Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Louis Langrée, Music Director
Manager: R. Douglas Sheldon
Management Territory: North America
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is a dynamic ensemble of some of the world’s finest musicians. The fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the U.S. and the oldest orchestra in Ohio, the CSO has played a leading role in the cultural life of Greater Cincinnati and the Midwest since its founding in 1895.
Louis Langrée begins his tenure as CSO’s thirteenth Music Director in the 2013-14 season, succeeding Paavo Järvi, whose tenure concluded in 2011 after ten seasons. Over the Orchestra’s 118-year history, it has . . . also been led by Leopold Stokowski, Eugène Ysaÿe, Fritz Reiner, Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers and Jesús López-Cobos, among others. During this most recent music director search, the Orchestra enlisted Creative Directors for the CSO’s three respective subscription series. For the 2011-12 season, the Creative Directors were conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, pianist Lang Lang and composer Philip Glass. For the 2012-13 season, they were Maestro Frühbeck de Burgos, saxophonist Branford Marsalis and composer Jennifer Higdon.
Over the years, the CSO has built a reputation as one the world’s foremost orchestras and a champion of new music. Cincinnati has been home to the American premieres of works by such composers as Debussy, Mahler, Ravel and Bartók, and the world premiere of many works including Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait. The Orchestra has also commissioned works that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire including Copland’s iconic Fanfare for the Common Man.
The CSO was the first orchestra to be broadcast to a national radio audience in 1921 and the Orchestra continues to be featured on national radio broadcasts, reaching 2.3 million listeners this year alone. The CSO was the third orchestra to record in 1917 and that rich legacy continues. Ten million CSO and Cincinnati Pops recordings have been sold around the world since 1980, mostly on the Telarc label and including Grammy winners. In January of 2010, the CSO launched its own record label, now known as Fanfare Cincinnati, which has released two CSO discs to date, American Portraits and Baltic Portraits. The third Fanfare Cincinnati disc, Home for the Holidays from the Cincinnati Pops, was released in fall 2012, while another Pops recording, Superheroes, is scheduled for release in fall 2013. In March of 2012, the CSO performed the world premiere of Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto No. 2, Naqoyqatsi, which was recorded and released in March of 2013 under the Orange Mountain Music 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 (Paris, Madrid, Vienna and Amsterdam) and to Japan in 2009, including two concerts at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the CSO’s first-ever nationally televised concert in Japan at NHK Hall. The CSO has performed at New York’s world-famous Carnegie Hall 47 times since its debut there in 1917, most recently in February 2010.
One of 15 North American orchestras performing year-round, the CSO presents classical and Cincinnati Pops subscription concerts, Young People’s Concerts, Lollipops Family Concerts, CSO Chamber Players performances, summer performances at Riverbend Music Center, and Concerts in the Park. The CSO is also the official orchestra for the Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet.
The CSO is committed to enhancing and expanding music education for the students of Greater Cincinnati and works to bring music education, in its many different forms, to as broad a public as possible. Education and outreach programs serve more than 65,000 individuals annually. Since 1999, the CSO has been reaching this goal through its innovative education and outreach program Sound Discoveries: Music for Life, Music for the Community, Music for a Career.