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ChamberPalooza 2023

Saturday, October 14, 2023 | 12 noon - 4:00 pm | FREE!

Save the date for our next ChamberPalooza at the Cincinnati Art Museum: a whole afternoon of chamber music featuring a variety of musicians from around the Greater Cincinnati area! This year we will be featuring two world premieres: “Powerful Impressions”, for flute and piano, by Jeanine Yeager (commissioned by the Chamber Music Network), performed by Sonya Szabo Reynolds, piano, and Gretchen Germann, flute; and “Sometimes It Happens So”, a song cycle for baritone and piano, music by Kile Smith based on poems by Jane Flanders, performed by Sonya Szabo Reynolds, piano, and Ben Flanders, baritone.

The song cycle “Sometimes It Happens So” takes it’s title from the final line of Jane Flanders’ poem “The Origin of Romanticism”. It speaks to tragedy and hope and a future that may or may not be inevitable. The first song “Blue Lobster”, performed at the 2021 Cincinnati SongSlam, was the first collaboration of composer Kile Smith and the late Jane Flanders’ twin children, Ben and Nell Flanders.

A note from Ben and Nell Flanders:

Working with a wonderful composer like Kile to bring a new song cycle into the world is an amazing endeavor at any time, but the chance to take these poems which are so near and dear, and to re-experience our mother’s poetry, and her life as an artist which was such a foundational element in our childhood and throughout our lives, was a profoundly moving experience. Our parents Jane and Steven Flanders met in college at Haverford and Haverford’s sister school Bryn Mawr. The premiere performance of “Sometimes It Happens So” was to be at Bryn Mawr college during the combined Haverford/Bryn Mawr 60th class reunion with Ben Flanders-baritone and Nell Flanders-piano. Unfortunately, due to COVID, that performance had to be cancelled, then Nell moved across the country, and the song cycle remained unperformed. Many thanks to Chamberpalooza and Sonya Szabo-Reynolds for supporting the world premiere of “Sometimes It Happens So”.

Jane Flanders (March 26, 1940 – April 12, 2001) was an American poet. She was the author of three books of poetry and three posthumous volumes. Winner of the Discovery/The Nation Award, the Juniper Prize, and the Pushcart Prize three times, among many other awards, she was the Elliston Poet in Residence at the University of Cincinnati in 1991. Her work appeared in The Atlantic, Chelsea, Commonweal, The Massachusetts Review, The Nation, New England Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Poetry, and other periodicals.

The music of Kile Smith has received three Grammy nominations and is hailed nationally and internationally for its strong voice, sheer beauty, and “profoundly direct emotional appeal.” Leading choral conductor Craig Hella Johnson has called Kile “one of our most important composers ... his voice is unlike any other. Utterly unique.” He has been commissioned by The Crossing, Conspirare, Piffaro, Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Chor Leoni, William Ferris Chorale, Helena Symphony, Lyric Fest, Westminster Choir College, Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania and iSing Girlchoirs, Choral Arts Washington (DC), Choral Arts Philadelphia, Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, Gaudete Brass, and many others. Kile’s first opera, The Book of Job, co-commissioned by Conspirare and The Crossing, premieres in Austin and Philadelphia to be announced. Two scenes from his second opera Nirākār premiered in Chicago in March 2023.


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