Paavo stays

Paavo Jarvi, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s music director, has signed a new contract that will keep him at the orchestra through 2011.

I’m a bit of a symphony nerd, have been a part of the CSO Encore! group (their YP component) for about three years and love going to a concert just about any chance I can get. Like this past weekend, which was the best choice of music, soloist (trumpet player Alison Balsom) I Jarvihave heard yet and the orchestra just sounded strong, vibrant – spectacular. If you like the symphony and were not there, you missed a really good one.

I am excited that Jarvi will be here for the time being. Big rumors had been circulating that he would be headed to someplace like Chicago. They like him up there a lot and people were very concerned he would get swept up and leave. Apparently not the case.

Jarvi is also great for this city, an asset not many realize. He has a warm personality and works hard to keep the symphony good and relevant. I think we will see much more of that in the years ahead.

Saturday evening I went the Corbett Tower in Music Hall after the concert to see my friend Deb Bell who used to work for the Symphony. She was in town to visit and it was GLBT night, something she started.

Jarvi came up and gave a nice, kind speech welcoming the GLBT community to Music Hall and telling them they are always welcome and an important part of the Symphony family. I thought it was very classy and exactly the kind of thing that makes us lucky to have him here. Very happy we’ll have more of that.

UPDATE: The Enquirer’s Janelle Gelfand has a story in today’s Enquirer and this on her blog. The Post’s Mary Ellen Hutton has a story, with a different perspective.

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

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