NEW! Rafael de Acha Introduces Some of Cincinnati’s New Musical Entrepreneurs

01/02/2018

In Cincinnati, a New Crop of Musical Entrepreneurs

Among Cincinnati’s established musical organizations, some trace back their roots a century or more: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (1895), Cincinnati Opera (1920), Cincinnati Matinee Musicale (1912), and the Cincinnati May Festival (1873). Two other venerable organizations combined in 1955, to create the newest of these: The College of Music (1878) and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (1867) became the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati, one of the top music schools in the nation and a presenter of over 1,000 musical events each year.

With all of these older organizations vying for the time of the classical music public in a city with a population of slightly under 300,000, is there room for any more? Ask any of a new crop of musical entrepreneurs, and the answer is a resounding yes.  

LEANNE ANKLANLeAnne Anklan does not conduct a note, but as Managing Director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra she conducts business, works long hours with a skeletal staff, oversees the complex counterpoint of administration, and in her own words, is ‘constantly discussing ways to stay on the edge, to surprise our audiences, and engage them in new ways.’

In only a few seasons, the CCO has established a strong brand and inaugurated innovative programs that nurture a younger audience for the orchestra’s annual Summer Musik. The orchestra’s gifted conductor, Eckart Preu, has quickly become known around the city, while Anklan is still known primarily to insiders. But this powerhouse arts administrator—with a surname she constantly has to spell—is making a name for herself by getting things done.

Sam MartinA 20-something entrepreneur, Samuel Martin is hell-bent on changing the status quo by sharing the riches of the art song through his Cincinnati Song Initiative. An accomplished accompanist and vocal coach, Martin earned his graduate degree from CCM in 2016, while freelancing as a much-in-demand collaborative pianist. Restless and not busy enough, the young New York native was taught by his CCM mentors that ‘in this classical music world we must become our own advocates.’

So he parlayed his restlessness into organizing concerts that feature early-career singers and pianists in intimate recitals. Commissions of new pieces by American composers are planned, as are new outreach efforts with other arts organizations.

JMES MEADEJames Meade exudes the unabashed enthusiasm of someone relatively new to music, even though he has been playing and teaching guitar for many years. Most recently Meade started NoteAble, a program designed to teach kids to play the guitar.

 After school, he gathers a group of young hopefuls for daily lessons in solo and ensemble playing. Tuition is free, and Meade gives freely of his time because he believes that ‘part of my job is to not only give children the correct tools to use, but the belief in themselves to use those tools effectively, confidently, and unabashedly regardless of their background.’ Whenever he is not doing his work with beginners, James gives private instrumental lessons and plays every gig imaginable—a textbook case of ‘have guitar, will travel.’

ISAAC SELYAWith youth, a suitcase full of degrees from prestigious music schools, and the ability to pull up stakes and go after work anywhere, Isaac Selya chose to grow roots in Cincinnati, where he braved the odds and founded the Queen City Opera. Now in his sixth year, he has produced and conducted most of the company’s offerings, casting and coaching young operatic hopefuls in repertoire that—given the budgetary constraints of his enterprise—would give pause to the bravest of impresarios.

Selya notes, ‘For each of our productions, we try to collaborate with a non-musical partner organization, to help focus the narrative of the work on a social justice issue central to the plot of the opera.’ He produced Siegfried, La Cenerentola, Don Giovanni, and Montemezzi’s The Love of Three Kings, which helped develop a growing reputation and a loyal audience for the young company. Next up is Tchaikovsky’s rarely-produced Iolanta.

Ask any one of these young firebrands why they do what they do, and the answer will be a simple one: because they want to carve out a place to work in the city in which they chose to live. They are ‘giving back’ to the place they call home.

Rafael de Acha

Print Friendly

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! World Premiere by Novaya Opera of Pushkin – The Opera in the Theatre in the Woods __________________________________
  • NEW! Dartington International Summer School & Festival’s 70th __________________________________
  • NEW! The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2018 Blossom Music Festival __________________________________
  • UPDATED! The Glyndebourne Opera Cup and Glyndebourne in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! LA Opera’s 2018/19 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Buxton Festival 2018 and its New CEO __________________________________
  • NEW! Classical Music at the Barbican in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Piccadilly Chamber Music Series in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera and More in Buenos Aires in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Gloucester Choral Society’s Hubert Parry’s Centenary Celebrations in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Bampton Classical Opera in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! The 2018 Lucerne Summer Festival __________________________________
  • NEW! Contemporary Music from Manchester’s Psappha in 2017-18 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! I Musicanti’s Alexandra and the Russians at St Johns Smith Square in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov’s Return to London in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! St John’s Smith Square announces its 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Pierre Boulez Saal’s 2017/18 Season in Berlin __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! Newly Discovered Song by Alma Mahler to be Performed in Oxford and Newbury __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH LISETTE OROPESA AS SHE RETURNS TO LA OPERA FOR ORFEO ED EURIDICE __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH ANDREA CARÈ AS HE RETURNS TO COVENT GARDEN AS DON JOSÉ __________________________________
  • NEW! Chelsea Opera Group to Perform Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto at Cadogan Hall __________________________________
  • NEW! Rafael de Acha Introduces Some of Cincinnati’s New Musical Entrepreneurs __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • NEW! ENB’s 2018 Emerging Dancer will be Chosen at the London Coliseum on 11 June __________________________________
  • NEW! Akram Khan’s Giselle for ENB Can be Seen in Cinemas from 25 April __________________________________
  • NEW! BARRY DOUGLAS IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • UPDATED! SOME OF OUR REVIEWERS CHOOSE THEIR ‘BEST OF 2017’ __________________________________
  • NEW! OMER MEIR WELLBER IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON __________________________________
  • NEW! THE PIANIST VALENTINA LISITSA IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! Dénes Várjon Talks to Sebastian Smallshaw About Budapest’s Kamara.hu __________________________________
  • R.I.P. IN MEMORIAM – DMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY (1962-2017) __________________________________
  • Archives by Week

    Archives by Month

    Search S&H