Friday, May 9, 2014
James Conlon, Cincinnati May Festival Music Director
John Adams: Harmonium
R. Nathaniel Dett: The Ordering of Moses (NY Premiere)
May Festival Chorus
Latonia Moore, soprano
Ronnita Nicole Miller, mezzo-soprano
Rodrick Dixon, tenor
Donnie Ray Albert, baritone
May Festival Founded 1873
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Founded 1895
Located on the north bank of the Ohio River, bordering Kentucky and Indiana, Cincinnati played an important role in the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. A large German immigrant population—by 1900, more than sixty percent of the city’s resident was of German background—greatly influenced Cincinnati’s culture. The arts sector has a deep and rich history and now represents the diverse cultures and populations within the city. Cincinnati is home to some of the oldest arts institutions in the country, including the May Festival, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Art Museum.
The Music Hall, the home of the May Festival and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, was built in 1878 by the renowned architect Samuel Hannaford. Many important corporations have their headquarters in Cincinnati, including Proctor & Gamble, Macy’s Inc., The Kroger Company, American Financial Group, The E. W. Scripps Company, Fifth Third Bank, and GE Aviation. The metropolitan area has a population of more than 2 million people, many of whom attend games by the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds.
May Festival Chorus
The May Festival Chorus has earned acclaim locally, nationally and internationally for its musicality, vast range of repertoire and sheer power of sound. The chorus of 145 professionally trained singers is the core artistic element of the Cincinnati May Festival as well as the official chorus of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra. Throughout each season chorus members collectively devote more than 40,000 hours in rehearsals and performances.
Founded in 1873, the May Festival is the oldest, and one of the most prestigious, choral festivals in the Western Hemisphere. The annual festival boasts the May Festival Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as anchors, hosts an international array of guest artists and presents two spectacular weekends of dynamic programming under the musical leadership of James Conlon and choral preparation of Robert Porco.
Maestro Conlon has provided the artistic leadership for more May Festivals than any other Music Director in the organization’s history. Many important choral works have received their American or world premieres at the May Festival, including Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana, Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi, and Robert Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is a dynamic ensemble of some of the world’s finest musicians. The fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and the oldest orchestra in Ohio, the CSO has played a leading role in the cultural life of Greater Cincinnati and the Midwest since its founding in 1895.
Louis Langrée began his tenure as CSO’s thirteenth Music Director at the start of the 2013-14 season, succeeding Paavo Järvi, whose tenure concluded in 2011 after ten seasons. Over the course of it long history, the orchestra has also been led by the likes of Leopold Stokowski, Eugène Ysaÿe, Fritz Reiner, Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers, and Jesús López-Cobos, among others. During the most recent music director search, the orchestra enlisted Creative Directors for the CSO’s three subscription series. For the 2011-12 season, the Creative Directors were conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, pianist Lang Lang and composer Philip Glass. For the next, they were Maestro Frühbeck de Burgos, saxophonist Branford Marsalis and composer Jennifer Higdon. For more information, visit www.cincinnatisymphony.org