Ascent International Chamber Music Festival

The seasons’ end is near for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the College Conservatory of Music, Matinee Musicale, Chamber Music Cincinnati, and Linton Music, to name just a few of the many large and small musical organizations in our city. The May Festival brings things to a close with Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand, the Cincinnati Ballet members put away their dance slippers until the Fall, and most things musical in Queen City appear to slow down to a crawl.

But there is promise in the air being offered by several musical organizations that thrive in the summer, filling up the calendars of concert goers with enticing offerings. Here then is an overview of what’s happening in Cincinnati during what used to be the dog days of summer.

Ascent International Chamber Music Festival was founded in 2021 by Sarah Kim and Alan Rafferty. The festival returns this year, with an impressive lineup of chamber music concerts.

  • Tuesday June 20th, 7:30 pm – Cellist Brian Thornton is joined by pianist Frank Huang presenting works by Nina Barzegar, Mina Arissian, Chopin, and Lev Aronson.
  • Friday June 23rd, 7:30 pm – The Galvin Cello Quartet – made up of virtuoso cellists from China, Brazil, South Korea, and the United States – brings together new works from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Sunday June 25th, 7:30 pm – Violinist Cho-Liang Lin returns to Cincinnati for this performance with Olga Dubossarskaya Kaler, violin; Frank Huang, piano; and Alan Rafferty, cello, in a program of chamber music.
  • Friday June 30th, 7:30 pm – In Paris, City of Light, Olga Dubossarskaya Kaler, violin; Alan Rafferty, cello; Grigory Kalinovsky, violin; Vladimir Stoupel, piano; Sarah Kim, cello; Frank Huang, piano; Judith Ingolfsson, violin; and Melissa Kraut, cello come together to bring to life the music of Germaine Tailleferre, Bohuslav Martinů, César Franck, and W. A. Mozart.
  • Sunday July 2nd, 7:30 pm – The Duo Ingolfsson-Stoupel return to Ascent to open their program with the viola and violin Sonatas of Rebecca Clarke.  The second half features Johannes Brahms’ Sextet No. 2, in which the Duo is joined by Stefani Matsuo, violin; Paul Laraia, viola; Karla Donohew Perez, viola; Sarah Kim, cello, and Alan Rafferty, cello.
  • Wednesday July 5th, 7:30 pm – A Night in Spain will feature the music of Pablo de Sarasate, whose Navarra will be played by Ilya Kaler. Sarah Kim, cello; Melissa Kraut, cello; Alan Rafferty, cello; Judith Ingolfsson, violin; Paul Laraia, viola, and Karla Donohew Perez, violin will play Francisco Turina’s Quartet and Luigi Boccherini’s Fandango Quintet for Guitar and Strings, with guitarist Tom Garcia.
  • Friday July 30th, 7:30 pm – The Grammy winning Catalyst Quartet will make their Ascent debut with a program that will bring the 2023 Ascent Music Festival to a close, featuring a quartet by William Grant Still, a quintet by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor featuring Masumi Per Rostad, and the Ohio premiere of CQ Minute, a musical project featuring eleven new works, each ranging from one to two minutes duration.

Tickets on sale now, visit Event Brite to secure your Festival Pass or tickets for any individual concert.

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