Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Announce 2024-25 Season

Guest Artists to Include Joshua Bell with Larisa Martínez, Hilary Hahn, Conrad Tao, Béla Fleck, Randall Goosby, Gil Shaham, Anne Akiko Meyers, George Li, Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha and Simone Lamsma

Celebrated Works from the Symphonic Repertoire to Include Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, Handel’s Messiah, Mahler Symphony No. 1, Price’s Symphony No. 3, Respighi’s Pines of Rome, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade and More

CSO Principal Cello Ilya Finkelshteyn to Perform Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1 and CSO Principal Horn Elizabeth Freimuth to Perform Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 as Featured Soloists on CSO Subscription Programs

Cincinnati Pops Program Highlights Include Rick Steves’ Europe: A Symphonic Journey with High-Definition Cinematography, Holiday Pops Featuring Broadway Legend Norm Lewis, American Originals: Harlem Renaissance; and Mandy Gonzalez: La Vida Broadway, a Celebration of the Latine Voices of Broadway and More

CSO Residency at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in March 2025 to Include Educational Experiences Plus a CSO Concert Conducted by CSO Creative Partner Matthias Pintscher

Autism-Focused CSO Program to Be Curated and Led by Guest Conductor Jaap van Zweden April 2025

Two Interactive Lollipops Family Programs to Introduce the World of Orchestral Music to Young Audiences October 19 and February 1, Including a Sensory-Friendly Experience

Fifth Season of Live from Music Hall Digital Concert Series Continues to Expand Orchestra’s Global Reach Through Free Full-Length Concerts Livestreamed on the CSO YouTube Channel

View PDF Version    24/25 Annoucement Welcome Page

CINCINNATI, OH (March 5, 2024)—The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Cincinnati Pops have announced the 2024-25 season, highlighting the breadth and versatility of the Orchestra’s musicians. Over the course of the season, the Orchestra will perform concerts spanning celebrated works from the symphonic repertoire, Broadway, Hollywood, jazz, the Harlem Renaissance, plus sensory-friendly concerts designed for people on the autism spectrum. Under the guidance of CSO Creative Partner Matthias Pintscher, Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton, the season, enriched by featured artists like the Orchestra’s Principal Cello Ilya Finkelshteyn and Principal Horn Elizabeth Freimuth, extends its global influence with a residency at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and free Live from Music Hall digital concerts. The 2024-25 season also reprises the Orchestra’s recital series and will feature world-renowned artists Joshua Bell with Larisa Martínez, Hilary Hahn and Conrad Tao.

“If you step back and look at the totality of the Orchestra’s 129th season, there’s a lot of musical weight,” said CSO President & CEO Jonathan Martin. “We have programmed celebrated works from the repertoire and an illustrious array of guest artists, including our own Principal Cello Ilya Finkelshteyn and Principal Horn Elizabeth Freimuth on CSO subscription programs. Furthermore, next season, we extend the reach and impact of our entire ensemble through our residency at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and ongoing Live from Music Hall Digital Concert Series streamed to a global audience. It’s a season that showcases the versatility of our musicians and the wide array of programming that we provide the community. We invite everyone to join us.” 

CINCINNATI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

24/25 CSO Season    24/25 CSO Subscriptions

The 2024-25 CSO season will open with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Titan, kicking off a season that includes favorites from the symphonic repertoire, CSO principal musicians as featured soloists, and programming that extends the Orchestra’s service to the broader community and region.

