The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which also performs as the Cincinnati Pops, is one of America’s finest and most versatile ensembles. With a determination for greatness and a rich tradition that dates back over 120 years, the internationally acclaimed CSO attracts the best musicians, artists and conductors from around the world to Cincinnati. With new commissions and groundbreaking initiatives like LUMENOCITY®, One City, One Symphony, and the MusicNOW Festival collaboration, the Orchestra is committed to being a place of experimentation.
As Cincinnati’s ambassador, the Orchestra has toured extensively, sold millions of recordings, and reaches millions more annually through radio and television broadcasts. As Cincinnati’s own, the Orchestra’s impact extends far beyond CSO and Pops concerts at Music Hall to the schools, places of worship, and neighborhood centers of a vastly diverse community. The Orchestra also elevates Cincinnati’s vibrant cultural scene by serving as the official orchestra for the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati World Piano Competition.
Louis Langrée began his tenure as the CSO’s 13th Music Director in the 2013-2014 season with a celebrated program The New York Times said “deftly combined nods to the orchestra’s history, the city’s musical life and new music.” Over the Orchestra’s 120-year history, it has also been led by Leopold Stokowski, Eugène Ysaÿe, Fritz Reiner, Eugene Goossens, Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers, Jesús López-Cobos, and Paavo Järvi, among others.
A champion of new music, the Orchestra has given American premieres of works by composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Mahler and Bartók and has commissioned works that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire, including Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. The CSO was the first orchestra to be broadcast to a national US radio audience (1921) and the third to record (1917). The Orchestra continues to commission new works and to programme an impressive array of music. Recently, the CSO performed world premieres by Nico Muhly, David Lang, Caroline Shaw and Daniel Bjarnason as part of the groundbreaking collaboration with the MusicNOW Festival, Cincinnati’s premier new music festival. Recent seasons have also seen world premieres by André Previn and Gunther Schuller, as well as three concertos for orchestra by composers Sebastian Currier, Thierry Escaich and Zhou Tian, which were recorded and recently released on the Orchestra’s Fanfare Cincinnati label.
The CSO was the first American orchestra to make a world tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and continues to tour domestically and internationally, most recently to Europe in 2008 and to Japan in 2009, including two concerts at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the CSO’s first-ever nationally televised concert in Japan. The CSO has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall 48 times since its debut there in 1917, most recently to rave reviews in May of 2014. In January of 2016, the Orchestra performed at Lincoln Center as part of the invitational Great Performers series.
Listen now – CSO In Concert