Culture FIX: Feb. 28-March 5

Quick quiz: Which of these things does not belong with the others? Jazz harp. A sharp-eared fox. An extra day. Thirsty goats. A Sausage Queen. A pot of stew. A pile of food cans. And plenty of beer … Answer: They all belong, of course, in this week’s Culture FIX of varied, intriguing and sometimes unpredictable events.

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Harpist Park Stickney

CCM Guest Artist Series, jazz harpist Park Stickney | 7:30 p.m. Werner Recital Hall, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: Swiss harpist Park Stickney, famed for his innovative approach to playing jazz on that instrument, gives a guest concert with CCM faculty member James Bunte, saxophone, and CCM student Teddy Mechley, bass. “The concert will be a mix of my own compositions and jazz standards,” said Stickney, who also will be working with students at CCM, the School for Creative and Performing Arts and Walnut Hills High School during his stay in Cincinnati. “I’m especially excited about revisiting my own pieces through this instrumentation. I often play them solo, but playing them in trio allows me to hear them completely differently.” The concert is free and open to the public.

Thursday, Feb. 29

CCM Opera Series, “The Cunning Little Vixen” | 8 p.m. Corbett Auditorium, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: If you didn’t see Thomas Consolo’s fine article on Leoš Janáček‘s “The Cunning Little Vixen” for Movers & Makers, take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with a remarkable opera. CCM‘s production emphasizes the work’s surrealistic viewpoint in its “circle of life” portrayal of the relationships between animal and human worlds. And it’s beautiful music, too. Through March 2.

Adventure Crew, “No Man’s Land” Film Festival | 6 p.m. MadTree Brewing, 3301 Madison Road, Oakley. DETAILS: Adventure Crew, a local organization that connects city teens to the great outdoors, and Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition are collaborating to bring this Denver-based all-women adventure film festival to Cincinnati. Social hour at 6 p.m. is followed by the festival of short films on a variety of outdoor themes. The festival’s mission is to “un-define feminine” in adventure, sport and film. Tickets include the film viewing and movie snacks; a cash bar will be available.

American Sign Museum, “Battle of the Brands” | 7 p.m. 1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington. 513-541-6366. DETAILS: It’s a time of the signs. The American Sign Museum is hosting an “interactive talk” on the history of commercial signs and brands, giving audience members the chance to decide which logos, jingles and other branding devices are most effective – and vote on the winning brand. Clever idea – instructive, nostalgic and fun at the same time. The local museum is the largest of its kind in America, dedicated to commercial signs and sign making, so it has plenty of material to work with for this “Battle.” The event is free for museum members, $15 for non-members.

Beer and thirsty friend at ‘nanobrewery’ and urban farm Fibonacci Brewing Company

Fibonacci Brewing, Hops & Leaps: A Leap Day Celebration | 5 p.m. Fibonacci Brewing Company, 1445 Compton Road, Mount Healthy. 513-832-1422. DETAILS: We couldn’t let this once-in-four-years occasion slip by without a nod to Leap Day, and this is a great way to celebrate the calendar oddity. Fibonacci Brewing, which arguably knows a thing or two about curious numerical sequences, hosts a celebration with plenty of beer and food from Cousin’s Maine Lobster food truck, but also with a unique project: Attendees are invited to bring items (or craft them on site) to contribute to a leap day time capsule, which will be sealed, put away and opened in four years – Feb. 29, 2028. Also, if you can show that your birthday is Feb. 29, the brewery has something special planned. But maybe not beer, because with one birthday every four years you’d likely be too young to drink, right?

Friday, Feb. 30 March 1

Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corp., Cincinnati Bockfest | 6 p.m. opening parade, festival through March 3, various locations, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Feb. 30? Oops, leaped too far! It’s time to March, or perhaps stumble, into the new month with Cincinnati’s 32nd annual celebration of spring, Over-the-Rhine’s brewing heritage and bock beer – not necessarily in that order. Continuing our caprine theme, Bock is a traditional sweet, strong festival lager from the German town of Einbeck, which Bavarians pronounced “ein Bock” (“a goat”), hence the goat motif. The local revelry begins with the traditional Over-the-Rhine parade Friday evening, starting at Arnold’s Bar & Grill, 810 E. Eighth St. Three neighborhood breweries will host music, entertainment and other events during the weekend as official “Bockfest Halls”: Moerlein Lager House, Northern Row Brewery & Distillery and Rhinegeist Brewery. Among the events: a Goat Petting Zoo in Washington Park; a 5K event and, for the less ambitious or semi-soused, a 0.5K; brewery tours throughout Over-the-Rhine; a Brewers’ Olympic Games; and, of course, the ever-popular Sausage Queen competition. If that doesn’t get your goat, nothing will. Admission to all events is free.

