This is not a comprehensive preview; it just highlights some of the events given by a few of the many musical organizations that operate in Cincinnati. The dates of performances given here are usually the first or second of two or more. For precise details it’s best to go to the various websites listed here:

CCM – College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati or call 513 556 6638

Symphony Concerts, Chamber Music, Jazz Concerts, Musical Theatre, Opera, Voice and Choral concerts, Solo Recitals, Ballet, Drama featuring students, faculty and guest artists in four different venues in hundreds of performances every year in one of America’s great arts schools. Among the highlights of this year are a rare recital appearance by star tenor Stuart Skelton and a staging of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Jesus Christ Superstar

concert:nova –

An eclectic and unpredictable producer and presenter of anything in music as long as it falls way outside the box. They are all over town this year for their performances and even offering free tickets to anyone under 35 for some of their events. Watch their website for updates and, while you are there, check out their late night series.

CSI – Cincinnati Song Initiative

A one of a kind musical organization presenting outstanding young pianists and singers in several recitals every year focusing on the blend of words and music that go into making an art song. This year they have a look at some Shakespeare set to music and they add to their regular line up of concerts several free-admission ones in libraries around Cincinnati.

CSO – Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra                               or call 513 541 1492

One of America’s oldest symphony orchestras presents a full season of concerts featuring internationally renowned artists. This second half of its 2017-2018 season features appearances by several pianists, among them heavyweights Garrick Ohlson and Jean Yves Thibaudet, various guest conductors, including Sir Andrew Davis, and the unusual: bassist, Owen Lee. The repertory tends to be largely Romantic German and Russian, with rarely a foray into the French or the Southern European, which seems to be what its largely baby-boomer audience wants.

MAY FESTIVAL – 513 381 3300

An important two-week line up of concerts focusing on choral music whose roots go back to the 1870’s. This year, the May Festival begins a new era under the baton of Juanjo Mena, who will helm two out of five major concerts that will include Verdi’s Requiem (with James Levine on the podium, health permitting) and Handel’s Messiah (with countertenor David Daniels and tenor Matthew Polenzani among the soloists)

MFAS – Music for All Seasons

A five-year old concert series that focuses on music for voice and instruments, featuring early career singers and instrumentalists in an intimate setting in one of Cincinnati’s grandest mansions. One not-to-be-missed concert in February, jointly presented with the Wagner Society of Cincinnati brings back soprano, Shareese Arnold to pace herself through several Rachmaninoff songs and a trio of Wagnerian showstoppers.

MMC – Matinee Musicale Cincinnati                      or call 513-231-0964

A revered, century-old organization that presents four recitals every season, featuring nationally-recognized instrumentalists and singers, with this year’s coup being the Cincinnati recital debut of Metropolitan Opera star mezzo soprano, Jamie Barton.

SALON 21 –

One of Cincinnati’s youngest musical organizations presenting several one-hour concerts every year that combine music, wine tasting and socializing in a variety of unconventional settings. This plucky little group has all the markings of a winner that targets primarily the elusive, hard to get into a concert millennial generation.


CSO – Sat. Jan 6, 2018 at 8 p.m. in Music Hall – Sir Andrew Davis, conductor; Garrick Ohlsson, piano – Bach, Beethoven, Goosens
CSO – Fri. Jan. 12, 2018 at 8 p.m. in Music Hall – James Conlon, conductor; Jennifer Frautschi, violin – Schubert, Mahler, Mozart
SALON 21 – Thu., Jan 25 at 7 p.m. in the Weston Art Gallery – Explorations in Improvisation – Ben Tweedt, jazz piano – program to be announced
MMC – Friday, January 26 at 7:30 pm at Memorial Hall – Jamie Barton, Soprano program will be announced
CCM – Friday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. Corbett Auditorium – Mark Gibson, conductor; James Tocco, piano – W. Schumann, Bernstein – Bernstein Festival Concert
CSO – Sat. Jan 27, 2018 at 8 p.m. at Music Hall – Louis Langrée, conductor; Owen Lee, string – bass; Beethoven, Koussevitzky, Bartók


