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01

Dec

Constella Looking Forward After A Fantastic Festival 3 

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Now’s a good time to celebrate the success of the 2013 Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts – and look forward to the bright and exciting future.

The final numbers came in right around Thanksgiving and in time for #Giving Tuesday, a national reminder to support the important work community nonprofits - including arts organizations - do to enrichen and improve lives. We will be talking with friends and supporters about ways to raise capacity funding and program sponsorships to continue improving the festival next year and beyond.

But first, a Bravo! to you for giving Constella musicians and artists such warm welcomes and applause. The festival, in its third year, saw several world premiers, received great reviews and engaged appreciative audiences totaling 4,000 at 20 events at 15 venues throughout Greater Cincinnati.

A heartfelt thank you goes to the stars of classical music, dance and art from near and afar who took stage to make the festival a success. Box box office numbers, however, tell just the start of the Constella story. Our mission from day one has been to encourage our festival goers to to continue all year supporting our partners and all of the community’s arts and cultural treasures, people, products and places.

That always has been the plan for Constella’s founder Tatiana Berman, who founded the festival in 2011 with a vision that “it enriches local audiences by introducing them, in intimate venues, to performers, artists and music of which some may not have been previously aware.”

"Now with innovative plans for 2014, Constella is on its way to become a movement, which changes people’s perceptions, turning misconceptions into a great love, passion for exceptional live music and art events presented in an original way, enlightening and inspiring." Berman said. Constella will continue to support and promote artists and art organizations here at home and across the globe.

"Constella will be changing its format in 2014 and at the same time will continue presenting exceptional experiences with innovative programming and collaborations, bringing awareness of our community’s offerings," said Berman, who this year was named Arts Ambassador by the City of Cincinnati,

Berman hopes Constella’s increasing visibility and world-class programs will help raise regional, national and global awareness of Greater Cincinnati’s cultural treasures.

One goal going forward will be refining methods to measure the direct and indirect benefits of cultural events and tourism on our region’s  economy.

Determining such numbers for Constella, entering its fourth year, will be boosted by your support in impressive 2013 festival attendance numbers. Satisfied audiences spill out with positive impact on restaurants, galleries and shops near venues. If you have any anecdotes or success stories about that “ripple effect,” we’d love to hear and share them to help formulate a profile of the festival’s economic impact.

We do know that Greater Cincinnati’s sports, entertainment and cultural attractions matter. The region attracts region attracts 22 million visitors each year and 80 percent come for fun and 20 percent for business, said Linda Antus, President and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network.

“Highlighting the region’s renaissance and cultural assets can only grow our appeal as a destination known for its rich cultural experiences and Constella is one of those hidden gems,” Antus said.

That is music to our ears.

And we look forward to working with our musicians, artists and partner organizations to keep the crowds coming back for more and spreading the good word to the world.

Thanks again. Please continue your support for your local musicians and artists. We hope we’ll see you soon and often!

 

02

Nov

Joshua Bell’s finale: ‘Thoughtful, demanding and ultimately brilliant’

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Joshua Bell, the multi-Grammy-winning superstar of the violin, performed at Memorial Hall Thursday, November 7 for the finale of The 2013 Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts.

It was a night to remember. In the words of The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Janelle Gelfand:

"It was not surprising that violin virtuoso Joshua Bell would peform a thoughtful, demanding and ultimately brilliant recital in his return to Cincinnati’s Constella Festival, was what that he did it on very little sleep, having flown in the previous day from China."

The appreciative audience beamed with pride as he declared Memorial Hall “one of the nicest places to play,” and said he made the arduous trip out of his love for Cincinnati and friendship with Constella founder Tatiana Berman.

We hope Joshua will be back.  Hopefully with a bit more rest.  But thank you, our friend and all who supported a very successful festival.

We will be updating attendance numbers, officially thanking all who volunteered, supported and attended Constella events.  For now, here’s the Top Ten reasons to attend list we put together before the finale.

It was a fantastic night in every way. Next time, we will have to put together a list in the hundreds, maybe more:

There are many reasons you should get your tickets now to welcome Joshua Bell to Cincinnati and enjoy his extraordinary talents.

Here are our top 10:

10.  He’s our friend! The international violin superstar was born in Indiana and loves coming home to the Midwest. He has a special feeling for Cincinnati, playing his first recital here when he was in his teens. Joshua is a supporter and good friend of Constella and provided a memorable closing for the first festival in 2011.

9. The company he keeps: British Pianist Sam Haywood will be Joshua’s duo partner for this recital. Haywood has performed to critical acclaim all over the world.

8. The classics he will peform: Tartini: Violin Sonata in G minor, Op. 1, No. 10 “Devil’s Trill Sonata”; Beethoven:  Violin Sonata No. 10, Op. 96; Stravinsky: Divertimento, for Violin and Piano (after ‘The Fairy’s Kiss’ ).

 7. The priceless experience: At least once in your life, you’ve got to see a performance by violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, one of the world’s most celebrated musicians. It would be well worth it but quite costly to see world-class talent like this at one of his usual venues around the world or at New York’s Carnegie Hall.  But Constella’s reasonable ticket prices are another good reason to take this opportunity to see the finest musician of his generation and among the best of all.

6. A magical art exhibit: Art will feature three sculptures from “MozART: A pop-sculpture opera in 13 acts” by Rondle Royce West. The sculptures reimagine the main characters in Mozart’s folk opera, The Magic Flute, with the thirteenth piece being the maestro himself.  The vision for these characters is to blend their 18th Century origins with who they would be today.

5. This very special venue: For more than a century, Memorial Hall  has been filled with the sounds of music and the beauty of arts and architecture. Today the national landmark building remains a relevant and important gathering place for “Culture, Arts and Community” with its doors and historic halls open to all.  Exceptional acoustics, decorative murals and Tiffany chandeliers enhance the historic theater.

