Staying with the same company for 40 years these days is a rarity. But Cincinnati Ballet Music Director Carmon DeLeone is an exceptional fellow, not to mention a cool, down-to-earth guy. Even he can hardly believe this season marks his 40-year anniversary with the organization. The Ballet’s Aronoff Center production of the all-ages favorite Peter Pan features DeLeone’s own Pulitzer Prize-nominated score; first composed in 1994, it’s gone on to be presented in Atlanta, London and beyond.
He says he never knows when or where the creative muse might strike: while driving, for example, causing him to pull into the nearest shopping center parking lot to jot some notes onto a piece of paper. Peter Pan’s theme was borne from an advertising jingle for Kings Island that never saw the light of day, but now it comes to life in Never-Never-Land. He might be best known as the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra’s conductor, but he’s also a huge Jazz fan and drummer. He mentions that he’s pals with Dave Brubeck, but the most fun fact revealed during our phone interview was that he played drums at King Records for none other than James Brown! “I’m a lucky guy,” he says. Friday-Sunday. $21-$73.