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Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Announce 2021-2023 Class of Diversity Fellows

CSO CCM_logosFive extraordinary graduate-level string players have been selected for the sixth class of the prestigious CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship program

CINCINNATI, July 8, 2021 — The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) have selected five outstanding musicians for their next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows. Born out of a mutual desire to help American orchestras become more inclusive and better represent the communities they serve, the performance fellowship program was launched in 2015 and continues with a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Through the collaborative program, CCM and the CSO provide graduate level academic study and professional development and performance opportunities for the Diversity Fellows while catalyzing a more inclusive environment for underrepresented musicians in the orchestra field. The program’s tagline — “Bravos Without Barriers” — gets to the heart of its mission: eliminating obstacles that can prevent extraordinary musicians from achieving their full potential.

“If this past year has taught us anything, it is the need to work even more diligently to address the systemic imbalance and inequity that has been inherent in classical music” said CSO President & CEO Jonathan Martin. “Our ultimate goals with the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship are twofold: to change the face of American orchestras to be more inclusive, and to be more reflective of our community so that we can more authentically serve the entirety of our community. The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship has been a way to jumpstart that process—for both the Orchestra and the fellows. More importantly though, is that this opportunity immediately immerses the fellows to the rigors and demands of the life of a professional orchestral musician, which benefits their musical and professional development. We are grateful that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has been our funding partner for this important work.”

“If we are serious about promoting a more diverse and inclusive atmosphere within the arts, then conservatories and professional arts organizations have to work together to effect that change,” said CCM Dean Stanley Romanstein. “Part of our role as educators is to connect ‘potential’ with ‘opportunity.’ The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship is designed to revolutionize the talent pipeline by opening the doors of the orchestral industry to a more diverse population of emerging professionals. The Fellowship was a bold first step, but the work is ongoing. Thanks to our strong partnership with the CSO, the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the vision provided by the University of Cincinnati’s ‘Next Lives Here’ agenda, we will continue to build for tomorrow by cultivating an environment that focuses on accessibility while also providing artists with the support necessary for long-term success.”

Five exceptional string players will officially join the two-year fellowship program in August 2021, bringing the total number of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows to nine for the 2020-21 academic year and performance season. The incoming Fellows are:

  • Luis Celis Avila, (double bass)
  • Tyler McKisson, (viola)
  • Luis Parra, (cello)
  • Samantha Powell, (cello)
  • Mwakudua Kuo San “Dua” waNgure, (violin)

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program is open to exceptional violin, viola, cello and double bass players coming from historically underrepresented populations in classical music. The program is highly competitive, and each class of Fellows is selected through a series of auditions. Every year, hundreds of candidates audition for CCM faculty members for admission to the Conservatory. From that pool a select group is then invited back for Diversity Fellowship auditions with CSO musicians. The program saw its largest finalist group ever during the 2020-21 audition cycle, with 29 applicants invited to the final round of auditions, which were conducted in-person and virtually.

The Diversity Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the CSO while enrolled in a two-year Master of Music (MM) or Artist Diploma (AD) graduate degree program at CCM. The program also includes private lessons, mock auditions, professional development and audition travel assistance, career development workshops and mentorship from CSO musicians and artistic leadership.

Each Fellow receives full tuition scholarship support from CCM, a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and a one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000. Each Fellow also receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.

“The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship provides the opportunity to learn with one of the greatest orchestras in the world, and when I read about the program I knew that I had to apply for my shot at making this dream a reality,” incoming Fellow Zabawa-Martinez says. “In my first year as a fellow, I plan to take every opportunity presented to me in Cincinnati, and to learn by watching and listening to the musicians around me. The chance to gain experience with an orchestra like the CSO and to work with musicians from the orchestra and CCM will be a dream come true.”

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows can also participate in additional opportunities, including the chance to perform with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and participate in professional development opportunities with the Chautauqua Institution during its summer season.

Seventeen musicians have graduated from the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship to date. The fourth class of Diversity Fellows, which is comprised of Jordan Curry (violin), Magdiell Antequera (violin), Cristian Diaz (viola), Edna Pierce (viola) and Denielle Wilson (cello), recently completed the program at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season. Alumni have gone on to work with orchestras such as the Dallas, National, and Nashville Symphony Orchestras, as well as continuing as freelance artists and educators across the country.

MEET THE INCOMING FELLOWS
Luis Celis Avila, Master of Music (MM) student, Double Bass A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela, Luis Celis started playing the double bass at age 14. In 2021 he graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with Susan Hagen on a full scholarship. Before that, he studied at the Jose Luis Paz Music Conservatory in his native Maracaibo for 11 years. During his time in Venezuela, Celis profusely enjoyed performing with a variety of youth and professional orchestras like the Maracaibo Symphony Orchestra.

During his time in Boston, Celis was fortunate to be part of one of the most vibrant and active communities in the world. As a former member of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, he studied with Danilo Perez, Kenny Werner, Victor Wooten and John Patitucci. In 2018 Celis was chosen to perform at a master class for Ron Carter at the college. In addition to these experiences, Celis has also performed with the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (including a tour to Brazil with pianist Anna Fedorova) and the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra.

Celis has participated in summer festivals such as the Curtis Institute Summerfest where he was able to work with Roberto Diaz, and the Bach Institute in Boston where he worked with John Harbison.