4. The arts district renaissance: Shops, galleries and fine restaurants are a short walk away. If you’re staying the night, elegant urban hotels are nearby. As the bustling activity in Over-The-Rhine - and streetcar tracks going in right out front Memorial Hall - indicate, this is a city on the move – up!

3. A walk in the park: Bring friends who may not have been down here for a while to show off and enjoy the newly renovated and restored Washington Park (take some time to enjoy its lush civic lawn and fountains).

2. Support your local musicians, artists and ogranizations. Spreading the word about this community’s broad palette of music and arts assets is Constella’s mission. Please join us in celebrating these gifts and welcoming those who come from afar to discover and enjoy them.

And…the number one reason to be at Joshua Bell’s finale of Constella 2013?

Chocolate.  (You will need to be at Memorial Hall Thursday night to find out what that’s all about). If you see Constella Founder Tatiana Berman or any Constella representative at the event, just mention this blog.  They will explain with sweet gratitude and perhaps a delicious gift. 

Thank you for your support this year and always. Please join us for this Constella 2013 closing celebration of our community’s music and arts and more. See you at the festival!

 

16

Oct

Constella brings best of music and fine arts ‘home’ to a building built for it.

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Pictured: Memorial Hall’s proscenium arch, pianist Stewart Goodyear and art by Cedric Cox.

The Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts is nomadic in its search to showcase the finest art, music and beyond in Greater Cincinnati – and invites the world’s best to join us.

But if Constella were to have a home, it well could be Memorial Hall.

For more than a century, Memorial Hall  has been filled with the sounds of music and the beauty of arts and architecture. Today the national landmark building remains a relevant and important gathering place for “Culture, Arts and Community” with its doors and historic halls open to all.

That makes Constella feel right at home, in the epicenter of Cincinnati’s arts district and the region’s cultural renaissance..

What a perfect place for this celebration of the art and music that reflects the best of our community’s interests and talents.

Memorial Hall belongs to you, too. Please join us there Saturday night with ‘Spellbound’ featuring pianist Stewart Goodyear and and a one-night only art exhibition “Function/Dysfunction” featuring artists and craftsmen from Brazee Street Studios.

Spellbound: Steward Goodyear

Saturday, October 19, 8 p.m. at Memorial Hall

Stewart Goodyear will perform Beethoven’s “Diabelli Variations,” which has been described by internationally acclaimed classical pianist Alfred Brendel as “the greatest of all piano works.”

The “Spellbound” program also includes Alban Berg’s “Piano Sonata” and “French Suite No. 5 in G Major” by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Known for imagination, a graceful, elegant style and exquisite technique, Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished artist whose career spans many genres—concerto soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and composer.  He is widely known for his marathon performances of all of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas in a single day – from memory. He is also a composer, whose fanfare, Count Up, was commissioned and performed in 2011 by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

The event will include a one-night only art exhibition “Function/Dysfunction” featuring artists and craftsmen from Brazee Street Studios. Fine art, furniture, and accessories from local designers will be for sale the night of the exhibition. Some of the artists participating will be: Sean Druley, Cedric Cox, C. Jacqueline Wood, Susan Byrnes, Reptiles + Rainbows, Kent Krugh and more.

Details about the event and tickets.

Constella events coming up:

Memorial Hall is host to four Constella Festival 2013 events, including last week’s “Queen City Connections” concert. It was a special night and widely acclaimed event that featured Constella Founder Tatiana Berman performing in a world premiere violin concerto by composer Charles Coleman and conducted by Paavo Järvi, music director laureate of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Memorial Hall will also host:

Exhilarating Arias and Music Art and Beyond Festival

Saturday, October 26, 8 p.m., Memorial Hall

Kelley O’Connor, mezzo soprano, Jessica Rivera, soprano, Robert Spano, piano. Carl Solway Gallery presents a special one-night exhibition for Constella featuring innovative contemporary artwork.

Details about the event and tickets.

Joshua Bell, Constella Festival Finale

Thursday, November 7, 7:30 p.m., Memorial Hall

Joshua Bell, a Grammy and Gramophone award winner — and Music America 2010 Instrumentalist of the Year — violinist Joshua Bell provided a memorable closing for the first Constella Festival in 2011.  British Pianist Sam Haywood will be Joshua’s duo partner for this recital. Haywoord has performed to critical acclaim all over the world. Art will feature MozART; A pop-up sculpture opera in 13 acts by Rondle Royce West.

Outside of Memorial Hall events, Constella will collaborate with the Cincinnati Ballet at another of our community’s important and valued venues.

Details about the event and tickets.

Inspired Improvisations and Stravinsky

Wednesday, October 30, 7:30 p.m., Freedom Center

An innovative production featuring ballet dancers, musicians and art installation on the same stage. Heather Britt and James Cunningham, Cincinnati’s exciting rising star choreographers will each present a world premiere work. Set to the music of Stravinsky and musical improvisations, this project features Cincinnati Ballet dancers, art installation by glass artist Sandra Gross and musicians Tatiana Berman, Eddie Kwon and Elena Kholodova.  An exhibition featuring prints from the “Ballet Russe” costume drawings collection will be on display at the venue for these events on loan from the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Details about the event and tickets.

Constella partner events

The Constella Festival’s mission is to draw attention to – and build support for - the broad palette of professional chamber music and other arts organizations that enrich Cincinnati’s cultural landscape.

Constella 2013 and its partners are presenting 20 concerts at 15 Cincinnati venues including world-premiere music and dance works, children’s concerts, workshops, and master classes.  Most Constella-produced events will feature art exhibitions and collaborations by prominent Cincinnati artists and art galleries.

