Friday Mornings

BERNSTEIN, PRICE & COPLAND

Fri Oct 13, 2023 | 11:00 am

Sat Oct 14, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor
George Takei, narrator

 

The CSO performs music of American composers representing a variety of perspectives. Bernstein’s optimistic Candide and gripping score to the Oscarwinning film On the Waterfront frame a program including Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, a reprise from Louis Langrée’s first CSO subscription concert as Music Director, and Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1. In 1933, Price’s magnificent, tour de force Symphony No. 1 was the first symphonic work by a Black woman to be played by a major American orchestra.

TETZLAFF & TCHAIKOVSKY'S FIFTH

Fri Nov 10, 2023 | 11:00 am

Sat Nov 11, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Gustavo Gimeno, conductor

Christian Tetzlaff, violin

 

“One of today’s most in-demand violinists” (NPR), Christian Tetzlaff returns to Music Hall after last showcasing his “jaw-dropping virtuosity” (Cincinnati Enquirer) here in the Queen City in 2017. Conductor Gustavo Gimeno leads Tetzlaff and the CSO in Szymanowski’s sweepingly lyrical Violin Concerto and the first part of a multi-year trilogy by composer Daníel Bjarnason. Tchaikovsky’s wellspring of melodies is on display in his Fifth Symphony — opening with a fateful funeral march, winding through a sonorous solo horn song and lilting waltz, then finishing with bombastic brass.

MAHLER’S FIFTH

Fri Dec 1, 2023 | 11:00 am

Sat Dec 2, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Case Scaglione, conductor
Randolph Bowman, flute
Henrik Heide, flute
Stefani Matsuo, violin

 

Two extremes of orchestral scale combine for a showcase of the CSO that’s both intimate and expansive. Conductor Case Scaglione makes his CSO debut with Bach’s beautifully playful Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, which highlights individual virtuosity within a smaller ensemble, alongside Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. First performed in the U.S. by the CSO, Mahler’s Fifth Symphony employs an orchestra of impressive proportions, from its iconic trumpet opening to the beloved, emotional Adagietto.

 

RACHMANINOFF & ADAMS

Fri Jan 19, 2024 | 11:00 am

Sat Jan 20, 2024 | 7:30 pm

Kevin John Edusei, conductor
George Li, piano

 

Conductor Kevin John Edusei leads a program that invites you to explore the concept of harmony and its many forms, beginning with Elysium by Samy Moussa, a composer who has a “gleeful sense for…shocking harmony” (Los Angeles Times). John Adams describes his rhythmically and harmonically complex Harmonielehre as a parody “without the intent to ridicule”, with “shades of Mahler, Sibelius and Debussy.” Both pieces frame George Li's performance of the Second Piano Concerto from Rachmaninoff, arguably the hero of the lush, romantic style.

SHOSTAKOVICH: 1905

Fri Feb 2, 2024 | 11:00 am

Sat Feb 3, 2024 | 7:30 pm

Cristian Mǎcelaru, conductor
Kian Soltani, cello

 

Grammy-winning conductor Cristian Măcelaru joins the CSO for music of two Slavic luminaries. Cellist Kian Soltani brings his expressive and charismatic presence to Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto, frequently interpreted as an escalating struggle between the seemingly heroic soloist and the orchestra representing totalitarian authority. The acclaim and popularity of his Symphony No. 11 helped Shostakovich, who had weathered criticism and persecution from the Soviet regime, win back State approval. It offers a depiction of the 1905 Russian Revolution, from the first shots of Bloody Sunday to funeral marches lamenting those who were lost.

TCHAIKOVSKY & NIELSEN

Fri Mar 29, 2024 | 11:00 am

Sat Mar 30, 2024 | 7:30 pm

Ryan Bancroft, conductor

Inon Barnatan, piano

 

“Music is life, and like it, it is inextinguishable.” With this declaration written at the top of his score, Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 pits the everlasting spirit of life against the horror of World War I with dramatic music leading to, what else, but a battle between two timpani! Making his CSO debut, conductor Ryan Bancroft opens this program with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade for Orchestra, and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, displaying the virtuosity of guest pianist Inon Barnatan, heralded by The New York Times as “one of the most admired pianists of his generation.”

BEETHOVEN 7 & DESSNER PREMIERES

Fri May 3, 2024 | 11:00 am

Sat May 4, 2024 | 7:30 pm

Samuel Lee, conductor

Alice Sara Ott, piano

 

If Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is known as a musical embodiment of fate, his Seventh carries the spirit of freedom and liberation, with catchy, dance-like melodies woven throughout. Bryce Dessner, founder of Cincinnati’s MusicNOW Festival and a member of the Grammy-winning band The National, shares two of his works for orchestra.