professor of Violin at CCM

Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of Giora Schmidt to the position of Assistant Professor of Violin at CCM. Schmidt joined CCM’s faculty on a visiting basis in 2017. His new tenure-track appointment will begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

CCM Assistant Professor of Violin Giora Schmidt.

CCM Assistant Professor of Violin Giora Schmidt.

Praised by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “impossible to resist, captivating with lyricism, tonal warmth and boundless enthusiasm,” Schmidt has appeared with many prominent symphony orchestras including Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Toronto, Vancouver and the Israel Philharmonic.

As a recitalist and chamber musician, Schmidt has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, San Francisco Performances, the Louvre Museum in Paris and Tokyo’s Musashino Cultural Hall. His festival appearances include the Ravinia Festival, the Santa Fe and Montreal Chamber Music Festivals, Bard Music Festival, Scotia Festival of Music and Music Academy of the West.

Born in Philadelphia to professional musicians from Israel, Schmidt began playing the violin at the age of four. He has studied with Patinka Kopec and Pinchas Zukerman at the Manhattan School of Music, and the late CCM faculty member Dorothy DeLay and Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School.

Schmidt was the first prize winner of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Competition in 2000, the recipient of a 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant and won the Classical Recording Foundation’s Samuel Sanders Award in 2005. He was selected to be a Starling Fellow at the Juilliard School from 2004 to 2006.

Prior to his current appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin at CCM, Schmidt was on the faculty of the Juilliard School and the Perlman Music Program. Through technology and social media, he continues to find new ways of reaching young violinists and music lovers around the world.

On the announcement of CCM’s new Assistant Professor of Violin, mcclung commented:

“Schmidt’s commitment to pedagogy and his passion for excellence make him an ideal addition to the CCM family. I am grateful to Violin Search Committee Chair James Bunte and committee members Gershon Gerchikov, Alexandra Kazovsky, Kurt Sassmannshaus, and Won-Bin Yim for their work and dedication to find CCM’s next great faculty member.”

Please join us in congratulating Giora Schmidt on his new appointment!

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM Presents New Semi-Staged Production of Honegger’s ‘Joan of Arc at the Stake’ on Feb. 13

CCM’s Department of Choral Studies presents four exciting concerts this semester, beginning with a new semi-staged production of Arthur Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. This concert will be sung in English with surtitles.

Poster for CCM's production of Honegger's 'Joan of Arc at the Stake.'Honegger’s monumental oratorio premiered in Basel, Switzerland, in May of 1938. Over the course of eleven scenes, Joan of Arc at the Stake recounts the timeless tale of 15th century French heroine Joan of Arc. Inspired by both popular and classical music trends of the 1930s, Honegger sprinkled his oratorio with flares of jazz, military fanfares, atonality and Hollywood styles.

CCM’s semi-staged concert production of this imposing work is a massive undertaking, requiring the combined forces of the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Chorale, along with the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cincinnati Children’s Choir. The production also features soloists from CCM’s voice and dramatic performance programs, along with technical support from the Lighting Design and Technology department, all of which allows Joan’s brief life to unfold in a truly dynamic fashion on stage.

CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers conducts this performance. “The drama takes place during Joan’s last minutes on the stake, with flashbacks to her younger days and her trial. Honegger entitled his work a dramatic oratorio, adding speaking roles and actors,” he says. “Joan’s life unfolds in cinematic scenes of heavenly visions, conquests, her trial and her eventual fate at the stake.”

Artist Diploma candidate Marcus Shields provides the stage direction for this production, explaining, “In a typical concert presentation of Joan of Arc at the Stake, the soloists would be using music with music stands. For our production, all of the solo parts are going to be memorized, allowing us to realize Joan’s story in three dimensional space. This allows us to shift the focus to real characters forging real relationships, detached from a music stand.”

This production’s feature soloists include soprano Tara Morrow as St. Catherine, mezzo-soprano Alyssa Narum as St. Marguerite and soprano Ann Toomey as the Virgin, along with tenor Robert Stahley and bass-baritone Junbo Zhou.

Joan of Arc at the Stake‘s two primary roles are actually spoken roles, so Rivers and Shields have also enlisted two actors from CCM’s Department of Dramatic Performance: Laura McCarthy as Joan and Landon Hawkins as Brother Dominique.

The last documented performance of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake in Cincinnati was at the May Festival in 1952, making CCM’s new production a very rare treat.

CCM’s Department of Choral Studies also presents three other exciting concerts this spring. On Wednesday, March 30, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cabaret Singers perform Daniel Elder’s The Brightest Heaven and a variety of other celebrated masterpieces.

On Sunday, April 17, the Jazz and Choral Departments share the stage in a concert featuring Wynton Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass. Prepare to be dazzled by this fusion of jazz and gospel.

Finally, the Department of Choral Studies concludes this year’s series with a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This concert features talent from CCM’s Drama Department, along with premieres of newly commissioned choral works on Shakespeare texts by American composers Ola Gjeilo, Dominick DiOrio, and Jake Runestad.

Event Information
All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Some events do require purchased tickets; please see individual event information for single ticket prices and ordering information.