Here’s information about Constella Festival partners’ events coming up: Please click on the events to link to more details and tickets information.

Sunday, October 20 4:00 p. m. Concerts on Clifton – Chamber music presented by Hebrew Union College.

Friday, October 25 7:30 p.m. America’s Top Viola da Gamba Player - Presented by Catacoustic Consort at Church of the Advent, Walnut Hills.

Friday, November 1, 7:30 p.m. CSO Chamber Players - Presented by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at Mayerson Theater.

Sunday, November 3, 5:00 p.m. Bach: St. John Passion - Presented by UC/College-Conservatory of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Fourth Street.

Before and after events, please take time to discover the myriad of galleries, museums and other places where art lives and thrives steps from our venues and close to our hearts. We encourage you to support the artists who are part of the constellation of artistic talent in Greater Cincinnati.

See you at the festival!

06

Oct

A World Premiere Concerto And A Special Moment Coming To Memorial Hall

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By Tom Callinan

This blog post is personal, about some very special people and a very special moment coming up this week.

'Queen City Connections': World Premiere Concerto, Thursday, Oct. 10 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall.

I’ve been writing Constella’s blog for a few months now. Never put my name on anything. I just like to write. And I love The Constella Festival for what it represents – supporting Greater Cincinnati’s musicians, artists, organizations and venues. The international talent it brings to town, well that’s cool, too.

It’s allowed me to interview, meet and spend time with people like jazz legend Jimmy Heath and his wife Mona (who loved Cincinnati’s arts culture so much she toured the Taft Museum of Art twice). It’s given me an understanding and appreciation of a world I never explored in 35 years as a journalist - politics, sports, crime and courts yes, Bach, Beethoven and Stravinsky? Not so much, but learning.

Most rewarding has been getting to know new friends who have become family to my wife Maureen and me. I won’t risk naming names of the corps of volunteers who work long hours for the cause. The names keep changing as key festival players churn in, up and down in importance as work turns from strategic planning to media awareness to event management and who picks up whom at the airport.

When the final curtain closes on the festival I promise we’ll recognize them with a final and accurate thank you. Until then, please look for their name badges at Constella events and thank them, too.

Then, there’s Tatiana Berman, founder of The Constella Festival of Fine Arts.

I met Tanya, as her friends call her (I won’t) at Coffee Emporium last year. We had little in common beyond a love of a town adopted after travels from far different places. We talked about Cincinnati first, then Russians and Moscow, where I spent time as a visiting editor years ago and made lifelong friends. She asked me to help with media for a festival celebrating our rich cultural assets. I did a few things. She asked me to be on the Constella board. OK. She asked me to write things for the blog, emails and programs. You bet. You play violin, I write. Works for me. And she drew me into the world of Constella, what a magical place it is. But the world I see is not just tuxedoed conductors and bejeweled violinists in flowing gowns on stage.

I see back-to-back meetings in coffee shops, the smell and stains of ink at a program printing plant and a dining room table filled with smart phones, laptops and scribbled notes. 

We knew we had an inside look into Tatiana’s world when the desk guard at her Edgecliff condo overlooking The Ohio greeted us by name instead of asking us to sign in.

This is what we see:

Graceful and lovely she is, obviously. But her close friends know she doesn’t need makeup and gowns. We see her at work, in the kitchen making pasta or at the Northside Tavern in her blue jeans. Let’s move on from her looks. I have nothing to add that you cannot see.

A bright, energetic woman who works as hard as anyone I have met. My routine is to get up at 4 or 5 a.m. each morning for quiet and solitude to write – before the dogs wake up and the news comes on. Sometimes I may even sneak a few paragraphs in at 3 a.m. The only possible interruption I may expect – an email from Tatiana, still up and working from the long day before. As we joked over coffee one day, “You have met your match.”  Neither of recalls who said it, though.

A caring mother who - despite running a music and arts festival and memorizing and practicing new compositions – always has top-priority time for her children, Leah, 9, and Ingrid, 7. Their world: The pool, tennis, biking and rollerblading, bead crafts, kittens, chocolates. But the score stand for cello is always in the kitchen and the keyboard cords there to trip over. The TV broke a while back and no one in this home much cared.

Tatiana, an internationally renowned personality, is protective of her personal side. She does not like to make the reunion with Paavo the story. 

For the record: Tatiana and former Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Director Paavo Järvi are divorced but remain good friends and sometimes work together on musical projects. Paavo has moved to Europe as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris. She and her daughters stayed in Cincinnati. Both really are good friends and loving parents, so much so that she does not like the term, “single” parent. “What about the father? He’s here too.” Paavo is back in Cincinnati this week to conduct New York composer Charles Coleman’s Violin Concerto written for Tatiana to perform.

The focus is on the work they will be doing.

I’ve deferred to Tatiana’s wishes by burying the lead. But I hope you will be there to support them and their extended family of musicians and artists who make this magic happen. If you know any musicians and artists, I would imagine there are similar inside looks into their worlds.

Onstage, they are stars. Off stage, they are just people like you, working for their paychecks, families and their craft.

I hope to see you Thursday for this special moment. - and for as many other Constella events as you can get to. Invite your friends. Pack the auditoriums in support of your musicians and artists in a community fortunate to have so many.

We need more special moments like this.

They happen all the time.

You just need to be there.

Tom Callinan, former editor of The Cincinnati Enquirer, is founder of Charitable Words, which “shares stories about the good being done by nonprofits and common causes.” He is a board member of The Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts and Memorial Hall’s board of trustees.

