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CSO CYO MIX 2223

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Louis Langrée, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo

May Festival Chorus, Robert Porco, director

 

Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony is a transformative experience of liberating power, flowing from despair to reassurance. The May Festival Chorus, approaching its 150th anniversary, plus GRAMMY-winning mezzo-soprano Kelly O’Connor and the “pure, refined tone” (The New York Times) of soprano Joélle Harvey join Louis Langrée and the CSO for an epic 22/23 Season opener.

Program

GUSTAV MAHLER: Symphony No. 2, Resurrection

Louis Langrée, conductor

 

Louis Langrée leads powerful farewells by two great symphonists. “I have put my whole soul into this,” Tchaikovsky said of his Sixth, a work full of drama and beauty. Christopher Rouse’s Sixth, which he knew would be his last, was commissioned by the CSO and posthumously premiered in 2019. Like Tchaikovsky’s Sixth, this is music that is highly personal and opts for intimacy, finishing in darkness. Said Rouse: “great forms and great concepts always have something new to offer.”

Program

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6, Pathétique

CHRISTOPHER ROUSE: Symphony No. 6

Louis Langrée, conductor

Hélène Grimaud, piano

 

The famous ascending brass passage that opens Zarathustra is just the tip of this orchestral iceberg. Prepare yourself for a wild ride of big moments that show the range of the CSO musicians' virtuosity. French pianist Hélène Grimaud—a virtuoso in her own right whose “performances attempt, whenever possible, to shake up conventional pianistic wisdom” (The New Yorker)—reunites with Louis Langrée for Schumann’s Piano Concerto.

Program

ROBERT SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto

RICHARD STRAUSS: Also sprach Zarathustra ("Thus Spake Zarathustra")

Michael Francis, conductor

Behzod Abduraimov, piano

 

Michael Francis leads Vaughan Williams' war-torn Sixth Symphony 150 years after the English composer’s birth. Pianist Behzod Abduraimov shares his “prodigious technique and rhapsodic flair” (The New York Times) in Rachmaninoff’s variations on an iconic melody by legendary violinist-composer Paganini—a brilliant showcase of stunning moments and orchestral thrills. Panufnik's trumpet fanfare signals the start of the program, while Ives' somber trumpet ponders the "perennial question of existence.”

Program

  1. ANDRZEJ PANUFNIK: Sinfonia Sacra

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

CHARLES IVES: The Unanswered Question

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Symphony No. 6

Dalia Stasevska, conductor

Esther Yoo, violin

 

The talents of CSO musicians are on full display in Bartók's Concerto, the epitome of an orchestra showpiece. Similarly, it’s “easy to see what all the fuss is about” (The Guardian) when guest soloist Esther Yoo performs Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. Principal Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra Dalia Stasevska leads the program, beginning with inventive music that composer Missy Mazzoli says is “in the shape of a solar system."

Program

MISSY MAZZOLI: Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)

JEAN SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto

BÉLA BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

Elim Chan, conductor

Khatia Buniatishvili, piano

 

Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto, an engine of lush melodies, churning energies and Russian romanticism, is performed by Khatia Buniatishvili, a “shining pianist at the height of her abilities.” Elgar's Enigma Variations are sketches of his dear friends, each containing, as Elgar noted, "a distinct idea founded on some particular personality." Elim Chan, “an impressive young conductor who makes an occasion of orchestral writing” (The New York Times), takes us through each heartfelt journey.

Program

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3

EDWARD ELGAR: Enigma Variations

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor

Michelle Cann, piano

Treble Voices of the May Festival Chorus, Robert Porco, director

 

Holst’s The Planets has a gravity all its own—from the merciless rhythms of Mars to the magnificence of Jupiter. Caroline Shaw’s The Observatory acts like a musical telescope—in her words, exploring "some very large spaces…chaos and clarity.” Michelle Cann, former CSO MAC Music Innovator and featured soloist on the 20th anniversary of Classical Roots, is known for delivering “knockout” performances (Philadelphia Inquirer), and shines in music by Gershwin.

CSO Co-Commission by Caroline Shaw is made possible by Irwin and Melinda Simon.