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



8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
CCM Philharmonia, Chamber Choir and Chorale; UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses; and Cincinnati Children’s Choir Earl Rivers, conductor

Marcus Shields, stage director
CCM showcases the American university premiere of a staged concert production of Arthur Honegger’s 1938 Joan of Arc at the Stake (Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher), featuring Joan of Arc in the final moments of her life, with flashbacks to her trial and younger days. Actors, soloists, choristers and children play and sing multifaceted roles in Honegger’s borderline opera and oratorio of classical, popular and jazz styles. This program also features the Overture to Verdi’s take on the Joan of Arc story: 1845’s Giovanna d’Arco.
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

Performance Sponsor: Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Foundation


8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30
Christopher Albanese and Alex Sutton, conductors
Comprised of students from all 14 UC colleges, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cabaret Singers present a variety of classical, popular, folk and jazz works. The program will include a newly commissioned work from Daniel Elder titled The Brightest Heaven (with texts from Shakespeare’s Henry V) and highlights from the UC Choruses Spring Break Tour to Washington, D.C., featuring masterpieces by Bernstein, Dickau, Barber, Miller, Belen, Gibbs, Lang, Mendelssohn, Pergolesi, DeCormier, Nelson, Burchard, Sperry and Thompson.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Admission: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE


3 p.m. Sunday, April 17
CCM Jazz Orchestra and Chorale and Central State University Gospel Choir
Scott Belck, Brett Scott and Jeremy Winston, directors
Featuring guest artist Damien Sneed, conductor
Commissioned to celebrate the 2008 bicentennial of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, Marsalis’ Mass is a landmark collaboration of jazz, gospel, instrumentals and vocals with “hand-clappin’” and “tambourine-slappin’,” reflecting the form of the African American church service.
Location: Zion Baptist Church, 630 Glenwood Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Visiting Artists.


7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23
CCM Chamber Choir and CCM Drama Department
CCM’s Choral Department culminates its two-year Shakespeare Quadricentennial, honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s passing (April 23, 1616). The Chamber Choir will perform music on Shakespeare’s texts with scenes presented by actors from CCM’s Drama Department. Featured are premieres of newly commissioned choral works on Shakespeare texts by American composers Ola Gjeilo, Dominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad.
Location: Knox Presbyterian Church, Michigan and Observatory Avenues, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Admission: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.


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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Visiting Artists Sponsor: The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel

Choral Studies Sponsors: Jan Rogers; Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation

CCM News
CCM's Steinways. Photography by Jay Yocis.

CCM Welcomes Award-Winning Pianists Dror Biran and Ran Dank to Keyboard Studies Faculty

Dean Peter Landgren has announced two new additions to CCM’s already-illustrious roster of piano faculty members. Acclaimed performers and pedagogues Dror Biran and Ran Dank have both been appointed to full-time faculty positions with CCM’s Division of Keyboard Studies.

“Both men have distinguished themselves internationally through numerous competition wins,” Landgren commented. “Their impressive artistry coupled with their vast teaching experience will make them excellent additions to our already exceptional piano faculty.”

Incoming CCM faculty member Dror Biran.

Incoming CCM faculty member Dror Biran.

Dror Biran’s playing has been described as “powerful, but also beautifully sensitive,” by Die Bleed magazine. He is winner of the top prizes at the M.K. Ciurlionis International Piano Competition and the Cleveland International Piano Competition (where he also received a special prize for best performance of works by Chopin), along with other competitions in Spain, Israel and the US.

Biran joins CCM as Associate Professor of Piano in August 2016 after serving as Visiting Adjunct Professor of Piano during the 2015-16 academic year. A graduate of the Givatayim Conservatory and Tel-Aviv University in Israel, Biran holds a Doctoral degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. A native Israeli, he has been the recipient of multiple scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation for Distinguished Musicians.

Incoming CCM faculty member Ran Dank.

Incoming CCM faculty member Ran Dank.

Described as, “a strong player with technique and imagination,” by the New York Times, Ran Dank has received numerous awards, including a coveted place on the Young Concert Artists roster in 2009. He is a laureate of the Cleveland International Competition, the Naumburg Piano Competition, the Sydney International Piano Competition and was First Prize winner of the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.

Dank joins CCM as Assistant Professor of Piano in August of 2016 after serving as the Director of Piano Studies at the College of Charleston. He holds degrees from Tel Aviv University in his native Israel, as well as Master’s and Artist Diploma degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City. Dank joins his wife, Soyeon Kate Lee, who became a member of CCM’s faculty in August of 2014.

“In my opinion,” Landgren added, “the hires of Dror Biran and Ran Dank will continue to strengthen CCM’s status as a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts in the US, while also enhancing our global reputation as a leader in arts education.”

Please join us in welcoming Dror Biran and Ran Dank to the CCM family! You can learn more about both pianists below.

About Dror Biran
Dror Biran has been described by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier as “mesmerizing in the intensity and emotionalism of his playing. His fingering in the fast passages was breathtaking, and the loving care he gave to the sweetly lyrical passages was riveting.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer added, “his fortissimos crashed and roared, but next to them came pianissimos that whispered seductively… he has technique to burn and uses it effectively.” Biran’s superb tonal control combined with interesting phrasing and voicing has won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences.