Festival Notes:

Andrew VanSickle, the pop artist whose paintings of Music Hall inspired Lumenocity; will be debuting his silkscreen portraits of Tatiana Berman and Paavo Järvi at Thursday’s event. Culled from photographs of Tatiana and Paavo, inspired by Andy Warhall’s portraits, these colorful works of art, in the tradition of Constella, break down the barriers of conservative portraiture and create colorful and otherworldly visions of these two important Constella artists. 

Constella will give away delicious chocolate samples by Hershey’s Sharffen Berger. Please support the festival at the event by purchasing Constella Coffee, Constella Gelato, chocolate and posters. A cash bar will be available at the event.

This year’s festival continues through November 7 with finale by violin superstar Joshua Bell. Constella presents 20 concerts at 15 Cincinnati venues including world-premiere music and dance works, children’s concerts, workshops, and master classes. Most Constella-produced events feature art exhibitions and collaborations by prominent Cincinnati artists and art galleries, including the Cincinnati Art Museum, Carl Solway Gallery and Brazee Street Studios.

For more information, event calendar and ticket information, please go to www.constellafestival.org

 

29

Sep

Missy Mazzoli’s high-energy music coming to NKU’s highest-of-tech Digitorum

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These days, concert halls are alive with more than the sounds of music. 

Visuals at concerts, big and small, have become as ubiquitous as oboes in Bach concertos.

Even purists don’t see this evolution of the concert experience as necessarily a bad thing.

And really, it’s nothing new.

Images have been married with music since the beginning.  Visual appeal popped up in importance in the 70s, not long after the Beatles played Shea Stadium but no one without binoculars could actually see them.  MTV followed and the beat marches on.

Now, eye-popping visuals are expected with music to the ears – from 50-ton video screens with a half-million pixels for rock concerts to images projected on historic buildings.

So it was on two August evenings when 35,000 turned out to see a Cincinnati Symphony free outdoor concert in Washington Park. To celebrate the arrival of Louis Langrée as its new music director, the event turned the Venetian Gothic façade of Music Hall into a giant canvas with a choreographed display of 3D laser art.

What a moment it was, for music, for visual art and for Greater Cincinnati in general. We expect to see more and Lumenocity set the bar visuals-with-music bar pretty high.

But bigger is not always brighter and better.

And right here in the river cities, we may have the best visual venue ever at Northern Kentucky University. Its highest-of-tech Digitorum at Griffin Hall will host a high-energy multimedia concert Oct. 15 with Missy Mazzoli, a much-heralded New York-based composer of chamber, orchestral and operatic works.

Information and tickets.

Don’t blink for a second at this one. Expect every one of the 285 micro-tiles on the Digitorum’s ultra-tech screens packed with “wildly inventive music that constantly surprises with the direction it takes,” as Express Magazine’s Ray Cooklis described Missy. The New York Times called her “One of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York” and an artist “going places fast. Bank on it.”

Now you can bank seeing Missy Mazzoli up close and personal as she is coming to Constella Festival 2013 as its composer-in-residence,

Missy will be just one of the highlights of the innovative programming and stunning roster of international soloists that will be presented during Constella Festival 3. Constella helps to draw attention to the broad palette of professional chamber music and other arts organizations that enrich Cincinnati’s cultural landscape.

This year’s festival, running from October 1 to November 7, includes the return of violin superstar Joshua Bell and first-ever Constella Festival appearance by the Grammy Award-winning conductor Paavo Järvi.

Constella will present 20 concerts at 15 Cincinnati venues including world-premiere music and dance works, children’s concerts, workshops, and master classes. Most Constella-produced events will feature art exhibitions and collaborations by prominent Cincinnati artists and art galleries, including the Cincinnati Art Museum, Carl Solway Gallery and Brazee Street Studios.

For more information, event calendar and ticket information, please go to www.constellafestival.org

Thanks…and see you at the festival!

On Wednesday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. Missy will perform at the Café MoMus new music series in the Patricia Corbett Theater at the University of Cincinnati’ Conservatory of Music’s Corbett Theater. The Constella partner event will be free with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance ticketing is required.

More information here.

18

Sep

Constella Festival 2013 Showcases, Supports Artists And Their Innovative Work

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Among fine art that will be part of the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts: Mozart opera “reimagined” by sculptor Rondle Royce West; Mick Jagger photograph by Gary Lee Boas; Cincinnati scene by outsider artist Andrew Van Sickle; violin sculpture by Tom Marioni.

By Jennifer Feld, Artist and Constella Festival volunteer

The Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts is known for the for the star-power musicians it brings to Greater Cincinnati stages each fall.

Indeed, we are privileged and proud that such world-renowned names such as violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, Grammy-award winning conductor Paavo Järvi and jazz legend Jimmy Heath will be joining us – and you – for a celebration of our region’s best music, arts, organizations and venues.

That’s what our name is all about – a constellation of the brightest of music, arts and more for magical events that will build enjoyment, appreciation and support for our rich cultural community, all year round.

We have been writing a lot about, deservedly, the musicians. Now, let’s take a moment to let the artists take the stage and highlight some of the fine art exhibitions that will be presented as part of Constella events. All exhibits are free to festival patrons. In many cases the artists will be at events so you may meet them. And their work will be available for purchase if you care to support our artists and enjoy their work.

Queen City Connections: Glory and Prosperity Exhibition

Thursday, October 10 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall.

Performance: Tatiana Berman, violin, Paavo Järvi, conductor in a world premiere of a violin concerto by composer Charles Coleman. Details.

About the art:  The Queen City Connection’s art exhibition titled “Glory and Prosperity” will feature the pop art influences of Andrew Van Sickle, Outsider Artist legend Rev. Howard Finster, and famed celebrity photographer and author Gary Lee Boas. Cincinnati artist Van Sickle first met Howard Finster in 1987 while a student at the University of Cincinnati.  He spent that summer living with Finster and his family at his celebrated outdoor environment Paradise Garden in Summerville, Ga. Their 14 year friendship, developed VanSickle’s art style, marketing and press relation skills.  Gary Lee Boas is the celebrated Outsider photographer/ author who focused on the world of celebrity with no formal training has thrilled the photography world the past decade.

