Honoring Retiring Orchestra Musicians

by Kit Gladieux

As we near the end of the 2023–24 season, the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra congratulates two musicians on their retirements: Associate Principal Trumpet Douglas “Doug” Lindsay and cellist Theodore “Ted” Nelson. They have served a combined 53 years within the Orchestra, performing in countless concerts, recordings and tours. These retirees shared memories from their time with the CSO and what they’ll be doing next. The CSO is grateful for the unparalleled musicianship and dedication that Doug and Ted brought to Music Hall.

Douglas Lindsay
Associate Principal Trumpet
Jackie & Roy Sweeney Family Chair

Douglas Lindsay

Doug Lindsay grew up in Cincinnati and takes great pride in having played the trumpet in his hometown orchestra. “It’s like a kid going to high school here and getting to play for the Reds,” he said.

Doug joined the CSO in 1991 after playing with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de la República Dominicana, the Dayton Philharmonic and the Charlotte Symphony. Some of his career highlights as a member of the Orchestra include his first recording, of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony with Jesús López Cobos in 1992, and the 2023 May Festival performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, where he played principal trumpet. “James Conlon conducted, and it was a dream come true,” he reminisced.

In retirement, he plans to stay close to his family in Cincinnati. He will continue to teach as an adjunct professor at Miami University, where he helped start the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Brass Institute program. He’s looking forward to traveling with his wife, cycling, and hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

“I’m going to miss the great music, and some of my good friends,” said Doug. “This is a very rare brass section; we all get along so well. When we play the great repertoire, and we’ve had a lot of it this season, I say to myself, ‘I’m going to miss this.’”

Theodore Nelson
Peter G. Courlas–Nicholas Tsimaras Chair

Theodore Nelson

Cellist Ted Nelson joined the CSO in 2004 after playing with the Toledo Symphony and the Kansas City Symphony. One of the first things he did with the Orchestra was go on a European tour in the fall of 2004. “The first concert I played on tour was Mahler’s Fifth Symphony in Vienna, which almost made my head explode. It was so cool.”

His career highlights extend beyond performances, too. “A lot of the things that were most meaningful to me were the opportunities that I had to serve the organization in different ways—as chair of the Orchestra Committee for a long time, serving on the CSO Board, doing other types of work besides just playing the cello—although that was also incredibly rewarding.”

After 26 years of performing full time, 19 of them with the CSO, Ted is entering a new chapter of his career. “I say that I’m just stepping across the hallway,” he laughed. He will be shifting his focus from performing to administration in his role as the Vice President of Operations & Artistic Planning with the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance.

“I’m going to miss the people,” said Ted. “Working 19 years with any group of people is really special. It doesn’t happen in a lot of industries. I’ll miss my colleagues both onstage and offstage.” He will also miss the stage itself. “Music Hall is an incredible building. It’s an amazing space, and I feel really lucky to have spent 19 years working and playing there.”