Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which also performs as the Cincinnati Pops, is one of America’s finest and most versatile ensembles. With a determination for greatness and a rich tradition that dates back over 120 years, the internationally acclaimed CSO attracts the best musicians, artists and conductors from around the world to Cincinnati. With new commissions and groundbreaking initiatives like LUMENOCITY®, One City, One Symphony, The Pelléas Trilogy, and the MusicNOW Festival collaboration, the Orchestra is committed to being a place of experimentation.
Louis Langrée began his tenure as the CSO's 13th Music Director in the 2013 with a celebrated program The New York Times said “deftly combined nods to the orchestra's history, the city's musical life and new music.” Over the Orchestra's 123-year history, it has also been led by Leopold Stokowski, Eugène Ysaÿe, Fritz Reiner, Eugene Goossens, Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers, Jesús López-Cobos, and Paavo Järvi, among others.
A champion of new music, the Orchestra has given American premieres of works by such composers as Debussy, Ravel, Mahler and Bartók and has commissioned works that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire, including Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. The CSO was the first orchestra to be broadcast to a national radio audience (1921) and the third to record (1917). The Orchestra continues to commission new works and to program an impressive array of music. In recent years, the CSO has performed the world premieres by Nico Muhly's, David Lang's, Caroline Shaw's and Daniel Bjarnason as part of the groundbreaking collaboration with the MusicNOW Festival, as well world premiere from André Previn, Gunther Schuller, Michael Fiday, T. J. Cole, Jonathan Bailey Holland and Kristin Kuster. The Orchestra’s most recent commercial recording, Concertos for Orchestra, also features commissioned works by Sebastian Currier, Thierry Escaich and Zhou Tian.
The CSO was the first American orchestra to make a world tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and continues to tour domestically and internationally, most recently to Asia in March and a celebrated three-week European tour in August and September that included debuts at the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival and the Quincena Musical de San Sebastián. The CSO has performed at New York's Carnegie Hall 48 times since its debut there in 1917, most recently to rave reviews in May of 2014. In January of 2016, the Orchestra performed at New York’s Lincoln Center as part of the invitational Great Performers series.
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
The Cincinnati Pops, which also performs as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, is under the direction of John Morris Russell and presents a diverse array of musical styles, all bathed in the world-renowned “Cincinnati Sound.” The Pops was officially founded in 1977 with the late Erich Kunzel, and just since 1980, the Orchestra has sold ten million recordings around the globe.
The growing list of celebrated artists who have collaborated with the Pops include Ella Fitzgerald, Frederica von Stade, Doc Severinsen, Henry Mancini, Aretha Franklin, Mel Tormé, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Holliday, Vanessa Williams, Dave Brubeck, The Temptations, John Williams, Idina Menzel, Rosemary Clooney, Mandy Patinkin, George Takei, Arturo Sandoval, Peter Frampton, Boyz II Men, Bernadette Peters, Lea Salonga, Pink Martini, Megan Hilty, Rosanne Cash, Jason Alexander and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
The Pops tours nationally and internationally, recently performing in Beijing as part of the Opening Festivities of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. In 2005, the Pops completed a historic tour to China and Singapore performing in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The Cincinnati Pops was the first U.S. Pops orchestra to perform in China, and also has appeared to enthusiastic audiences in New York’s Carnegie Hall, in Washington D.C., Japan, Taiwan, and most recently across Florida.
An estimated 30 million people have viewed national telecasts of the Cincinnati Pops on PBS, and the Orchestra has more than 100 available recordings, 55 of which have appeared on the Billboard charts, a record unmatched by any other orchestra. The Pops’ Copland: Music of America won a Grammy in 1997, and four other Pops recordings have been nominated for Grammy Awards.
In 2012, the Pops released its first recording under John Morris Russell, Home for the Holidays, on the Orchestra’s own Fanfare Cincinnati label. Subsequent recordings Superheroes! and Carnival of the Animals reached #8 and #15, respectively, on the Billboard charts. The most recent Pops release, American Originals, received national critical and popular acclaim for its reimagining of the Stephen Foster songbook. In the spring of 2016, the Pops unveiled American Soundscapes, an online video series that features Pops performances captured live that has already reached tens of thousands of viewers around the world.
CSO Administrative Offices
1241 Elm Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
513.621.1919 | M-F 9am-5pm
Music Hall Box Office
1241 Elm Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
513.381.3300 | M-Sat. 10am-5pm
(Sat. 10am-2pm during summer)
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's brand new website is made possible through the support of:
Ohio Valley Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Agent
Marvin P. Kolodzik
Mrs. Thomas E. Davidson
For a history of Music Hall 1878 to present, visit the website of the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall.