The Matinée Musicale Club began in 1911 when a group of Cincinnati women, all performing musicians, joined forces to present five public concerts that year and in 1912. In 1913 the club launched the Matinée Musicale Recital Series, engaging professional musicians from around the world.
Today Matinée Musicale Cincinnati is made up of active, professional and retired musicians, music teachers and other musical enthusiasts. For more than 100 seasons, these dedicated members have sustained a standard of musical excellence established by the club’s founders.
Matinée Musicale has played an important role in Cincinnati’s musical history. Thanks to the club’s efforts, the city, widely acknowledged as fertile ground for the performing arts, especially classical music, saw early performances by numerous instrumentalists and vocalists who became classical music stars.
In 1925, French pianist and composer Nadia Boulanger toured the United States, including a recital with Matinée Musicale. Subsequent seasons featured the rising careers of pianists Arthur Rubinstein (1938) and Claudio Arrau (1941). In 1955, three years before he won the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, 21-year-old Van Cliburn performed for Cincinnatians in a Matinée Musicale recital. In 1983, a recital featured violinist Joshua Bell, then 16. Today he’s one of the world’s great musicians.
That tradition continues in the 21st century. In April 2016, Matinée Musicale presented a solo recital by soprano Nadine Sierra. She won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Finals in 2009 at age 21, and she’s launched a memorable career at the Metropolitan Opera and many of the world’s other top opera houses.
Matinée Musical’s centennial season (2011-2012) honored the life and memory of Mrs. Louise D. Nippert, who presided over the club’s 72nd and 73rd seasons. She celebrated her 100th birthday in August 2011 and was the recipient of the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio in 2012. She passed away on July 22, 2012. Thanks to her generous bequest and support from many other philanthropists over the years, Matinée Musicale has a bright future.
Well into its second century of programming, Matinée Musicale is proud to continue presenting vocalists and instrumentalists destined to be the classical music stars of tomorrow.