Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

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The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Cincinnati , Ohio . Its main venue is the Music Hall . In addition to symphony concerts, the orchestra also gives pop concerts as the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is the resident orchestra for the Cincinnati May Festival , Cincinnati Opera and Ballet .


The immediate predecessor of the current orchestra was the Cincinnati Orchestra, founded in 1872. In 1893, Helen Herron Taft founded the Cincinnati Orchestra Association, and the name of the orchestra was determined to be the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra gave its first concerts in 1895 at Pike's Opera House. A year later the orchestra moved to the Music Hall . Its first music director was Frank Van der Stucken , a Texas-born conductor of Flemish origin who held the post until 1907. In its early years, the orchestra welcomed such well-known composers as Richard Strauss and Edward MacDowell . The orchestra performed the US premiere of Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler .

For three years the orchestra was inactive as a result of arguments and financial problems. When it was reorganized in 1909, Leopold Stokowski , at that time a young organist from England, worked for three years as musical director of the newly organized orchestra until 1912; it was his first ever job as an orchestra conductor. In 1911 the orchestra moved from the Music Hall to the Emery Auditorium. Subsequent musical directors were Ernst Kunwald until 1918, Eugène Ysaÿe (1918–1922), Fritz Reiner (1922–1933) and Eugene Goossens (1933–1947). The orchestra returned to the Music Hall in 1936. Musical milestones during this period were the US premiere of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 (1912), its first recording in 1917, first national tours and the world premieres of Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait (1942) and Fanfare for the Common Man (1943).

Thor Johnson became musical director in 1947 and led the orchestra on one of the very first stereo recordings for Remington Records . Max Rudolf succeeded Johnson in 1958. Thomas Schippers became music director in 1970, but died surprisingly in 1977. After Schippers' death, Walter Susskind worked as the orchestra's “Music Advisor” from 1978 until his death in 1980.

In 1980 Michael Gielen became music director and held this position until 1986. Jesús López Cobos became music director in 1986. His successes included a European tour in 1995, the first since 1969, and the first television appearance on PBS . His 15 years as a director became the longest with this orchestra. In September 2001 he resigned and was appointed music director emeritus.

Recent history

From 2001 to 2011 Paavo Järvi was the orchestra's music director. The orchestra made a number of recordings for the Telarc label while Järvis was conducting . In January 2007, the orchestra reported financial difficulties with an expected deficit of approximately $ 2 million over the fiscal year. In 2009 these difficulties - together with a sale of Telarc - led to the termination of the record deal by the Concord Music Group. At the end of 2009, Cincinnati's art patron and philanthropist Louise Nippert announced a donation of USD 85 million to the orchestra. The orchestra should receive three million USD directly annually, which covers about ¾ of its fixed costs. 12% and 5% were allocated to the Cincinnati Opera and ballet companies, with the requirement that the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra remain the resident orchestra for these organizations.

After his tenure ended in 2011, Järvi was appointed honorary musical director (“music director laureate”). In January 2011, as part of the interim period after the end of Järvi's activities and while looking for a successor, the orchestra appointed a number of musicians as "Creative Directors" to perform various concert series with them. For the 2011–2012 season these were:

For the 2012-2013 season, Frühbeck de Burgos renewed his position as Creative Director of the Masterworks Series. For the other two series, new musicians have been named as directors:

In 2010, the orchestra launched its own recording label, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Media. The new label's inaugural album, "American Portraits," was launched internationally in January 2011. In November 2011 it became the world's first orchestra to set up a “ tweeting zone ” at its concerts.

On April 24, 2012, the orchestra named Louis Langrée, initially as “Music Director Designate” with immediate effect, then as its 13th music director with effect for the 2013–2014 season, with an initial four-year contract. In 2020 it was announced that the contract had been extended to 2024.

Music directors

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra was founded in 1977, with Erich Kunzel as conductor. In December 2010, John Morris Russell became the new conductor of Cincinnati Pop, succeeding Erich Kunzel, who died in 2009.

Youth orchestra

The CSO supports the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, a program for young musicians in grades 9 through 12 to nurture talent and create opportunities for them to perform at the highest level. The CSYO is presently under the direction of the CSO's assistant conductor, William C. White.

Web links


  1. ^ Howard Pollack: Aaron Copland: the life and work of an uncommon man ( English ). University of Illinois Press, 2000, p. 357.
  2. ^ Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. In: 2020 (English).;
  3. history of the orchestra (English)
  4. ^ Cliff Peale: Symphony needs money (English) , Cincinnati Enquirer. January 5, 2007. Archived from the original on March 20, 2007. Retrieved April 18, 2007. 
  5. CSO Announces 2011-2012 Season ( English ) Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. January 30, 2011. Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved on May 14, 2012.
  6. CSO Announces star-studded 2012-13 season ( English ) Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved on April 24, 2012.
  7. Louis Langrée Named Next CSO Music Director ( English ) Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. April 24, 2012. Archived from the original on May 2, 2012. Retrieved on May 27, 2012.
  8. ^ Janelle Gelfand: French conductor named CSO music director (English) . In: Cincinnati Enquirer . Archived from the original on April 28, 2012. Retrieved on April 24, 2012. 
  9. Madeline Mitchell: CSO's music director Louis Langrée gets contract extension through 2024. In: January 12, 2020 (English).;
  10. a b Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra ( English ) Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved on November 28, 2012.