Culture FIX: May 8-14

You don’t have to be a frequent attendee of the CSO to know the significance of this week at Music Hall. Music Director Louis Langrée conducts his final concerts with the orchestra Friday through Sunday. After a stellar 11 years in Cincinnati, he takes leave to the Opera-Comique de Paris. We wish him well and hope he can return from time to time. Our fair city offers up plenty of other cultural gems for your review, though. Enjoy an up-and-coming young jazz singer or one of two offerings by the ballet. Discover Appalachian culture at Coney Island before it closes. And don’t forget all of the activities that go on at our world-renowned zoo. It’s not just about lions and tigers and bears anymore.

Wednesday, May 8

Cincinnati Zoo, “Towards Coexistence: Integrating the Coupled Needs of People and Nature” | 7 p.m., Frisch’s Theater, 3400 Vine St., Avondale. 513-281-4700. DETAILS: Cincinnati is not only a mecca for world-renowned artists and musicians, but also boasts a vital and robust scientific community. The Barrows Lectures at the Cincinnati Zoo have brought esteemed scientists and naturalists to the area to discuss wildlife and global conservation efforts since 1993. Researchers Divya Vasudev and Varun Goswami explore the contours of this issue in Northeast India, a biodiversity hotspot with close human-nature ties that is witnessing rapid anthropogenic change. Learn more about human well-being and how your own health may be linked to the health of our natural ecosystems.

Thursday, May 9

Cervilio Miguel Amador

Cincinnati Ballet, 60th Anniversary Celebration | 8 p.m., Proctor & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., downtown, 513-621-2787. DETAILS: Join the company as it celebrates six decades of artistic excellence in our community. Since 1963, the company has presented an “internationally-acclaimed repertoire of classical masterworks and provocative, contemporary pieces.” Perhaps our yearly holiday tradition, “The Nutcracker” was the first ballet you saw as a child. This one-night affair includes special performances by every division of the company plus an alumni performance by formal principal dancer Cervilio Miguel Amador, serving now as interim artistic director.

Friday, May 10

Louis Langrée
Photo by Chris Lee

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Louis’ Grand Finale | 7:30 p.m., Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-381-3300. DETAILS: The splendid, 11-year reign of Music Director Louis Langrée comes to a close this weekend, as the Maestro steps to the podium one last time. Langrée and the CSO perform a program that highlights and pays tribute to their time together. Grammy Award-winning soprano Latonia Moore shares the stage for the world premiere of a new orchestral song cycle by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis. The program opens with Beethoven’s “Leonore Overture No. 2” and also includes Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” The fitting conclusion to Langrée’s marvelous tenure here is Maurice Ravel’s majestic “Daphnis et Chloé,” Suite #2. Read Tom Consolo’s fine article about Louis from the April M&M magazine. Thank you, Maestro, for the artistry and joy you’ve shared with our city. Godspeed. Repeats Saturday evening and Sunday, 2 p.m.

Artist Brad Davis

Studio Kroner, Brad Davis: “Heirlooms” | 6-9 p.m., Opening reception, 130 W. Court St., downtown. 513-428-9830. DETAILS: “My paintings are centered around the urban environment and seek to transform its banality through careful and personal reconstruction.” Brad Davis’ work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including the 2018 XL Catlin Art Prize traveling show and group exhibition Lang Leve Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. A Cincinnati native and winner of the Cincinnati Art Club’s 2023 ViewPoint 55 show, Davis paints the city’s ever-changing landscape, both what was and what is, preserving what will become our community’s heirlooms. Free.

“Blake Works II”

Cincinnati Ballet, “Playlist” | 7:30 p.m., Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., downtown, 513-621-2787. DETAILS: Cincinnati Ballet’s 60th anniversary season concludes with a trio of one-act productions. “Blake Works II” was created by famed choreographer William Forsythe with music by English singer-songwriter, James Blake. From ballet to ballroom to Broadway, Dwight Rhoden’s “Evermore” is set to the music of Nat King Cole. The program concludes with a world-premiere by American dancer Peter Chu that seeks to push the physical bounds of dance. We are grateful to Cincinnati Ballet for its 60 years of unparalleled artistry and contributions to the world of dance and look forward to 60 more.