Program

CAROLINE SHAW: The Observatory [CSO Co-Commission]

GEORGE GERSHWIN: Rhapsody No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra

GUSTAV HOLST: The Planets

Thomas Søndergård, conductor

Augustin Hadelich, violin

 

It’s no surprise to Cincinnati audiences that “the essence of Hadelich’s playing is beauty” (The Washington Post). Experience the inimitable violinist’s return in Britten's Violin Concerto along with esteemed Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård’s CSO debut. Themes of Sibelius’ Second Symphony coalesce into sparkling waves of sound for the work's breathtaking finale.

Program

ETHEL SMYTH: On the Cliffs of Cornwall

BENJAMIN BRITTEN: Violin Concerto

JEAN SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 2

Louis Langrée, conductor

Pekka Kuusisto, violin

Camilla Tilling, soprano (Solveig)
May Festival Chorus, Robert Porco, director
Concert Theatre Works, Bill Barclay, director

 

A Norwegian fairy tale comes to life in Music Hall with a concert staging of Grieg’s enchanting score to Ibsen’s play, created and directed by Bill Barclay, former Director of Music at Shakespeare's Globe. Louis Langrée leads the Orchestra and cast, including soprano Camilla Tilling and the May Festival Chorus. Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto opens the program with whimsical whistling by soloist Pekka Kuusisto, for whom the concerto was written.

Program

DANÍEL BJARNASON: Violin Concerto

EDVARD GRIEG: Peer Gynt [concert-staged production]

Louis Langrée, conductor

Randall Goosby, violin

 

Julia Perry’s Homunculus C.F. starts off whisper-quiet, tinkering in a laboratory of percussion. The program’s crescendo builds with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and acclaimed American soloist Randall Goosby—an artist with “exquisite tone and sheer virtuosity” (The New York Times). The concert reaches its zenith in Prokofiev’s Third Symphony as the muscle of the Orchestra is unleashed to its brassy and boisterous max.

Program

JULIA PERRY: Homunculus CF

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto

SERGEI PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 3

Louis Langrée, conductor

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

 

Louis Langrée leads works inspired by a fusion of cultures. Qigang Chen and GRAMMY-nominated Chinese-American composer Zhou Tian discover new sounds through the combination of Eastern and Western styles. Ravel, who cherished Liszt’s music, pulls from his Basque heritage for Rapsodie espagnole. French Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, celebrated for playing with “both clarity and freedom” (The New York Times), returns for Liszt’s jubilant Second Concerto.

Program

QIGANG CHEN: The Five Elements

FRANZ LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2

ZHOU TIAN: The Palace of Nine Perfections

MAURICE RAVEL: Rapsodie espagnole

Louis Langrée, conductor

Elizabeth Freimuth, horn

 

Richard Strauss conducted Death and Transfiguration at Music Hall in 1904. More than a century later, Louis Langrée and the CSO once again bring Strauss’ vivid musical image of the infinite to Music Hall. The program features Elizabeth Freimuth, the CSO’s Principal Horn, and an expansive world premiere by ascendant American composer Samuel Adams.

Program

RICHARD STRAUSS: Horn Concerto No. 1

SAMUEL ADAMS: Variations [World Premiere, CSO Co-Commission]

RICHARD STRAUSS: Death and Transfiguration

Kevin John Edusei, conductor

Simone Lamsma, violin

 

Mermaid tales inspired thrilling musical adventures from Mendelssohn and Zemlinsky. Mendelssohn’s work is brief but fiery, while Zemlinsky’s Die Seejungfrau takes us through the dramas of Hans Christian Andersen’s original Little Mermaid. Kevin John Edusei leads the CSO, and Simone Lamsma, whose playing is “absolutely stunning” (Chicago Tribune), returns to perform Korngold’s gorgeously cinematic Violin Concerto.

Program

FELIX MENDELSSOHN: Die schöne Melusine ("The Fair Melusine")

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD: Violin Concerto

ALEXANDER VON ZEMLINSKY: Die Seejungfrau ("The Mermaid")

Anna Rakitina, conductor

Sterling Elliott, cello

 

Russian conductor Anna Rakitina leads works by two composers who have lived with hearing loss—Beethoven, whose hearing struggle began a decade before the premiere of his Fifth Symphony, and British composer Richard Ayres, whose No. 52 explores, in the composer’s words, “one specific subject: Ludwig van Beethoven’s hearing loss and its effect on him.” Soloist Sterling Elliott, in his CSO debut, brings “impeccable technique and musicality” to Dvořák’s Cello Concerto.

