The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announces that Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Olga Bell will be the opening act for the MusicNOW Festival on Saturday, March 22. Ms. Bell will perform from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Music Hall lobby. A former classical piano prodigy, Ms. Bell is known for her wide range of composition styles and songwriting ranging from electronic to dance and acoustic. She has performed at such venues as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. In addition to Ms. Bell’s performance, the CSO has also added Will Oldham (often known as “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy”) to the Festival. The actor and songwriter known for his “folk-punk” style will perform an acoustic set at the top of the concert program beginning at 8 p.m. in Music Hall’s Springer Auditorium.
Following Mr. Oldham’s performance, the CSO will perform the previously-announced Polymorphia by Penderecki and Jonny Greenwood’s (of the rock band Radiohead) 48 Responses to Polymorphia. The second half of the performance is comprised of the world premiere of David Lang’s mountain as well as Prokofiev’s Scythian Suite.
The CSO’s pioneering MusicNOW collaboration represents a spirit of experimentation permeating Louis Langrée’s inaugural season as CSO Music Director. The Festival will begins on Friday, March 21 with works by Bryce Dessner, Scriabin and a world premiere by Nico Muhly. Local band Little Lights will be performing pre-concert on Friday.
Both performances will take place at Cincinnati’s historic Music Hall. Tickets for each concert (which include the opening act by Olga Bell) are still available and start at $12. More information and tickets are available by calling the CSO Box Office at (513) 381-3300 or visiting www.cincinnatisymphony.org/musicnow.
The eighth blackbird residency is made possible by Dan and Jan Lewis and Ginger and David Warner. The Muhly and Lang commissions are supported through the generosity of Ann and Harry Santen. Additional support provided by Ann Hubbard and Louis D. Bilionis in honor of Bryce Dessner, Louis Langrée and the partnership between MusicNOW and the CSO. These concerts are part of the CSO’s Boundless subscription series, sponsored by Macy’s. The CSO is grateful to Illori for its generous sponsorship of these concerts. The ArtsWave partner company for these performances is the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Foundation, Fifth Third Bank Trustee.
Cincinnati’s MusicNOW, under the leadership of founder and artistic director Bryce Dessner, is known around the country for its eclectic and thoughtful combinations of contemporary chamber music, world premiere commissions, indie rock performances and visual art installations. The festival’s mission is to present the best in contemporary music, offer artists an opportunity to take risks and commission new work. The celebrated artists and composers who have gathered at past festivals include Sufjan Stevens, Kronos Quartet, Grizzly Bear, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, The National, Glen Hansard, eighth blackbird and Steve Reich.