Artistic Leadership

Louis Langrée, Music Director, Louise Dieterle Nippert & Louis Nippert Chair


Louis Langrée has been Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) since 2013 and Music Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center since 2003.

Langrée, known for imaginative programs, began his CSO tenure with Jennifer Higdon’s On a Wire with Eighth Blackbird, Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait, narrated by Maya Angelou and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Two of his recordings with the CSO were Grammy-nominated in the Best Orchestral Performance category: Transatlantic, with works by Varèse, Gershwin, and Stravinsky; and Concertos for Orchestra, featuring world premieres by Sebastian Currier, Thierry Escaich, and Zhou Tian. His Pelléas et Mélisande trilogy contrasted settings by Fauré, Debussy, and Schoenberg. A multi-season Beethoven Revolution cycle paired the symphonies with world premieres and 20th-century masterworks, culminating with a recreation of the legendary 1808 Akademie.

A regular presence at Lincoln Center since his 1998 debut, Langrée has conducted around 250 concerts and productions, including more than 50 Metropolitan Opera performances; has taught Juilliard School masterclasses; appeared with the CSO as part of Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series; and made his New York Philharmonic guest conducting debut in March, 2020. Langrée has raised the artistic profile and repertoire of the Festival Orchestra well beyond the classical period, from Lully to Magnus Lindberg.

An advocate for the music of our time, Langrée has conducted premieres by Julia Adolphe, Daníel Bjarnason, Anna Clyne, Jonathan Bailey Holland, David Lang, Nico Muhly, André Previn, Caroline Shaw, and Julia Wolfe among numerous others including, with the CSO, the world premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Symphony No. 6, the composer’s final opus. Among the many period-instrument ensembles he has worked with are the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Freiburg Baroque, Concerto Köln, and Orchestre des Champs-Elysées.

Louis Langrée has guest conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, and Leipzig Gewandhaus among others. In addition to the Met, he frequently conducts at the leading opera houses including the Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Bavarian Staatsoper, and at festivals including Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence, BBC Proms, Edinburgh International, and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

Langrée was previously music director of the Orchestre de Picardie, Opéra National de Lyon, Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, and chief conductor of the Camerata Salzburg. A native of Alsace, France, he is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

John Morris Russell, Pops Conductor, Louise Dieterle Nippert & Louis Nippert Chair


John Morris Russell, A.K.A. "JMR," has consistently won international praise for his extraordinary music-making and visionary leadership. This Ohio native is also Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina where his commitment has yielded a new level of artistic excellence. He has also served as the Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic since 2015. A popular guest conductor throughout the United States and Canada, he also holds the title of Conductor Laureate with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada, where he served as Music Director for eleven years.

With the Cincinnati Pops, JMR regularly leads sold-out performances at Cincinnati’s Music Hall. Additionally, he conducts the Pops at the Riverbend Music Center and in concerts throughout the Greater Cincinnati region and on tour.

JMR has collaborated with generations of great performers including the late Ray Charles and Rosemary Clooney, as well as Idina Menzel, Vince Gill, Branford Marsalis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Megan Hilty, Common, Cynthia Erivo, Amy Grant, Brian Wilson, Steve Martin, Katharine McPhee, Rhiannon Giddens, Rosanne Cash and Marvin Winans, among many others.

A sought-after guest conductor across the continent, John has conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Other recent engagements include the New York Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, among many other ensembles.


Damon Gupton, Pops Principal Guest Conductor


A native of Detroit, Michigan, Damon Gupton served as American Conducting Fellow of the Houston Symphony and held the post of assistant conductor of the Kansas City Symphony. His conducting appearances include the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Detroit Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, National Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Florida Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Princeton Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, NHK Orchestra of Tokyo, Orquesta Filarmonica de UNAM, Charlottesville Symphony, Brass Band of Battle Creek, New York University Steinhardt Orchestra, Kinhaven Music School Orchestra, Vermont Music Festival Orchestra, Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Orchestra and Sphinx Symphony as part of the 12th annual Sphinx Competition.  He led the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra on two national tours with performances at Carnegie Hall and conducted the finals of the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition. Musical collaborations include work with Marcus Miller, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Common, Leslie Odom Jr., Byron Stripling, Tony DeSare, The Midtown Men, Kenn Hicks, Kathleen Battle and Jamie Cullum.

