2016-2017: A LOOK FORWARD


2016-2017 A LOOK FORWARD     

First things first: what, when, where.

In Cincinnati, where there is so much going on year-round, it is hard to find an evening that gives one an excuse to chill out, nest, and watch some guilty-pleasure TV. Here I am, setting out to do a series of previews about the upcoming 2016-2017 arts season in Cincinnati, and I frankly don’t know how I can keep the length of each down to the number of words that an editor friend counsels every time I dispatch another item off for publication.

But this one is strictly for my blog, and you, dear readers, get to determine how long you can endure reading it before you press “delete” on your laptop screens. Here’s hoping you don’t.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

18 pairs of concerts, divided up into three series, typically performed on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and occasional Sundays. Half of them will be conducted by Louis Langrée , the CSO’s Music Director, the other half by a mix of “name” guest conductors – Neeme Järvi, Tom Koopman, Edo de Wart – and some up and coming ones – Juanjo Mena, James Darrah, Matthias Pintscher

Three ‘add-ons” (their language, not mine) are added to the schedule with Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman (program not announced for those) and a lineup of soloists that includes Gil Shaham, Emmanuel Ax, Midori, Alexander Gavryluk, Hilary Hahn – mostly pianists and violinists – and the all-too-rare: Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Dwight Parry (oboe.)

All this in a new digs: the Taft Theatre, while Music Hall enters its first year of major redesign.

Mostly 19th century Romantic repertory in all 18 pairs of concerts, out of which one randomly spots a couple of Stravinsky rarities, a Ligeti, an Essa-Pekka Salonen violin concerto, one Bartok, one John Williams, one world premiere, one Baroque composer, little Mozart, no Haydn.

I have been to concerts of the CSO where half of Music Hall was empty of an audience much inclined to staying away from anything remotely innovative or outside the traditional repertoire box.  Langrée has developed a large following in the community, after years during which some of his predecessors scored points with the musical elite but did not truly develop a loyal fan base in the Queen City.

Maestro Langrée has also the support of his players: he is a terrific conductor, he is warm and well liked. If he could only move his audience into the 21st century, no matter the kicking and screaming of diehards, he would see some big changes taking place, including the development of a new, younger audience walking through the doors of Music Hall a couple of years from now. We – the classical music audience – are greying down, and a new audience must be found and developed to take our place. It’s either that or it’s curtains for us, the audience, and for the orchestras, the theatres, the opera companies, the ballet troupes and all of the other large and small arts organizations.

My next post: CCM.


2 thoughts on “2016-2017: A LOOK FORWARD

  1. Our wealth of affordable cultural offerings is one of main reasons I’ve stayed in Cincinnati for four decades. We are so fortunate.


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