When afforded the chance to fill in for Thomas Consolo, your regular tour guide, I could do worse than share one of the most boffo weeks of the season. Even though balmy 70-degree days dominate the horizon, resist the temptation to lie about in slovenliness. There’s simply too much going on! Don’t believe me? Read on…
The predecessor to Movers & Makers was created in 1985 to help nonprofits acknowledge those who make their good works possible. The coming weeks are possibly the busiest of the year for fundraising events. Take your pick, from arts & culture and education to healthcare, human services, nature and beyond. Tired of working simply to work? Looking for a cause, a way to give back? Peruse the opportunities: moversmakers.org/datebook. Something is bound to cry out to you.
Cincinnati Ballet | Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center. 513-621-5219
- Thursday through Saturday, April 25-28. “Bold Moves”
Cincinnati Ballet now routinely opens and closes each season with new works. Do you understand what an important change that is? No one disputes the wonder of classic ballet, but performing arts organizations have to create the repertoire of the future, and that is what’s happening this week at the Aronoff Center. The evening offers a company premiere of “Sechs Tänze” by choreographer Jiří Kylián, along with the world premiere of Victoria Morgan’s “Dancing to Oz,” with original music by Maestro Carmon DeLeone. The future of dance is now.
Constella Arts | Garfield Theatre, downtown. 859-957-3456
- Friday, April 26, 7 p.m. “Forte,” film screening (rescheduled from March)
Violinist and entrepreneur Tatiana Berman has put her Constella Festival on hiatus while working on film projects with David Donnelly to promote classical music on an international level. Directed by Donnelly – of the acclaimed documentary “Maestro” – “Forte” stars Berman, along with composer Lucia Caruso, violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing, and music consultant Anastasia Boudanoque. Also featured are some of the most recognizable names in classical music, including composer Tan Dun, and conductors Paavo Järvi and JoAnn Falletta. This is the only local screening before the film is released worldwide.
Ensemble Theatre | Over-the-Rhine. 513-421-3555
- Friday, April 26, 6:30 p.m. Aralee Strange: Poems from “The Road Itself”
“The Road Itself” is the first overview of the late Aralee Strange’s poetic works. This celebration of her long and creative life (1943-2013) includes readings by several local actors, and no doubt will echo her formative years along OTR’s Main Street in the 1980s, plus the more rural meanderings that followed. A reception precedes at 5:30 p.m.
Tenor Stephen Carroll and mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker perform at Cincinnati Song Initiative.
Some call April the cruelest month, and final Sunday of April proves to be quite so when it comes to choices, as there are two intriguing vocal chamber concerts that day. If so moved, you could grab both, as one is afternoon, the other, evening…
Cincinnati Song Initiative | Willis Music Steinway Gallery, 8118 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236
- Sunday, April 28, 3:30 p.m. “Americana: Then and Now”
CCM grad and accompanist extraordinaire Sam Martin curates this groundbreaking series of concerts, of which this will be the season finale. Art song has declined in presence the past few decades, something Sam and his brilliant young colleagues intend to rectify. This program examines the evolution of American art song style, from its roots in Americana to today, including a world premiere commissioned by our own version of CSI.
Cincinnati Soundbox | 21c Museum Hotel, downtown
- Sunday, April 28, 7 p.m. “Music for Three” Jackie Stevens, soprano; Lauren McAllister, mezzo-soprano; Ellen Graham, mezzo-soprano
What better place to hear new music than in a temple to new art? The 21c Museum Hotel, where art is the centerpiece, has partnered with Soundbox to present intimate opportunities to experience new works. Outstanding local vocalists Ellen Graham, Jackie Stevens, and Lauren McAllister will share premieres of five duos and trios by composers with ties to Cincinnati: Ellen Ruth Harrison (to poems by Norman Finkelstein), Stephen Variames, Laura Harrison, Julia Seeholzer and Rachel C. Walker.