Gupton received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Michigan, where he delivered the commencement address to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance in 2015. He studied conducting with David Zinman and Murry Sidlin at the Aspen Music Festival and with Leonard Slatkin at the National Conducting Institute. Awards include the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize and The Aspen Conducting Prize.  Mr.Gupton is the inaugural recipient of the Emerging Artist Award from the University of Michigan School of Music and Alumni Society, and is a winner of the Third International Eduardo Mata Conducting Competition.

Mr. Gupton has been featured as narrator in venues including the Cleveland Orchestra, Grand Teton Music Festival, Grant Park Music Festival, Houston Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Memphis Symphony, and on the the Videmus recording Fare Ye Well. He also narrated a concert version of Beethoven’s Fidelio with David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

An accomplished actor, Gupton graduated from the Drama Division of the Juilliard School. He has had roles in television, film, and on stage, including the Broadway production of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning Clybourne Park, the Ovation and LA Drama Critic’s Circle award winning Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Mark Taper Forum), Superior Donuts (The Geffen), Christina Anderson’s Inked Baby (Playwrights Horizons), Othello (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival), The Story (Public Theater), Meg’s New Friend (The Production Company), Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter (Arena Stage), True History and Real Adventures (The Vineyard Theatre), and Treason (Perry Street Theatre).  He also performed the title role of Academy Award-winner Eric Simonson’s Carter’s Way at Kansas City Repertory Theater. He received an AUDELCO nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Clybourne Park.

Gupton's television credits include series regular roles on Black Lightning, Criminal Minds, The Player, The Divide, Prime Suspect, and Deadline as well as guest or recurring appearances on Dirty John, Goliath, Bates Motel, The Newsroom, Suits, Empire, Rake, Law & Order, Law & Order Criminal Intent, Conviction, The Unusuals, Third Watch, Hack, and Drift.  He appeared in Damien Chazelle's Academy Award-winning films Whiplash and LaLa Land, as well asThis is Forty, The Last Airbender, Helen at Risk, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, Unfaithful, and The Loretta Claiborne Story.


Matthias Pintscher, CSO Creative Partner


Matthias Pintscher is the Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the world’s leading contemporary music ensemble founded by Pierre Boulez. From the 20/21 season, he begins a three-year appointment as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s new Creative Partner. Known equally as one of today’s foremost composers, Mr. Pintscher conducted the premiere of his new work for baritone, chorus, and orchestra, performed by Georg Nigl and the Chorus and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks at their Musica Viva festival in February 2020. In summer 2020, Mr. Pintscher also serves as Music Director of the 74th Ojai Music Festival. 

In the 19/20 season, Matthias Pintscher makes debuts with the symphony orchestras of Montreal, Baltimore, Houston, and Pittsburgh. He also makes his debut at the Vienna State Opera conducting the premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s new opera Orlando, and returns to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin to conduct performances of Beat Furrer’s Violetter Schnee, which he premiered in January 2019. Re-invitations this season include the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Pintscher tours extensively with the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Europe, Asia, and the United States, in addition to a robust concert season in Paris.

Matthias Pintscher began his musical training in conducting, studying with Pierre Boulez and Peter Eötvös in his early twenties, during which time composing soon took a more prominent role in his life. He rapidly gained critical acclaim in both areas of activity, and continues to compose in addition to his conducting career. As a composer, Mr. Pintscher's music is championed by some of today's finest performing artists, orchestras, and conductors. His works have been performed by such orchestras as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris, among many others. Bärenreiter is his exclusive publisher, and recordings of his compositions can be found on Kairos, EMI, Teldec, Wergo, and Winter & Winter. Mr. Pintscher has been on the composition faculty of the Juilliard School since 2014.