Celis has also performed with multiple Grammy-winning artists such as Jacob Collier, George Massenburg (Studio Recording), Aida Cuevas, Latin Grammy winner Miguel Siso and Tigran Hamasyan. Other highlights include performing for Lenin Moreno, president of Ecuador at Harvard, for Howard Shore as the principal bassist of the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra at a concert in Boston Symphony Hall and for the Nintendo Switch video game score Dragon Marked for Death composed by Ippo Yamada.


Tyler McKisson, Artist Diploma (AD) student, Viola
Tyler McKisson is a 24-year-old orchestral and freelance violist from Arvada, Colorado who has recently received a Master of Music degree from the University of Colorado – Boulder in viola performance. During his Master’s, he studied under Erika Eckert. McKisson received a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance at the University of Northern Colorado where he studied under Christopher Luther and Anne Lanzilotti. McKisson’s musical career started at age 10 when he joined his school’s string orchestra program. At age 14, he began his studies under his first private instructor, Brian Cook.

McKisson has participated in master classes as part of an ensemble and as a soloist led by artists such as Guillermo Figueroa, Robert deMaine and Matthew Dane. McKisson has been a member of the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra for four seasons and has been a substitute for other local orchestras including the Boulder Symphony Orchestra and the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra. McKisson has also been named a substitute for the New World Symphony Orchestra, based in Miami, FL. He is a member of the Dynamix String Quartet which has performed an array of pop songs, classical pieces, and new music. Dynamix has performed two world premieres by local composers Eric Scott Alexander and Conner Lee Shaw. McKisson is also a member of the All Angles Orchestra which was the recipient of the Downbeat Student Music Award for Large Jazz Ensemble in 2018. Additionally, the ensemble recorded their debut album, New Angle, in 2017 through the Outside in Music Record Label.

He has been a national finalist in the MTNA Competition Chamber Division and has received a number of scholarships and grants to aid his undergraduate and graduate studies. McKisson has participated in several summer music programs including; Zodiac Music Academy Festival in Valdeblore, France; Music in the Mountains in Durango, CO; and Rocky Ridge Music Festival in Estes Park, CO. This summer, McKisson will be attending the Aspen Music Festival and School as a fellowship recipient.

Luis Parra, Master of Music (MM) student, Cello
Venezuelan cellist Luis Parra, age 24, began his musical journey at age 10, studying with cellist Tibisay Silva at the world-renowned program “El Sistema” in San Felipe, Venezuela. In 2012, Parra became a student of the Latin American Cello Academy, where he continued his studies with cellists William Molina and Wilfredo Perez and had the opportunity to work with other prominent cellists, including German Marcano and Marek Gajzler.

In 2013, Parra was named Principal Cellist of the Yaracuy Youth Symphony Orchestra and was invited to perform with the professional Caracas Municipal Orchestra and the Teresa Carreño Symphony. Parra made his solo debut with the Yaracuy Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2014, performing the Saint Saens Cello Concerto and his international debut with the Beirut Philharmonic in Ghalboun, Lebanon, where he performed the Elgar Cello Concerto.

As an accomplished chamber musician, Parra has participated in many festivals worldwide, including the Nuevo Mundo Festival and Academy in Aruba, the Yawmiyat Festival in Ghalboun, Lebanon, Center Stage Strings in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Amelia Island Festival in Florida.

In 2017, Parra moved to the United States, accepting a full scholarship to study at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University with cellists Richard Aaron, Julie Albers and Leo Singer. At Mercer, Parra had the opportunity to perform in master classes for great cellists and pedagogues, such as Edward Arron and Clive Greensmith, and performed alongside the Cavani String Quartet. In May of 2021, Parra was awarded the General Excellence in Music Award from the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University and graduated Summa Cum
Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance. Luis Parra plays on a “Neuner & Hornsteiner” cello, generously loaned by the Carlsen Cello Foundation from Seattle, WA.


Samantha Powell, Artist Diploma (AD) student, Cello
Samantha Powell recently graduated with a Bachelor’s in Cello Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. There she studied with the associate principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Richard Weiss. A 2017 graduate of Centennial High School, she was very involved in her orchestra as principal cellist, as well as her local church, where she has been a frequent featured soloist.

Powell started her music studies with cello at the age of five studying with John Landefeld, Associate Principal Cellist of the Plano Symphony Orchestra. She has won spots in the top All-Region orchestras in five consecutive years and has received All-State solo and orchestral honors. She was also a dedicated member of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra where she was featured as a concerto winner of the GDYO Philharmonic and the principal cellist of the top ensemble.

At CIM, she has been a principal cellist of the orchestra, been very active in chamber music being in groups like the Thalia Quartet which was selected for the Advanced String Quartet program, and has participated soloistically in Sonata Seminar where again being featured in concert. She was recently awarded for best Bach in the Cleveland Cello Society Scholarship Competition. Festivals where she has been a participant include The International Lyric Academy, Graz American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria, National Symphony Orchestra Summer Institute and recently received a fellowship with the National Orchestra Institute.


