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RACHMANINOFF THIRD CONCERTO & ENIGMA VARIATIONS

Sat Nov 26, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Sun Nov 27, 2022 | 2:00 pm

Elim Chan, conductor

Conrad Tao, piano

 

Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto, an engine of lush melodies, churning energies and Russian romanticism, is performed by pianist Conrad Tao. 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.

GERSHWIN & THE PLANETS

Fri Dec 2, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Sat Dec 3, 2022 | 7:30 pm

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.

SIBELIUS SYMPHONY NO. 2

Fri Jan 6, 2023 | 11:00 am

Sat Jan 7, 2023 | 7:30 pm

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.

GRIEG: PEER GYNT IN CONCERT

Fri Jan 13, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Sat Jan 14, 2023 | 7:30 pm

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.

Brahms & Modern Marvels

Fri Jan 20, 2023 | 7:30 pm

  • Beautiful and melancholic, Penderecki’s Quartet for Clarinet and String Trio opens a program featuring some of the most impassioned music ever written for chamber ensembles. From Harbison’s Quintet for Winds to Penderecki’s Duo Concertante and Brahms’ String Quartet in B-flat Major, revel in the chatter between winds and strings and the tender melodic lines only Brahms can conjure.

TCHAIKOVSKY & PROKOFIEV

Sat Jan 21, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Sun Jan 22, 2023 | 2:00 pm

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.

CSO PROOF: THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN

Wed Jan 25, 2023 | 8:00 pm

Gabriel Kahane, composer and voice
Nathalie Joachim & Alex Sopp, flute and voice
Holcombe Waller, guitar and synth

 

Do you remember your brain before the internet? Before you became tethered to a tiny computer that travels on an infinite loop from nightstand to pocket to purse to your hand and back again? Were your dreams different? Did you wander the streets of a strange city, and did you delight in the terror of getting lost? In a new song cycle, Gabriel Kahane examines our cultural and economic obsessions with convenience and efficiency, and the debts that accrue as a result: debts to labor, to the planet, to privacy and, increasingly, to our free will.

These CSO Proof performances are supported by The Haile Foundation, Irwin & Melinda Simon, and the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, a program of the League of American Orchestras made possible by funding from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

THIBAUDET PLAYS LISZT

Fri Feb 3, 2023 | 11:00 am

Sat Feb 4, 2023 | 7:30 pm

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.

DEATH & TRANSFIGURATION

Sat Mar 4, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Sun Mar 5, 2023 | 2:00 pm

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.

THE MERMAID

Fri Mar 17, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Sat Mar 18, 2023 | 7:30 pm

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.

BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH

Fri Mar 24, 2023 | 11:00 am

Sat Mar 25, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Sun Mar 26, 2023 | 2:00 pm

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.

CSO PROOF: SURREALIST EL TROPICAL

Wed Mar 29, 2023 | 8:00 pm

Thu Mar 30, 2023 | 8:00 pm

Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre
Rosie Herrera, choreographer
Clyde Scott, video and production designer
Luke Kritzeck, lighting and production designer

 

Choreographer Rosie Herrera wants you to imagine that, after a night of gleefully overindulging in absinthe cocktails, filmmaker Federico Fellini stumbles down an alley in old Havana. A door cracks open and music washes over him like a sticky sunrise in September. He steps inside into a primordial soup of neon and sound and tropical heat. A wild undercurrent pulses through the room, whispering that anything (and everything) might happen.

These CSO Proof performances are supported by The Haile Foundation, Irwin & Melinda Simon, and the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, a program of the League of American Orchestras made possible by funding from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

SHOSTAKOVICH SYMPHONY NO. 5

Fri Apr 7, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Sat Apr 8, 2023 | 7:30 pm

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.

CLASSICAL ROOTS

Fri Apr 14, 2023 | 7:30 pm

John Morris Russell, conductor

Classical Roots Community Mass Choir

 

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!

PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION

Sat Apr 15, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Sun Apr 16, 2023 | 2:00 pm

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.

Schumann's Quartet & Schubert's Octet

Fri Apr 21, 2023 | 7:30 pm

  • Schumann and Schubert, titans and virtuosos of chamber music, are at the pinnacle of their writing in this program. Schumann called his string quartet a “beautiful and even abstrusely woven conversation among four people” while Schubert’s Octet explores a deeply rich and melodic tale that ends in a rhythmic dance of joviality.

     

MAHLER SYMPHONY NO. 7

Fri Apr 21, 2023 | 11:00 am

Sat Apr 22, 2023 | 7:30 pm

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.

SAINT-SAËNS ORGAN SYMPHONY

Fri May 5, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Sat May 6, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Sun May 7, 2023 | 2:00 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor

Víkingur Ólafsson, piano

 

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 Ravel's Concerto in G Major for Piano and Orchestra.

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

Quartet for the End of Time

Fri May 12, 2023 | 7:30 pm

  • Inspired by the Book of Revelations, Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time was written while the composer was in a prisoner-of-war camp during the early days of World War II. Composed based on the instruments available to him at the time, each movement of the piece relates to the apocalyptic literature and the quartet’s fury unfolds alongside hauntingly beautiful patches of ethereal wonder. Opening the program is Bozza's complex and virtuosic duet for bassoons and Brahms' Horn Trio, his only dedicated chamber work for the horn.

     

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

Fri May 12, 2023 | 11:00 am

Sat May 13, 2023 | 7:30 pm

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.