Welcome from the President and CEO

Jonathan Martin 720x1097.jpg
© Roger Mastroianni

Dear Friends of Music,

We’re at a very special moment in the history of the CSO, where we celebrate our Music Director Louis Langrée as he concludes his extraordinary 11-year tenure with us and assumes the role of Music Director Laureate.

Since taking the helm as the 13th Music Director in 2013, Louis has championed bold programming and initiatives that have activated the commissioning of new music and brought new experiences, community-wide participation opportunities and global attention. He has commissioned a total of 65 new works during his tenure—more than any other Music Director in the Orchestra’s history—and conducted 31 premieres, expanding the extensive commissioning and premiering legacy of the CSO. He has led the Orchestra on successful European and Asian tours, as well as an appearance at Lincoln Center as part of the Great Performers series, and garnered two Grammy Award nominations for Best Orchestral Performance. He has presided over the Orchestra’s move from Music Hall during its major renovation, and, during the Covid-19 pandemic, catalyzed the Orchestra’s return to the stage in the fall of 2020 with a series of digitally streamed concerts that have garnered more than two million views to date.

Perhaps the most enduring of Louis’ achievements is within the Orchestra itself. During his tenure, Louis has appointed more than 40% of our Orchestra—an astounding 35 musicians, many of them in key leadership roles—which will undoubtedly underscore the sound of the ensemble for decades to come.

His achievements with the CSO alone are cause for a big celebration, but we also want to take a moment to celebrate Louis, his passion for creating and sharing music with as many people as possible, his thoughtful and humble way of living life, and the transformative impact he has had on our Orchestra and our community. This Orchestra—and the entire community of people who help run it—is forever changed by Louis. Therefore, we plan to share our deep gratitude and appreciation for Louis in the best way we know how—through music.

In addition to concerts with Louis spanning the final weeks of the season—Hadelich & Holland on April 20 & 21, Beethoven 7 & Dessner Premieres on May 3 & 4, CSO Proof: Wires on May 3, and the aptly named Louis’ Grand Finale May 10–12—we are pleased to announce our latest Fanfare Cincinnati release called American Dreams, a collection of American music that speaks to CSO history and celebrates excellent music-making with Louis. The album will be available across all streaming platforms beginning May 3, and a limited run of vinyl will be available for in-person purchases during the May CSO concerts.

We also share more about Louis and our Orchestra in the stories within Fanfare Magazine. Ken Smith shares his final story in our Louis Langrée series. This installment delves into the meaning behind Langrée’s programmatic choices for his final concerts and the message he hopes the music brings to our audience. Hannah Edgar writes about our 2024 MAC Music Innovator Sheku Kanneh-Mason and what the residency entails, as well as his CSO debut. Dr. A. Kori Hill writes about this year’s Classical Roots program, highlighting Black voices in poetry, verse, rhyme and reason. Kit Gladieux talks with Associate Principal Trumpet Douglas Lindsay and cellist Theodore Nelson ahead of their retirements. And as we wrap up our season at Music Hall, we’re pleased to announce the dates and locations for this summer’s Brady Block Parties, a series of free community events anchored by outdoor CSO concerts in neighborhoods across the region.

Our mission has been, and continues to be, service to the community through music. It is through music that we seek and share inspiration, and it is through music that we make the most meaningful impact. Thank you for joining us. We are heartened by your attendance and ongoing support of our Orchestra, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.


Jonathan Martin