Michael Chertock

Instrument: Keyboard

Education: BM and MM, University of Cincinnati

Hometown: Newport, Rhode Island

Neighborhood: Mason, OH

Musical/professional activities outside the CSO: Chair of the Piano Department at CCM and conductor of the Blue Ash/Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. Michael also serve as the organist at Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church and the associate artistic director of the Linton Chamber Music Series.


Hobbies/interests: Literature, History, Movie Scores and Astronomy.


What's on your current playlist: Classical: The Saint Matthew Passion, conducted by Otto Klemperer; Schubert sonatas performed by Mitsuko Uchida

Popular: anything feariring Maurice White of EW and F....or Michael MacDonald


Favorite musical quote:
Music heard so deeply

That it is not heard at all, but you are the music

While the music lasts.

—TS Eliot “The Four Quartets”


Where do you seek inspiration: Right here in Cincinnati:

  1. An 83-year-old Franciscan priest named Fr. Murray Bodo, who writes often about Saint Francis and lives in Over the Rhine, asked if I would be interested in setting some of his poems to music. We worked together on this much of the summer and it was a wonderful experience even though it was all online or on the phone.
  2. I am thrilled and grateful for how quickly the Cincinnati Symphony explored creative ways to bring musicians together, on the stage, rehearsing and broadcasting music. I am inspired by those who listen to the broadcast and share their generous comments.
  3. I am inspired by my students at CCM who while virtually locked in their apartments for months at a time, continued to practice hours a day on electronic keyboards lent to them by many other good people of Cincinnati including Milford High School.
  4. Cincinnati is indeed the Queen City and that would make the CSO and the Cincinnati Pops the Prince(s) of Orchestras. Rather than lock the princes in the tower, the leadership has explored every opportunity to keep the CSO and the people of Cincinnati connected.