Brian O'Donnell

Contributor to Around Cincinnati and Host of local special programs

Brian O’Donnell has been sharing his love of music on the radio since the early 1970’s. He is a true public radio renaissance man hosting classical music on 90.9 WGUC weekday mornings; contributing music and arts features for 91.7 WVXU’s Around Cincinnati program; and hosting Saturday Morning with Brian O’D on WNKU. Musicians, artists and community arts leaders regularly stop by to record interviews with Brian— from Jaime Laredo with the Linton Music Series, or J.R. Cassidy from the Northern Kentucky Symphony, to a curator of an exhibit at The Cincinnati Art Museum, or a soloist in town to perform with the CSO, his relaxed style puts everyone at ease and lets their story come through.

Listeners always ask “Do you like getting up that early?” His response, “Yes, I do, but I pay for it in the middle of the day, when I feel like a zombie. I love the early morning, whether I'm at work or not. Being up before almost everyone else gives you a different perspective on the day... and there's a certain solitude about it. It is much different than STAYING up until the wee hours, and I've done my share of that, as well.”

Ways to Connect

Phil Nuxhall is the official historian for Cincinnati’s Spring Grove Cemetery, the second largest in the country and the resting place for many famous local and national names. He’s written a book about some of the history of Spring Grove, Stories in the Grove, and Brian O’Donnell talks with him about some of those stories.

Local musician, producer and music studio owner Ric Hordinski spends a few minutes with our Brian O’Donnell to talk about his recent projects, including producing the latest projects for singer-songwriter David Wilcox and Ruthie Allen Lincoln. Wilcox’s album, blaze, is his 18th and features some well-known local musicians providing back-up.

The Bearcat Piano Festival is coming to the UC campus starting February 6 and will feature two weeks of performances, master classes and other activities, concluding with the popular Pianopalooza concert on February 16. Two of the area’s finest pianists and professors at the College Conservatory of Music, Awadagin Pratt and Michael Chertock, are in the studio with Brian O’Donnell to talk about this mid-winter piano celebration.

Cincinnati music icon Rob Fetters (The Bears, psychodots) has just released his latest solo project, Saint Ain’t, and he joins Brian O’Donnell to discuss the evolution of the album (several years in the making) as well as some of the musicians who joined him on the project.

The Cincinnati Arts Association will present the acclaimed California Guitar Trio in concert, in the intimate confines of their Jarson Kaplan Theater, on Thursday, October 3. John Harig from the CAA and opening act, local guitar wizard Ric Hordinski, join Brian O’Donnell to talk about the music of the trio and how much fun their live shows are.

Brian O’Donnell talks with Ron Kaplan from the National Aviation Hall of Fame about the recently announced class of famed aviators and astronauts and the October 4 induction ceremony. The Hall of Fame is located at the National Museum of the Air Force just up the road in Dayton, Ohio.

Local band Seabird

Aug 23, 2013

Local band Seabird recently performed at the Bunbury Music Festival, and will also be on the bill at this year’s MidPoint Music Festival. Brian O’Donnell welcomed Aaron and Ryan Morgan into the studio to talk about Seabird, their decision to leave the EMI label, and their recent Kickstarter campaign to fund a new CD.

You may recognize the name Andy Stein from his frequent appearances as guest musician on A Prairie Home Companion. He’s a talented and respected jazz violinist who will be doing three appearances next week with Cincinnati’s own Faux Frenchmen. Brian O’Donnell gets all the details from band member George Cunningham.

Local music legend and nightclub owner Bobby Mackey joins Brian O’Donnell to talk about a new exhibit at Devou Park’s Behringer Crawford Museum entitled Northern Kentucky Music Legends. The exhibit pays tribute to local musicians, composers and others who successfully spent their lives in the music business.

Covington’s Behringer Crawford Museum has a very special Music@BCM concert Thursday, July 18 when Cincinnati favorite The Bluebirds provide the tunes for the Bourbon ‘n Blues night.