Louis Langrée Named Next CSO Music Director
Internationally Acclaimed Conductor Louis Langrée Named Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Music Director
- Appointment comes after comprehensive 27-month search
- Langrée begins his tenure as the CSO’s 13th Music Director in the 2013-14 season
CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) today named Louis Langrée as Music Director starting in the Orchestra’s 2013-14 season. Mr. Langrée, an acclaimed conductor who has led riveting performances on five continents, is entering his 10th season as Music Director of the prestigious Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in New York. In Cincinnati he will succeed Paavo Järvi, whose decade-long tenure concluded in May of 2011, and a long line of celebrated music directors who have led the CSO over the Orchestra’s 117-year history, beginning with Frank Van der Stucken in 1895. Past music directors include Leopold Stokowski, Eugène Ysaÿe, Fritz Reiner, Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers and Jesús López-Cobos. Mr. Langrée will be the CSO’s thirteenth Music Director and the first to hail from France.
“It is a great honor to have been offered the position of Music Director of this prestigious orchestra,” said Mr. Langrée. “I am sure that our creative journey together will be very stimulating for all of us and am eager to share this deep and wonderful experience with the community in Cincinnati and beyond.”
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of America’s finest and most respected ensembles. The fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and the oldest orchestra in Ohio, the internationally acclaimed CSO has sold millions of recordings around the world, toured extensively nationally and internationally, been featured in radio broadcasts reaching 2.3 million listeners this year alone, and plays a leading role in the cultural life of Greater Cincinnati.
“We are thrilled and honored to have Louis Langrée as our next Music Director and are confident he’ll take this already amazing orchestra to new heights,” said CSO President Trey Devey. “The CSO represents the musical cornerstone of Cincinnati and plays a critical role throughout the region. In Louis, we’re gaining a thoughtful and passionate musical leader who will engage our musicians, our audiences and the Cincinnati community.”
Mr. Langrée will serve as principal conductor, and also serve as the Orchestra’s artistic director, programming concerts, and overseeing musical personnel. He will be a community arts leader and advocate. Mr. Langrée’s contract is for four years starting in the 2013-14 season, and the CSO is the only major North American orchestra with which he’ll serve as music director during that period. He will also have official duties as Music Director Designate starting immediately.
“Louis Langrée is a consummate musician and I’ve been especially impressed with the chemistry he has with our orchestra members,” said CSO Concertmaster and Music Director Search Committee Member Timothy Lees. “His ability to achieve exceptional performances was clear from his very first appearance with us. He will fulfill the vital role of CSO Music Director by bringing exceptional leadership qualities, an energetic artistic vision and the ability to communicate that vision clearly. I enthusiastically look forward to working with him.”
Extensive search process completed in 27 months
This appointment comes after a far-reaching and comprehensive international search process that began in January of 2010. The Music Director Search Committee was chaired by CSO Board member and former General Manger of classical public radio station WGUC Ann Santen, and included musicians from the Orchestra, members of the CSO management team, CSO Board members, and members of the at-large community. Throughout the process, audience members and Orchestra musicians were surveyed regularly, and Ms. Santen moderated forums in the spring of 2010 with musicians, Board members, staff and audience members to gain input on the ideal candidate.
“Throughout the search process we heard from many stakeholders, and we used their input to identify the right person to lead the CSO,” said Ms. Santen. “We have an outstanding orchestra with musicians who can do anything a conductor asks them. From the first rehearsal it was clear that Louis Langrée knew how to ask it, and the players responded. In addition to being a superb musician and an elegant conductor, Louis has compelling programming ideas and a real passion for engaging the community. He is a perfect fit for Cincinnati and as the CSO’s Music Director he will be a tremendous addition to the community.”
Other members of the Music Director Search Committee were: CSO musicians Richard Jensen, Timothy Lees, Christopher Philpotts and Robert Sullivan; CSO Board members Trish Bryan, John Palmer, Randy Randolph, Karl Ronn, Melody Sawyer Richardson, Nancy Walker and Sheila Williams; community-at-large members William Friedlander and Sandra Rivers; management team members Naimah Bilal, Robert McGrath; and CSO President Trey Devey.
“It was an honor to be part of this process,” said CSO Board Chair Melody Sawyer Richardson. “We really owe a debt of gratitude to Ann Santen and my devoted fellow committee members for all of their hard work over the past 27 months. This was an extraordinary undertaking, and on behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to welcome and congratulate Music Director Designate Louis Langrée.”
Mr. Langrée made his CSO debut in March of 2011 at Cincinnati’s Music Hall, conducting Brahms’ “Tragic Overture”, Schumann’s Cello Concerto and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. Cincinnati immediately fell in love with the conductor, with the Cincinnati Enquirer reviewer writing, “Langrée’s fastidious yet emotional direction explored the intricate details and the soaring phrases of this microcosm of Brahms’ orchestral writing style [“Tragic Overture”]. The ability to harness emotion and reason in elegant fashion is a rare but necessary quality for a world-class conductor. Langrée showed he is such an artist.”
