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Taft FAQ


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The Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra and May Festival will perform at the historic Taft Theatre in 2016-17 while Music Hall is under construction.

1/15/2016


These questions and answers are about the Taft Theatre Transition for the CSO/POPS & May Festival Chorus.  For information on Music Hall renovations, please see the Music Hall FAQ.

MUSIC HALL FAQ

 

*= New Information!


What if I cannot subscribe/attend the 2016-17 Taft Theatre season?

We encourage you to maintain your support through the 2016-17 season in order to maintain your seating priority in the renovated Music Hall upon our return in the 2017-18 season. For May Festival subscribers, this also rings true for subscribing to the 2016 and 2017 Festivals in order to maintain seating priority for the 2018 May Festival in renovated Music Hall. If you cannot attend concerts at the Taft Theatre for any reason, please consider renewing your subscription (season tickets) for the 2016-17 season and donating them back to the CSO/Pops/May Festival for a tax credit. We will work to ensure that the donated tickets are used to help bring underserved and underrepresented concertgoers from our community into the hall.

 

What will happen if I lapse and come back?

Our loyal subscribers and donors will receive seating priority in the Taft Theatre and the renovated Music Hall, with further emphasis on length of tenure, frequency of attendance and overall level of investment. Subscribers will maintain this seating priority as long as they continuously subscribe to the 2015-16 Music Hall and 2016-17 Taft Theatre seasons.

Your support in helping maintain and grow the Orchestra and Chorus is vitally important during this transition. Thank you for your continued support and attendance—your support has always been crucial, especially now.

If you cannot attend concerts at the Taft Theatre for any reason, please consider renewing your subscription for the 2016-2017 season and donating tickets back to the CSO/Pops for a tax credit.

 

Where do Thursday evening dinners take place?

Thursday evening dinners will take place at the Masonic Center, conveniently located directly next door to the Taft Theatre. Look for more details at cincinnatisymphony.org/thursday

 

How and why was the Taft Theatre selected as the performance venue for the 2016-17 season?

In order to select a venue for the season away from Music Hall, the CSO undertook a comprehensive analysis of all possible options. We selected the Taft Theatre because of its wonderful historic characteristics, including its neo-classical/art deco architecture, its history as a performance venue for important classical artists (Vladimir Horowitz, Sergei Rachmaninoff and other legends have performed recitals here), and its proximity to downtown amenities and to Music Hall. Also importantly, this was the only venue the CSO could obtain for its entire season, ensuring that we had a “home away from home” for the full slate of fantastic concerts we are planning for the 2016-17 season.

 

Does the entire Orchestra fit on the stage of the Taft Theatre?

Yes, they do! You will enjoy the full orchestral experience at the Taft, including treasured works such as Stravinsky's Firebird and Shostakovich 5. You can also look forward to unique programs whose intimate sounds would be lost in a larger venue. 

 

How are the acoustics at the Taft Theatre?

Did you know that classical greats Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vladimir Horowitz and Fritz Kreisler performed recitals at the Taft? The Taft Theatre will offer a fantastic and intimate concert experience. The CSO is has worked with acousticians on the Orchestra’s setup in the Taft to ensure an optimal concert experience.

 

*What is your recommendation for the best 'sounding' seat, no matter what level?"

The world-class acousticians from Akustiks, who are also engaged on the Music Hall renovation project, consulted on the custom acoustical shell and cloud system that has recently been installed in the Taft Theatre, to ensure a rewarding listening experience. Just like in Music Hall, the best seats are a matter of opinion. There are no "side" seats like you would find in Music Hall (side Balcony, side Gallery)—all seats at the Taft Theatre are more like being situated in the center of Music Hall. You will also find that seats in the Taft Balcony are in closer proximity to the stage than the Music Hall center Balcony seats are, leading to what Pops Conductor John Morris Russell has called, "an excellent sound and a real presence." Watch a video interview with CSO Cellist Ted Nelson and Akustiks Principal Paul Scarbrough for more details on acoustics at the Taft Theatre below.

 

Will my seat at the Taft exactly match my seat at Music Hall?

To ensure that we would be able to maintain price accessibility, we wanted to be able to carry over all price levels that currently exist in Music Hall, even though the Taft Theatre is 34% smaller. Due to seating configurations being quite different in the Taft Theatre (e.g., 1/3-fewer seats and only one balcony at the Taft), for some subscribers, the assigned equivalent seating in the Taft will not exactly match their current Music Hall seating locations. While some seats at the Taft Theatre are further from the stage than the equivalent seats at Music Hall, in many cases they will provide a view of a much larger percentage of the stage.

 

We require first floor seating in the Taft Theatre. Will we still have access to our regular Balcony seats at Music Hall when we return?

