Oh why, oh why oh, did I leave Ohio?

Big news: I’m moving to Portland, OR to take the reins of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony.

This all happened super fast, at the behest of my friend and colleague Andrés Lopera who’s now going to be waving stick with the Colorado Symphony.

I’m pumped to be a west coaster after having been raised in the east and marinated in the midwest. And you know what? I’m actually going to miss Cincinnati, like, a lot, which is something I did NOT think I would say when I first got there.

And so, I now give you, the things I will most miss about Cincinnati, OH (not including people or institutions):

  1. Hearing my music on the radio every day. It literally never gets old.
  2. The almond croissant from Blue Oven Bakery, and, by extension, all of their baked goods, and Findlay Market as a whole.
  3. My vintage 1920’s apartment, and the Clifton Gaslight district generally. It’s like a page out of a 19th century story book, and among the most beautiful neighborhoods I’ve ever seen much less lived in.
  4. The grilled veggie sandwich at Salazar OTR, a lunchtime staple on double rehearsal days at the CSO.
  5. My commute down Central Parkway. You may think I am kidding, because who enjoys their commute, but I am 100% serious: and it’s a fun and windy road that few people seemed to take at the same time as me and it became a real pleasure once I grew acquainted with all of its twists and turns.
  6. The Tea of Wellness and the Walnut Green Tea at Coffee Emporium on Central Parkway.
  7. The garden at Iris Book Café, one of the truly hidden gems of the Over-the-Rhine district.

Honorable mention: the Pesto Tempeh Club at Picnic & Pantry, the Covington Basilica, Tiger Dumpling, playing tennis at UC (this would have made the list if not for the incessant sound of excerpts being practiced at CCM), Washington Park, and, honestly, a whole lot more.

But when you’re a musician, roving is the way of life; when you’re a conductor, it’s especially hard, because you really get involved and invested in a community and with the people who live there, and then you pick up and do it again somewhere else. I’m leaving many friends in Cincinnati and several artistic connections, but no family, nothing to really reel me back. But I’ll look forward to the next time I’m there, and I’ll try to find a substitute croissant in the meantime.