The joys of Summermusik are not nearly over yet, and the awful summer weather still hangs over Cincinnati like a wet blanket.  But, at least for me it is time to map out the fall season (please ye gods of weather…let it be fall and not 24/7 summer in September!)

So here are my very subjective subject-to-disagreement picks, based on whim, personal favorites, the desire to mix it up, and the need to stay awake and alert through any concert I attend, which with these artists no doubt I will.

Word to the wise, most of these events, almost all one-time offerings most likely will sell out. Plan and purchase your tickets in advance so as not to be shut out. CCM Concert Flex Series Packages are on sale now; pre-order options are available for some events; single tickets go on sale beginning Sept. 10, 2018. TKTS:

Friday 14 – BERNSTEIN AND FRIENDS – An all-Bernstein concert at CCM, featuring music by the usual suspects (Copland, Barber, Thompson…) and surprises (Carlos Chavez…) and Bernstein’s best friend, himself. Maestro par excellence, Mark Gibson shares the podium with the young and enormously gifted Aik Khai Pung, both leading (though not at the same time) the professional-level CCM Philharmonia, in Corbett Auditorium, at 8 PM. TKTS: www.

Sunday 16 – THE BIRTHDAY CABARET celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the extraordinary CCM Musical Theatre Program, widely recognized as the finest in the nation. Aubrey Berg helms the parade of distinguished grads then, stars-now, from the past five decades, starting with the Musical Theatre Program’s first, Broadway luminary Pam Myers. Emceed by Scott Coulter and featuring a handful of stars of tomorrow, The Birthday Cabaret promises to be a SRO sell-out at 6 p.m., in the Patricia Corbett Theater. TKTS:

Saturday 22 – Sam Martin’s Cincinnati Song Initiative is all about the art of the song. The wonderful group begins its third season with Alma de España, featuring musical creations by Federico García Lorca, Joaquín Rodrigo, Fernando Obradors, Enrique Granados, Frederic Mompou, and Manuel de Falla, with soprano Jessica Rivera, mezzo-soprano Paulina Villareal, guitarist William Willits and pianist Marie France Lefebvre. The celebration of all things Spanish begins at 7: 30 PM and is followed by a champagne reception with the artists. All of it happens at Willis Music Steinway Gallery, at 8118 Montgomery Road. Tickets on line at

Monday 24 – DANIEL WEEKS is giving a recital at CCM. His pianist: the incomparable Donna Loewy. His rep: Franz Liszt’s Three Songs from Schiller’s William Tell, Songs of Remembrance and Songs of the Night and the Stars by Antón García Abril, and Tom Cipullo’s The Land of Nod. Weeks is the possessor of a ringing lyric tenor voice that he can pull back to the nicest mezza-voce we’ve heard since Nicolai Gedda hung his operatic hat. At 8 pm at CCM’s main Recital Hall. TKTS:

Sunday 30 – AKROPOLIS REED QUINTET – Unless one is from out of town (or doesn’t get out much) one’s likely to have heard of Matinee Musicale Cincinnati, and if one loves classical music concerts featuring today’s promising talents and tomorrow’s stars, one is likely to have been to one or more Matinee Musicale concerts sometime during the past century plus this one. The 106th season kicks off with the Akropolis Reed Quintet, whose publicity photo promises a surprisingly entertaining concert. The august MMC has changed a few things to keep up with the times, such as the time for its daytime concerts (formerly AM weekdays, now mostly PM weekends) and its ticketing system, now through Its unreasonably reasonable pricing has not changed, however. Still an astounding $15 for single tickets, $70 for five events… (How do they do it?) Memorial Hall at 3 PM.

We’ll be back with more in October.

Rafael de Acha

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