Take 32 excellent musicians already accustomed to playing together under the banner of Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.
Add to the mix a superb conductor whom they like and the audience likes and who likes and respects both musicians and audience.
Assemble a top notch staff willing to work extra long hours during the weeks leading up to the 4-week long event that they labor for year-round.
Assemble a dedicated board of directors that support all that goes into turning a dream into reality.
Line up some up and coming soloists.
Find the right venues.
Create over a period of a few years a base of support and a loyal following.
Concentrate all performances into a period of roughly 4 weeks at a time when nothing much else is going on in Cincinnati.
Give it a catchy name.
Create sharp marketing with a casual vibe.
Do all of that and you have Summermusik, the five year old, ever-young festival that music lovers look forward to every year.
To give you just a random idea, this year’s offerings include British music on opening night with young cellist Coleman Iztkoff playing Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and the orchestra playing Haydn’s London Symphony. Later the lineup of soloists includes pianist Christopher O’Riley taking on Shostakovich Piano Concerto no. 1 and violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn tackling music by Tan Dun and John Corigliano. There’s Vivaldi’s The Seasons and there’s much cross-over stuff in the weeknight pub crawls.
The line-up of four Saturday night concerts, each followed the next day by an informal afternoon chamber concert, all interspersed with weeknights pub crawls with music that blurs the dividing lines between classical and jazz, is all of it lovingly tended to by Eckart Preu (pronounce that Proy and you’ll be pretty close to the right German pronunciation). He is a youthful forty-something, personable, tall and ruggedly handsome, German born and trained. But, what is more important than age and looks and personality and birthplace and training is that Preu is simply a very fine conductor.
Check him out on his website: http://www.orchestraconductor.org
The rank and file of the orchestra loved him when he was here for the first time to conduct the final concert of the CCO’s 2016 season. The audience loved him too. Musically speaking he scored with everyone, including me. Here’s what I wrote after his concert that September:
“Eckart Preu is an immensely talented conductor, one capable of moving with ease from the cutting edge sounds of del Águila and Bjarnason to the Americana of Aaron Copland and then on to the Gallic Romanticism of Saint-Saëns and, finally, impress with an exquisite Mozart performance. This concert concludes the 2016 season by reminding us of how fortunate it is for us to have not one but two great orchestras in our town. But, beyond that, of the two, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has been reborn into a very fine ensemble, and that is more than cause for celebration. What lies ahead now is the choice of Music Director for this worthy member organization of the music scene in Cincinnati, one who will lead it into the next chapter of its musical life. After hearing tonight’s performance I know who my choice would be.”
Rafael de Acha
Go to http://www.ccocincinnati.org for tickets and details.