Born in Israel, Biran is a top prizewinner of several national and international piano competitions. He is a graduate of the Givatayim Conservatory where he studied with Mrs. Lily Dorfman, as well as the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel-Aviv University where he studied with Professor Arie Vardi. Biran received his Doctoral degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Mr. Paul Schenly and Dr. Daniel Shapiro.

Biran won top prizes at the M.K Ciurlionis International Piano Competition (1995), and the Cleveland International Piano Competition (1997) where he also received a special prize for the best performance of works by Chopin. His honors include the first prize at the “Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition” in Zaragoza, Spain (1998), first prize at the Israeli Rubin Academy Piano Competition (1998) and the Rafi Goralnik prize for pianists, in the Aviv Competition (2000). Biran has been a recipient of multiple scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation for distinguished musicians.

Biran has performed widely as a soloist with major orchestras including the Lithuanian Philharmonic Orchestra, RTVE Symphony Orchestra of Spain, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He has played under the batons of Etinger, Rodan, Gueller, Gacia Asensio, Mester, Lane and others. His concert tours have taken him to the United States, Israel and South America, along with Eastern and Western Europe.

As a chamber musician Biran has appeared on a regular basis with different music ensembles such as Carmel and Aviv String Quartets. He has also performed with members of the Cleveland Orchestra in different venues. His concerts have been broadcast by WUOL, WCLV, WQXR, The Voice of Music – Israel and Classic FM South Africa, among others. Biran can be heard on the JMC (Jerusalem Music Centre) labels featuring ballades by Brahms and Chopin.

Prior to his CCM appointment, Biran taught at the University of Louisville, Youngstown State University and Case Western Reserve University.

About Ran Dank
Israeli pianist Ran Dank has been hailed as a “superb pianist… absolutely splendid: dashing, impetuous and full of imagination” by the Washington Post.

A favorite of New York audiences, Dank performs in New York City’s most notable venues to frequent critical acclaim by the New York Times. In recent seasons, he has been heard in recitals in Town Hall and Symphony Space. As a soloist, he has performed Prokofiev’s Second Concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall and Tobias Picker’s Keys to the City at Columbia University. In September of 2013 he and fellow CCM faculty member Soyeon Kate Lee performed the world premiere of Fredric Rzewski’s Four Hands at (le) Poisson Rouge to a glowing review by the New York Times.

Dank’s other recent performance highlights include recitals at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Washington Performing Arts Society at the Kennedy Center, the Chopin Festival in Warsaw, Finland’s Mantta Festival and performances of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts’ piano concerto with the Mobile Symphony. His recent chamber music performances include appearances at the Santa Fe, Great Lakes, Maverick, Seattle, Montreal, Tokyo Chanel and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festivals.

Last season, Dank returned to his native Israel for a double-bill concert featuring Liszt’s Concerto No.1 and Totentanz with the Jerusalem Symphony.

His upcoming engagements include a performance at the prestigious Ravinia Festival, recitals in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and a return engagement with the Kansas City Symphony.

A recipient of numerous honors, Dank won a coveted place on the Young Concert Artists’ roster in 2009 and subsequently made his New York recital debut. He is a laureate of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, where he also won the Bach Prize, the Naumburg and Sydney International Piano Competitions, and was the First Prize winner of the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.

A graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University and the Juilliard School, he has worked extensively with Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Joseph Kalichstein, Ursula Oppens and Robert McDonald.

In 2014 Dank joined the faculty of the College of Charleston as the Director of Piano Studies and Assistant Professor. He also serves as Artistic Director of the College of Charleston International Piano Series.

In addition to concertizing and academic posts, Dank established a series of concerts with his wife, pianist Soyeon Kate Lee. Dubbed “Music by the Glass,” this series is held in a New York So-Ho art gallery, where young professionals mix and mingle with performing artists, who play solo pieces and chamber works. The performances are accompanied by sweet and savory treats paired with wines by the glass. Learn more about these popular events by visiting

Learn more about CCM’s preeminent piano faculty by visiting

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM Student Among 10 Finalists in Met Opera National Council Auditions

We are pleased to report that bass-baritone Thomas Richards, a student of William McGraw at CCM, will be singing onstage at the Metropolitan Opera in the Grand Finals Concert of the Metropolitan Opera District Council Auditions this Sunday!

The public concert will be accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and will be broadcast nationwide on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Network.

Learn more courtesy of Janelle Gelfand and the Cincinnati Enquirer.

CCM News Student Salutes

Projects for CCM E-Media Alumnus Include A Current Box Office Hit

E-Media Alumnus Elliot Greenberg

E-Media Alumnus Elliot Greenberg

The science fiction film Chronicle topped the box office last weekend and CCM alumnus Elliot Greenberg had a large part in the film’s success. The film was edited by Greenberg, who graduated from CCM E-Media in 2001. You can view the trailer for the film below:

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News CCM Video