Commissions, Premieres, Tours & Recordings

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has a legacy of championing composers and music of its time and has given historic premieres of works that have become mainstays of the classical repertoire, including Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man.  

The CSO continues to actively commission new works and amplify new voices from a diverse array of backgrounds, most recently with the Fanfare Project, which commissioned a series of solo instrument works to be written for and performed by CSO musicians, to mark a moment in time during the Covid pandemic.

Through the commissioning of new music, international tours, digital broadcasts and recordings that have sold 10 million copies, the CSO has perpetuated the classical repertoire and garnered a global presence that rank it among the top orchestras in the world.

Commissions and Co-commissions under Louis Langrée by the following composers (through the end of the 22/23 season):

Julia Adolphe
Daníel Bjarnason
Christopher Cerrone
Enrico Chapela
TJ Cole
Guillaume Connesson
Emily Cooley
Sebastian Currier
Bryce Dessner
Thierry Escaich
Michael Fiday
Jennifer Higdon
Jonathan Bailey Holland
Pierre Jalbert
Nathalie Joachim
Allison Loggins-Hull
Kinds of Kings
Kristin P. Kuster
David Lang
Wynton Marsalis
Missy Mazzoli
Nico Muhly
Shara Nova
Gabriela Ortiz
Matthias Pintscher
André Previn
Christopher Rouse
Gunther Schuller
Caroline Shaw
Mark Simpson
Gabriella Smith
William Winstead
Julia Wolfe
Zhou Tian

View the Complete List of Commissions

Fanfare Projects
  • In the 1942-1943 season, the CSO and Music Director Eugene Goossens, commissioned 18 fanfares to salute an aspect of the World War II war efforts. Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man was among those commissioned. Other composers included:
    • Bernard Wagenaar, Deems Taylor, Walter Piston, Henry Cowell, Daniel Gregory Mason, Paul Creston, Darius Milhaud, William Grant Still, Virgil Thomson, Morton Gould, Leo Sowerby, Harl McDonald, Anis Fuleiham, Felix Borowski, Howard Hason, Eugene Goossens and Bernard Rogers.
  • In 2020, during the early days for the Covid-19 pandemic, the CSO launched the second Fanfare Project (View this Fanfare Project). The aim was to inspire and uplift, and to help make sense of this moment in our shared history through the universal language of music. Composers were commissioned to write short solo fanfares that musicians recorded from home and the CSO released via social media. Composers included:
    • Michael Abels, Samuel Adams, Marcos Balter, Daníel Bjarnason, Peter Boyer, Courtney Bryan, Bryce Dessner, Du Yun, Rhiannon Gidden, Ted Hearne, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Gabriel Kahane, Laura Karpman, Missy Mazzoli, Jeffery Mumford, Matthias Pintscher, Carlos Rafael Rivera, Caroline Shaw, Tyshawn Sorey and Georgia Stitt.
Premieres (List of U.S. & World Premieres)

The CSO has given over 300 U.S. and World Premieres. Notable premieres include:

  • U.S. Premiere of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5
  • U.S. Premiere of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 (during the May Festival)
  • U.S. Premiere of Richard Strauss’ Alpensinfonie
  • World Premiere of Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait & Fanfare for the Common Man

And notable premieres by composers such as:

  • Béla Bartók
  • Benjamin Britten
  • John Corigliano
  • George Crumb
  • Antonin Dvoƙák
  • Gian Carlo Menotti
  • Darius Milhaud
  • Arvo Pärt
  • Maurice Ravel
  • Ned Rorem
  • Gunther Schuller
  • Alexander Scriabin
  • William Grant Still
  • Virgil Thomson
  • Eugène Ysaÿe
  • Kurt Weill
  • One of only 16 full-time, salaried 52-week US orchestras
  • 90 full-time positions
  • No work stoppages since 1971
  • Three-year contract restores pre-pandemic salaries and provides additional 8% increase (Read more about this contract)
  • Resident orchestra for Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, and May Festival
  • 13 international tours and 22 national tours since 1990
  • Highlights: BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Austria, China, France, Germany, Japan, Jerusalem, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland
  • CSO and Pops have performed 57 programs at Carnegie Hall
  • In August 1966, the CSO was the first American orchestra to make a world tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
Recordings (List of All Recordings)
  • 242 commercial albums selling more than 10 million units
  • Eight GRAMMY Award nominations, and three wins
    • Won Best Surround Sound Album (2009) for Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, CSO conducted by Paavo Järvi
    • Won Best Engineered Album, Classical (2007) for Elgar: Enigma Variation; Britten: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Four Sea Interludes, CSO conducted by Paavo Järvi
    • Won Best Engineered Album, Classical (1998) for Copland: The Music of America, CPO conducted by Erich Kunzel
    • Nomination Best Orchestral Performance (2020) for Transatlantic, CSO conducted by Louis Langrée
    • Nomination Best Classical Compendium (2020) for American Originals: 1918, CPO conducted by John Morris Russell
    • Nomination Best Orchestral Performance (2018) and Best Contemporary Classical Composition (2018) for Concertos for Orchestra, CSO conducted by Louis Langrée
    • Nomination Best Orchestral Performance (2003) for Turina: Danzas Fantàsticas; Sonfonia Sevillana, Etc./Debussy: Iberia, CSO conducted by Jesús López-Cobos
    • Nomination Best Spoken Word Album (1987) for Aaron Copland: Lincoln Portrait and other works (Katharine Hepburn, speaker)