Mwakudua Kuo San “Dua” WaNgure, Artist Diploma (AD) student, Violin
Mwakudua WaNgure grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, where he started violin at the age of four through the Suzuki method. He continued to study violin throughout his childhood and graduated from high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy. WaNgure attended the Oberlin Conservatory where he earned his BM in Violin Performance and studied with David Bowlin. WaNgure went on to earn his MM in violin performance at the University of Michigan where he studied under Aaron Berofsky and Kathryn Votapek.

As a student WaNgure attended festivals such as the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Summer Intensive. As a professional WaNgure performed as a member of the various groups in the midwest such as the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and the Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival Orchestra. He also served as a violin instructor at Scarlett Middle School and Mitchell Elementary School in Ann Arbor.


About the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
With a rich tradition that dates back more than 125 years, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is considered one of America’s finest and most versatile ensembles. Led by Louis Langrée, the Orchestra’s distinguished roster of past music directors includes Frank van der Stucken, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ysaÿe, Fritz Reiner, Eugene Goossens, Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers, Michael Gielen, Jesús López Cobos, and Paavo Järvi. Matthias Pintscher is the Orchestra’s Creative, and past Creative Directors include Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Lang Lanag, Philip Glass, Branford Marsalis and Jennifer Higdon. The Orchestra also performs as the Cincinnati Pops, founded by Erich Kunzel in 1977. John Morris Russell has led the Pops since 2010 and Damon Gupton is Principal Guest Conductor.

Since its beginnings, the CSO been a proponent of the music of its time, performing the American premieres of works by important composers including Claude Debussy, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Maurice Ravel and Béla Bartók, and commissioning many works that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire, including two iconic works by Aaron Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man and Lincoln Portrait. The Orchestra continues to commission works, amplifying new voices from a diverse array of backgrounds.

With groundbreaking initiatives including CSO Proof, CSO Look Around, LUMENOCITY and the MusicNOW Festival collaboration, the Orchestra champions innovation. As an ambassador for Cincinnati, the region, and for the U.S., the CSO has toured extensively, most recently to Asia and Europe in 2017. The CSO was the first American orchestra to be featured on a national radio broadcast and continues to reach millions of listeners across the country and around the world through the airwaves, digital streaming and commercial recordings on the CSO’s own Fanfare Cincinnati label.

The Orchestra also performs, records and tours as the Cincinnati Pops and elevates Cincinnati’s vibrant arts scene by serving as the official orchestra for the Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet.

Committed to inclusion, community relevance and enhancing and expanding opportunities for the children of Greater Cincinnati, the Orchestra brings music education to and currently serves more than 80,000 individuals annually. The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship, in partnership with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, provides Masters degree-level education and professional development opportunities for extraordinary young musicians from historically underrepresented populations in classical music. The CSO is also an incubator for and partner to NIMAN, a consortium of American orchestras, professional musicians and educators devoted to providing significant and ongoing opportunities for young instrumentalists at all stages of their pre-careers.


About the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Declared “one of this country’s leading conservatories” by the New York Times, the University of Cincinnati’s nationally ranked and internationally renowned College-Conservatory of Music is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts. The school’s educational roots date back to 1867 and a solid, visionary instruction has been at its core since that time.

CCM offers nine degree types (BA, BM, BFA, MA, MM, MFA, AD, DMA, PhD) in nearly 120 possible majors, along with a wide variety of pre-collegiate and post-graduate programs. The synergy created by housing CCM within a comprehensive public university gives the college its unique character and defines its objective: to educate and inspire the whole artist and scholar for positions on the world’s stage.

CCM works to bring out the best in its students, faculty and staff by valuing their unique backgrounds, experiences and pespectives. CCM’s student population hails from 43 different US states and 32 different countries. The school’s roster of eminent faculty members regularly receives distinguished honors for creative and scholarly work, and its alumni have achieved notable success.

CCM is comprised of eight academic units, which span the spectrum of the performing and media arts:

  • Composition/Musicology/Theory,
  • Ensembles and Conducting (Choral Studies, Commercial Music Production, Jazz Studies, Orchestral Studies and Wind Studies)
  • General Studies,
  • Keyboard Studies (Harpsichord, Organ and Piano),
  • Media Production,
  • Music Education,
  • Performance Studies (Strings, Voice and Woodwinds/Brass/Percussion) and
  • Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration (Acting, Arts Administration, Dance, Musical Theatre, Opera and Theatre Design and Production)

CCM’s world-class facilities provide a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment. In 2017, the college completed a $15-million renovation of its major performance spaces, ensuring that CCM’s facilities remain state-of-the-art.

CCM is an accredited institution of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), as well as a member of the University/ Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA). The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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2021-2022 Season Announced by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

CSO_logo2CSO PROOF: ANNO Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

  • Thu Oct 7, 2021 | 8:00 pm
  • Fri Oct 8, 2021 | 8:00 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor
Anna Meredith, electronics
Eleanor Meredith, video
Simon Hendry, sound design

At times haunting and achingly beautiful, at others punchy and bombastic, ANNO intertwines sections from Vivaldi’s hugely famous Four Seasons with newly composed electronic and acoustic music by Anna Meredith.


FREEDOM & JOY

  • Fri Oct 29, 2021 | 7:30 pm
  • Sat Oct 30, 2021 | 7:30 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor
Stefani Matsuo, violin
Drew Petersen, piano

Our opening concerts symbolize the freedom and joy in being able to gather together to share live music. The program features Brahms’ blockbuster Third Symphony—an outburst of freedom and joy. Pianist Drew Petersen joins concertmaster Stefani Matsuo for Brahms’ Scherzo movement from the collaborative F-A-E Sonata and then performs Andrew Norman’s enigmatic Suspend, which explores melodic fragments from both of Brahms’ works.


