Founded in 1895, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra?under the direction of Louis Langr?e?has matured into one of the nation's melodic heavyweights. Not only was the ensemble the first American orchestra to tour the world, backed by the US Department of State, it also hit the road stateside, playing Carnegie Hall 47 times since 1917. With such an enormous history, it's no surprise that some of classical music's biggest names are associated with the institution. It has housed famous conductors such as Leopold Stokowski and Max Rudolf, and has premiered the works of Debussy, Mahler, Ravel, and Bart?k. It's not only responsible for introducing Aaron Copland's A Lincoln Portrait to audiences, it also commissioned his Fanfare for the Common Man into existence. Attracting only the finest players from Ohio and around the world to its stable of musicians, the orchestra continues its second century as an ambassador of symphonic culture.
With 10 national championships to their name and another 76 conference titles to boot, the Cincinnati Bearcats boast more than century of athletic tradition. Though the student athletes thrive in many different sports, the basketball program?which won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1961 and 1962?is the school's crown jewel. Before embarking on a professional career that earned him a spot among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, The Big O cut his hard-court skills for the Bearcats, averaging a staggering 33.8 points per game in his three years at UC. In more recent years, the Bearcats football team has enjoyed its own run as a true contender, earning bowl berths in 2009, 2011, and 2012. In both 2011 and 2012, the squad pounced on their postseason opponents, taking home glittering trophies to use as tackling dummies in training camp.
Founded in 1963 at a local YMCA, the Cincinnati Ballet grew into a major regional company by adhering to its mission to express the human experience through dance. Today, it continues upholding that vision by housing resident artists who entertain audiences with dance performances of both classic and original work. Beyond supporting local audiences and their right to clap, the Cincinnati Ballet also seeks to nurture artists through the Otto M. Budig Academy. There, a professional faculty trains aspiring performers at all skill levels. These training opportunities are supplemented by outreach programs such as CincyDance!, which provides free training and dance attire to children.
The Cincinnati Film Festival showcases moving pictures from all over the globe from October 8 to October 16. Your all-day pass (a $20 value) gets you access to a full day of screenings and workshops. Start your cineday with the Shorts Block 9, a collection of short films playing at the Esquire Theater, and then hop over to Main St. Cinema to catch "Runaways: Producing In Ohio," as a panel of local industry insiders discuss the past, present, and future of Ohio film production. Locavores can cheer on hometown heroes at the Esquire during 48 Hour Film Project: Take 2, a mash-up of mini-movies produced by Cincinnati filmmakers, before indulging in behind-the-scenes voyeurism with a screening of Saturday Night, a 90-minute Saturday Night Live documentary directed by actor James Franco. The weeklong film fest's Awards Gala will be held on Friday, October 15 at Memorial Hall, where a special award will be presented to musician/TV personality/producer Nick Lachey for his contributions to the local production community. A ticket to the gala (a $25 value) gives formal-loving filmophiles an excuse to break out tuxes and ball gowns, as this gala is black-tie optional with a required tweed-based business-dress minimum. Check the program guide for a complete list of screenings. Organizers recommend you arrive at all events 30 minutes ahead of time to procure the best seats in the house, away from the permanent front-row installations of 10-gallon hats and actual honey-filled beehives.
Broadway Across America’s three-hour, Tony Award–winning production of the original 1949 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific is set to storm the Aronoff Center for the Arts’ Procter & Gamble Hall this month. This Groupon gets showgoers one ticket for orchestra-level (rows P–Z) or loge-level (rows D–J) seating. The theater’s brass trimmings and cherry woodwork, hues of ochre, teal, and terra-cotta, and a ceiling alight with 3,000 fiber-optic lenses that hang like twinkling bats in a night sky, all set the stage for a properly theatrical evening. An all-star cast—bolstered by a fully sonorous and fully stocked touring orchestra—acts out a romantic story that juxtaposes the ominous shadow of the Second World War against the lush setting of a tropical island. With popular songs such as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “This Nearly Was Mine,” and “There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame,” South Pacific ’s gripping tale will keep you gripping your seat like an open-faced peanut-butter sandwich grips the canines of an antagonistic Doberman.