Welcome from the President and CEO

Jonathan Martin 720x1097.jpg
© Roger Mastroianni

Dear Friends,
Time flies when we’re in the midst of our concert season, and for this season in particular, the first full season since the onset of the pandemic, that is certainly no different. Already, the 11 new musicians of the Orchestra, two new assistant conductors, new May Festival Chorus members, and new faces in our administrative staff have hit the ground running. We are firing on all cylinders, and the energy is palpable.

In this issue of Fanfare Magazine, we simultaneously look back to the past, the present, and ahead to the future with great anticipation. In Ken Smith’s story, we hear from conductors Elim Chan and Dalia Stasevska about their lives and inspiration behind their CSO programs. And Smith talks with Executive Director of the Cincinnati Observatory Anna Hehman about the intersection between art and space as the CSO prepares for Gustav Holst’s The Planets. In Erica Reid’s story, we hear from Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, Annie Dupre of the Annie Moses Band, pianist and vocalist Michael Feinstein, and jazz singer Quiana Lynell about the final Pops concerts of 2022. DiDi Turley takes us behind the scenes of the inaugural Cincinnati Symphony Brass Institute—a partnership with Miami University that provides a week of intensive brass study to high school students and budding professionals. In Anne Arenstein’s story (found in the magazine’s insert), you’ll find that the recent events which have catalyzed our digital innovation and diversity, equity and inclusion progress stem from pivotal events that took place in the aftermath of the Great Recession. It’s simply breathtaking to review all that has transpired in the last few years.
In 2023, the Cincinnati May Festival will celebrate a triumphant milestone, its 150th anniversary season. A look back at the legacy of this longest enduring choral festival in the Western Hemisphere reinforces the elements that have always defined the May Festival. The May Festival Chorus, the centerpiece of the annual May Festival, is currently the largest it has been in recent years thanks to the extraordinary volunteer singers who come together to share the love of choral music. The May Festival continues to cultivate the next generation of music makers through its enriching youth ensembles and programs. And, in honor of its commissioning legacy, the May Festival continues to further the choral music tradition through the composition and performance of new music. It’s an organization that is 150 years strong, and we look forward to the exciting programs that will undoubtedly propel us into the next 150 years.
Finally, as 2022 comes to an end and we usher in a new year, on behalf of everyone here at the CSO, Pops and May Festival, I wish to express gratitude for people like you who attend our performances and support our efforts to share music with the world. Thank you for being with us. We wish you happiness, health and more music in the coming year.

With gratitude,


Jonathan Martin