DANIIL TRIFONOV IN RECITAL

  • Wed Nov 10, 2021 | 7:30 pm

Daniil Trifonov, piano

Daniil Trifonov wowed sold-out Music Hall audiences with his 2019 CSO debut. Now, Cincinnati will get a chance to experience a rare solo recital showcasing the remarkable talent of the famed Russian pianist—an artist The London Times calls “without question the most astounding pianist of our age.”


GAFFIGAN CONDUCTS MAHLER 4

  • Sat Nov 13, 2021 | 7:30 pm
  • Sun Nov 14, 2021 | 2:00 pm

James Gaffigan, conductor
Robert Sullivan, trumpet
Catherine Trottmann, soprano

Conductor James Gaffigan returns with Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, a work depicting the stunning grace often found amid tragedy. Soprano Catherine Trottmann makes her CSO debut, and Principal Trumpet Robert Sullivan takes center stage with a rarely heard 18th-century gem by the little-known Czech composer Johann Baptist Georg Neruda.


MANNY, HAYDN & BEETHOVEN 8

  • Fri Nov 19, 2021 | 11:00 am
  • Sat Nov 20, 2021 | 7:30 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano

Emanuel Ax, a perpetual audience favorite, performs Haydn’s shimmering Concerto in D. Composer Sebastian Currier took Louis Langrée’s CSO commission instructions literally: each of the four movements in Track 8 parallels a movement of Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony, in what Currier calls
“a Beethoven remix.”


DEBUSSY, RAVEL & MENDELSSOHN

  • Fri Nov 26, 2021 | 7:30 pm
  • Sat Nov 27, 2021 | 7:30 pm

Roderick Cox, conductor
Conrad Tao, piano

Roderick Cox’s CSO debut takes us into the sound world of the imagination, with works by composers who used the full palette of orchestral colors to illustrate their vision. Mallarmé’s poem depicting a faun’s ephemeral fantasies inspired Debussy’s most famous work. Pianist Conrad Tao performs Ravel’s concerto inspired by jazz and Basque folk music, and Mendelssohn’s Scottish evokes the dramatic landscapes of the British Isles.


DAWSON, BEETHOVEN & BERNSTEIN: A Shared Humanity

  • Sat Jan 8, 2022 | 7:30 pm
  • Sun Jan 9, 2022 | 2:00 pm

James Conlon, conductor

James Conlon, May Festival Music Director Laureate, returns with works by three composers who touch on universal themes of cultural identity and our shared humanity. Dawson, a pioneering composer in his time, expresses the Black American experience while Beethoven’s and Bernstein’s works illustrate the conflicts between cultures thrown together through circumstance.


LA VALSE & SIMPSON PREMIERE

  • Fri Jan 14, 2022 | 11:00 am
  • Sat Jan 15, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor
Nicola Bendetti, violin

At the turn of the 20th century, there were no greater orchestrators than Ravel and Strauss, whose works unleash the full force of the orchestra in all of its innumerable colors. Grammy-winning violinist Nicola Benedetti gives the U.S. premiere of Mark Simpson’s dazzling new violin concerto. Finished during the pandemic, the work “explodes with all those feelings—frustration, anger, restlessness, confusion, uncertainty—that have had nowhere to go during the lockdowns” (The Times, London).


PINTSCHER PREMIERE & RACHMANINOFF

  • Fri Jan 28, 2022 | 7:30 pm
  • Sat Jan 29, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Matthias Pintscher, conductor
Leila Josefowicz, violin

CSO Creative Partner Matthias Pintscher and close collaborator, violinist Leila Josefowicz, premiere Pintscher’s brand new concerto, written for the CSO. Completing the program is another composer who conducted his own works: Sergei Rachmaninoff, whose spirited Symphonic Dances are always an audience favorite.


TANGO & CITY NOIR

  • Sat Feb 12, 2022 | 7:30 pm
  • Sun Feb 13, 2022 | 2:00 pm

John Storgårds, conductor
Ksenjia Sidorova, accordion

The versatility of Glass, Piazzolla and Adams shines as conductor John Storgårds leads a program conjuring missing lovers, misspent youth, intrigue, and the early hours of Los Angeles. Piazzolla’s steamy, sultry Latin tangos are mesmerizing as performed by accordionist Ksenija Sidorova in her CSO debut.


CANELLAKIS & ELGAR CONCERTO

  • Fri Mar 4, 2022 | 11:00 am
  • Sat Mar 5, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Karina Canellakis, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

Audience favorite Alisa Weilerstein brings her trademark intensity to Elgar’s fiery and elegant Cello Concerto. Full of energy, Augusta Read Thomas’ Brio is a joyous opening to the program, and the artistry of conductor Karina Canellakis and the CSO is on display with Sibelius’ depiction of mythological dark Nordic waters, icy adventures and a sonorous swan song.