Exhilarating Arias and Music Art and Beyond Festival

Saturday, October 26, 8 p.m., Memorial Hall

Performance: Kelley O’Connor, mezzo soprano, Jessica Rivera, soprano, Robert Spano, piano. Details.

About the art: Carl Solway Gallery presents a special one-night exhibition for Constella  The exhibition features innovative contemporary artwork by three internationally recognized artists born in Ohio who now live and work in the San Francisco Bay: Paul DeMarinis, Tom Marioni, and Alan Rath. Curated by Michael Solway, Director, Carl Solway Gallery. 

Rath and DeMarinis are pioneers in the fields of electronic and electronic media art respectively.  Marioni is best known as a Conceptual artist.  Rath and DeMarinis will show artwork integrating aspects of sound with the visual arts.  Rath’s contribution is a kinetic, robotic sculpture in which large pheasant feathers are choreographed by mechanical parts that emit subtle, whirring sounds.  DeMarinis presents “Hypnica” a group of talking metronomes using the voices of hypnotists to create a cacophony of speech.  Marioni creates his work with musical instruments including a sculpture constructed from a violin and drawings made with a drum brush.

Spellbound: Three Centuries, Three Summits

Saturday, October 19, 8 p.m., Memorial Hall

Performance: Stewart Goodyear, piano. Details.

About the art:  This concert will feature a one-night only art exhibition “Function/Dysfunction” featuring artists and craftsmen from Brazee Street Studios. Fine art, furniture, and accessories from local designers will be for sale the night of the exhibition. Some of the artists participating will be: Sean Druley, Cedric Cox, C. Jacqueline Wood, Susan Byrnes, Reptiles + Rainbows, Kent Krugh and more.

Inspired Improvisations and Stravinsky

Wednesday, October 30, 7:30 p.m., Freedom Center

Performance: Choreographers Heather Britt and Jimmy Cunningham, dancers of the Cincinnati Ballet and festival musicians on stage with the magnificent work of artist Sandra Gross. Details.

About the art: The Cincinnati Art Museum is kindly loaning the Constella Festival 6 prints from their Ballet Russe series to be on display at the rear of the theater in the Freedom Center from October 28 – November 4. The Museum will also have an exhibition entitled: Degas, Renoir, and Poetic Pastels which features a selection of pastels from the museum’s world renowned permanent collection and includes Degas’s poignant ballet dancers.  This exhibition will be on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum from October 26, 2013 – January 19, 2014.

Joshua Bell, Constella Festival Finale

Thursday, November 7, 7.30 p.m. Memorial Hall

Performance: Joshua Bell, violin, Sam Haywood, piano.  Details.

About the art: Three sculptures from “MozART: A pop-sculpture opera in 13 acts” by Rondle Royce West. The sculptures reimagine the main characters in Mozart’s folk opera, The Magic Flute, with the thirteenth piece being the maestro himself.  The vision for these characters is to blend their 18th Century origins with who they would be today. Rondle Royce West “was born an artist in 1965 and has been one since,” he said. Rondle lives in Cincinnati and Palm Springs.

Please support artists in the Constella community

Before and after events, please take time to discover the myriad of galleries, museums and other places where art lives and thrives steps from our venues and close to our hearts. We encourage you to support the artists who are part of the constellation of artistic talent in Greater Cincinnati.

See you at the festival!

Jennifer Feld attended the University of Cincinnati for an undergraduate degree in Fine Art, Painting major and Art Education as well as Southern Utah University for Masters for Arts Administration.  She works full time for Artonomy Inc as the Senior Art Consultant since 2007. She has run several gallery spaces in Greater Cincinnati; the founder of The MarX Gallery in Covington Kentucky and the Art gallery director for four years at Thomas More College’s Eva G. Farris Art Gallery and was the Marketing and Education director at the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery at Southern Utah University.

She is also a working artist having exhibited and sold her work across the nation as well as overseas.   She is a very passionate art supporter, hoping to spread her love of the arts to all.

“As I’ve experienced over many years being involved with the Art community in Cincinnati, we are very supportive of each other. I hope that all of you can support these fantastic events, and see that organizations like these bring more appreciation, education, and economic impact to our great city.

08

Sep

Jazz Great Jimmy Heath Bringing A Party To Constella Festival With ‘Fiesta Mojo’

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Jazz has been described as “living art form “– a genre that “endures the ages and improvises with the times.”

That pretty much sums up jazz great Jimmy Heath. And he prefers talking about these times, not them.

The 86-year old NEA jazz master saxophonist respects traditions but wasn’t much interested in the old days when Constella called him to talk about his Oct. 3 “Fiesta Mojo” concert at the University of Cincinnati College of Music’s Corbett Auditorium.

Jimmy will be playing with musicians from the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Scott Belck, Director. The CCJO features some of Cincinnati’s most critically praised and popular jazz musicians.

Jimmy said he’s looking forward to returning to Cincinnati in what has been a very long time. He couldn’t remember just when he was here last: “A lifetime ago,” he said. But he’s looking forward to getting back, bringing something old, something new.

We talked a bit about Cincinnati’s rich jazz tradition. About how Louis Armstrong’s first recordings were at a studio near here in Richmond, Indiana.  And that Fats Waller was on the staff of WLW in the 1930s, with Fats’ Rhythm Club and doing gigs in local clubs.

 But it didn’t take long for Jimmy to move on.

 “That was kind of before my time.”