The CSO and its Players…
- Thursday, April 25, 8:25 p.m. “Adventure Concert: Music at the Observatory” (at Cincinnati Observatory, Hyde Park)
- Tuesday and Wednesday, April 30-May 1. “Music + Medicine: Beethoven’s Brain” (at Sabin Auditorium, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital)
It’s a busy week for the Cincinnati Symphony musicians who are also members of cutting edge concert:nova, and who always look beyond the music for their programming.
First up, c:n joins forces with the Cincinnati Observatory for a star-struck program to begin at sunset. In the shadows of massive telescopes, cellist Ted Nelson performs John Cage’s “Etudes Borealis” – influenced by the star charts of Atlas Borealis – and marimbist Michael Culligan evokes the “Northern Lights,” in a work by Eric Ewazen.
Early next week, other c:n members explore the inner-workings of Beethoven’s mental state and creative process, with help from neuroradiologist Dr. Lily Wang, psychologist Dr. Maria Espinola, music historian Steven Cahn, and c:n members Hiro & Stefani Matsuo, cello and violin.
Meanwhile, at their day job…
Cincinnati Symphony | Music Hall. 513-381-3300
- April 26. CSO Chamber Players: “The Youngest Master”
- April 27-28. “Ravel + Debussy: Colors of Spain”
Conductor/composer Matthias Pinscher is one of the rising stars in new orchestral music. He recently led the CSO as part of MusicNOW, Bryce Dessner’s cross-genre music fest. Here he helms his own work for cello and orchestra, featuring MacArthur Grant recipient Alisa Weilerstein. And as if to prove that others may know us better than we know ourselves – he conducts masterpieces of color and texture reflecting Spain composed by Frenchmen Debussy and Ravel.
And if not already sold out, the CSO Chamber Players season finale features youthful music of Debussy and Mendelssohn, plus “The Rant,” by multi-talented CSO principal violist Christian Colberg. Friday evening, 7:30 p.m. in Music Hall’s Corbett Tower.
Broadway Across America | Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center. 513-721-3344
- April 30-May 12. “Dear Evan Hansen”
While still running on Broadway, this very modern musical is extending its emotional tentacles across the U.S. in a 60-city tour. Thematically challenging, emotionally engaging and musically marvelous, this is that rare musical that makes you think, and feel, while you hum along. Grab a ticket, if you can.
- Thursday, April 25, 7-10 p.m. Pop-Up Party
BLINK build-up is beginning early this time around. To whet your visual appetite for the October 2019 extravaganza, the folks at Agar, ArtWorks, Haile Foundation, et al, are throwing a bash along Clay Street, between 12th and 13th. Not familiar with BLINK? (Maybe you were out of the country in October 2017?) Check out the website for some samples of what drew a million folks to the streets of downtown and OTR.
1305 Gallery | 1305 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-383-6815
- April 26, 6-9 p.m. Kate Rowekamp: “The Cat’s Pajamas”
Main Street in OTR is always hopping on Final Fridays. Make sure to stop by 1305, where Kate Rowekamp will show her invented hybrid creatures, fusing zoology with musings on human development. She describes them as “organisms exhibiting idiosyncratic behaviors, surreal adaptations, and whimsical costumes.” Seems as though the focus is feline this time around… Runs through May 26.
Cincinnati Art Museum | Eden Park. 513-721-2787
- April 26, 5-10 p.m. Art After Dark: “Spark Your Inner Fire”
- April 26-Sept. 2. “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man”
The legend of Burning Man burns brightly, yet most of us will never have the chance to attend. Never fear, the CAM is here… Kicking off this signature event of their season, the folks at CAM are throwing a party to set the stage for this four-month exhibit, with music by Camp First Fires, featuring DJ sets by twothirtyeight, foi oi oi, Blink Sidequest and TurboPanda, visuals by Rew, dance performances by Pones, wine and food. Costumes encouraged, but no masks allowed, please. Free and open to public. The exhibit will be launched in two phases, the second arriving June 7. Be the first on your block to see what all the fuss is about.