MOZART & MAZZOLI PREMIERE

  • Fri Mar 11, 2022 | 7:30 pm
  • Sat Mar 12, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor
Jennifer Koh, violin
May Festival Chorus, Robert Porco, director

Jennifer Koh is a prolific champion of new works and stars in the premiere of a CSO co-commission by “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart,” Missy Mazzoli. The May Festival Chorus makes a triumphant return to Music Hall for Mozart’s poignant Mass, taking us from anxiety and darkness to glorious transfiguration.


SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE

  • Fri Mar 25, 2022 | 7:30 pm
  • Sat Mar 26, 2022 | 7:30 pm
  • Sun Mar 27, 2022 | 2:00 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor
Eighth Blackbird

GRAMMY Award-winning Eighth Blackbird joins the CSO for a premiere from
Kinds of Kings, a U.S.-based composer collective amplifying and advocating for underrepresented voices. A new fanfare by Wynton Marsalis shows off the Orchestra’s brass, and Symphonie fantastique completes the concert with a delirious dream fueled by Berlioz’s obsessive passion and unrequited love.


BARTÓK & PROKOFIEV 5

  • Fri Apr 1, 2022 | 11:00 am
  • Sat Apr 2, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Kazushi Ōno, conductor
Seong-Jin Cho, piano

Prokofiev’s powerful hymn to humanity anchors a program featuring the CSO debuts of conductor Kazushi Ōno and star pianist Seong-Jin Cho. The vivid musical imagery of Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu sets the stage for Bartók’s airy and virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 3.


BRONFMAN & LA MER

  • Fri Apr 8, 2022 | 7:30 pm
  • Sat Apr 9, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano

Powerhouse pianist Yefim Bronfman returns to the CSO with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Julia Adolphe’s premiere evokes the power of nature and its malleable, playful, childlike qualities. With La Mer let your imagination soar—Debussy’s masterful use of orchestral colors makes this impressionistic work a perpetual audience favorite.


ITZHAK PERLMAN IN RECITAL

  • Sun Apr 10, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Itzhak Perlman, violin

When we say, “think of a famous violinist,” who comes to mind? For many, it’s Itzhak Perlman. The “reigning virtuoso” (The New York Times) returns for a solo violin recital, putting Perlman’s legendary sound center stage. When we think of Perlman, we think, “can’t miss.”


CSO PROOF: Black Being

  • Wed Apr 20, 2022 | 8:00 pm

Flutronix
Nathalie Joachim & Allison Loggins-Hull, composers and soloists
Jaki Shelton Green, poet
Co-Commissioned by The Arts Club of Chicago and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Black Being explores the African-American female experience through themes of fear, sacrifice, beauty, survival and strength in an immersive staged performance that provides a lens into black cultural realities and human conditions. 


CLASSICAL ROOTS

  • Fri Apr 22, 2022 | 7:30 pm

John Morris Russell, conductor

Shout for joy, Cincinnati! JMR and the CSO celebrate 20+ years of Classical Roots, one of The Queen City’s most inspiring musical traditions. Experience the voices of the Classical Roots Community Mass Choir and let the powerful presence of song and spirit in beautiful Music Hall lift up your heart.


CONNESSON PREMIERE & RACHMANINOFF

  • Fri May 6, 2022 | 11:00 am
  • Sat May 7, 2022 | 7:30 pm
  • Sun May 8, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor
Dwight Parry, oboe

Rachmaninoff’s lush and romantic Second Symphony uses the full force of the orchestra to deliver one of the most popular symphonic works. Opening the concert is a world premiere by French composer Guillaume Connesson, written for CSO Principal Oboe Dwight Parry.


TRANSCENDENT BRUCKNER

  • Sat May 14, 2022 | 7:30 pm
  • Sun May 15, 2022 | 2:00 pm

Louis Langrée, conductor

Louis Langrée calls Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony “a cathedral of sound—spiritual, soaring and transcendent.” The concert opens with a new work by Gabriela Ortiz, identified by NPR as “one of Mexico’s most sought-after classical composers,” whose musical language stems from her heritage and yet is all her own.


For more information visit https://www.cincinnatisymphony.org/tickets-and-events/buy-tickets/cso/2122-cso-season

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Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Announces Details for Free “LIVE FROM MUSIC HALL” Streamed Concerts This Fall and Musicians’ Contract Extensions

CSO_POPS logos

CSO Music Director Louis Langrée and Pops Conductor John Morris Russell to Lead Seven All-New Programs Inspired by Current Times;
Featured Artists include Angel Blue, Sharel Cassity, Aaron Diehl,
Adia Dobbins, Damon Gupton, Augustin Hadelich, Anthony McGill,
Awadagin Pratt and the Catalyst Quartet

Newly Ratified One-Year Musicians’ Contract Calls for Cost Savings
and Creates Significant Scheduling Flexibility

Free Access to All Seven Concerts Enhanced by Simulcasts
in Washington Park and Fountain Square

CINCINNATI, OH (September 14, 2020) – The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Cincinnati Pops have announced detailed plans for seven Live From Music Hall concerts to be digitally streamed for free this autumn in lieu of live, in-person performances. The concerts are being recorded at Cincinnati Music Hall in accordance with strict safety protocols and will be broadcast throughout the fall on Saturday evenings at 8pm. The live-streamed programs will be free on the Orchestra’s website and social media channels and will also be simulcast for a live, socially distanced audience in downtown Cincinnati on large screens in Fountain Square and Washington Park.

