Welcome to music week. Not sure why the scheduling gods saturated this week with melody, but what a treat ahead for your ears. And a few other gems, as well. Happy to highlight these for you.
Wednesday, March 30
Cincinnati Song Initiative, Jeanine De Bique | 7:30 p.m. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., CIncinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Here’s your chance to hear this Trinidadian soprano right before her Carnegie Hall debut on Saturday. She’s joined by pianist Jonathan C. Kelly in a program that ranges from Henry Purcell (arr. Britten) to Hugo Wolf and Richard Strauss, plus André Previn’s “Honey and Rue,” which she sang here eight years ago in her debut at Matinée Musicale. Not your average vocal recital.
Cincinnati Zoo, Barrows Conservation Lectures | 7 p.m. Virtual. 513-281-4700. DETAILS: in “Saving South American Giants,” Dr. Arnaud Desbiez, from Brazil, talks about his work to preserve armadillos, anteaters and more in South America. His work has been featured in National Geographic, BBC nature and was recently featured in a 60-minute documentary on PBS.
Xavier Music Series, Zsolt Bognár | 8 p.m. Gallagher Center Theater, Xavier University. 513-745-3161. DETAILS: Rescheduled from January, the mutli-talented pianist, author and documentarian brings an inventive program of Liszt, Scriabin, Debussy and Arvo Pärt to the Gallagher. Known for his inventive programming, look for him to illustrate connections between composers in his between-works remarks.
Thursday, March 31
Northern Kentucky University, Juried Student Exhibition | 5-7 p.m. Fine Arts Center, Main & Third Floor Galleries. 859-572-5148. DETAILS: This show has been up since March 4, but now come the awards (6 p.m.) as part of this closing reception. It’s always fascinating and often surprising to see what fresh, creative minds can generate. Can’t make it this evening? You have one more chance on Friday before the exhibit closes.
Queen City Productions, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” | 8 p.m. Arts Center at Dunham, 1945 Dunham Way, CIncinnati, OH 45238. DETAILS: Community theater is back in business, thankfully. This musical centers on a fictional spelling bee set in Putnam Valley Middle School, with a cast of fascinating characters competing in and running the event. If you consider yourself a top speller, here’s your chance to shine, as four members of the audience are typically called up to compete on stage. Runs through April 10.
Friday, April 1
ArtsWave, FLOW series | 8 p.m. Jarson-Kaplan Theater, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St. Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: This ArtsWave-produced and promoted series brings top African American performers to the Tristate. Fresh off her third Grammy nomination, vocalist/composer Jazzmeia Horn (Best name ever?) makes her Cincinnati region debut showcasing her latest album, “Dear Love,” plus her usual mix of originals and standards. Can’t make it Friday? This dynamic jazz songstress will repeat her show Saturday evening.
Christ Church Cathedral, “Icons in Transformation” | 5-7 p.m. 318 E. 4th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-1817. DETAILS: This exhibit by internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Ludmila Pawlowska features more than one hundred pieces in a mix of media ranging from paintings to large installation works to sculptures placed across the cathedral’s central business district campus. A portion of the proceeds goes to support Ukrainian refugees. Open through May 22.
Cincinnati Symphony, Bartok and Prokofiev | 11 a.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Two mature works by giants of 20th-century music, written within a year of each other. Bartok is said to have composed his Piano Concerto No. 3 as a source of income for his pianist-wife after his impending death, and his love shines through with sparking colors. Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony is a monster with a huge orchestra, nearly overflowing with texture, grandeur and a thrilling finale. The concert, conducted by Kazushki Ōno and featuring pianist Seong-Jin Cho, repeats Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Gallery 708, Michael Hensley | 5-8 p.m. 2643 Erie Ave. #3, Cincinnati, OH 45208. 513-551-8171. DETAILS: Former business-to-business advertising executive Michael Hensley opens his new exhibit, “Flow,” in which he turns leftover paint, palette paper and canvas into glowing works of art that resemble stain glass, an interpretation of events in the natural world. Open through April 15.
Northern Kentucky University, YES Festival | 7:30 p.m. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott St., Covington, KY 41011. 859-572-5464. DETAILS: Northern Kentucky University’s biennial Year End Series (YES) Festival, the nation’s oldest collegiate new-play festival, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. To kick off the festival, D. Lynn Meyers, producing artistic director of Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, debuts her play “Keeper of the Realm,” running weekends until April 16 as a collaboration with The Carnegie. What happens when middle-aged parents unexpectedly pass and their 20-something children get together to decide what happens to their family house and possessions?
