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

Local folk-rock band Josh Eagle and the Harvest City will release their third CD on June 7 during a party at the Southgate House Revival. Josh Eagle joins Brian O’Donnell to talk about this CD and the release party, as well as the current make-up of the band.

June 2 is the final concert of the season for the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Conductor Mischa Santora and Executive Director Thom Mariner join Brian O’Donnell to talk about this special, patron-voted program.

Geoffrey Rossano is the award-winning editor of the acclaimed book Hero of the Angry Sky: The World War I Diary and Letters of David S. Ingalls, America's First Naval Ace. As Brian O’Donnell learns, David Ingalls had Cincinnati roots: his mother’s side of the family were Taft’s. Ingalls died in 1985, but this book traces his incredible naval career in his own words.

Joani Lacy, well-known local musician, has recently completed the third book of her Hollister House Trilogy, three stories of a fantastic journey through the Deep South, featuring romance, mysticism and more. She joins Brian O’Donnell to discuss and read from the final installment, The Witch and the Banyan Tree. She’ll be doing a signing on Saturday, May 11 at the Roebling Point Bookstore in Covington.

Local percussionist Dan Dorff recently released his newest effort, The Quiltbox Sessions, a record of vignettes and re-orchestrated classical piano works that he did with a multi-instrumentalist and composer named Ronnie Kuller. Brian O’Donnell welcomes Dan Dorff into the studio to talk about this collaboration and recording at The Monastery Studio in Walnut Hills.

Music great Peter Frampton is entering new territory – ballet! His music will be the focus of the next performances of the Cincinnati Ballet on April 26 and 27. In addition to some of his previously recorded music, he tells our Brian O’Donnell that he has written a brand new piece specifically for the ballet.

Despite all you may know about the history and towns of Ohio, local author Randy McNutt is sure to surprise you with facts about long-forgotten battlefields, stagecoach inns and more in his new book, Finding Utopia: Another Journey into Lost Ohio. This is the third in his series of fascinating Ohio books, and he’s in the studio with Brian O’Donnell to talk about his newest.

Next year’s Cincinnati Pops season will run the gamut from favorite standards to space, Broadway and more. And as Conductor John Morris Russell tells our Brian O’Donnell, some of the guest stars include the iconic George Takei and star of “Smash,” Megan Hilty.

If you’ve been playing guitar for a couple of years and are ready to step up your skills and musicianship, then Ric Hordinski of monk is planning a week-long Wood and Wire Camp for you. These intensive weeks will take place at the Monastery Studio in Walnut Hills and will feature performing and song writing, as well as some evening concerts. Ric Hordinski joins Brian O’Donnell to share his goals for these camps, the first one happening in June.


Local musician Kim Taylor is on quite a roll. Her new, self-produced CD, Love’s a Dog, has just been released and the movie she co-starred in, I Used to be Darker, just appeared at the Sundance Film Festival. Somehow, she found the time to join Brian O’Donnell in the studio to talk about this whirlwind and where 2013 might take her next.


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