François López-Ferrer, Assistant Conductor, Ashley and Barbara Ford Chair Assistant Conductor


François López-Ferrer will provide artistic support to CSO Music Director Louis Langrée and May Festival Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena as Assistant Conductor throughout all rehearsals and performances. He will also conduct the CSO Young Peoples Concerts which reach over 17,000 students and teachers. 

The Spanish-American conductor returns to Cincinnati with a formidable musical legacy; his father, the late Jesús López-Cobos, served as Music Director of the CSO from 1986 to 2001 and as Music Director Emeritus until his passing in 2018. His son, López-Ferrer, grew up in Cincinnati, attended the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), and maintains ties to the local music community. He founded Ensemble Vita, composed of fellow students from CCM, and led concerts throughout the Cincinnati area with innovative programming spanning Baroque through 21st-century repertoire. In 2012 he co-founded the Queen City Chamber Opera in Cincinnati, specializing in rarely performed operatic works created by well-known composers presented in non-traditional spaces.

López-Ferrer recently garnered international attention following a critically acclaimed debut with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, filling in for Iván Fischer and conducting alongside Sir Simon Rattle and Gabor Takács-Nagy at the 2018 Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

López-Ferrer is currently in his second season as associate conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Chile (OSNC). He also serves as principal conductor of the Ballet Nacional Chileno. With the OSNC, López-Ferrer conducted numerous subscription and educational concerts, as well as Coopeuch’s “Sembrando Cultura” tour, reaching approximately 30,000 people.

López-Ferrer holds a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne, under the tutelage of professor Aurélien Azan Zielinski, and a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where his teachers included Joel Hoffman, Miguel Roig-Francolí, and Michael Fiday. Since 2009 he has been a student and protégé of Conductor Leonid Grin. As a composer, López-Ferrer participated in master classes with Leonardo Balada, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski and Jack Body.

Wilbur Lin, Assistant Conductor


Wilbur Lin will begin his tenure with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra as Assistant Conductor. He will also serve as Conductor for the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra (CSYO) Philharmonic, an ensemble of the region’s top high school age musicians. In this role, Lin will be both conductor and artistic leader of the CSYO Philharmonic.

Lin began his musical education at the age of five. In 2008, the Taiwanese-American conductor founded a student orchestra, the Chamber Philharmonic Taipei, which is now a professional chamber orchestra with an active annual summer season funded by both the Arts Council of Taipei and the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture.

Lin briefly worked as assistant conductor at Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Taiwan Symphony orchestras. He regularly works with Chamber Philharmonic Taipei and has conducted the Manchester Camerata, MAV Symphony Orchestra (Budapest), Taipei Philharmonic, Taiwan Symphony, Orquestra de Cadaqués (Spain), Missouri Symphony, and Windsor Symphony (Canada) orchestras. As a pianist, Lin coached and performed with the Indianapolis Opera, IU Opera Theater, and Reimagining Opera for Kids, in addition to his freelance work as a vocal coach and collaborator.

A recent graduate of Riccardo Muti's Italian Opera Academy, Lin's recent highlights include conducting Verdi’s Macbeth at Teatro Alighieri (Ravenna, Italy), Die Zauberflöte with the Winter Harbor Festival & Opera (Winter Harbor, Maine), and an appearance with Canada's Windsor Symphony Orchestra, guest conducting El Salvador's National Youth Orchestra, and the conclusion of Chamber Philharmonic Taipei's seventh concert in its Bach Cantata Series.

Lin held the position of Lord Rhodes Scholar from 2013 to 2014, was a two-time recipient of Mortimer Furber Prize for Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), and is a doctoral candidate (ABD) at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Lin has studied with Arthur Fagen and David Effron at IU, Clark Rundell and Mark Heron at RNCM, and Apo Hsu at National Taiwan Normal University. He has also received conducting coaching with Riccardo Muti, Sir Mark Elder, Vasily Petrenko, Juanjo Mena, Jac van Steen, Mark Stringer, Paul McCreesh, and Helmuth Rilling.

Explore the CSO's History

Explore the rich history and artistic leadership of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.