Labor Day signals the end of “official” end of summer and the beginning of the music season, and September 23 also signals the “official” start of Autumn, by which time the uncertain weather in Cincinnati might have just settled into something remotely expectable. By then, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the College Conservatory of Music, the Immaculata Chamber Music Series, Matinee Musicale Cincinnati, and Chamber Music Cincinnati will all five have begun their expectably excellent seasons.

Here goes then a quick overview of what’s on tap in September. Let this please serve as a heads up for those among us who follow and support music in the Queen City. At month’s end we’ll follow up with a quick overview of each upcoming month, so stay with us if you like this blog and the information in it.

Saturday September 7 – All day long at Music Hall
The superb Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear plays not one or two but all 32 Beethoven sonatas for piano. In one day. For those of us who plan to stay the course, there will be a lunch break and a dinner break and plenty of places to eat in the vicinity. Tickets for the day-long Sonatathon are $40 and available from Chamber Music Cincinnati at 513-342-6870, or by email at

Sunday September 8 – At 4 pm at Immaculata Church in Mount Adams
The Immaculata Chamber Music series begins with a concert of Mozart’s “Dissonance” String Quartet and Dvorak’s “Bass” String Quintet played by a top notch ensemble: the wonderful Shimasaki sisters – Mariko and Kanako and the just as amazing Christina Nam as the violinists, in the company of Jonathan Lee, cello, Martin Hintz, viola and Ian Saunders as the bassist. Come for the concert, come for the great view of Cincinnati and the Ohio River or better, come for both the concert and the view both of which are free, but for Mozart’s sake please make a donation.

September 20 is a full day.

At 11 AM the Labèque Sisters – Marielle and Katia join the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Louis Langrée to play Bryce Desssner’s Concerto for two pianos, before which the orchestra will play Richard Strauss’ Don Juan and after which they will scale the heights of Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, with newly appointed concertmaster Stefani Matsuo as their mountain guide. Tickets at 513 381 3300

After the CSO concert, have lunch out, after which you can freshen up at home, have a light and early dinner and drive to CCM to catch the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Mark Gibson in a 7:30 pm concert featuring Dvorak’s rarely performed violin concerto with the superb Giora Schmidt as soloist, and the Czech master’s Slavonic Dance in C Major, plus the finale, Brahms Symphony no. 2 in D Major. Tickets available from or by phone at 513 556 2100.

On Sunday September 22 at 3 pm Matinee Musicale Cincinnati springs into energetic action in spite of its venerable age (102 seasons) with the brightly talented trumpeter Ashley Hall playing a recital of music by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Debussy, Bartok and a few others. Tickets available at the Memorial Hall box office: 513-977-8838.

These are just five highlights of a very busy month. The CSO has another concert on Sunday 29th at 2 pm with Anne Sophie von Mutter in a program of Beethoven and Brahms chestnuts, and CCM has the formidable Ariel Quartet on Tuesday 24th at 7:30 pm playing Haydn and Schubert and Tan Dun. As with all CCM events, you need to go to or by phone at 513 556 2100.

Whatever you do, do get out and go hear great live music in our music-making Queen City.

Rafael de Acha