With the gradual demise of arts writing in newspapers websites and blogs are filling the void. I’ve been writing for http://www.seenandheard-international for the past three years. Every year they ask each one of us to provide a list of the highlights of the year just finishing.

Those art writers who submitted lists come from all over the world – Great Britain, New Zealand, Continental Europe…It’s with pride that I list these Cincinnati-Dayton events side by side with concerts and operas from all over the world, as my most memorable ones from a year during which I attended over 120 arts events.

Congratulations to all these fine artists that make us so proud to live and work here: Louis Langrée and the musicians of the CSO…Eckart Preu and the musicians of the CCO…the whole CCM family, including both students and faculty….Catalina Cuertvo…Gary Briggle…Kara Shay Thompson….Ran Dank…Stewart Goodyear…

BRAVI TUTTI!…/new-some-of-our-re…/


No doubt about it, for an urban area of its size, Southern Ohio has an extraordinary number of musical organizations that keep us all happily attending concerts and operas all year long. Here are my memorable musical events of the year 2017.

Cincinnati’s Music Hall reopened after an extensive renovation and much improved acoustics with a gala concert that featured the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, led by Louis Langrée, who, in a heartfelt curtain speech before Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide echoed the words of that opera’s finale by expressing his and our hope ‘that this newly-built home will be a similar garden, where great music will thrive and flourish.’

Summermusik, now in its second-year summer line-up of evening concerts, chamber music afternoons and evening ‘Pub Crawls’ evidenced the talent and versatility of the musicians who make up the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and its dynamic new conductor, Eckart Preu. In one of the concerts Ran Dank gave a bravura performance of the Saint-Saëns Second Piano Concerto mining this leviathan’s every note for clarity rather than speed, and for quality rather than quantity of sound.

The CCM Philharmonia opened the 2017-2018 Concert Season at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music in the recently-renovated Patricia Corbett Theatre with a tour de force program that included Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute, Brahms’ Symphony No.3 in F, and Mendelssohn’s ‘Reformation’ Symphony. Many a professional orchestra would envy how this top-notch student ensemble sounds, under Mark Gibson magisterial leadership.

The story of the fatally flawed love between two giants of 20th-century art was brought to life in the Cincinnati Opera production of Frida, in which powerhouse soprano Catalina Cuervo, delivered a memorable career-defining performance.

Later on, in the Dayton Opera’s impeccably staged Gary Briggle production of Menotti’s The Consul, Kara Shay Thomson sang up a storm as the best Magda Sorel in this writer’s memory.

Stewart Goodyear played a recital as part of The Art of the Piano Festival that featured music by Bach, Gibbons, Beethoven, Ravel, and Liszt. Goodyear was awesome in technical dexterity, unfailingly musical and stylish, balancing the impulses of a warm heart with the counsel of a cool brain. The audience would not let him leave, not even after a marathon two-hour recital.


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