When the Orchestra returns to Music Hall, we plan to overlay your "old Music Hall" seats into the "new Music Hall" floor plan to identify the best match with what each patron is accustomed to. If your ultimate preference is Balcony or Gallery seats upon our return to Music Hall, we can note this in your account now (just email us at sales@cincinnatisymphony.org), or you can let us know at the time of your subscription renewal. Seating priority in the renovated Music Hall will be awarded to continuous subscribers.

 

Where will my seats be in the new Music Hall?

The seating configuration for the renovated hall has not been finalized. We are working closely with theatre planning consultants and acousticians on the best seating arrangement to provide optimal comfort and listening experiences for our audiences. As always, we remain committed to maintaining an accessible starting price in the Taft season and upon our return to Music Hall. As single ticket prices vary from concert-to-concert based on demand, as always, the best way to ensure access to the best seats at the best prices is to continue to subscribe.

 

Will there still be obstructed seats, at a reduced cost?

One great feature of the Taft Theatre is that there are no poles in the auditorium to obstruct your view to the stage. Sightlines in this 2,259-seat theatre are tremendous from all areas.

However, we are committed to price accessibility, including maintaining low starting prices ($12 for CSO, $25 for Pops subscription performances).

 

What is the seating capacity at the Taft Theatre?

The Taft Theatre has 2,259 seats, which compares to 3,417 at Music Hall. The Taft Theatre is still right-sized for most CSO and Pops performances, and where excess demand warrants, we are seeking to add performances as schedules allow. However, some shows will still sell out, just as they do in Music Hall.

 

Who owns and manages the Taft Theatre?

The Taft Theatre is owned by the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and managed by Music and Event Management, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CSO.

 

What was updated during the Taft’s recent renovation?

As part of a $3 million renovation in 2011, the CSO integrated 21st century comfort while returning the historic ambience and character of this 83-year-old structure and gem of Cincinnati. The renovation included: brand-new custom seating; the addition of air conditioning; fully renovated restroom facilities that tripled the women’s restroom capacity and doubled the men’s capacity. We look forward to sharing this historic gem of Cincinnati with you during the 2016-17 season!

 

Will the Children’s Theater of Cincinnati’s performances be impacted at the Taft Theatre when the Orchestra and May Festival perform there in 2016-17?

The Children’s Theater is a vibrant resident company of that historic venue and will perform its full, uninterrupted season at the Taft in 2016-17.

 

What is the parking situation at the Taft Theatre?

Good news! There are 35,000 parking spots at over 100 parking garages and lots within a short walking distance to the Taft Theatre; several of these garages are within 1-2 blocks. (To view a parking map by Downtown Cincinnati Inc., click here and zoom in.) 

Subscribers park for FREE at the Queen City Square Garage, one short block from the Taft Theatre, compliments of Western & Southern Financial Group. (We also recommend this garage for all evening/weekend concertgoers.) Friday morning subscribers will receive a convenient park-and-ride shuttle solution from the Town Center (CET) Garage behind Music Hall! Click here or see your renewal packet for more details. 

 

Is downtown Cincinnati safe and secure? 

Our partners at Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI) work diligently to ensure that downtown is safe, clean and friendly. DCI plans to staff up their “Downtown Ambassadors” around CSO and Pops performances, the same way they do with the Aronoff Theatre a few blocks away. Ambassadors are trained in public safety and can assist audience members with directions. Read more about the Ambassadors here: http://www.downtowncincinnati.com/about-us/safe-clean-friendly.

 

Is the Taft Theatre handicap accessible?

The CSO staff is working on several measures to make the Taft Theatre experience as accessible as possible. The CSO sales team will work to ensure that subscribers and other patrons who require main floor seating are accommodated.

 

How many steps are there to the Taft Theatre Balcony?"

There is only one balcony at the Taft Theatre, and there are 24 steps to reach it. There is no escalator or elevator to the Balcony level, so please reach out (if you have not already) so that our staff can make you comfortable on the Orchestra level.  sales@cincinnatisymphony.org | 513.381.3300

 

We require first floor seating in the Taft Theatre. Will we still have access to our regular Balcony seats at Music Hall when we return?

When the Orchestra returns to Music Hall, we plan to overlay your "old Music Hall" seats into the "new Music Hall" floor plan to identify the best match with what each patron is accustomed to. If your ultimate preference is Balcony or Gallery seats upon our return to Music Hall, we can note this in your account now (just email us at sales@cincinnatisymphony.org), or you can let us know at the time of your subscription renewal. Seating priority in the renovated Music Hall will be awarded to continuous subscribers.

 

How can I learn more?

You can submit questions or comments directly to the Music Hall Design Team by visiting http://www.3cdc.org/contact-us/.

If you have questions or comments for the Orchestra or May Festival related to the Music Hall project and 2016-17 Taft Theatre seasons, please direct them to updates@cincinnatisymphony.org.

For information on Music Hall renovations, please see the Music Hall FAQ.

MUSIC HALL FAQ