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Classical Music
Janelle Gelfand on the classical music scene

Janelle's pen has taken her to Japan, China, Carnegie Hall, Europe (twice), East and West Coasts, and Florida. In fact, Janelle was the first Enquirer reporter to report from Europe via e-mail -- in 1995.

Janelle began writing for the Cincinnati Enquirer as a stringer in 1991 while writing a Ph.D. dissertation in musicology at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She joined the Enquirer staff in 1993.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she graduated from Stanford University, Janelle has lived in Cincinnati for more than 30 years. In her free time, this pianist plays chamber music with her circle of musical friends in Cincinnati.

She covers the Cincinnati Symphony, May Festival and Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, chamber music ensembles, and as many recitals and events at CCM and NKU as possible.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Musical chairs

Confused about what's happened to your favorite symphony musicians, and who's sitting is which chair these days?

Here's news to alert Cincinnati Symphony fans about some key changes in the player lineup.

Jonathan Gunn has been named associate principal clarinet/E-flat clarinet. Gunn has been playing as acting associate principal since Aug. 2004. Previously, he was principal clarinet with the Fort Wayne Symphony, and also held posts with the Colorado and Wheeling symphonies, and the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra. He earned his music degrees from Rice University and Duquesne University.

Victor de Almeida has been named principal viola, effective this month. He succeeds longtime principal violist Marna Street, who will remain in the viola section. De Almeida comes to the CSO from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, where he was associate principal viola in 2005. Before that, he was principal viola of the Annapolis Symphony, and a regular sub with the Baltimore Symphony. He earned his degrees from the Peabody Institute of Music and was also an Aspen Music Festival Fellow.

Other new posts that have been announced: Jasmine Choi is the new associate principal flute, and Dwight Parry is sitting in the principal oboe chair.

Other moves: Donald Gibson, first violinist, has moved to the second violin section "by mutual agreement."

And new this fall, Alan Rafferty is performing a one-year appointment on cello.

In this weekend's concerts, Jeremy Moeller is filling in on second trombone and Bruce Hennis, formerly with the Houston Symphony and a horn teacher at Ohio State, is performing French horn.


at 9/15/2007 03:17:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It won't seem the same without Marna Street in that chair, and I can't imagine that it will sound the same, either. This is very sad news. There is no substitute for experience.

at 9/15/2007 08:39:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure it will be fine....Victor is a good, solid player, and he will do well, I'm sure. Best of luck to him and the rest of the orchestra!

at 9/16/2007 02:55:00 AM Anonymous CSO Observer said...

I heard them tonight.

The woodwinds and lower strings are simply unreal. Wow!

On the other hand, the low brass left something to be desired as intonation and disjointedness from the rest of orchestra was solid.

Paavo's inability to reach a musical climax was frustrating.

What's the news on Jennifer Monroe Collins? When will she ever be full time? She's a very good second to Winstead.

at 9/16/2007 09:27:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sad that the orchestra didn't make any public observation at all of Marna Street's many years of sublime musicianship in her position as principal violist, and simply bumped her to the second row without comment.

at 9/16/2007 09:57:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad for Victor .. but
a) To put Marna as 'Principal Emeritus' when she is still in her musical prime is more than a bad call. Anyone who heard her performance in the Colgrass piece early this spring (chamber music program, Memorial Hall) knows that she has the same technique and fire that she had when she played for the Juilliard Ensemble back in the 1970's .. plus her years of experience as one of a (lamentably few) women principal players has done nothing to diminish her talent
b) For management NOT to acknowledge her stepping down either at last week's Pops program or at this week's CSO show says a lot about their quality. Twenty eight years at the top of her field and no mention of her tireless service is nothing short of shameful.

at 9/16/2007 03:06:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely sentiments and understandable but for some ears it was time also I understand it was voluntary or at least by mutual agreement.

at 10/04/2007 07:34:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

a new principal violist was long overdue. Just because someone is in a position for a long time doesn't necessarily mean they deserve to be. I'm sure the new principal can only be an asset and the viola's are already sounding a 100% better.

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