Sunday, May 30, 2004

Vienna Boys coming back

Loveland church lands famed choir


The Vienna Boys Choir is making another Tristate visit next season, this time to a new musical series in Loveland, at St. Margaret of York church.

The choir, founded in 1498, is the premier boys choir in the world. The Haydn Choir, one of three Vienna Boys touring choirs, will perform in Ohio in December.

The new, four-concert series, says parish music director Javier Clavere, is "a risky venture, but the response is good. We're trying to add culture to the Loveland-Mason area."

The church will kickoff its 2004-05 season on Sept. 17 with the DaPonte String Quartet, a Maine-based ensemble. The Vienna Boys Choir will sing Dec. 2. The renowned Empire Brass visits on Feb. 25. The season closes May 13 with Javier and Lindsay Clavere in a duo-piano concert.

There are no local boys in the touring choir this time. Two West Chester Township singers, Ryan Slone and Donald Smith, were members of the Vienna Boys Choir when it performed in Music Hall last year. They have since graduated; singers Andrew Markowich and Benjamin Kleykamp are Cincinnati's newest additions to the prestigious group.

Subscriptions: $90. 683-7100 or visit

Community music high notes

A 150-piece orchestra will commemorate 75 combined years of music making in Cincinnati, at 7 p.m. today in Corbett Auditorium, University of Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Community Orchestra, observing its 50th anniversary, and Cincinnati Junior Strings, celebrating 25, will perform a varied program, from Mozart to Khatchaturian.

"It's always been about music for a lifetime," says Gerald Doan, conductor of both orchestras.

The Community Orchestra grew from the Jewish Community Center Orchestra (1933-52). When that orchestra folded, members Joyce and Jack VanWye organized a new ensemble in 1954.

The volunteer orchestra has had seven conductors. Conny Kiradjieff, who retired this season as violinist in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, had the longest tenure (1967-82).

Today, its 70 members pay dues, and more than 100 local musicians have been featured as soloists. Among its members are 18 former Junior Strings players.

Cincinnati Junior Strings, founded and conducted by Doan, has 50 children ages 10-15. The group will take its sixth international tourJuly 18-Aug. 5 to Australia, where the talented youth orchestra will perform a 25th anniversary concert in Sydney's Town Hall.

Doan recalled some highlights of his own 22 years with the Community Orchestra and 25 with Junior Strings:

•  In 1984, Enquirer editorial cartoonist Jim Borgman drew animals as the orchestra played Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals. "I called him out of the blue and said, 'Would you like to be a soloist?' After he laughed for 10 minutes, he agreed."

•  The first Halloween-costumed concert in Cincinnati, in 1987. Doan was carried to the podium in a coffin and pianist Elizabeth Pridonoff performed Liszt's Totentanz in witch's attire.

•  A joint concert with Junior Strings for the Music Educators National Conference Convention held in Cincinnati in 1994.

"The orchestras has always prided itself in its roster of soloists, from CCM, the Cincinnati Symphony and out-of-town artists," Doan says. Opera diva Kathleen Battle was on the roster in 1973. Today's concert is free. Information:

90th Anniversary

Bravo to the Cincinnati MacDowell Society, which is celebrating its 90th season Saturday. It's believed to be the oldest MacDowell Society in the country and supports the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H., which was founded in 1907.

Named for American composer Edward MacDowell, the colony is a retreat where composers, authors, painters and other artists pursue their craft, free of charge. For instance, composer Aaron Copland wrote parts of Appalachian Spring there.

The society, says president Stacey Woolley, "gets us in touch with who is doing things of an artistic nature in the city and also supports the arts on a national basis."


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