Arts Deepen Roots in the Region


“Right when I came back from college, the city was just on the cusp of the downtown ‘explosion.’ The CSO has done a great job keeping up with the change in the city. The Orchestra isn’t stuffy—it has evolved. It caught my attention as an adult; I hope to share it with my kids when we have them. … the CSO has its finger on the pulse of the city.” —Thanh Pham, CSO volunteer and audience member

College:Connect will set the soundtrack

3,860 Ignite members

Launching 3 new pilot programs






“I am not exactly the ‘symphony’ type … I truly appreciate the efforts that … the CSO and the Pops have been making to reach out to more 20 somethings … I’ve noticed significant efforts being made to reach out to Cincinnati and inspire new generations to fall in love with the arts.” —Pops “Home Alone” concert attendee, female, age 27, native Cincinnatian


The CSO’s third annual collaboration with Cincinnati’s MusicNOW Festival continued to experiment with the so-called boundaries of music. This year, Louis Langrée led two unique programs featuring works by MusicNOW Artistic Director Bryce Dessner, Terry Riley, Julia Wolfe, Witold Lutosławski and more, as well as guest performances by the Grammy Award-winning mandolinist (and new host of A Prairie Home Companion) Chris Thile (pictured left), the Kronos Quartet and violinist Jennifer Koh. The artists on this year’s MusicNOW program were supported by generous gifts from Daniel Lewis and Ginger and David W. Warner.

“I would say that the audience and the musical culture that exists in Cincinnati are just perfect for the [MusicNOW] Festival.” —David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet


The CSO’s subsidiary, Music and Event Management, Inc. (MEMI), operates Riverbend Music Center, the Taft Theatre and the Rose Music Center. Through MEMI, the CSO offers a variety of entertainment experiences ranging from Jimmy Buffett to Jim Gaffigan. Fans of all ages travel from around the region to enjoy music from an array of genres.

• The Taft Theatre again saw an increase in bookings in contemporary music, comedy and family touring acts

• MidPoint Music Festival, the fall music festival in OTR that was at risk of suspension, was preserved through an acquisition by MEMI

• The inaugural season at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights was met with critical acclaim and exceeded expectations in both bookings and attendance

“… what the Cincinnati Symphony has come to realize, perhaps before some of its sister ensembles, is that, as a community resource, it needs to recognize the diversity of public tastes.” —Toronto Star


Lollipops concerts build roots in the community

These fun, engaging performances foster a love for music in the Orchestra’s youngest fans.

“The CSO … [has] made me love this city and helped me recruit friends to move here too. It is an amazing asset that helps Cincinnati feel more like home … I am so glad we decided to raise our family here.” —Lollipops Family Concerts audience member, female, age 36, children in 4-5 age range

Thanks to the George L. and Anne P. Heldman Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation for its support of Lollipops Family Concerts. Additional support provided by the Cincinnati Symphony Club, United Dairy Farmers and Homemade Brand Ice Cream.



Supporting the Orchestra with time and talent


CSO and Pops President Trey Devey presents longtime volunteer Patty Wagner with a Volunteer Appreciation Award for her contributions to CSVA. 

The Cincinnati Symphony Volunteer Association (CSVA) not only offers a variety of opportunities for fans to get involved and invested in the community, but provides invaluable support to the Orchestra year-round.

New volunteer recruitment and on-boarding strategies have resulted in an increase in new volunteers by 61% this season.

Bravo Shop volunteers Sammie Hendley and Dick and Kimberly Fouse (pictured above with CSO staff member Melissa Foster) provide customer service at the shop during all CSO and Pops performances.

Opening Night Gala co-chairs Terry and Christy Horan at the beginning of the evening honoring the generous donors to the recent $26 million endowment campaign

The Opening Night Gala honored the donors to the endowment campaign completed in May of 2015. Chaired by Christy and Terry Horan, along with honorary co-chairs Aimée and Louis Langrée and Thea Tjepkema and John Morris Russell, the gala committee created an event around the theme Symphonie Fantastique.

Board members and special guests celebrated the start of a new season. 

CSO Spectrum co-chairs Tim Giglio, Kathy Nardiello, Will Stenger and Jared Queen pictured above with season kick-off cocktail party host Brett Stover

CSO timpanists Dick Jensen and Patrick Schleker present a lecture for Friends of the Pops.

CSO Encore hosted several events geared toward young professionals, and CSO Spectrum engaged LGBT fans and friends with special events highlighted by a T-Dance in January with special guests from Pink Martini.

The Multicultural Awareness Council (MAC) kicked off a major fundraising campaign this year to endow the Norman E. Johns Chair Award of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Friends of the Pops celebrated its 25th anniversary this season and introduced a new lecture series with special guests including CSO and Pops musicians, Principal Librarian Mary Judge and Associate Conductor Keitaro Harada.