Best Of 2022

Best Guest Appearances at a (Live) Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Concert

In retrospect, September may have been a little early for Bryce Dessner’s MusicNOW Festival to return to Cincinnati for the first time since 2018. The pandemic was still with us. That could have been the reason for the small crowds, but great music has a way of rising above adversity. As part of the two-day event, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Louis Langrée accompanied the brilliant Sō Percussion group during an at-times wildly propulsive composition that, at one point, had the hip rhythmists clanging on garbage cans while the orchestra responded with fervor (The piece also had Sō Percussion making music with twigs and wine bottles). The piece was 2013’s “man made” by the esteemed David Lang, and it is increasingly popular with orchestras. Here’s hoping that Sō Percussion returns to bang on our cans every year. Separately, the trio Bonny Light Horseman — featuring Anaïs Mitchell, Josh Kaufman and Eric D. Johnson — played hauntingly ruminative songs drawn from traditional folk balladry while accompanied by the CSO’s playing of lovely arrangements written by Dessner. Long applause and standing ovations followed both sets.