 He wanted to talk about his plans for Constella, where he will perform selections from his Grammy-nominated album, Little Man, Big Band, plus new and classic arrangements of other original compositions and jazz standards.

“I’m always writing new things,” Heath said. “I’ll be writing today.”

Jimmy came up in the “big band” era and became known for “bebop” and credits his time with Dizzy Gillespie for helping him learn how to make a small band sound big. These days, he’s teaching jazz students old and new ways.

“I tell them not to be pigeon-holed into the jazz boxes defined by others -  swing, cool jazz, fusion, bebop,” Jimmy said. “Keep it fresh and always write new ways.”

So how does he describe what we’ll be hearing when he comes to the Constella Festival?

“It’s called Fiesta Mojo because it’s a party,” Jimmy said.  He said he’ll be performing some material for the first time at Constella outside his usual venues in New York, D.C. and in a recent trip to Germany.

“I’ve been traveling a lot to many places,” Jimmy said. “And now I’m coming to Cincinnati.”

Yes, you are sir. We welcome you and look forward to the party of jazz you’ll bring with Fiesta Mojo.

Tickets and information:

http://constellafestival.org/event/fiesta-mojo-with-jimmy-heath/

About the Constella Festival:

The festival will bring stars of classical music, dance and art to the region with its third festival October 1 to November 7. This will be a magical year for Constella, with the return of violin superstar Joshua Bell and first-ever Constella Festival appearance by the Grammy Award-winning conductor Paavo Järvi.

Constella will present 20 concerts at 15 Cincinnati venues including world-premiere music and dance works, children’s concerts, workshops, and master classes. Most Constella-produced events will feature art exhibitions and collaborations by prominent Cincinnati artists and art galleries.

Details and ticket information for all Constella and partner events:

http://constellafestival.org/events/

About Jimmy Heath:

Born to what would become one of America’s most storied jazz families Jimmy Heath is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator. The middle member of the legendary Heath Brothers, (Percy, bass; Albert, ‘Tootie,’ drums), he has performed on more than 125 recordings. Many of his compositions have become standards, recorded by artists including Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker, Ray Charles, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Art Farmer, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, J.J Johnson, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Blue Mitchell, James Moody, Clark Terry, and McCoy Tyner.

Jimmy has composed extended works — twelve suites and two string quartets. His first symphonic work, ‘Three Ears,’ premiered while he was a Professor at Queens College (CUNY). Heath has performed at jazz clubs, concert halls and other major venues, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and the White House.

Heath’s autobiography, ‘I Walked with Giants,’ with a foreword by Bill Cosby and introduction by Wynton Marsalis, was published in 2010.

For more on Jimmy Heath, please go to www.jimmyheath.com.

About The CCJO:

The Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra gave its debut performance at last year’s Constella Festival. Focused on the music of living composers and arrangers, it features some of Cincinnati’s most critically praised and popular jazz musicians, including Phil DeGreg, Brent Gallaher, Art Gore and Kim Pensyl.

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cincinnati-Contemporary-Jazz-Orchestra/463995683623089?ref=ts&fref=ts

CCM Jazz:

http://ccm.uc.edu/music/jazz.html

25

Aug

Plan a “friendraiser” now to support our musicians and artists with a group event … also known as a ‘party’!

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Planning the Constella Festival Music and Fine Arts Festival 2013 started when the curtain went down at last Novembers finale, continued through the months and is right on track today.

Constella’s third festival, October 1 to November 7, will be a magical year, with the return of violin superstar Joshua Bell and first-ever festival appearance by the Grammy Award-winning conductor Paavo Järvi. Constella and its partners will present 21 concerts at 15 venues including world-premiere music and dance works and art exhibitions by prominent local artists and art galleries.

Venues have been secured, flights and hotels booked. Pianos and music arranged. There’s still much to do between now and opening night, but our wonderful volunteers are working hard to make the magic happen.

You can help us, too.

Your job: Plan a Constella party!

That would be now in the form of a “friendraising” event in which supporters host gatherings in neighborhoods and communities from Over-The-Rhine to Northern Kentucky to Greater Cincinnati north, east and west and everywhere in between. The gatherings would be elegant but not elaborate — tickets to events run from free to $25 to less than $100 for the very best seats at the top-name events and group discounts are available and encouraged. These “friendraisers” are more about building community and supporting our musicians and artists than big dollar fundraising.

The most important goal now: Get the parties started! 

Yes, what’s better than an afternoon or evening with friends – combined with time at a fine restaurant, a walk through the park and a performance by accomplished musicians, dancers and artists from your home town and around the world.

We’ll make it easy on you by providing the entertainment – internationally-renowned and locally acclaimed musicians and artists.  Your host venues will be historic treasures such as Memorial Hall and The Cincinnati Art Museum, interesting, intriguing and important places like NKU’s Digitorum, UC’s College Conservatory of Music and The National Underground Freedom Center.

And food? Constella is partnering with the finest restaurants in town for many events. And always, we encourage you to stop in and support the vast array of restaurants, shops, museums and green spaces within steps of most performances.

Please act now. Organize a neighborhood friendraiser or just invite in your own way friends, host business connections to an event as a group showing appreciation and support for our community’s cultural treasures. . 

Many events feature receptions and after-parties at the venues, and Constella can also work with your group on reservations and discounts at our restaurant partners near the venues.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 10 percent discount on tickets. Your group will receive VIP passes and recognized in promotional materials and possible stage mentions, if fitting to the event’s program. We’ll have our photographer available and follow up to ensure your group or cause gets mention and attention in promotional and media materials.

We can also arrange for a Constella representative to share insights and back stories about the program and artists with your group. We’ll do our best to arrange performances at friendraisers as schedules permit. So acting now would be a good idea. No promises for that on event nights, likely. But let’s talk!

