“There’s a wonderful inevitability about the return of the May Festival every year,” writes David Lyman in Friday’s (5/11) Cincinnati Enquirer (OH). “But there is also an unusual sense of change enveloping this year’s May Festival. There is a new principal conductor, Juanjo Mena…. Inevitably, he will change North America’s longest-running choral music festival. It won’t be fast or radical. But as with all of those who came before him, he will have a decidedly individual take on music that he wants to share. There is already a hint of it…. There is Gabrieli’s ‘Magnificat’—a Mena favorite—and the North American premiere of James MacMillan’s ‘Credo.’ Mena conducted the world premiere of the piece with the BBC Philharmonic…. Korean conductor Eun-Sun Kim … a rising star who conducts with some regularity at the Royal Opera Stockholm, Staatsoper Berlin and the Oper Frankfurt … will be the first woman to conduct a May Festival performance in its 145-year history…. For many years, Kim worked with former Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra music director Jesús López-Cobos, who died in March. ‘He had a big impact on me,’ she says… ‘Even before I arrive, I understand what an honor it is to be invited to conduct the May Festival.’ ”

Posted May 16, 2018