CSO Subscription Programs
  • September 27 & 28, 2024: CSO Season Opener: Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Titan, led by guest conductor Dalia Stasevska. The program also includes Alberto Ginastera’s “Malambo” from Four Dances from Estancia and Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring Chopin Piano Competition winner Bruce Liu in his CSO debut.
  • October 4 & 5, 2024: Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3 led by guest conductor Thomas Wilkins. The program also includes Aaron Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue arranged and performed by multi-Grammy Award winner and American banjo player Béla Fleck. 
  • October 26 & 27, 2024: Jean Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1 led by guest conductor Ramón Tebar. The program also includes Wang Lu’s Surge and Camille Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3 featuring violinist Benjamin Beilman. 
  • November 8 & 9, 2024: Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9, in celebration of the composer’s 200th birthday, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 39 led by guest conductor Marek Janowski. This program is sponsored by Peter Landgren & Judith Schonbach Landgren. 
  • November 16 & 17, 2024: Marin Alsop conducts Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, Leningrad, written during the Nazi siege of Leningrad during World War II. The May Festival Chorus (Matthew Swanson, director) joins the CSO for Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Sung in Hebrew, Chichester Psalms is an ecumenical plea for peace.
  • November 22 & 23, 2024: Manuel de Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat, with mezzo-soprano Catalina Cuervo, led by guest conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto. The program also includes Gabriela Ortiz’s Téenek – Invenciones de Territorio, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 featuring Francesco Piemontesi.
  • December 6 & 7, 2024: Handel’s Messiah orchestrated and led by Sir Andrew Davis. Soprano Joélle Harvey, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, tenor Paul Groves, and bass John Relyea will be featured soloists and are joined by the May Festival Chorus. 
  • January 11 & 12, 2025: Copland’s Symphony No. 3 led by CSO Creative Partner Matthias Pintscher. The program also includes Unsuk Chin’s subito con forza and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 performed by pianist George Li. The concert will be repeated as part of the Orchestra’s residency at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in March 2025. 
  • January 24 & 25, 2025: Camille Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1, featuring CSO Principal Cello Ilya Finkelshteyn. Led by guest conductor Christian Reif, the program also includes Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute; a CSO co-commission by Jimmy López Bellido, inspired by Reif’s boundless love for his son Lukas and deep affection for Michael Ende’s beloved novel The Neverending Story; and Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 7. The López Bellido commission is made possible by Kari & Jon Ullman. 
  • January 31 & February 1, 2025: Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks and Horn Concerto No. 1, featuring CSO Principal Horn Elizabeth Freimuth, led by guest conductor Jun Märkl. The program also includes Claude Debussy’s Images.
  • February 8 & 9, 2025: Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 led by conductor Cristian Măcelaru. The program also includes Florence Price’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Ernest Chausson’s Poème featuring Randall Goosby. Wynton Marsalis’ “Southwestern Shakedown” from Blues Symphony completes the program.
  • February 14 & 15, 2025: Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 led by guest conductor John Storgårds. The program also includes Victoria Polevá’s Symphony No. 3, White Interment and Dvořák’s Violin Concerto featuring violinist Gil Shaham. 
  • March 8 & 9, 2025: Ottorino Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome led by guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. The program also includes Julia Perry’s A Short Piece for Orchestra and Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs featuring soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha.
  • March 28 & 29, 2025: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade led by former CSO Associate Conductor Keitaro Harada in his CSO subscription debut. Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers joins the program for Arturo Márquez’s Fandango, a work that was commissioned by Meyers.
  • April 5 & 6, 2025: Richard Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony led by guest conductor Sir Donald Runnicles. The program also includes Hamish MacCunn’s The Land of the Mountain and the Flood and Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto featuring violinist Maria Ioudenitch.
  • April 18 & 19, 2025: Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica, led by guest conductor Case Scaglione. The program also includes Lili Boulanger’s D’un matin du printemps and Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 featuring Simone Lamsma.
  • April 25 & 26, 2025: Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, Tragic, led by guest conductor Jaap van Zweden.
  • May 9 & 10, 2025: Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto featuring pianist and former MAC Music Innovator Michelle Cann and Edward “Duke” Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige led by Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton in his CSO debut. The program also includes Dvořák’s The Noon Witch, Igor Stravinsky’s Scherzo à la russe, and Arthur Honegger’s Pastorale d’été. Cann’s appearance is made possible by Dr. Lesley Gilbertson & Dr. William Hurford. 
CSO Featured Artists and Guest Conductors

