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

Possibly a first for Around Cincinnati: our interview with local author and Vietnam veteran Rod Jordan has a surprise ending. His book, Welcome to the Nam, talks about his time in country as a grunt in the Marines and how the death and devastation he witnessed has stuck with him his entire life. Brian O’Donnell talks with the author about why he finally decided to write the book, and sets up the final surprise.

The Cincinnati Pops kick off their 30th summer at Riverbend on Saturday, June 7 with a program called Pops Orchestral Spectacular. Conductor John Morris Russell previews that and the full summer schedule in a conversation with our Brian O’Donnell.

He’s been a conductor in the Greater Cincinnati area for 50 years. Currently he is music director for the Cincinnati Ballet, the Middletown (OH) Symphony and Conductor Laureate of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. He’s Carmon DeLeone and his half-century will be feted on May 22 at The Carnegie with special guest, Broadway veteran and Covington native Lee Roy Reams. Brian O’Donnell speaks with the maestro about his long career and his unending love of music.

Music legend and former Cincinnati resident Peter Frampton is coming back to town for a concert appearance at the Horseshoe Casino on June 22. He’s on the phone with our Brian O’Donnell to talk about the tour with the Doobie Brothers, the upcoming release of the music he wrote for the Cincinnati Ballet, and a new Humble Pie box set.

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.

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