Classical music boosts listeners' brain functions and energy levels, which is why every child should ingest a well-rounded harpsichord each morning. Treat your noggin to a mellifluous meal with this GrouponLive deal: for $60, you get a ticket for gallery seating at three Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concerts of your choice (up to a $174 value, including all fees). This deal is valid for three tickets to one concert, one ticket at three concerts, or any other combination. Upcoming shows include:
“Shaham Plays Brahms” on January 25 and 26
Brahms' magnificent Violin Concerto comes to life at the fingers of renowned Israeli-American musician Gil Shaham. Brahms often demanded a tremendous strength and speed from his string-playing soloists, and the lightning-paced Violin Concerto is no different. Characterized by its reliance on deeply resonant open strings, the work gains greater impact through Shaham's expressive playing style, which Bernard Jacobson of the Seattle Times praised for its “combination of intensity, charm, and sheer personality—coupled with stunning technical skill.”
“Watts Plays Beethoven's Emperor” on March 22, 23, and 24
In 1963, American composer Leonard Bernstein picked André Watts to play in the nationally broadcast Young People's Concerts, and just two weeks later, the 16-year-old was subbing in for a sick Glenn Gould. Now that Watts has achieved the legendary status of his mentors, the pianist is a favorite guest of ensembles around the world, and has been heard on PBS, BBC, and A&E. Besides Beethoven's stately Piano Concerto no. 5, Emperor, this concert will feature a world-premiere performance of a commissioned work by Zhou Tian, a Chinese-American composer with a knack for richly layered, harmonious melodrama.
“Sarah Chang: String Fever” on April 4 and 6
From the moment 8-year-old Sarah Chang took the stage with the New York Philharmonic in 1989, she was instantly recognized as either a jaw-droppingly talented child prodigy, or an alien from a planet where only “violin” is spoken. The virtuoso plays Barber's sweet and sweeping Violin Concerto, a wailing lullaby that transitions into a more up-tempo lament. Described as a conductor “on the verge of greatness” by Gramophone in 2011, guest baton-wielder Jakub Hrůša leads the orchestra through his countryman Bedřich Smetana's symphonic poem, Šárka.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1895, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra—under the direction of Louis Langrée—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 Bartók. 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.