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!