The CSO season will feature an illustrious array of guest artists, including conductor Marin Alsop, violinist Benjamin Beilman, pianist and former MAC Music Innovator Michelle Cann, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano Catalina Cuervo, conductor Sir Andrew Davis, CSO Principal Cello Ilya Finkelshteyn, banjo player Béla Fleck, CSO Principal Horn Elizabeth Freimuth, violinist Randall Goosby, tenor Paul Groves, conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton, former CSO Associate Conductor Keitaro Harada, soprano Joélle Harvey, violinist Maria Ioudenitch, conductor Marek Janowski, violinist Simone Lamsma, pianist George Li, pianist Bruce Liu, conductor Cristian Măcelaru, conductor Jun Märkl, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, pianist Francesco Piemontesi, CSO Creative Partner and conductor Matthias Pintscher, conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, conductor Christian Reif, bass John Relyea, conductor Sir Donald Runnicles, conductor Case Scaglione, violinist Gil Shaham, conductor Dalia Stasevska, conductor John Storgårds, conductor Ramón Tebar, conductor Thomas Wilkins, conductor Jaap van Zweden, and the May Festival Chorus (Matthew Swanson, director).

The CSO season is presented by Western & Southern Financial Group.

Recital Series

The CSO will reprise its solo recital series with the most celebrated classical musicians of today. In the 2024-25 season, the CSO will present three solo recitals in Music Hall’s Springer Auditorium:

  • October 6, 2024: Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell and renowned soprano Larisa Martínez are joined by celebrated pianist Peter Dugan for an evening of romantic arias and modern classics.
  • January 14, 2025: Three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn returns to Music Hall for the first time since 2016 for a recital featuring solo works by Johann Sebastian Bach.
  • March 5, 2025: Critically acclaimed pianist Conrad Tao returns to Music Hall for a solo recital of works by Debussy, Schumann and Tao’s own compositions.
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Residency March 2025

CSO Creative Partner Matthias Pintscher will lead the Orchestra on a domestic tour to Indiana University’s (IU) Jacobs School of Music in March 2025 for a residency, as part of IU’s annual residency program with major American orchestras. The residency will include educational experiences with students of IU and culminate in a repeat performance of the CSO’s January 11 and 12 subscription concert conducted by Pintscher. 

Autism-Focused CSO Program Led by Guest Conductor Jaap van Zweden April 2025

Following the CSO’s September 2023 filming and live recording of All Without Words Live, inspired by a composition by Justin Morell for his nonverbal autistic son, the CSO will present an autism-focused program curated and led by guest conductor Jaap van Zweden in April 2025. The program is designed for and open to the entire community, including those with autism.

Inspired by his son, Benjamin, who learned to communicate with the aid of music, van Zweden and his wife, Aaltje van Zweden-van Buuren, have made it their life’s work to help other children diagnosed with autism. They started the Papageno Foundation, which offers arts and music therapy projects for children and young adults with autism and presents programs where everyone can participate. 

CINCINNATI POPS

24/25 Pops Season   24/25 Pops Subscriptions

In the 2024-25 season, the Cincinnati Pops showcases the versatility of its musicians in concerts that celebrate the breadth of the American musical experience. This season’s concerts will span the gamut of orchestral style, from popular symphonic classics and the Great American Songbook to jazz, Broadway, rock ‘n’ roll and cinematic favorites that define American pop culture. 

Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell will lead the Pops in four subscription programs, including Rick Steves’ Europe: A Symphonic Journey, complete with high-definition cinematography of Steves’ travels across the European continent; Cincinnati’s beloved holiday tradition, Holiday Pops, with Broadway legend Norm Lewis; American Originals: Harlem Renaissance, celebrating the legacy of the Black musicians, dancers and poets who redefined American style in the first half of the 20th century; and In the Heights star Mandy Gonzalez in Mandy Gonzalez: La Vida Broadway, in celebration of the Latine voices of Broadway, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rita Moreno, Linda Ronstadt and more. Russell will also conduct the Pops’ New Year’s Eve special event featuring the music of Cole Porter with Cincinnati favorites: pianist and vocalist Tony DeSare, jazz singer and trombonist Aubrey Logan and dancer John Manzari. 

Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton will lead the Pops in Simply the Best: The Music of Tina Turner in honor of the iconic musical legacy of the artist as well as the Pops special event film and live orchestra presentation of the 1990 holiday film Home Alone.

“The Pops is all about bringing people together with great music that uplifts and inspires,” said Russell. “Music Hall will be rollicking with Broadway superstars, a salute to the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the sophisticated jazz of the Harlem Renaissance and the timeless melodies of Cole Porter. The vibrancy and sheer joy of music-making our Orchestra creates in every concert is a wonderment, and we can’t wait for everyone to join us as we share these programs together.”

Pops Subscription Programs
  • September 13-15, 2024: Rick Steves, known for his acclaimed PBS television series and travel shows, joins Russell and the Pops for a multi-media experience pairing Romantic-era popular classics performed by the Orchestra alongside high-definition video cinematography of European landscapes and commentary by Steves.
  • December 13-15, 2024: Cincinnati’s beloved holiday tradition with John Morris Russell and the Pops returns to Music Hall in six performances across three days that Russell promises will be filled with “merriment, whimsy and delight.” A hallmark of Cincinnati’s holiday season, Holiday Pops will feature festive music, choral and dance ensembles performing with the Pops, as well as Broadway legend Norm Lewis. 
  • January 17-19, 2025: Principal Pops Guest Conductor Damon Gupton and the Pops pay tribute to Tina Turner’s iconic musical legacy. Hailed as the “Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll,” Tina Turner had a decades-long career that garnered 12 Grammy Award wins and produced 100 million records sold worldwide. The program will include singers performing alongside the Pops for Turner’s greatest hits, including “Proud Mary,” “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” “Disco Inferno” and more.
  • March 21-23, 2025: Russell and the Pops continue their acclaimed “American Originals” project with a celebration of the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance, illuminating the inspirational stories that re-defined the American musical experience. Featuring the music of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Edward “Duke” Ellington, Billie Holiday and Cab Calloway, and the jazzy poetry of Langston Hughes as well as the revolutionary dance stylings of Josephine Baker, the concert will revel in the exceptional Black artistry that blossomed into one of the most evocative artistic movements of the 20th century.
  • May 2-4, 2025: Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez, best known for originating the role of Nina Rosario in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In the Heights, returns to Music Hall for a celebration of the Latine voices of Broadway, film and television, such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rita Moreno, Linda Ronstadt and others. The program will feature music from In the Heights, Hamilton, Moana and more, conducted by Russell.
Pops Special Events

Russell also conducts the Pops’ New Year’s Eve special event featuring the music of American composer and songwriter Cole Porter, whose refined melodies and witty lyrics have become songbook standards on Broadway and in film. Critically acclaimed singer and pianist Tony DeSare joins the Pops along with singer/trombonist Aubrey Logan and singer/tap dancer John Manzari. The program includes Cole Porter favorites from Broadway and Hollywood, such as “Night and Day,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “You’re the Top” and more.

Gupton will conduct the Pops special event Home Alone: Film in Concert. The concert features the full screening of the 1990 film Home Alone, starring young Macaulay Culkin, on a high-definition screen above the stage paired with John Williams’ charming film score performed live by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the May Festival Chorus.

CSO PROOF 

Launched in 2019, the Orchestra’s CSO Proof series is an incubator for innovative concerts, designed to challenge the constructs of a traditional orchestra performance. Music and concert experiences are reimagined by an array of curators and collaborators, often employing elements of theater, dance and visual media to add new dimensions of color and texture to the total experience. Full details will be announced at a later date.

CSO Proof is supported by Irwin and Melinda Simon.

CLASSICAL ROOTS

On March 15, 2025, conductor John Morris Russell leads the Orchestra in the CSO’s annual Classical Roots concert at Music Hall. From its inception as a summer concert series in neighborhood churches in 2001, Classical Roots has grown into a vibrant spring celebration of the African American musical experience and has become a beloved Cincinnati tradition. At its heart is the Classical Roots Community Choir that performs in numerous concerts and collaborations throughout the year. Full program details will be announced at a later date.

