Janelle Gelfand writes of the upcoming season in today's Cincinnati Enquirer:
Best deal: Free buffet dinner served in the Music Hall Ballroom before Thursday night concerts. First one: Nov. 17. Paavo Järvi leads Kodaly's "Concerto for Orchestra"; Bartok's "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta" and Grieg's Incidental Music from "Peer Gynt."
Järvi specialty: Discover Sibelius when Järvi conducts Symphony No. 7, a cool Nordic soundscape by the Finnish composer (Sept. 23-24). Greek violin virtuoso Leonidas Kavakos should add some heat in Brahms' Violin Concerto in D Major.
Magnificent Mahler: Järvi leads Mahler's massive Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, "Resurrection," March 10-11. Joining, of course, is the magnificent May Festival Chorus.
Most cutting edge: Erkki-Sven Tuur's "Insula deserta" starts lyrically and grows to screeching cries. To contrast, Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Stewart Goodyear at the piano) is richly tuneful. Järvi wraps it up with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 6, a piece that is both desolate and exuberant, written as war clouds were gathering for World War II (March 16, 18).
Piece of the Rach: Rachminoff, that is. Northern Kentucky University star pianist Anna Polusmiak plays Rachmaninoff's ultra-romantic "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" on this all-Rachmaninoff program led by Järvi, April 27-29.