Welcome to May Festival 2022!

The 2022 Festival reflects the May Festival’s position as the longest continuously running choral festival in the western hemisphere by exploring works from the Americas, with both established and new voices telling our stories. And it closes with the ultimate expression of joy, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, in its full glory with chorus, soloists, orchestra and audience together again at Music Hall.

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View the 2022 Program Book


Tue May 3, 2022 | 12:10 pm

Tue May 10, 2022 | 12:10 pm

Tue May 17, 2022 | 12:10 pm

Tue May 24, 2022 | 12:10 pm

Discover the voice in everything—at lunchtime! Join the May Festival and artists from across our community as they celebrate singing in Cincinnati, all month long as part of Music Live at Lunch. This marks the 50th anniversary of downtown’s favorite lunchtime concert series at Christ Church Cathedral. Each performance is free and open to the public, and the perfect way to add singing to your day. Listen, relax and recharge—with song!


Fri May 20, 2022 | 7:30 pm

American composer John Adams leads his Messiah for the modern age, live at Music Hall. Interweaving biblical verse with poetry by Latin American writers, El Niño considers the Nativity story from a mother’s point of view. Described as “some of the most beautiful episodes I’ve ever heard in any of his music,” (BBC Radio), Adams’ work explores, in his words, “what is meant by a miracle.”


This concert is generously sponsored by the Wohlgemuth Herschede Foundation.


Sun May 22, 2022 | 2:00 pm

Part opera and part musical theater, Candide is Leonard Bernstein’s take on Voltaire’s satirical Enlightenment-era novella of the same name— rebellious, heartfelt and thoroughly entertaining. Austrian conductor Katharina Wincor makes her May Festival debut, leading the Chorus and the CSO in a concert version of Bernstein’s “wittiest and most thoroughly successful theater score,” (The New York Times).


This concert is generously sponsored by Trish and Rick Bryan.


Fri May 27, 2022 | 7:30 pm

The romance of South America comes to life as Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena leads a program of South American epics. Ginastera’s playful ballet music depicts a magical nighttime story, while the rhythmic energies of Villa-Lobos’ Chôros recall the raw power of his native Brazil. Venezuelan composer Antonio Estévez’s Cantata Criolla—sometimes called South America’s Carmina Burana—stars tenor and baritone soloists as a poet and the devil, in a singing contest.


This concert is generously sponsored by HORAN.


Sat May 28, 2022 | 7:30 pm

In Jessie Montgomery’s I Have Something to Say, voices sing, “We were blessed to be born, when many doors had been torn open for us to be free.” Her new work, inspired by influential women past and present, gives young voices a prominent space. Celebrations of justice ring through Beethoven’s early (and only) opera. Later in life, and nearly deaf, Beethoven tore through the silence composing his ultimate celebration of life—the Ode to Joy.


This concert is generously sponsored by Kathy and Craig Rambo.

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With concert packages starting for as little as $28, it’s easy to say ‘yes’ and look forward to inspirational and moving moments, plus sweet benefits to make your experience great.