A Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

There has been considerable attention in recent months regarding the future FC Cincinnati Stadium in the West End and how it will impact Music Hall and the surrounding neighborhood.

First, let me state that we are absolutely committed to ensuring that our customers’ experience at Music Hall remains superlative, and we will remain vigilant as the stadium is designed, constructed and operated.

Music Hall’s management and performing resident companies, which includes the CSO, entered into an agreement of cooperation and support with FC Cincinnati on February 13 regarding the construction and operation of the stadium.

The parties agreed to work together as good neighbors and in good faith on concerns related to noise, parking, traffic and scheduling. The collective goal is to minimize the number of occasions where performances at Music Hall occur at the same time as FC Cincinnati home games when the stadium opens in March of 2021, and to minimize the impact of the stadium’s noise on Music Hall on the occasions when there are simultaneous events.

Per an agreement with the City of Cincinnati, FC Cincinnati will manage the Town Center Garage only on game days starting in March of 2021. The team has committed to making a substantial amount of parking in that garage available to audience members attending performances at Music Hall when games overlap with performances. The team has also committed to working with us to make stadium parking available for Music Hall events when there is no overlap.


Jonathan Martin | CSO President


Jonathan Martin is President of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra since September 2017 and previously served the as President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 2012-2017.

Past Letters

March 2019

Dear Friends,

To have an orchestra of this caliber in Cincinnati is thanks to the visionary united arts fund founded in 1927 by Charles and Anna Sinton Taft. This arts fund is, of course, known today as ArtsWave, and plays a critical role in Cincinnati’s vibrant arts scene thanks to tens of thousands of donors who contribute every year.

To understand the magnitude of this support, consider that in just the past decade ArtsWave has contributed over $26 million dollars to support the CSO. Simply put, the Orchestra’s impact would be significantly diminished without this funding support.

ArtsWave’s mission is to be a “leader and catalyst, advancing the vitality and vibrancy of our communities by mobilizing the creative energy of our region.” To create community through the arts, ArtsWave achieves the following:

• Amplifies the impact of the arts
• Provides funding, resources, and services to local arts organizations
• Promotes our arts and cultural assets as a defining characteristic of our region
• Connects arts organizations and nonprofits to each other and to the broader community

Please join me and everyone at the CSO in supporting ArtsWave’s 2019 Community Campaign, and take advantage of the free ArtsWave Days, including an Open House here at Music Hall on Saturday, April 6 from noon to 4 pm.

Make a contribution to the campaign at ArtsWave.org/Give.


February 2019

Dear Friends,

The 125th anniversary season for the CSO, just announced last month, will showcase our Orchestra’s scintillating sound and artistry. As important, its programs and performances reflect a commitment to propelling the art form forward and advancing our vision to more fully engage broader audiences and our wider community in the 21st century.

Next season introduces an entirely new concert format with the goal of reaching new audiences, the commissioning of new works, as well as experimentation with alternative performance elements and collaborations with acclaimed artists from around the world. With all of this bold programming comes our Promise to Cincinnati:

• We will inspire people through compelling musicmaking, drawing talent from our community and the world around us.
• We will innovate with boldness, evolving how we engage with our art form to reach more people than ever.
• We will include artists and welcome the broadest community, with backgrounds and perspectives that enrich everything we do.

Reflecting our community and the world at-large is one of our highest priorities moving forward, both as the CSO and the Cincinnati Pops at every level: on stage, around the office and in neighborhoods throughout the region.

We have seen this in action through a host of artistic and community engagement activities, including the groundbreaking CSO-CCM Diversity Fellowship and Nouveau Pre-Conservatory programs, both featured in the feature article this month, 'Opening Pathways'. 

This commitment to inclusion must and will be fundamental to who we are as an organization, and when the CSO turns 150 in 26 years, I am confident that the articulation and execution of this commitment today will be celebrated as an inflection point in the life of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Enjoy the performance!