Classical Roots is part of the CSO’s Fifth Third Foundation IDEA Series, highlighting Orchestra initiatives that promote inclusion, diversity, equity and access. IDEA Series programs include Classical Roots; MAC Music Innovator, a year-long music residency that highlights Black classical musicians who embody artistry, innovation, and a passion for education and community engagement; and Brady Block Parties, a free series of outdoor block parties, anchored by CSO concerts, that take place at locations across Greater Cincinnati. Together, the programs celebrate Black and African American artistry, meet the demand for historically underrepresented talent in the orchestra industry and meet communities where they are with programming that authentically represents them.

YOUTH CONCERTS 

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is committed to sharing orchestral music as widely as possible and with people of all ages. Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestras (CSYO), made up of 200 of the region’s most talented young musicians, will perform five concerts in the 2024-25 season, including the CSYO Philharmonic concerts on December 8, 2024 and May 11, 2025 and the annual CSYO/CSO Side-by-Side with their professional counterparts from the CSO on March 30, 2025 at Music Hall. The CSYO Concert Orchestra will perform on December 15, 2024 and May 11, 2025. 

Young People’s Concerts, designed for students in grades K-6, introduce young listeners to the world of orchestral music with approachable and educational programs. This season’s Young People’s Concerts explore Cincinnati’s rich history and music in Homegrown Harmony on November 25 & 26, 2024 and celebrate 300 years of musical birthdays in Birthday Party! on March 4 & 5, 2025.

Interactive Lollipops Family Concerts engage audiences through fun and accessible programs and are designed for children ages or ability 2-9 and their families. This season’s Lollipops programs include Music, Magic & Mayhem on October 19, 2024 at 10:30am and 2pm and Lost in Space! on February 1, 2025 at 10:30am.

The Orchestra is also proud to present a sensory-friendly Lollipops in a 2pm performance of Music, Magic & Mayhem on October 19, in partnership with the Starting Our Adventure Right (SOAR) program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The sensory-friendly experience includes designated quiet areas in the Hall, accessible seating and amenities, no noise or movement restrictions, and trained volunteers and staff to help provide a quality experience for all.

The Lollipops Series is supported by United Dairy Farmers & Homemade Brand Ice Cream. 

LIVE FROM MUSIC HALL DIGITAL CONCERT SERIES

In its fifth season, the 2024-25 Live from Music Hall Digital Concert Series continues to expand the Orchestra’s global reach through free livestreams of full-length CSO and Pops concerts. Following each digital premiere, most concerts will be free and accessible to the public for seven days; CSO and Pops subscribers and donors will receive extended viewing privileges via the CSO and Pops On Demand portal. Subsequently, select excerpts from each livestream will be released as digital singles, available to watch for free on the Orchestra’s website and social media channels. Full details will be announced at a later date.

Live from Music Hall is supported by Digital Access Partner CVG Airport Authority.

SUBSCRIPTION & TICKET INFORMATION

Season ticket packages are currently on sale. Individual tickets for the 2024-25 season go on sale to the general public on July 22, 2024. As part of the CSO’s ongoing commitment to access, individual ticket discounts are available for first-time attendees, students, groups, military and senior citizens—see the CSO’s Music for All page for full details. Visit cincinnatisymphony.org or call the CSO’s box office, 513.381.3300, for more information and to purchase tickets.

PARKING 

Several public parking options are available surrounding Music Hall, which is located on the Cincinnati Bell Connector line. Subscribers can purchase guaranteed parking in the Washington Park Garage for $20 per concert and guaranteed valet parking for $20 per concert. Donors of $3,000 or more to the Orchestra Fund receive complimentary parking in the surface lot next to Music Hall for each CSO and Pops performance. Valet services will also be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. For more details about parking at Music Hall, visit cincinnatisymphony.org/parking.