Since the COVID 19-related cancellation of the Orchestra’s planned spring, summer and fall concerts at Music Hall, the organization has addressed budget shortfalls through a three-pronged plan of expense cuts and salary reductions for staff, executive and artistic leadership; special fundraising; and a draw from the organization’s cash reserves. Further, the staff has realigned around digital innovation and a newly announced DE&I plan to position for long-term growth. The streamed events are made possible due to a one-year agreement with the Orchestra’s musicians that allows greater scheduling and work rules flexibility made necessary due to restricted public gathering guidelines and increased safety measures.

Music Director Louis Langrée will conduct four CSO programs, September 26, October 24, November 21 and December 5. Program highlights include soprano Angel Blue singing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915; the Catalyst Quartet joining the Orchestra for Jesse Montgomery’s Banner; Augustin Hadelich performing a violin concerto of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges; Anthony McGill as soloist in Anthony Davis’s You Have the Right to Remain Silent; and Awadagin Pratt performing a Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K.414/385p. Western & Southern is the CSO Season Sponsor.

“We are living through challenging times, but music has the ability to elevate us, heals us and unite us,” said Louis Langrée. “We have chosen repertoire this fall that reflects our current sensitivities and sensibilities and we have invited guest artists who are not only great musicians but important voices in our collective consciousness.”

Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell will conduct three Pops programs. October 3 focuses on American jazz “classics” from early ragtime to a new reduced orchestration Rhapsody in Blue with Aaron Diehl as soloist and a celebration of Charlie Parker’s 100th birthday with saxophonist Sharel Cassity and vocalist Adia Dobbins. October 31 is Halloween and autumn-themed with highlights including movie music from Psycho, Us, and a Harry Potter suite; tunes celebrating Dia De Los Muertes; and, Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton will narrate The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. And, on December 12, a special digital version of the beloved Holiday Pops will center around the theme Home for the Holidays. PNC Bank is the Pops Series Sponsor.

“In reprogramming the fall season, we’ve done a deep dive into amazing musical wonderments from Hollywood, popular classics and the panoply of American pop that can be performed on a more intimate scale,” said John Morris Russell. “We’ve discovered hot tunes from the Jazz Age and smoldering classics from the Be-bop era, eclectic music for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, and a charming collection of exquisite Holiday gems. And, we’re really excited about two world premiere orchestrations–The Legend of Sleepy Hollow we commissioned from James Stephenson III and a new reduced scoring of Rhapsody In Blue from Tim Berens. We can’t wait to share it all with Pops fans around the corner and across the globe!”

In addition to its virtual presence, the CSO and Pops is increasing its robust schedule of neighborhood and community events with the expansion of CSO In Your Neighborhood, pop-up concerts throughout Greater Cincinnati featuring small ensembles of CSO musicians.

“To achieve this re-creation of our season required greatly increased flexibility in scheduling and work rules, and we are grateful to our musicians for understanding the need to incorporate these into a new one-year contract,” said CSO President & CEO Jonathan Martin. “Both COVID and societal issues around inclusiveness and equity have forever changed the CSO’s landscape. In addition to mitigating the financial implications caused by concert cancellations, our three-pronged financial stability plan includes a realigned staff structure around our elevated priorities: our presence in the digital space, and our rededication to a CSO that fully serves our community.”

The ability to produce the seven Live From Music Hall events as well as ongoing CSO In Your Neighborhood concerts is achievable due to a newly ratified one-year contract extension with the CSO’s musicians. Modifications to the contract include a 10% across-the-board wage reduction; much greater scheduling flexibility; the ability to deploy smaller groups of musicians for community and education activities; a hiring postponement for current vacancies in the Orchestra complement; and, increased presence of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows as extra and substitute musicians. Additionally, in tandem with similar initiatives being undertaken by the CSO board and staff, the contract specifies the creation of a task force to review hiring, contracting and compensation practices to ensure fairness and equity.

“This agreement opens the door for adjustments that all Orchestras may need to consider given the uncertainties of COVID and its long-term implications. It represents a decades-long tradition of collaboration based on the understanding that the Cincinnati community has supported its symphony orchestra since 1895,” said Paul Frankenfeld, President of the Cincinnati Musicians’ Association, Local 1 AFM and CSO Associate Principal Viola. “We thank the orchestra committee and particularly co-chairs Ted Nelson and Jennifer Monroe for their thoughtful consideration of what was best for the musicians and for our community. We thank our attorney Barbara Jaccoma for contributing to our ongoing conversation since 2001. And, we thank the Board and management for continuing to honor the contract by providing our current salary and benefits despite the suspension of all concert activity since March 12.”

“I’m proud of the creative way our artistic leaders, musicians and staff have worked over the past several months to keep the Cincinnati Symphony in the hearts and minds of our loyal audiences. If there is anything we’ve learned from this experience, it’s that the post-COVID world we eventually operate in will be different, and so we have taken this opportunity to better position ourselves for what lies ahead,” said CSO Board Chair Rob McDonald. “Music and art and are vital to our well-being, and, thanks to unwavering support from sponsors and donors, Live From Music Hall will help us continue to make meaningful connections with our audiences, our community and well beyond Cincinnati this fall.”

In addition to the Orchestra’s longstanding support from the Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, ArtsWave, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, the CSO is sponsored by Western & Southern Financial Group.

