When Cincinnati’s Steinkamp architectural firm, designers of many buildings for Thomas Emery’s Sons, designed the Mercantile Library reading room in 1903, their task was to create a room that would hold the collection as well as provide a meeting space for the Library’s many events. There was no brief to create an acoustically stunning performance hall. But they did. Accidentally. The Library has taken advantage of the splendid sound in the reading room over the years with Noon Music events, but the acoustic apotheosis happened this week when ConcertNova brought in eight violoncelli for a brilliant concert. Don’t take our word for the brilliance. Take Mary Ellen Hutton’s.
For the curious, the violin family is Italian. The founding member is the viola. A violin is a violin, or small viola. A bass viol is a violone, or big viola, and a cello is a violoncello or little big viola. Useful to know for Jeopardy.