Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's New 'Look Around' Event - Cincinnati Articles

Music Hall and Washington Park from Above
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Composer, Vocalist and Instrumentalist Shara Nova
Cincinnati Performance Poet, Siri Imani
Cincinnati Music Hall

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's New Project 'Look Around' Coming to Washington Park

Published May 20, 2019
Updated May 24, 2019

By: Kirsten E. Silven

When the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced its impressive 2019-2020 season lineup, it became immediately apparent that the orchestra’s 125th year will be a very special one! Featuring a diverse array of musical offerings and guest artists that is nothing if not extraordinary, the introduction of late-summer outdoor extravaganza “Look Around” in Washington Park promises to be one of the season’s main highlights.

The Cincinnati Symphony Schedule 2019 Looks Fantastic!

Scheduled for August 3rd and inspired by the native northern mockingbird’s ability to listen and learn from others, CSO’s Look Around asks us to contemplate how we can better see both one another and our city. If it sounds a bit like the orchestra’s high-tech light-and-sound show Lumenocity at first glance, that’s because the timing and location are similar, but the two events are actually quite different.

“This is not Lumenocity,” stated Nate Bachhuber, who serves as Director of Artistic Planning and Administration for the orchestra and the May Festival. “It’s not that this is going to be any less spectacular. It’s just that none of us are looking to recreate Lumenocity.”

Although the piece is still evolving, it will celebrate the orchestra’s notable anniversary season in grand style with an event that is much larger and more loosely organized than anything that could be held indoors. Encompassing areas both in and around Washington Park, Look Around is being shaped by a team of adventurous artists and the CSO will also perform.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Musicians Promise Unforgettable Performances!

Shara Nova, who records as “My Brightest Diamond,” is a composer, vocalist and instrumentalist who is known for her willingness to engage in various types of musical experimentation. She is joined by Cincinnati’s own performance poet Siri Imani - whose poem, entitled “Lost Generation,” actually inspired the “Look Around” name - and by New York-based director, designer, filmmaker, choreographer and performer Mark DeChiazza.

Shara Nova has also recruited more than two dozen other local groups to serve as co-collaborators, including African dance group Bi-Okoto, the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, the Cincinnati Korean-American Chorale, Cincinnati Youth Choir Bel Canto, hip-hop performer Napoleon Maddox, the May Festival Chorus, Muse, the University of Cincinnati brass and percussion ensembles, Pride Cincinnati, the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition and Pones, Inc., to name only a few!

“I’m not creating this event,” Bachhuber told “I’m just a conduit. We’ve brought together all of these groups - there will be several hundred people before we’re done - and now it’s important to let these artists do what they do. They create.”

Other highlights from the CSO’s Look Around event will include a musical meditation, a celebratory parade and a variety of unique musical performances designed to inspire co-creation. This truly one-of-a-kind musical event will extend from Washington Park in front of Cincinnati Music Hall, through OTR to Ziegler Park. Perhaps best of all, no tickets are required - how you wish to experience the event is totally up to you!

And for all of us here in Cincinnati, the CSO’s Look Around promises to be a fantastic opportunity for us to become familiar with all of these diverse groups, while also providing the artists a chance to perform for and work with many different people and groups.

Call 513-621-1919 or email for more information!


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