CSO – Friday, Feb. 2 at 11 a.m. in Music Hall – Juanjo Mena, conductor; Javier Perianes, piano – Shostakovich, Mozart
MFAS – Sunday, February 11 at 2 pm in Historic Peterloon – Shareese Arnold, soprano; Amy Lassiter, cello; Christina Lalog Seal, piano; Kimberly Daniel, actor Schubert, Strauss, Rachmaninoff, Wagner, Liszt
concert:nova – Monday February 12 at 8 p.m.
At the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Intimate Letters – Soloists: Julianna Bloodgood, Aimée Langrée. Music: Leoš Janáček
CMM – Sunday, February 18 at 3 p.m. in Memorial Hall. — Julian Bliss, clarinetist. Program will be announced.
CCM – Friday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. in Corbett Auditorium – Fun and Games Philharmonia Orchestra & Ariel Quartet – Bernstein, Adams, Stravinsky
CSO – Saturday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. – Louis Langrée, conductor; Jeffrey Kahane, piano – Ravel, Prokofiev, Stravinsky
MMC – Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. in Memorial Hall – Julian Bliss, clarinetist Program will be announced
CCM – Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. in Corbett Auditorium Prestige Series
Stuart Kelton, tenor
CCM – Thursday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. in Corbett Auditorium – Jesus Christ Superstar
CSO – Saturday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. in Music Hall
Juraj Valcuha, conductor; Simone Lamsma, violin – Strauss, Bernstein, Korngold
CCM – Sunday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. – Lenny and Friends on Broadway
Philharmonia Orchestra and Musical Theatre performers – Excerpts from Bernstein’s Broadway shows


CSO – Friday, March 2 at 8 pm in Music Hall – Marek Janowsky, conductor Bruckner, Wagner
SALON 21- March 8 in the Weston Art Gallery – Musica pro Femina
Brianna Matzke, piano – Contemporary piano music by women composers
CSI – Sunday, March 11 at 3 PM in First Lutheran Church, Cincinnati
As You Like It – Music inspired by the words of William Shakespeare
CCM – Thursday, March 22 at 8 p.m. – Puccini Triple-Bill
CSO – Friday, March 23 at 8 p.m. in Music Hall
Louis Langrée, conductor – Strauss, Mozart


CSO – Friday, April 6 at 8 p.m. in Music Hall
James Gaffigan, conductor; Inon Barnatan, piano – Barber, Rachmaninoff
MMC – Sunday, April 8 at 3 pm – Yolanda Kondonassis, harp, and Jason Vieaux, guitar
CSO – Saturday, April 14 at 8 p.m. in Music Hall
Louis Langrée, conductor; Karen Gromyo, violin – Prokofiev, Beethoven
CSO – Friday, April 20 at 11 a.m. in Music Hall
Christian Macelaru, conductor; Jean Yves Thibaudet, piano
Bernstein, Ives, Gershwin
MFAS – Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m. in Historic Peterloon
Alan Palacios, tenor; Melisa Bonetti, mezzo-soprano; Eben Wagenstroom, piano
Purcell, Bizet, Falla, Chapi, Granados, Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Bernstein


SALON 21 – May 3 – Collaboration with Art of the Piano and Awadagin Pratt featuring competition winner Matthew Lenahan. At the Weston Art Gallery
CSO – Friday, May 11 at 11 AM (season closer)
Louis Langrée, conductor; James Ehnes, violin – Beethoven, Brahms
SALON 21 – May 17 (season closer) Wayside Winds with the Sextet for Winds and Piano by Poulenc. At the Mercantile Library at the Weston Art Gallery
MAY FESTIVAL – May 18, 8 p.m. – Requiem Mass – Verdi At Music Hall May Festival Chorus; James Levine, conductor; Michelle Bradly, soprano; Ekaterina Semenchuk, mezzo-soprano; Matthew Polenzani, tenor; bass: TBA
MAY FESTIVAL – May 19, 8 p.m. – Mass – Bernstein At Music Hall
May Festival Chorus; Robert Porco, conductor; Kevin Vortmann, celebrant
MAY FESTIVAL – May 22, 3 p.m.
At the Basilica of the Assumption
May Festival Chorus – Gabrieli, Bernstein, McMillan, Rheinberger
MAY FESTIVAL – May 25, 8 p.m. – At Music Hall
May Festival Chorus; Juanjo Mena, conductor; David Daniels, countertenor
Bernstein, Gabrieli, McMillan, Ravel
MAY FESTIVAL – May 26 8 p.m. – At Music Hall – Messiah – Handel
May Festival Chorus; Juanjo Mena, conductor; Robin Johannsen, soprano;
David Daniels, countertenor: Barry Banks, tenor; José Antonio López, baritone

Happy Listening!

Rafael de Acha

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