If you have questions or would like help with planning and arrangements, please contact constellafest@gmail.com.

Note to nonprofits: Contact us for details on an additional matching contribution program by the Charitable Words fund, bringing your discount to 20% for group tickets.

See you at your Constella party — before at a “friendraiser” to encourage support and attendance — or better yet with a group of your friends at a the festival!

Details and ticket information for all Constella and partner events:

http://constellafestival.org/events/

 

 

 

 

 

13

Aug

Bravo! To Our Musicians, Artists…And The Places They Work And Play

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Bravo! Bravissima! LumenoCity!

What a special moment for Cincinnati, its music, arts and architecture. For the 35,000 who were at Washington Park on two August evenings to hear the magnificent sounds of the Cincinnati Symphony. For historic Music Hall, which came to life with a dazzling display of digital projection mapping as silhouettes of Cincinnati Ballet dancers brushed across the canvas of its Venetian Gothic façade.

It was Cincinnati’s best music, fine arts, historic architecture and newly groomed green spaces on display and at their best to celebrate the arrival of Louis Langrée as the symphony’s new music director.

It was, as The Enquirer’s Jon Faherty said, a tipping point for the city, for the region, for the arts, for its people.

We are certain there will be more magical moments like this. And the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts is proud and privileged to be a partner in such convergences of our cultural treasures and the places people enjoy them.

Indeed, Constella founder Tatiana Berman chose its name because it is derived from the idea of “a collection of individual points of view, genres and influences that come together to create a complete constellation.” The festival is comprised of 21 performances and installations that take place in 15 conventional and unusual venues, making for a truly intriguing, unexpected and exciting performance.

The festival will bring stars of classical music, dance and art to the region with its third festival October 1 to November 7. This will be a magical year for Constella, with the return of violin superstar Joshua Bell and first-ever Constella Festival appearance by the Grammy Award-winning conductor Paavo Järvi.

While, deservedly, there will be much attention on and appreciation for the musicians and artists who will be part of the festival, let’s take a moment to applaud and celebrate the places we will gather. From old to new, from historic elegance to nouveau digital flair, here are venues where Constella artists and partners will perform during the five-week festival:

(Please click on dates for links to event details and ticket information).

Memorial Hall, A Special Place for Special Moments

Some of Constella’s brightest stars will appear at events at Memorial Hall, awaiting proudly and patiently for its chance in the spotlight as Music Hall was the canvas for Luminocity. tanding on its own right since 1908, the beaux arts landmark stands at the epicenter of Cincinnati’s cultural renaissance — a few steps south of Music Hall, across from Washington Park and catercornered from the School for Creative and Performing Arts. Its marble staircases adorned with intricate wrought iron lead to the 600-seat proscenium theater.  Exceptional acoustics, decorative murals and Tiffany chandeliers enhance the historic theater.

Virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell, who provided a memorable closing for the first festival in 2011, will return to Constella at Memorial Hall for the Nov. 7 finale. A special moment will be when Tatiana and Paavo collaborate in “Queen City Connections” at Memorial Hall Oct. 10. Tatiana will perform and Paavo will conduct a world premiere violin concerto commissioned by Charles Coleman.

On Oct. 19, Memorial Hall will host pianist Stewart Goodyear for “Spellbound,” great works from three centuries by Bach Beethoven and Berg, played by a poet of the keyboard.  Art by Brazee Street Studios.

On Oct. 26, “Exhilarating Arias” at Memorial Hall will feature mezzo Kelly O’Connor and soprano Jessica Rivera with pianist Robert Spano and an art exhibition by Carl Solway Gallery.

 On Campuses And In Schools

The festival will open Oct. 1 with the Miro Quartet presented by Chamber Music Cincinnati at the UC/College Conservatory of Music’s Werner Recital Hall. The 250-seat intimate, comfortable hall supports activities at CCM ranging from faculty artist and student recitals to appearances by distinguished visiting artists and ensembles.

Constella will to return to Werner Oct. 8 with a celebration of composer Miguel Roig-Francoli’s 60th anniversary presented by UC/CCM.

On Oct. 3, Constella will bring saxophonist Jimmy Heath and the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra for “Fiesta Mojo” to UCC/CCM’s Corbett Center, featuring a fully equipped proscenium auditorium and a new theater production wing.

On Oct. 9, The Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts’  Corbett Theater will host the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and “Time for Three,” a trio that has gone from the “world’s first classically-trained garage band” to venues from Carnegie Hall to jazz clubs, to European festivals and The Indy 500.

On Nov, 1, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Players will work up close and personal in SCPA’s Mayerson Theater.  If you have not yet seen the this new $72 million OTR landmark, this would be a great opportunity to visit and enjoy world-class musicians in an intimate setting.

The highest-of-tech Digitorum in Griffin Hall at Northern Kentucky University will host a high-energy multimedia concert Oct. 15 with Missy Mazzoli, a much-heralded New York-based composer of chamber, orchestral and operatic works.

Missy, Constella’s Composer-in-Residence, will also perform Oct. 16 at the Café Momus new music series UC/CCM’s Corbett Theater (The Constella partner event will be free with first-come, first-served).

In Churches and Chapels

The Constella Festival is blessed to partner with several churches and chapels in Greater Cincinnati.

On Oct. 2 the oldest standing church in Cincinnati, St. Mary’s Church in Over-The-Rhine, will host Harmonic Brass and concert:nova. Playing 120 concerts a year since 1991, Harmonic Brass is renowned for its big elegant sound. As veteran members of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops, concert:nova have played throughout Europe and the Far East.