Saturday, May 11

Findlay Market

Women Writing for (a) Change, Art & Poetry | 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., downtown. 513-665-4839. DETAILS: Findlay Market hosts this annual salute to the creative arts. From papermaking to painting to all things poetry enjoy a day that celebrates all that is creative within us. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will preview its summer Shakespeare in the Park production of “Macbeth” with five-minute pop-up performances, and the day concludes with the annual Open Mic and Poetry Slam at Jane’s starting at 4 p.m. Yes, there will be prizes.

Vendor booth at Appalachian Festival

Appalachian Community Development Association, Appalachian Festival | 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg, Anderson Township. 513-251-3378. DETAILS: Immerse yourself in this two-day, rain or shine event that celebrates the rich traditions of Appalachia. Experience art, music and culture as you wander through a mountain village. Walkways along the riverfront will be lined with artisan shops, traditional food and Pickin’ Porches. Native American dancers will be on hand to share their artistry and culture. Yes, the festival is indeed at Coney Island. One of a couple final opportunities to have a look around and share memories with family and friends. (Summerfair is still at Coney Island this year!)

City Flea

Washington Park, City Flea | 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 1230 Elm. St., Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: City Flea is finally back home again. Enjoy a day of shopping and socializing while you peruse booth after booth of stuff you just have to have. (Oops. So sorry. That’s Yours Truly perusing). Seriously, the vendors are often full-time businesses and others looking to start their own small-business. Come out to support artists and business-owners and take home something you absolutely must have (it always happens). Enjoy food trucks and drinks from the Sherwin-Williams Porch. Lots of shade and places to sit.

Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, “The Jumpin’ Jive” | 7:30 p.m., Greaves Concert Hall, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights. 859-572-5220. DETAILS: Wow! Doesn’t this sound exhilarating! Join the KSO Newport Ragtime Band, award-winning jazz vocalist Kathy Wade and Cincinnati Children’s Theatre resident playwright Deondra Means as they perform and tell the stories of authentic ragtime, blues, stride, Dixieland, early jazz, swing and boogie-woogie from the 1890s-1930s. The music of legendary artists Lil Hardin Armstrong, Eubie Blake, Cab Calloway, James Europe, W.C. Handy, Scott Joplin, Artie Matthews, Jelly Roll Morton, Clarence Smith and Fats Waller commands center stage along with a few surprises along the way. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 12

Stephan Casurella

Christ Church Cathedral, Stephan Casurella, organ | 3 p.m., 318 E. Fourth St., downtown. 513-621-1817. DETAILS: Organist and Cathedral Music Director Stephan Casurella performs on both cathedral instrument: C. B. Fisk Opus 148 and the (still) new Richards, Fowkes & Co. Opus 24. Music will include works by Girolamo Frescobaldi, Giovanni Maria Trabaci, Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau, Johann Pachelbel, S. S. Wesley, Kerensa Briggs, Georg Böhm, Fela Sowande, Théodore Dubois and Iain Farrington. Casurella has been music director since 2009, conducts the Cathedral Choir, and still maintains a busy performing schedule. If you’ve never been to CCC, treat yourself to the beautifully expansive space and unique acoustics. Street parking and a garage across the street make it very accessible.

Monday, May 13

Washington Park, Jazz at the Park | 6-9 p.m., 1230 Elm. St., Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Now that you’ve found Washington Park after shopping and eating at City Flea, start your week off right and check out Lili Shires and Steve Schmidt. Shires is a graduate of the School for Creative and Performing Arts and studied jazz voice at the New England Conservatory of Music. She is already an award-winning jazz vocalist and performs widely across the region. Definitely one to watch. Cincinnati jazz favorite Steve Schmidt noodles at the keyboard. Enjoy a drink with friends at the Sherwin-Williams Porch while you listen. Free.

Tuesday, May 14

Jazz at the Square, Dee Marie Quartet | 5-8 p.m., 520 Vine St., downtown. DETAILS: If you still can’t get enough jazz, stop at Fountain Square after work on your way to the parking garage or to take a bus at Government Square. Enjoy the Dee Marie Quartet as you relax and decompress. Have a Coke from the Fountain Bar before heading home. Free.

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