Transition to the Taft Theatre


“This is a really extraordinary time for our orchestra where we have the renovation of Music Hall—a project people have been dreaming of for decades—and for a year we’re going to perform in this wonderful, grand theatre and bring it to life with great orchestral music. When I was in the Taft in January, my feet were on the floor and I sat back and I could feel it. It’s incredible when the vibrations not only affect your ears, but take up your entire body. This is the type of feeling I get at the Taft.”
John Morris Russell 

As the renovation of Music Hall continues, the CSO and Pops will perform the 2016-17 season at its home away from home, the historic Taft Theatre in downtown Cincinnati. The Orchestra’s subsidiary Music and Event Management, Inc. (MEMI), took on management of this art deco gem in 2011, making more than $3 million in improvements.


Two additional
ADA compliant restrooms

Second set of interior doors to
auditorium to reduce noise

New front exterior entry doors

Additional railings

Augmented house lighting

Repositioned box office

More wayfinding signage

New benches in lobby spaces

New ramp connecting the Taft
Theatre to the Masonic Center

Acoustic treatments

The acoustic treatments at the Taft were designed with consultation from Akustiks, the firm responsible for the acoustic design in the renovated Music Hall. Additional upgrades were made in summer 2016.

“Akustiks has been in there designing the shell and designing a ceiling so that the audience experience and the orchestra experience in the Taft is the best that it can possibly be.”
Ted Nelson, cello


The Orchestra has planned jawdropping CSO and Pops seasons for the Taft Theatre. The CSO season includes one-night-only performances by Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang and Itzhak Perlman, who added these concerts into their schedules out of affection and support for the Orchestra during this time of transition. It also features the continuation of The Pelléas Trilogy, Brahms Fest and MusicNOW, as well as other guests such as Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Koh, Branford Marsalis, Gil Shaham and more, and an astonishing array of repertoire. The Pops season features appearances by Melissa Etheridge, Vanessa Williams, Smokey Robinson, Sutton Foster and Ben Folds, along with music of Disney, Broadway, Americana and the movies.

“The sound is vibrant, it’s rich. What our crew has created here with the acoustical panels is absolutely astonishing. The acoustics are going to be wonderful. Every musician here on stage can hear each other very well, which makes the sound tight, warm and crisp. It already feels like home away from home.”
Louis Langrée 

The CSO and Pops is grateful to the following donors whose generous support will enhance the patron experience at the Taft Theatre now and into the future:

Mr. Anatole Alper
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick E. Bryan, III
Dennis Dern
Susan Friedlander
Dr. and Mrs. Edward Hake
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Heldman
Patricia Kisker Endowment
Whitney and Phillip Long

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan McCann
John and Farah Palmer
Louise Taft Semple Foundation
State of Ohio
Tom and Dee Stegman
Gary and Diane West
Anonymous (2)