Music in the Museum Organ Concert Series

The Winifred and Emil Barrows Music in the Museum Concert Series

The Winifred and Emil Barrows Music in the Museum Concert Series features the outstanding 1929 E.M. Skinner Concert Organ in the lush, reverberant acoustic of Cincinnati Museum Center's Rotunda. Our organ concerts feature orchestral selections transcribed for the organ and include voice and other musical instruments, much like concerts presented at the time that Union Terminal was constructed. If you're a music lover, this is an opportunity you can't afford to miss.

2015-2016 Series

Season Sponsor: Deupree Family Foundation in Memory of its Founder, Ann T. “Pinney” Deupree

All concerts start at 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 2, 2015

Isabelle Demers with Jonathan Gunn, Clarinet

Monday, Feb. 29, 2016

Benjamin Sheen with Randolph Bowman, Flute

Monday, April 18, 2016

Thomas Murray with the choir of Christ Church Cathedral and The Cincinnati Choral Society

Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Isabelle Demers with Jonathan Gunn, Clarinet

Isabelle Demers Jonathan Gunn

Isabelle Demers is rapidly becoming recognized as one of North America’s most virtuosic organists. A native of Québec, she is now Head of the Organ Program at Baylor University in Texas. She studied at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Montréal, spent a year in Paris at the École Normale de Paris-Alfred Cortot and she received her master’s and doctoral degrees from The Juilliard School. Her work has garnered such critical praise including: "one of the most outstanding events of the convention...," "she enchanted the entire audience with her virtuoso performance," leaving the entire congress in an atmosphere of "Demers fever," and "definitely a talent to watch, to hear."

Jonathan Gunn joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2004 and was appointed Principal Clarinet in 2014. He was Principal Clarinet of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Guest Principal Clarinet with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and played with the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh and Colorado Symphony orchestras. He has participated in numerous music festivals and has performed as a chamber musician regularly on the Linton Chamber Music Series, the CSO Chamber Players and Chamber Music at the Taft Museum.

Program: Harry Potter Suite, John Williams; Adagio in E Major, Frank Bridge; Chorale-Fantasy on Wachet Auf!, Max Reger; Sheherazade (4th movement), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; Symphonie Fantastique (4th & 5th movements), Hector Berlioz. For Clarinet and Organ: Clarinet Concerto in A Major (2nd movement), W. A. Mozart; Vocalise, Sergei Rachmaninov; Meditation (from 1st Organ Symphony), Charles Marie Widor.

Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Benjamin Sheen with Randolph Bowman, Flute

Benjamin Sheen Randolph Bowman

Benjamin Sheen, a recent Juilliard graduate, is one of the UK’s brightest young organists. Hailed as a "brilliant organist" by the New York Times, he is a First Prize winner of the Pierre S. du Pont Longwood Gardens Organ Competition, received Second Prize and the Jon Laukvik prize at the St. Alban’s International Organ Competition and is a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. He has performed throughout the UK, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, BBC radio and television and NPR’s Pipedreams. He is assistant organist at Saint Thomas Church, New York, NY.

Randolph Bowman, Principal Flutist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra since 1990, received his musical education at the New England Conservatory. He was a member of the famed Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, appearing with them regularly at Carnegie Hall and on frequent tours of major European capitals. He has performed as guest Principal Flutist with the Boston Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony.

Program: Finlandia, Jean Sibelius; Rhapsody No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Herbert Howells; Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, J. S. Bach; Overture to St. Paul, Felix Mendelssohn; Clair de Lune, David Briggs; In the South (Alassio), Edward Elgar. For Flute and Organ: Flute Sonata in A major (2nd and 3rd movements), J. S. Bach; Minuet and Dance of the Blessed Spirits, Christoph Willibald Gluck; Flute Sonata (2nd movement, Pan and the Birds), Jules Mouquet.

Monday, April 18, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Murray with the choir of Christ Church Cathedral and The Cincinnati Choral Society


Thomas Murray is an internationally acclaimed symphonic organist and is University Organist and Professor of Music at Yale University. He has performed extensively in North America and Europe, Japan, Australia and South America. Critics have praised his work, applauding his "consummate skill and artistry in treating the organ as a great orchestra" and stating "the shape of every phrase, the use of every color… could not be more perfect."

Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Stephan Casurella, Director, is a 32-voice mixed ensemble of auditioned choristers who maintain an intense schedule singing at liturgical observances year-round. The choir helps support congregational singing in worship and offers a range of choral literature.

