Cincinnati couple’s life passion: commissioning orchestral and chamber music

Posted on: March 23, 2018

“Some people collect classic cars. Others collect art or commission portraits. Ann and Harry Santen … commission classical music. And their collection keeps growing,” writes Janelle Gelfand in Monday’s (3/19) Cincinnati Business Courier (Ohio). “This spring, two of the couple’s commissions are being performed within three weeks of each other. On March 20, the Ariel Quartet is giving the regional premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison’s String Quartet No. 6 at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. And next month (April 14-15), the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will perform the world premiere of ‘Passage,’ by Pierre Jalbert…. ‘I just feel like I have a debt to classical music of our own time,’ says Ann Santen, who was music director and general manager of classical radio WGUC-FM from 1988 to 1996. ‘I don’t want it to become totally a museum art form.’ … She’s never counted up how many works they have commissioned, although she tallied 23 pieces for WGUC alone. They’ve commissioned music in honor of birthdays, anniversaries and retirements. Sometimes, they underwrite it by themselves. Often, it’s part of a joint project. Harbison’s Quartet was a co-commission with CCM, Tanglewood Music Center and others.”

Posted March 23, 2018