Summer Music in Cincinnati 2017

Music in the Summer in the Queen City

Samuel Martin’s one-of-a-kind Cincinnati Song Initiative keeps itself going this summer, as it brings to life the majestic landscape of England, in two song cycles for voice and piano quintet: Ian Venables’ The Song of the Severn will have its North American premiere in a program that will also include Ralph Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge. For more information, please visit

New this season from Cincinnati Opera, a trio of recitals features members of its Young Artists Program at the Mercantile Library. Each concert will include select art song and operatic repertoire inspired by characters from the company’s 2017 Summer Festival.

Put together a faculty of major piano luminaries helmed by Cincinnati treasure Awadagin Pratt, give it a catchy title, invite two dozen young pianists to be mentored, and watch the wondrous engine run on all cylinders. Now on stage at CCM’s acoustically superior Werner Recital Hall.

On June 22, at Greenacres Arts Center, “Music Under the Stars” starts at 7pm. (Doors open at 6pm.) Farm to Table »Julie Spangler, pianist of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, and friends play a mix of classical and pop fare. Blankets and picnics are welcomed. On August 5 at 7:30 pm, the center will present performances by the Cincinnati Pops, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, and May Festival Chorus with John Morris Russell conducting. The program has a Romeo and Juliet theme with music by Tchaikovsky, Gounod, Prokofiev, and Bernstein. Performances will take place in the Greenacres Grand Tent. For information, please call 513-898-3256.

On four consecutive Saturdays in August, come the centerpieces of Summermusik’s season: four evening affairs led by the CCO’s new Music Director, Eckart Preu, in the acoustically-friendly Corbett Theatre of the School for the Creative and Performing Arts. The themed concerts will offer an off-beat mix of Baroque rarities by Albinoni and Gabrieli; 20th-century masterpieces (such as Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Ballet Suite); contemporary works by Phillip Glass and Peter Maxwell-Davies; and Romantic gems by Beethoven, Saint-Saens, and Mendelssohn. The array of soloists includes violinist Angelo Xiang Yu, and Cincinnati’s own keyboard virtuoso Ran Dank.

There’s good news for contemporary opera fans right here in the Queen City, where the 97-year old Cincinnati Opera has just announced its 2017 season. In addition to evergreens La boheme and The Magic Flute, the company will bring Robert Xavier Rodríguez 1991 opera Frida, an account of the life and loves of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, and the United States premiere of Another Brick in the Wall by Roger Waters.

Rafael de Acha

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