First -Timer's Guide


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Click on the image for a virtual tour of the beautiful Taft Theatre auditorium and lobby. 


When you come to a concert at Taft Theatre, expect to enjoy yourself. Let go of any preconceived notions you have about classical music and what you’re about to experience. Whether you know it or not, you’ve already heard classical music all through your life in things like commercials, cartoons, and movies. Let your mind be open and get ready to enjoy the beautiful music.

Below you will find helpful information that will help you to make the most of your first concert experience at the Taft Theatre. Feel free to call our friendly box office staff at 513.381.3300 if you have additional questions!

What should I wear?

There is no dress code for orchestra concerts. We encourage you to come as you are whether you want to dress up for a night on the town, or play it more casual for a relaxing experience.

When should I arrive?

We recommend arriving at least 45 minutes before the concert. Consider how much time you want to park, enjoy the beauty of the building, take some photos, enjoy a drink, read Fanfare magazine (the official CSO program) or to find your seat. Look for your concert e-minder emailed to you a couple of days before the concert for a listing of any bonus experiences that may occur before the concert.

Where should I park?

Look for your best parking options near the Taft Theatre by clicking here

Where should I sit?

There are two levels at the Taft Theatre. The first level, which is handicap accessible, is called the orchestra. The second level, which can be reached by stairs, is called the balcony.

  • For best blend of value and great acoustics: B price zone (both levels)
  • Best leg room: All price zones on orchestra level
  • Lowest Price: “Xtreme” price zone seats on orchestra level
  • Best sightlines: “A” price zone (both levels), and box seats (balcony only)
  • Best overall value: “Value” price (both levels)


What assistance and access is offered for audience members with accessibility needs?

The orchestra level (main floor) offers accessible auditorium seating. The main floor of the Taft Theatre also offers access to the CSO Box Office, Bravo Shop, restrooms and bar service. 

Hearing devices are available for patrons that are hearing impaired and can be checked out at the Bravo Shop.

Because the Taft Theatre is a historical building, the upper and lower levels of the Taft Theatre are not accessible. Please note, there is no escalator or elevator access to the balcony level or lower levels. 

For special events in the Taft Ballroom (lower level) an accessible pathway is typically available through the Masonic Temple. Please call the box office for details at 513.381.3300.

May I take pictures or use my phone?

Feel free to take as many as you would like outside the building or in the lobby. Flash photography, glowing screens and video are prohibited inside the auditorium during the performance. Post your favorite photos and tag us @CincySymphony or @CincinnatiPops. To allow everyone in the auditorium to enjoy the concert, make sure your phone is switched to silent or completely off.

How long are the concerts?

Most concerts are about 2 hours with a 15-20 minute intermission.

How do I find my seat?

Ushers, identified by a uniform and name tag, will greet you at the auditorium doors. They will offer you a Fanfare magazine and will help you to locate your seats.

When do I clap?

Audiences applaud when the concertmaster (1st chair violinist), conductor, and soloists enter the stage. They applaud again at the end of each piece or after a conductor makes remarks to the audience. Some pieces have multiple sections, so if you aren’t sure, watch for the conductor to lower their arms and turn to face the audience. Occasionally audiences will also clap at the end of a movement before a piece has finished if they are particularly moved or excited.

Do I need to know about the music before I come to the concert?

No! It is an amazing experience to simply come and hear a piece of music for the first time without any prior knowledge of the work. If you wish to learn more about the music we provide program notes at the concert in our Fanfare magazine and on our website. We also host Classical Conversations one hour before most classical performances.

Concert E-Minders

All ticket buyers receive Concert E-Minders via email before each concert with info about the program, bonus experiences, parking, dining, etc. Make sure we have your email address so we can send helpful and important information to you! Call us at 513.381.3300 or email us at info@cincinnatisymphony.org to provide us with your email address.

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