Conductor Matthias Pintscher

CSO PROOF, “From the Canyons to the Stars” | 8 p.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Word of the Day: Synesthesia, the neurological condition in which one sensory experience becomes intertwined with another one, notably seeing colors while hearing music. Olivier Messiaen was one of many famous composers whose work was enhanced by his synesthesia (along with Alexander Scriabin, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Jean Sibelius, Franz Liszt, Michael Torke and others; Torke has written several “color music” works for orchestra). So this CSO Proof series concert is particularly noteworthy, a multimedia presentation of Messiaen’s “Des canyons aux étoiles” (“From the Canyons to the Stars”), a work he wrote for the U.S. bicentennial in 1976, inspired by his visits to Utah’s Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. It’s a big, 12–movement work full of evocative sounds and colors, with immersive video art reinforcing Messiaen’s vision for the audience. CSO Creative Partner Matthias Pintscher, who directed the famous Ensemble Intercontemporain for 10 years, conducts, with pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard as soloist. Also 7 p.m. March 2.

Barry Mulholland as Julius Caesar

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, “Julius Caesar” | 7:30 p.m. Otto M. Budig Theater, 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-2273. DETAILS: Et tu, bruh? We’re a few dies short of an Ides, but Cincy Shakes is ready to figuratively stick the knife into the famed Roman emperor this March, with a twist – it’s a modern take on the Shakespeare classic, a “contemporary view of this ferocious tale of power and loyalty,” says the company, as its characters face “the consequences of betrayal and the brutal nature of tyranny.” Wondering if “Macbeth” is next for this up-to-date treatment (“Is that a Glock I see before me?”) . . . Through March 24.

Saturday, March 2

Playhouse in the Park, “Stew” | 7:30 p.m. Rosenthal Shelterhouse Theatre, Mt. Adams. 513-421-3888. DETAILS: “Dracula” still is lurking at the Playhouse (through March 3), but the company’s next show has a recipe for heartwarming drama that should drive away the guy with the cape and fangs. “Stew” by Zora Howard, a 2021 Pulitzer Prize finalist, tells the story of three generations of Black women who get together to prepare a stew – and stir in a potent mix of family secrets and truths that reveals much about the relationships between mothers and daughters. There’s strong language and frank discussions in the script, so the production is recommended for teenage and adult audiences only. (The opening–night performance is virtually sold out.) Through April 7.

Nathan Laube
(photo by Joseph Routon)

Bach Ensemble at St. Thomas, Organ Dedication and Recital | 7 p.m. St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 100 Miami Ave., Terrace Park. 513–831–2052. DETAILS: Chicago organist Nathan Laube – “one of the most brilliant organists on the concert circuit,” says the Dallas Morning News, “with an encyclopedic knowledge of different organ-building traditions and performance practices” – is a fitting choice to inaugurate St. Thomas Episcopal Church’s new Fritts & Co. Opus 43 organ. Laube performs extensively in organ-tradition-rich European cities, and won a Grammy Award for his recording of the late American composer Stephen Paulus’ 2004 “Grand Concerto” with the Nashville Symphony. Also 5 p.m. March 3.

ARCO in Price Hill

ARCO, “A Celebration of Women in Music” | 6 p.m. ARCO, 3301 Price Ave., Price Hill. DETAILS: ARCO’s 4th annual gala fundraiser for Women Helping Women observes International Women’s Day, which is March 8, with this concert celebrating women in music. The evening starts with a cocktail hour, followed by the concert at 7 p.m., light dinner and silent auction results during intermission, and a party with the performers and Women Helping Women representatives afterward.

Sunday, March 3


Great Music in a Great Space, Gallicantus | 3 p.m. St. Peter in Chains Basilica, 325 W. 8th St., downtown. 513–421–5354. DETAILS: It’s a huge music day in Cincinnati, with many fine concert programs competing for music-lovers’ attentions. Let’s take a look at the highlights. Starting things off is a rare, can’t-miss appearance by the world-class British group Gallicantus, singing music of the Renaissance in the evocative acoustics of St. Peter in Chains. This is the ensemble’s first visit to Cincinnati. The music of English composer William Byrd (1540–1623) is featured in its “The Word Unspoken” program, which refers to Byrd’s not-quite-secret Catholic leanings from the 1570s onward in strongly Protestant England. The concert is presented in conjunction with the College-Conservatory of Music, where Gallanticus has been in residence working with students on the performance of Renaissance music, and also is being promoted at part of the Cincinnati Early Music Festival.