“Western & Southern is committed to the arts in Cincinnati and is proud to support the CSO’s innovative digital concerts this fall. Like everyone at the CSO, we look forward to returning to Music Hall, but until then, we are glad to make these live streams possible,” said John Barrett, Chairman, President & CEO of Western & Southern.

Since mid-March, when the pandemic forced the suspension of large public gatherings, the CSO and Pops have remained connected with local and global audiences through the creation of new digital content and physically distanced pop-up concerts and events with musicians from the Orchestra under the CSO In Your Neighborhood umbrella. This fall, in addition to the seven large-scale concert events, the CSO will continue to create and curate original content for its social media platforms and for Orchestra at Home, an array of performances and aggregated resources on cincinnatisymphony.org. Orchestra at Home provides links to virtual concerts on May 16 and July 4 as well as other live streamed experiences produced since the beginning of the pandemic; performance and educational videos by CSO musicians (including a series of world premieres catalyzed by The Fanfare Project); education programs supplementing and supporting home learning and schools as they acclimate to adjusted teaching environments; and a collection of archived CSO and Pops videos, podcasts and recordings.

Educational programming will support schools, educators and students in the region with free Young People’s Concerts, in-school programs and educator professional development activities available virtually. And, Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestras will provide modified in-person activities and supplemental virtual activities available to all students.

Subscribers to the CSO or Pops’ 2020-21 season who have tickets to fall 2020 concerts have been contacted directly by the Box Office with their options. Questions can be directed to the CSO Box Office at (513) 381-3300.

The complete schedule follows.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Louis Langrée, Music Director
Cincinnati Pops, John Morris Russell, Conductor
Live From Music Hall, Fall 2020

Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Free at Cincinnatisymphony.org
Simulcast at Washington Park and Fountain Square
Louis Langrée conductor
Angel Blue, soprano
Catalyst Quartet, string quartet

Jessie Montgomery                                       Banner, for Solo String Quartet
(b. 1981)                                                             and Chamber Orchestra

Samuel Barber                                                 Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op. 24
(1910-1981)                                                                     Angel Blue, soprano

Aaron Copland                                                 Suite from Appalachian Spring      (1900-1990)                                                                 (1944 original orchestration)

Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Free at Cincinnatisymphony.org
Simulcast at Fountain Square
John Morris Russell conductor
Aaron Diehl, piano
Sharel Cassity, saxophone
Adia Dobbins, vocalist

American jazz classics, from ragtime to a celebration of Charlie Parker’s centenary. Works by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, James Reese Europe, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter and Harry Warren & Mack Gordon.

Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Free at Cincinnatisymphony.org
Simulcast at Fountain Square
Louis Langrée conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin

Charles Ives                                                                   The Unanswered Question
(1874-1954)

Joseph Bologne,                Chevalier Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra
de Saint-Georges               in A Major, Op. 5, No. 2
(1745-1799)                                Allegro moderato
Largo
Rondeau
Augustin Hadelich, violin

Igor Stravinsky                                      Pulcinella Suite (1949 revision)
(1882-1971)                                             I. Sinfonia
II. Serenata
III. Scherzino
IV. Tarantella
V. Toccata
IV. Gavotta con due variazioni
VII. Vivo
VIII. Minuetto
IX. Finale
The appearance of Augustin Hadelich is made possible by Mace Justice.

Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Free at Cincinnatisymphony.org
Simulcast at Fountain Square
John Morris Russell conductor
Stefani Matsuo, violin
Damon Gupton, narrator

A celebration of autumn, Halloween and Dia De Los Muertes. Featuring Stefani Matsuo as soloist in “Autumn” from Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires; movie music including selections from Michael Abels’ Us, Bernard Hermann’s Psycho and John Williams’ Harry Potter; the traditional La Llorona; and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in a special orchestration by James Stephenson III and narrated by Cincinnati Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton.

Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Free at Cincinnatisymphony.org
Simulcast at Fountain Square
Louis Langrée conductor
Anthony McGill, clarinet

Julia Perry                                              Homunculus C.F.
(1924-1979)

Richard Wagner                                     Siegfried Idyll
(1813-1883)

Anthony Davis                                         You Have the Right to Remain Silent
(b. 1951)                                                                   Interrogation
Loss
Incarceration
Dance of the Other
Anthony McGill, clarinet

Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Free at Cincinnatisymphony.org
Simulcast at Fountain Square
Louis Langrée conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Awadagin Pratt, piano

Marianna Martines                                                Overture in C Major
(1744-1812)                                                                   Allegro con spirito
Andante ma non troppo
Allegro spiritoso

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart                              Concerto No. 12 in A Major for
(1756-1791)                                                          Piano and Orchestra, K.414/385p
Allegro
Andante
Allegretto
Awadagin Pratt, piano

Maurice Ravel                          Five Nursery Songs (Suite) from Ma mère l’oye
(1875-1937)                                     (Mother Goose)
Pavane of the Sleeping Beauty
Tom Thumb
Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas
Conversations of Beauty and the Beast
The Enchanted Garden

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier               Movement III, Rondo, from Concerto for
de Saint-Georges             Violin and String Orchestra in A Major, Op. 5, No. 2
(1745-1799)                               Augustin Hadelich, violin
ed. Badley

The appearance of Augustin Hadelich is made possible by Mace Justice.

Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Free at Cincinnatisymphony.org
Simulcast at Fountain Square
John Morris Russell conductor

Holiday Pops—Home for the Holidays
The Cincinnati Pops presents a special digital version of its beloved annual Holiday Pops concerts, featuring seasonal music and a few surprises.

Supported by Graeter’s Ice Cream.

Programs and artists subject to change.

###

About the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
With a rich tradition that dates back 125 years, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is considered one of America’s finest and most versatile ensembles. Led by Music Director Louis Langrée, Matthias Pintscher will be the Orchestra’s Creative Partner beginning with the 2020-21 season. The Orchestra also performs as the Cincinnati Pops, founded by Erich Kunzel in 1977. John Morris Russell has been Pops Conductor since 2010 and Damon Gupton is Principal Guest Conductor.

Since its beginnings, the CSO been a proponent of the music of its time, performing the American premieres of works by important composers including Claude Debussy, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Maurice Ravel and Béla Bartók, and commissioning many works that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire, including two iconic works by Aaron Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man and Lincoln Portrait. The Orchestra continues to commission works, amplifying new voices from a diverse array of backgrounds.

With groundbreaking initiatives including CSO Proof, CSO Look Around, LUMENOCITY and the MusicNOW Festival collaboration, the Orchestra champions innovation. As an ambassador for Cincinnati, the region, and for the U.S., the CSO has toured extensively, most recently to Asia and Europe in 2017. The CSO was the first American orchestra to be featured on a national radio broadcast and continues to reach millions of listeners across the country and around the world through the airwaves, digital streaming and commercial recordings on the CSO’s own Fanfare Cincinnati label. The Orchestra also performs, records and tours as the Cincinnati Pops and elevates Cincinnati’s vibrant arts scene by serving as the official orchestra for the Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet.

Committed to inclusion and relevance and to enhancing and expanding music education for the children of Greater Cincinnati, the Orchestra works to bring music education, in its many different forms, to as broad a public as possible. Education and outreach programs currently serve more than 80,000 individuals annually. The groundbreaking CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship, a nationally recognized program in partnership with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, provides Masters degree-level education and professional development and performance opportunities for extraordinary young musicians from historically underrepresented populations in classical music.

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CSO and Pops Concerts Cancelled Through May 31, 2020

CSO_logo2In compliance with Governor Mike DeWine’s standing mass-gathering restrictions and his recent directive to stay at home, and in an effort to protect audiences, musicians, employees and the community from the spread of COVID-19, all remaining CSO and Pops concerts and events through May 31, 2020 are canceled.

The ongoing restrictions on assemblages of more than 10 people became immediately problematic for collaborative art forms such as ours to continue with rehearsals and production plans. Thus, it is with heavy hearts that the remaining performances this season must be canceled, including the CSO’s collaboration with the May Festival.

CANCELED:

  • Lollipops: Peter and the Wolf Sensory-Friendly Rehearsal (March 24)
  • Chamber Players: Manny Ax & More (March 27)
  • Manny and Mozart (March 27 & 28)
  • Lollipops: Peter and the Wolf (March 28)
  • Young People’s Concert: Plugged In (March 31)
  • Beethoven 8 + Sō Percussion (April 3 & 4)
  • CSO Night/Light (April 4)
  • CSO Artist-in-Residence Guy Braunstein in Recital (April 16)
  • Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev (April 17 & 18)
  • CSYO Philharmonic Spring Concert (April 18)
  • CSO Proof: Surrealist el Tropical (April 22)
  • Chamber Players: Mendelssohn & Braunstein (April 24)
  • Mendelssohn + Strings (April 25 & 26)
  • CSO/CSYO Side-by-Side Concert (April 28)
  • DreamWorks Animation in Concert (May 1, 2 & 3)
  • Mozart’s Paris (May 8 & 9)
  • CSYO Concert Orchestra Spring Concert (May 9)
  • CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows Musical Matinee (May 9)
  • Mahler 3 + Adolphe Premiere (May 16 & 17)

Please note that the April 14 concert with Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers is currently postponed with a new date TBD, pending scheduling capability.

The Louis on 125: The Luminaries event on April 30 will be streamed digitally on Facebook Live. Please visit the page to stay up to date with more details as the event approaches.

These cancellations will have a significant financial impact for the Orchestra. We are especially appreciative of our generous supporters who will consider donating their tickets for a tax credit. Throughout our 125-year history, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has navigated challenges and continues to thrive because of the strength of our community. Now, as always, we are grateful for our community’s extraordinary support.

How can you help?

Donate your tickets for a tax credit. Nearly one-third of audiences so far have chosen to donate their tickets for cancelled performances, which helps the Orchestra during this extraordinarily challenging time.

Subscribe. Show your support by ordering your season tickets for the 20/21 season now. We look forward to seeing you back in Music Hall when we can all be together again.

Donate. To help ensure the CSO’s future, please consider the role music plays in your lives and support your Orchestra with a gift of any amount at cincinnatisymphony.org/donate.

Thank you for your continued support of the CSO and Pops.

Click here for more information: What are my ticket options?

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All Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Concerts and Events Cancelled through April 5

CSO_logoCANCELLATION NOTICE:
In accordance with Governor DeWine’s orders prohibiting large gatherings to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), all CSO and Pops concerts and events are canceled through at least April 5.

For ticket information: bit.ly/2IJNTDX

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