Constella Festival Rethinks Classical Music


Classical music is cool. That’s what the organizers of Constella Festival hope to convey through their weeklong music, fine arts, and dance festival this month. “Our goal is to challenge misconceptions that classical music and fine arts are for an older, more sophisticated audience,” says Evan Sikes, director of operations at Constella Arts. How do they do it? Loads of variety, hip venues, and (yes!) affordable tickets.

March 9: Cincy
This year’s festival kicks off at 21c Museum Hotel with the premiere of Cincy, a 15-minute documentary film by Maestro director David Donnelly that explores Cincinnati’s cultural renaissance, past and present.

David Donnelly

Image courtesy Constella Festival

March 18: Everybody Loves Opera
In the acoustically immaculate Covenant First Presbyterian Church, soprano Jessica Rivera and tenor Scott Wyatt will perform an original set as well as crowd favorites from operas The Magic Flute and La Bohème.

Jessica Rivera

Image courtesy Constella Festival

March 19: Piano 2.0: Melding of Man & Machine
What happens when you mix a pianist, artificial intelligence, and cocktails? Dan Tepfer’s mind-blowing performance at New Riff Distillery, where he’ll improvise against his own instrument, which will respond in real time with its own compositions.

Dan Tepfer

Photograph by Josh Goleman

March 23: From Russia With Love
Constella founder and violinist Tatiana Berman will perform against the backdrop of intense, poetic video vignettes that tell “a compelling story of the historically rocky relationship between America and Russia,” Berman says. A fine arts exhibition will follow the performance.

Tatiana Berman

Image courtesy Constella Festival

March 24: Luminous Dance
Dance, music, and lasers collide in this performance featuring artists from the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, MamLuft&Co., and Constella’s own ensemble at The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Image courtesy Constella Festival

March 25: Duo Scofano/Minetti featuring Tatiana Berman and Jeff Greene
Expect Argentinian music and high energy at the festival’s finale at Gallery 708. Stick around after the concert for a traditional milonga—food, drinks, and tango dancing late into the night.

Duo Scofano/Minetti

Image courtesy Constella Festival

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