Studio Kroner, Donna Talerico | 6-9 p.m. 130 W. Court St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Cincinnati artist Donna Talerico shares her new solo show, “Absinthe & Abstracts.” Talerico’s instantly recognizable work is distinguished by bold color and gestures, exploring the line between representation and abstraction. We Mariners are proud owners of a Talerico! The show runs through April 30.
World Affairs Council, One World Gala & Global Trivia Competition | 6-10 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Join emcee Kristyn Hartman, evening anchor of WCPO for an evening of dessert bites, drink tickets and some challenging global trivia. VIP tickets include three-course dinner and open bar. Tickets start at $50.
Saturday, April 2
Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, “The Wiz Jr.” | 2 & 5 p.m. Taft Theatre, 317 E. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-569-8080 x10. DETAILS: A fun take on Broadway’s gem “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” this family-friendly musical is full of familiar tunes (“Ease on Down the Road”), and dance numbers infused with a blend of African movement, ballet, jazz and modern dance. Runs until April 10.
Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, Accentuate the Positive | 8 p.m. Finneytown High School Auditorium, 8916 Fontainebleau Terrace, Cincinnati, OH 45231. 513-542-2626. DETAILS: Always one of the more entertaining choral groups in town, this concert also carries a hopeful message and information about same-sex relationships now and going forward. Repeats Sunday, 2 p.m.
Memorial Hall, Shawn Colvin | 8 p.m. 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: Balcony seats remain for this 32nd anniversary tour of Shawn Colvin‘s Grammy-winning debut album “Steady On,” which she will perform here as an acoustic solo set. It should shine a whole new light on these songs that made her famous. Memorial Hall was re-designed for concerts like this. (A bit of nostalgia for you above…)
Sunday, April 3
concert:nova, Five Durations | 5 p.m. Woodward Theater, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Composer Morton Feldman explored the concept of time, and how we define and experience the passage of time. Concert:nova has working with the Response Project to create a series of films presenting Durations I-V along with brief discussions of “time” from varying perspectives and original animation.
Linton Chamber Music, Tour de Force for Four | 4 p.m. First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St, Cincinnati, OH 45219. 513-381-6868. DETAILS: Series artistic directors Jaime Laredo (violin) and Sharon Robinson (cello) are joined by CCM pianist Ran Dank and violist/composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama for the world premiere of her “Elegy” for Piano Quartet, sandwiched by piano quartets by Mozart and Brahms — his Hungarian-inspired G minor masterpiece. The concert repeats Monday, 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth Adam, 10001 Loveland-Madeira Road, Loveland, OH 45140.
Matinée Musicale, Rachel Barton Pine | 3 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: The season finale for this long-standing performance series features violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who has enjoyed a three-plus-decade career that began as soloist with the Chicago Symphony at age 10, and has ranged from chamber music to the commissioning of concertos to, yes, even heavy metal (as member of the metal band Earthen Grave). It’s doubtful she’ll offer up any doom metal tunes, but it’s fun knowing she could!
May Festival at the Basilica | 8 p.m. Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, 1140 Madison Ave., Covington, KY 41011. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Choral music continues to come out of hibernation, finally. This broadly diverse program of 20th and 21st-century music composed for cathedral spaces, features the May Festival Chamber Choir and Youth Chorus, plus the Xavier University Choir. Robert Porco and Matthew Swanson conduct. The highly respected Michael Unger will provide an organ prelude.
CANCELED DUE TO COVID …
St. Peter in Chains Cathedral Basilica, Chanticleer | 2:30 p.m. 325 W. 8th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.
513-421-5354. DETAILS: Chanticleer makes regular stops at St. Peter in Chains when on tour, and this “orchestra of voices” is always welcome. The organization has stood near the top of American choral artistry for decades. Welcome back!
Monday, April 4
Memorial Hall, Jazz at the Memo | 7 p.m. 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: Jazz pianist Steve Schmidt only drags his vintage Hammond B3 out of the basement a couple times a year, so this is a special treat. For this Hammond Organ Trio Summit, he is joined by guitarist Brad Myers and drummer Dan Dorff. Who says Christmas only comes once each year?
Northern Kentucky University, Dueling harpists | 7 p.m. Greaves Concert Hall. 859-572-5464. DETAILS: It’s not often you have two harps on stage, so that’s one thing to make this concert interesting. The other is that both Juan Riveros and Grace Roepke are multiple award-winners while still graduate students at the Cleveland Institute of Music and students of Grammy-winner Yolanda Kondanassis. And did I mention, “free?”