On Oct. 6, First Unitarian Church hosts the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and CSO principals, presented by Linton Chamber Music. The church, described as “warm and graceful,” dates back to the 1880s. The Linton Chamber Music Series began in 1978 as a “thank you” concert for members of the Avondale church. It has evolved into an internationally acclaimed chamber music series, attracting world-class musicians to share their love of music in intimate concerts.

On Oct. 20, Hebrew Union College presents “Concerts on Clifton,” with chamber music performances organized by violist Yael Senamaud-Cohen. The concerts take takes place in the beautiful Scheuer Chapel and are free and open to the public. A reception will follow the performance.

On Nov. 3, the UC/CCM Chamber Choir, Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra, and student soloists, and featuring Guest Artist Jeffrey Thompson, tenor, Evangelist will present  Bach’s rendering of the St. John Passion in a unique staged performance at Christ Church. The church was founded in 1817 by William Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States and other early settlers of Cincinnati. In 1835, the church moved to its present location on East Fourth Street. The building was replaced in 1957, incorporating features such as the stained glass windows from the original church.

Places of Arts and Interest

On Oct. 13, Constella will present two children’s concerts (1 and 3 p.m.), free and first-come seating at the Cincinnati Art Museum. The Eden Park art museum traces its roots to 1886, when it was “The Art Palace of the West.” (yes, The Queen City was considered “West” back in those days).  Please take time to walk through the galleries and share with your children the great works of art, including displays of Daosit Art and contemporary Japanese prints and ceramics, which open that weekend. An intriguing exhibit documenting trends and ideas in fashion and contemporary craft will also be a new display.

That night, Constella partner Classical Revolution will present a free (donation welcome) performance at Northside Tavern, its venue twice each month.  The Tavern is comfortable, eclectic place that embraces all and the genres of music they enjoy. Classical Revolution musicians share their craft and encourage all to enjoy the community’s bounty of classical music. It’s an informal setting that encourages interacting and spontaneous clapping.

On Oct. 25 at a venue yet to be announced: Catacoustic Consort presents Catherina Meints, America’s top Viola da Gamba player. Catherina Meints Caldwell is indisputably among the world’s top viola da gamba players. She will perform on and display many of the rare instruments and speak about the instruments and their history.

On Oct. 30 and 31, the Freedom Center will host “Inspired Improvisations and Stravinsky, a world-premiere collaboration by the Cincinnati Ballet and festival musicians. The intimate, 300-seat Harriet Tubman Theater, featuring theatrical lighting, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, a hardwood stage floor and an in-house professional technical staff, is ideal for music and theatrical performances.

For more information about Constella and partners events and tickets, please visit Constellafestival.org/events/

 Come celebrate Greater Cincinnati and the world’s finest musicians and artists and the wonderful places where they will work, play and perform.

 Join us in welcoming the world to Greater Cincinnati.

 Let’s see crowds like this more often!

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30

Jul

World-Traveled Violin Virtuoso Joshua Bell Coming ‘Home’ To Constella Finale

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At least once in your life, you’ve got to see a performance by violin virtuoso Joshua Bell.

Often referred to as the “poet of the violin,” Bell is one of the world’s most celebrated musicians, enchanting audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, sheer beauty of tone, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal, and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of “classical music superstar.”

Problem is, he’s on the road a lot. This summer: Australia, Germany and the Netherlands, Brazil and South America. It would take some time, travel and more than a few dollars to get to catch up with him.

He will be back in New York October 2 to open Carnegie Hall’s season. You’d best book a flight now, get a room and tickets. Carnegie’s first tier already is sold out. Second will run you around $100 and the balcony about half that. Worth the price, certainly, to see the finest musician of his generation and among the best of all.

If you want something to eat at a fine restaurant before or after, add another $100 each.  Travel, lodging, and meals don’t come cheap in most places with great symphony and chamber musicians.  But the priceless experience would be worth it.

Better yet, how about seeing Joshua Bell by staying at home and supporting Cincinnati’s local musicians and artists? He will return “home” to for the Constella Festival’s 2013 finale Thursday, November 7 at Memorial Hall.

Tickets run $36 to $95, even for best available and boxes.

And fine restaurants? Just walk across Elm Street to the newly renovated and restored Washington Park (take some time to enjoy its lush civic lawn and fountains), walk a couple of blocks.  If you’re staying the night, elegant urban hotels are nearby. This is a city on the move – up!

Can you tell we love Cincinnati? Well, yes. Our mission is to “provide compelling, memorable experiences that illuminate the depth and breadth of culture in Cincinnati and enhance its arts, image and economy.”

Joshua Bell, who provided a memorable closing for the first festival in 2011, loves Cincinnati too.

The Indiana native told Soapbox:

 “I love coming home to the Midwest, and Cincinnati is quite close, so it is a nice opportunity to have my family come to hear me play. I have a long history with Cincinnati; I think I first played a Cincinnati recital when I was maybe 16 years old. 

Bell said his friendship with Constella Founder Tatiana Berman was his primary reason for coming to the first festival.

“They were just starting, but because she is a friend, and she seemed to have high hopes for the Festival, I told her I would come. In the end, I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the venue that we played. I thought it was a beautiful place to play. I hope they are continuing to be successful. “

Thank you, Joshua. Constella is doing very well and planning bigger things yet.

This year’s festival, running from October 1 to November 7, which will also feature  the first-ever Constella Festival appearance by the Grammy Award-winning conductor Paavo Järvi.  Constella will present 21 concerts at 15 Cincinnati venues including world-premiere music and dance works, children’s concerts, workshops, and master classes.  Most Constella-produced events will feature art exhibitions and collaborations by prominent Cincinnati artists and art galleries.

For more information, event calendar and ticket information, please go to www.constellafestival.org

Joshua Bell, we love to follow your adventures across the globe.

Thanks for keeping Constella and Cincinnati close to your heart.

And welcome home.