Mission: To Seek and Share Inspiration


CODA | March 2016


Chris Pinelo


Two years ago I first posed the question in Fanfare Cincinnati, “What does it mean to be a place of experimentation?” At that time, the Orchestra was about to embark on our first MusicNOW Festival collaboration with Artistic Director Bryce Dessner. This bold experiment introduced the CSO to many new faces, and MusicNOW is returning to the CSO’s Boundless series for the third consecutive year this very month.

Being “A Place of Experimentation” is of course one of our organization’s core values and is reflected in many initiatives ranging from exciting collaborations to groundbreaking new concert experiences. This season alone we introduced the three-year “Pelleas Trilogy” with acclaimed artist James Darrah. Of the first program earlier this season with the theme of “smoke,” Janelle Gelfand wrote in the Enquirer, “If you were expecting something ethereal and abstract, it was a work of art like no other. It was dreamlike and evocative. The installation in Music Hall—translucent curtains hanging over the orchestra on which the images were projected—was a tour-de-force.”

The Pelleas Trilogy continues next season with a program at the Taft Theatre around the theme of “water.” Not to be missed.

We’ve also introduced several new works this season including the first of three new concertos for orchestra. Sebastian Currier’s FLEX, which received its world premiere on Nov. 19 and 21. In her Music in Cincinnati blog, Mary Ellyn Hutton described it as “eminently listenable,” saying that each movement was “marked by a distinctive structure and a wealth of color.”

There are two more brand new concertos for orchestra coming this season from acclaimed composers Thierry Escaich (May 6–7) and Zhou Tian (May 13–14), and live recordings of all three of these new concertos for orchestra will become the second major commercial recording of the CSO under the direction of Music Director Louis Langrée later this year.

In the meantime, another fantastic MusicNOW is this month, and you can find a detailed article about this incredible collaboration on page 12.