Program

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK: Cello Concerto

RICHARD AYRES: No. 52 I. Saying Goodbye

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5

Louis Langrée, conductor

Stephen Hough, piano

 

If there is any symphony that operates like a “double agent,” it is Shostakovich's Fifth. Having found himself targeted by Stalin, Shostakovich composed himself out of a dangerous situation−with immensely gripping results. Stephen Hough returns for Rachmaninoff and Louis Langrée conducts the first part of a new multi-year work by Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason.

CSO Co-Commission by Daníel Bjarnason is made possible by Ann and Harry Santen.

Program

DANÍEL BJARNASON: New Work, Part I [US Premiere, CSO Co-Commission]

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 1

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Ramón Tebar, conductor

Steven Banks, saxophone

 

Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is an epic musical stroll through an eclectic gallery of paintings, from a drawing of unhatched dancing chickens to an image of towering city gates. Originally for piano, Ravel’s version for orchestra adds a bursting palette of instrumental color. Saxophonist Steven Banks, who “has the potential to be one of the transformational musicians of the 21st century,” plays a new concerto by GRAMMY-winning pianist and composer Billy Childs.

Program

NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Russian Easter Overture
BILLY CHILDS:
Saxophone Concerto [CSO Co-Commission]

MODEST MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. Ravel)

Matthias Pintscher, conductor

 

If Mahler’s symphonies are like worlds, the Seventh is like the universe in a single night. Patterned in gigantic symmetry, the opening and closing movements are packed with enormous sounds, each like symphonies in themselves. The interior music is lighter by contrast, pivoting at the center with a ghostly dance. CSO Creative Partner Matthias Pintscher returns to conduct the huge orchestral forces needed for Mahler’s dusk-to-dawn universe, from clanging cowbells to titanic brass.

Sponsored by Peter Landgren and Judith Schonbach Landgren.

Program

GUSTAV MAHLER: Symphony No. 7

Louis Langrée and the CSO explore works that have sounds all their own. Berlioz's music from an unfinished opera adds voices in extreme ranges. Through darkest doubt and brightest love, the music expresses Saint-Saëns' entire being and his skill as an organist with moments that pull out all the stops. Pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, “an arresting artist who…creates unique aural landscapes” (LA Times), debuts with music by Mark Simpson.

CSO Co-Commission by Mark Simpson made possible by Ann and Harry Santen.

Program

Friday & Saturday

HECTOR BERLIOZ: Overture to Les francs-juges ("The Secret Court")

MARK SIMPSON: Piano Concerto [US Premiere, CSO Co-Commission]

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3, Organ

Sunday

HECTOR BERLIOZ: Marche au supplice (March to the Scaffold)

HECTOR BERLIOZ Overture to Les francs-juges ("The Secret Court")

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS: Danse macabre

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3, Organ

Louis Langrée, conductor

Courtney Bryan, piano and composer

 

Louis Langrée and the CSO end the 22/23 season with jazz-infused musical visions. New Orleans native Courtney Bryan, “a pianist and composer of panoramic interests” (The New York Times), premieres her new concerto. Milhaud's opening music evokes African folk mythology while Duke Ellington, who was both a prolific composer and famed jazz pianist, summons musical images of night creatures. Gershwin closes the program by dropping you into the sights and sounds of Parisian streets.

The CSO is grateful to Kari and Jonathan Ullman for their support of the Courtney Bryan Co-Commission.

Program

DARIUS MILHAUD: La création du monde ("The Creation of the World")

COURTNEY BRYAN: Piano Concerto [World Premiere, (orchestral version), CSO Co-Commission]
DUKE ELLINGTON: Night Creature

GEORGE GERSHWIN: An American in Paris (ed. Clague)

Be our guest as the Cincinnati Pops performs the score to Disney’s animated classic, Beauty and the Beast, live to the complete, beloved film! Featuring unforgettable characters and Academy Award®-winning music (Best Original Song, Best Original Score, 1991), Beauty and the Beast is a classic tale that’s been capturing hearts for generations. Now’s your chance to watch the spellbinding story unfold at Music Hall.

