Classical 90.9 WGUC Public Radio
Classical 90.9 WGUC Public Radio

 WGUC 90.9 FM

Cincinnati May Festival

Each May, Cincinnati is surrounded with song as the May Festival Chorus presents the oldest, and one of the most prestigious, choral festivals in the Western Hemisphere.

Opening Weekend

Sunday October 3, 2021 at 8 p.m.

Juanjo Mena, conductor
May Festival Tenor and Bass Ensemble (Robert Porco, Chorus Director)
Sara Couden, contralto
Elliot Madore, baritone
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Originally performed on May 21-22, 2021

The May Festival, led by Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena and joined by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, opens with a prismatic program that brings each voice into light. The CSO strings blossom in Bruckner, and Sara Couden's ''huge and fluid voice'' (San Francisco Chronicle) shines in a neglected work by Julia Perry, a composer with Ohio roots. Experience the angst of Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer, sung by baritone Elliot Madore, before being transported to another plane when members of the May Festival Chorus reunite to perform three of Holst's hymns on texts from the Rig Veda.

Music:

BRUCKNER: Adagio from String Quintet in F Major
JULIA PERRY: Stabat Mater
MAHLER (arr. Schoenberg): Songs of a Wayfarer
HOLST: Selections from Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, Group 4, H. 100


Voice And Verse

Sunday October 10, 2021 at 8 p.m.

Robert Porco, conductor
Sasha Cooke, mezzo soprano
Sophia Burgos, soprano
Davóne Tines, baritone
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Originally performed on May 28, 2021

Vocal firebrands perform music inspired by poetry we can all relate to, especially now. Two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke sings the words of Emily Dickinson, a poet who lived in near total isolation from the outside world.

Music:

COPLAND: Selections from Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson
MARIA SCHNEIDER: Selections from Winter Morning Walks
JOHN ADAMS: The Wound-Dresser


Hearts And Voices Soar

Sunday October 17, 2021 at 8 p.m.

Juanjo Mena, conductor
May Festival Soprano and Alto Ensemble
Joélle Harvey, soprano
Paul Appleby, tenor
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Originally performed on May 29-30, 2021

Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena and the CSO join the May Festival for a bouquet of heartfelt works. A famous love letter here, some of Schubert's spellbinding songs there, and the ''radiantly sublime'' (The Los Angeles Times) soprano Joélle Harvey shining in a mystical work by Britten. We complete the program by featuring the sopranos and altos of the May Festival Chorus singing two ethereal hymns from Holst's Rig Veda, as well as selections from Los Angeles composer Reena Esmail's tribute to women who have shaped the world.

Music:

MAHLER: Adagietto from Symphony No. 5
BRITTEN: The Illuminations
SCHUBERT: Selected Songs
HOLST: Selections from Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, Group 2, H. 98
REENA ESMAIL: Selections from I Rise: Women Song



© 90.9 WGUC | 1223 Central Parkway | Cincinnati, OH 45214