The Cincinnati Choral Society, Phil Clary, Director, was founded in 1974 and offers audiences the opportunity to hear new choral works by contemporary composers as well as masterworks from the classical repertoire. They have performed in a variety of venues around Cincinnati and in some of the great concert halls of the U.S. and Europe.

Program: Holberg Suite, Edvard Grieg; Sonata #3, Josef Rheinberger; A Tribute to Duke Ellington, George Faxon; Pastorale and The Runner from The Hereford Variations, Op.22, Peter Berton; Suite for Organ, Op. 5, Maurice Duruflé. For Choir & Organ: Requiem (Introit & Kyrie), Maurice Duruflé; Like as the Hart, Herbert Howells; Cor mundum crea in me Deus, Howard Helvey; A New Song, James MacMillan.

2014-2015 Series

Monday, Oct. 27, 2014
Jean-Baptiste Robin with Romain Leleu, Trumpet

Monday, March 2, 2015
Nathan Laube with Stacey Rishoi, Mezzo Soprano

Monday, April 13, 2015
Chelsea Chen with Rick VanMatre, Soprano Saxophone

2013-2014 Series

Monday, Oct. 28, 2013
Isabelle Demers with the Xavier University Concert Choir, Matt Phelps, Director

Monday, March 3, 2014
Peter Richard Conte with Stacey Rishoi, Mezzo Soprano, and Brady Harrison, Timpani

Monday, April 28, 2014
Vincent Dubois with CSO Principal French Horn, Elizabeth Freimuth

2012-2013 Series

Monday, Nov. 5, 2012
Peter Richard Conte with Soprano Saxophonist, Rick Van Matre

Monday, March 4, 2013
Bruce Neswick with the CCM Chamber Choir, Earl Rivers, Director; and the CCM Brass Choir, Timothy Northcut, Director

Monday, April 29, 2013
David Briggs with CSO Principal Trumpet, Robert Sullivan

Frédéric Champion video

Watch a video from an April 2012 appearance at Cincinnati Museum Center by Frédéric Champion. Champion is the winner of the 2008 Canadian International Organ Competition and has performed organ music of the 16th through the 21st century as a solo organist and with orchestras and choirs around the world. Mr. Champion studied at the Conservatoire de Région in Lyon with Louis Robilliard, and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Mr. Champion has been heard on Radio-France, Austrian radio stations and Japanese TV/Radio broadcasts.


Buy Tickets

Tickets are $19 for adults and $9 for students beginning Sept. 1, 2015. Student price available only by phone or in person.


Tickets also will be on sale at Cincinnati Museum Center on the night of each concert. Reserved seating with subscriptions only.


Call 513-287-7001 for more information.



About Our Organ

You may have seen the console for our 1929 Grand E. M. Skinner Concert Organ near the OMNIMAX® Theater entrance. From 1987-2011, the organ was restored and installed in specially-designed organ chambers.

The organ is separated into "divisions," with certain sets of pipes located in each and played from one of the four keyboards or the pedal board. The divisions are hidden in rooms along the perimeter of the Rotunda, behind facades resembling ticket counters toward the back of the Rotunda. The recently completed Antiphonal division is located above the entrance to the Cincinnati History Museum. In total, the organ has nearly 5,000 pipes!

The Rotunda has a reverberation time of approximately five seconds and has been described by Cincinnati Enquirer classical music critic Janelle Gelfand as "an ideal environment for an organ."




“It’s great to hear the sound of this glorious instrument reverberating around the dome...such a range of expression I didn’t know was possible on an organ...what a wonderful evening this was!” - Donald Vroon, American Record Guide

“The Skinner instrument in Museum Center is of world class and, because of the acoustics, one of the truly greatest organs of the world.” - Charles Callahan, author of The American Classic Organ, composer and concert organist

"Everyone must experience this organ and this room. It's just amazing! This is a dream organ. It is the most poetic orchestral organ I've ever played." - Concert Organist Frédéric Champion

“This is a very rare world-class instrument. Its voicing and colors transcend all music you play on it, from Bach to the music of our century. Its lyricism and expressivity are in some ways as phenomenal as any great orchestra or great solo singer. I wish the people of Cincinnati knew that they have in their city one of most beautiful organs of North America.” - Vincent Dubois, Concert Organist & Director General of the Strasbourg National and Superior Conservatory of Music, Strasbourg, France

“Ernest M. Skinner is one of the greatest geniuses in the history of organ building. The organ in Cincinnati Museum Center is a masterpiece and one of my favorite in the world. I would just say that this orchestral organ is a gate to explore a new musical world and to deliver a message much more fascinating than anywhere else.” - Jean-Baptiste Robin, Concert Organist