30 years after the defeat of the Empire, a new threat has arisen. The Resistance and unlikely heroes are the galaxy’s only hope at thwarting a new reign of evil. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with the full forces of the Cincinnati Pops performing John Williams’ Oscar-nominated score live to the complete, acclaimed film.

In 2018, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther quickly became a global sensation and cultural phenomenon, showing a new dimension of what superhero films could be. Rolling Stone raved, “The film lights up the screen with a full-throttle blast of action and fun. That’s to be expected. But what sneaks up and floors you is the film’s racial conscience and profound, astonishing beauty.” Now you can relive the excitement of T’Challa becoming king and battling Killmonger all while the Cincinnati Pops performs Ludwig Göransson’s Oscar-winning score live to picture.

Damon Gupton and the Pops give the holidays an afterglow and keep the celebration going into the New Year! Quiana Lynell, “a vocalist comfortable and commanding in styles including pop, jazz classics and the blues” (DownBeat), makes her Cincinnati Pops debut with timeless classics from the Billie Holiday songbook—songs like "I Cover the Waterfront," "Lady Sings the Blues," and "In My Solitude."

John Morris Russell, conductor

Classical Roots Community Mass Choir, William H. Caldwell, resident conductor

 

Love and community ring throughout Music Hall when the Cincinnati Pops and the Classical Roots Community Mass Choir celebrate a much-beloved Queen City tradition. JMR leads a program that’s guaranteed to inspire—an evening of powerful performances that will fill your heart with joy and bring you to your feet!

Academy Award, Emmy and GRAMMY-winning artist, actor, author, and activist, Common joins the Pops and Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton for a special one-night-only performance! After dazzling a sold-out crowd with the CSO at Classical Roots in 2016, the legendary R&B and hip-hop icon takes the stage at Music Hall to make his debut with the Pops.

After a sold-out performance with the Pops in 2017, Ben Folds is back! Widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation, this genre-bending, multi-platinum selling artist brings his brilliant lyrics, moving melodies, and clever wit for this one-night-only performance.

JMR and the Pops open the new season with a powerful celebration of iconic divas of soul, pop, Broadway, R&B, jazz, opera and gospel that'll blow the roof off Music Hall. Experience some of the most popular songs made famous by the likes of Adele, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston and others. Three powerhouse singers join the Pops for an inspiring display of vocal fireworks sure to make you say, “I’m with HER!”

Join JMR, the Pops and audience favorite Michael Feinstein for a tour through the life and songs of Judy Garland, in honor of her 100th birthday. Enjoy big screen film clips, never-before-seen photos, rare audio recordings, good humor and, of course, great music. We’ll explore Judy’s early career through her trip over the rainbow, her time on TV and the unforgettable concert years—with songs you know and love like "Get Happy," "Over the Rainbow," and more.

It’s not the holidays until it’s Holiday Pops! Experience the splendor of Music Hall decked out like a winter wonderland, and feel the warmth as JMR and the Pops perform beloved holiday classics. The Annie Moses Band, who wowed Pops audiences at Riverbend last summer, adds to the joy that makes Holiday Pops the perfect tradition.

Romantic themes that stand the test of time? Check. Epic moments so powerful they give you goosebumps? Oh, absolutely. Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton leads a spectacular orchestral mixtape featuring some of Tchaikovsky’s greatest hits, including Romeo & Juliet, selections from Swan Lake, and of course, the 1812 Overture.

JMR and the Pops wrap up the 22/23 season with a Broadway musical reimagined for the concert hall! The brainchild of renowned writing team Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, Ragtime, which follows three pursuits of the American Dream, became an instant classic. Nominated for 13 Tony Awards and two GRAMMY Awards in 1998, the show beat out The Lion King for the Tony for Best Original Score. Now you can experience the celebrated smash hit in a whole new way—in concert with the Cincinnati Pops!