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Announcing the 2018-19 Season

OMS Art Dir.jpg


Michael Culligan (Percussion), Henrik Heide (Flute), Hiro Matsuo (Cello), Stefani Matsuo (Violin), Ixi Chen (Clarinet) & Ted Nelson (Cello)



In SEASON 12, concert:nova presents five MAIN SERIES projects, the new ADVENTURE CONCERTS
and continues with our work in the classroom with NEXT:GENERATION



concert:nova is thrilled to present a twelfth season exploring new territory, full of work that fosters an adventurous musical world. This season the ensemble features a concert of all-women composers, an electric string quartet, three newly commissioned works, a journey into the brain with the Music + Medicine series, and a trip to South America. From classical gems to brilliant contemporary chamber music, concert:nova offers a unique experience that changes from concert to concert, all tied to the excitement of discovery.



A new series will launch this season. Known previously as the Late:Night series, the Adventure Concerts is a series of 45-60 minute performances that engage the audience in socially and culturally relevant topics. As an active participant in the music, see how your perception and connection to the music changes!



With the belief that art and music can transform people of all ages and backgrounds, we reaffirm our commitment to creating opportunities for all our children to experience the power of music. We are proud to enter into our 4th  year of the NEXT: GENERATION training program for pre-professional young artists and continue our inspiring partnership with Ben Carlson Berne Scholarship serving underprivileged young musicians in association with SCPA and Cincinnati Public Schools. 


Season 12 Performances


Concert 1 OCTOBER 7 & 9, 2018

A WOMAN'S VOICE: A musical response to Life: Gillian Wearing

concert:nova features Violinist Elissa Cassini and cellist Ted Nelson in a musical reaction to Snapshot, part of the exhibition Life: Gillian Wearing, presented by the Cincinnati Art Museum. The visual artist Gillian Wearing has created a multi-screen video work that deals with memory, identity, and photographic imagery (among other things). The work features seven different women enacting scenes from everyday life, while an anonymous, apparently elderly narrator voices her own recollections. Music includes works by Clara Schumann, Kajsa Saariaho, Sofia Gubaidulina, Augusta Read Thomas and Helena Winkleman. 

Concert 2 NOVEMBER 4 & 5, 2018

Black Angels, an electric string quartet by George Crumb

Veteran’s Day is November 11 this year. As an observance, we create a performance of George Crumb’s striking string quartet Black Angels, inscribed “in tempore belli, 1970” .  This iconic work for electrified string quartet, percussion instruments and vocalization from the performers captures the anxiety and darkness of a world at war.



Concert 3 JANUARY 31 & FEBRUARY 1, 2019

Cello+ , a program presenting music for  cello "plus one" / Featuring new works by Pierre Jalbert & Michael Ippolito

We have two fabulous cellists as artistic directors of c:n, so how do we use them both on the same night?  We program an entire concert of repertoire featuring the cello and a plus-one. Our two most important plus-ones might just be Ixi Chen and Stefani Matsuo, who will be featured with their cellistic partners Ted Nelson and Hiro Matsuo in world premieres by Pierre Jalbert and Michael Ippolito.  Additional plus-ones include artistic directors Henrik Heide and Michael Culligan, who are no less important even if they aren’t married to Ted or Hiro.


Special Concert  FEBRUARY 3, 2019

A Special Concert world premiere of Lukas Ligeti's Birimintingo, a Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano

Lukas Ligeti is the son of noted Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti, but as a composer has created a name in his own right. Birimintingo is a co-commission by a consortium of three ensembles: concert:nova, Civitas of Chicago and Soli in San Antonio. The title is a word in the Mandinka language of West Africa and refers to virtuosic solo runs played on the kora, a traditional 21-string harp of the Mandé people living in Guinea, Senegal, The Gambia, and Mali. Ligeti currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology at the University of California, Irvine and has collaborated with traditional musicians from such countries as Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, and India.


Concert 4  MARCH 3 & 4, 2019

A Frenchman in Brazil: Influences on Darius Milhaud's Le Boeuf sur le Toit

During 1917 and 1918, Darius Milhaud lived in Rio de Janeiro as secretary to the French Minister to Brazil.  While there he absorbed music and culture and determined when he returned to France to compose a ballet based on the Carnival in Rio, and named after a popular samba. The result was the surreal ballet Le Boeuf sur le Toit.  We will celebrate the beginning of Carnival by examining some of the source music for Le Boeuf, and performing other Brazilian chamber music, and the masterpiece itself. The performance will be guided by Thomas Garcia, musicologist and Brazilian music expert at Miami University, and directed by concert:nova's own Aimée Langrée.

Concert 5  APRIL 30 & MAY 1, 2019

Music + Medicine: Beethoven's Brain

We continue our Music + Medicine series with a deep dive into the strange relationship between mental illness and creativity in the the world of music.  From the famous examples like Schumann or Beethoven and their struggles with bipolar disorder, to less well known examples like Ravel and his progressive aphasia, we will look into the neuroscience of creativity and disease.  Is there a relationship? Do we just love the story of the tortured artist? Where are the happy, well-adjusted composers?



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