The Rosamunde Quartet

Linton Chamber Music, Rosamunde Quartet | 4 p.m. First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Avondale. 513-381-6868. DETAILS: This quartet of brilliant young artists from the Berlin, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics has been popular on the international chamber music scene since 2015, but this is its most welcome Linton series debut in Cincinnati. The quartet – violinists Noah Bendix-Balgley and Shanshan Yao, violist Teng Li and cellist Nathan Vickery – will perform a work from Franz Joseph Haydn’s Op. 20, the set that helped establish the string quartet form, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132, which helped inspire poet T.S. Eliot to write his landmark “Four Quartets.” In between those works is “Credo” by American composer Kevin Puts, best known for his moving, Pulitzer Prize-winning opera “Silent Night.”

Matinée Musicale, Yun Zeng, French horn | 3 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: Why is this man smiling? He’s in his early 20s, and already is principal horn player of the Berlin Philharmonic and Staatskapelle Berlin, that’s why. Chinese horn virtuoso Yun Zeng – whose father (and first teacher), Jie Zeng, is principal horn of the Sichuan Symphony – is an international star and winner of the 2019 Tchaikovsky Competition. With his appearance, Matinée Musicale continues its century-plus tradition of finding the world’s top young musicians to introduce to Cincinnati. And as a huge bonus, famed Cincinnati concert pianist/conductor Michael Chertock is the accompanist for Zeng’s program. Also 7:30 p.m. March 4 at Congregation Beth Adam, 10001 E. Loveland Madeira Road, Loveland.

Christopher Philpotts and Alex Bronston at a previous Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra “Side by Side” concert

Other highlights on a busy musical Sunday: The month-long inaugural Jewish Music Festival opens with a Vocal Chamber Music lecture-recital by Samantha Stinson at 1:30 p.m. in First Lutheran Church, Over-the-Rhine; Christ Church Cathedral downtown hosts its monthly Choral Evensong at 5 p.m., this month with organist Brenda Portman of Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church; Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra continues its “We Are One: Empower” Festival with a 7 p.m. “History of the Spiritual” concert at Artsville in Madisonville; Cincinnati Civic Orchestra holds its Winter Concert at Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church in Liberty Township; Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra Philharmonic performs its “Annual Side by Side” concert in Music Hall at 7 p.m. with a spiffy program of music by Dmitri Shostakovich, Camille Saint–Saens, Igor Stravinsky, Aram Khachaturian and Nikolai Rimsky–Korsakov.

Monday, March 4

Jazz at the Memo, The Carmon DeLeone Quartet: “Time After Time” | 7 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: Is there any musician in Cincinnati history who has had as varied and impressive a career as Carmon DeLeone? Half a century as Cincinnati Ballet music director. A quarter century as music director of the Illinois Philharmonic, and 35 years as music director of the Middletown Symphony. Assistant and resident conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Faculty member at the College-Conservatory of Music. Composer of the full-length ballet “Peter Pan” and other works. A jazz drummer with his own big bands, trios and quartets. And on and on. Jazz at the Memo presents the Carmon DeLeone Quartet – pianist Randy Villars, saxophonist Rick VanMatre, bassist Aaron Jacobs and of course drummer DeLeone – in “Time After Time,” a concert tribute to Dave Brubeck and other jazz–world greats such as Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Fats Waller, André Previn and even Leonard Bernstein. Nice!

Tuesday, March 6

Aik Khai Pung and the CCM Concert Orchestra

Jewish Music Festival, CCM Concert Orchestra: Jewish Folk and Poems | 7:30 p.m. Corbett Auditorium, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: Concert 2 of the new Jewish Music Festival features music director Aik Khai Pung leading the CCM Concert Orchestra and soloists in a fascinating program highlighted by the Violin Concerto in D Major by Erich Korngold (yes, the ’30s swashbuckling-film composer) and the world premiere of Anna Vinnitsky’s Klezmer Concerto for clarinet and orchestra, plus works by Dmitri Shostakovich and Ernest Bloch focused on Jewish poetry. Free, no reservation required.

Weston Art Gallery, “Canstruction” | exhibit opens 10 a.m., awards gala reception 5 p.m. March 8 (Fifth Third Bank Theater). Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., downtown. 513–977–4165. DETAILS: The annual “Canstruction” competition, held by the Cincinnati chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the Society for Design Administration, challenges teams from around the city to create sculptures entirely from canned and packaged food, which is then donated to the Freestore Foodbank after the exhibit closes. Through March 24.

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