“It was a terrific debut for Louis Langrée in March of 2011,” said CSO Principal Trumpet Robert Sullivan, who also served on the Search Committee. “We were relatively early in the search process, but immediately recognized his excellent rapport with the players of the Orchestra both on and off the podium, which produced some of the finest concerts of the season.”
Following that acclaimed first experience in Cincinnati, Mr. Langrée was invited back in August to conduct the CSO in a special performance featuring Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 at Corbett Auditorium, located at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Janelle Gelfand wrote, “Clearly, there was chemistry happening on the stage. The musicians responded to his direction with crisp playing, and wind soloists and horns played with character…. The finale was electric. Langrée pulled back in the sweeter moments, yet he kept the undercurrent of tension, always communicating the joy as well as the drama of Beethoven’s music.”
“I performed on the Jupiter Symphony and had the privilege of sitting in the audience for Beethoven’s Seventh,” said CSO Percussionist and Associate Principal Timpanist Richard Jensen, who also served on the Music Director Search Committee. “Some conductors look right past you as a musician in the orchestra and that’s not the case with Langrée. On the podium, he’s in the moment with you as a conductor and really connects with the players. From the audience side, he and the orchestra gave a very exciting performance with clarity and passion.”
Mr. Langrée will lead two CSO programs in the 2012-13 season as Music Director Designate. On November 9 and 10 he conducts a program with pianist Cédric Tiberghien featuring music by Franck, Messiaen and Saint-Saëns, and then on November 15, 17 and 18 he conducts Schoenberg’s A Survivor in Warsaw followed by Beethoven’s triumphant Symphony No. 9 and it’s “Ode to Joy” finale with the May Festival Chorus.
“Louis Langrée is a conductor and artistic leader with real depth,” said CSO Principal English Horn Christopher Philpotts, another member of the Music Director Search Committee. “We’re eager to join him on this creative journey exploring familiar classics and exciting new repertoire in the coming years.”
Making it possible
The Orchestra received critical support for the music director search from The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. This support made it possible to scout the world’s finest conducting talent, bring exceptional conductors to Cincinnati and create opportunities to engage with these conductors both on and off the podium.
“We recognize how important the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is for our city and region, and how important a music director is to the CSO,” said Tim Maloney, President & CEO of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. “This Orchestra is Cincinnati’s global cultural ambassador and a great source of pride for the community. We were proud to have supported this process and join with all of Cincinnati in congratulating and welcoming Louis Langrée.”
Mr. Langrée will be officially “launched” as CSO Music Director at the beginning of the 2013-14 season at historic Music Hall. Details will be announced at a later date.
During the search process, the CSO innovatively engaged five different Creative Directors to assist in the programming for both the current 2011-12 season and the 2012-13 season.
“We planned both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons without a Music Director, and I really must thank our Creative Directors Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Lang Lang, Philip Glass, Branford Marsalis and Jennifer Higdon for their valuable collaborations in programming these seasons,” said Mr. Devey. “I also want to thank the entire Cincinnati community for not only maintaining a great level of support through this search process, but actually attending more concerts. I know Louis Langrée is excited to be part of a community that treasures the arts.”
Named Music Director of the world-renowned Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra starting in the 2013-14 season, Louis Langrée is an internationally acclaimed conductor with a dynamic presence on the podium. This celebrated artistic leader also serves as Music Director of the prestigious Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in New York, a position he has held since 2002, and as Chief Conductor of the Camerata Salzburg, an ensemble he’s led in Salzburg and on tour in Vienna, Budapest, Munich and Paris. He is known throughout the United States for his performances with the Metropolitan Opera and Mostly Mozart Festival featured regularly on PBS.
Mr. Langrée is currently rehearsing a new production of La Clemenza di Tito at the Vienna State Opera and will conduct the Vienna Philharmonic at a gala concert in May at the Burgtheater in Vienna attended by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Mr. Langrée is also conducting Eugene Onegin and Le Nozze di Figaro at the Vienna State Opera this season.
Earlier this season, Mr. Langrée conducted La Bohème and Don Giovanni at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, with whom he has a regular relationship. His many orchestral engagements during the 2011-12 season have also included re-invitations to the symphony orchestras in Detroit, St Louis, Baltimore, and Sao Paulo, as well as the Deutsche Kammerphilhamonie and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Highlights of next season include two concert programs with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as Music Director Designate in November, and Mr. Langrée will also debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Leipzig Gewandhaus and NHK Symphony in Tokyo. Re-invitations to guest conduct include the Orchestre de Paris, Budapest Festival and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestras. He will conduct Dialogues des Carmélites at the Metropolitan Opera and Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro at the Vienna State Opera.
Mr. Langrée has worked with many other orchestras in North America, Europe and further afield, including the London Philharmonic, Hallé in Manchester, Dallas Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Santa Cecilia in Rome and Tokyo Philharmonic. He also regularly conducts period instrument orchestras such as the Freiburger Barockorchester, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Le Concert d’Astrée. Festival appearances have included Wiener Festwochen, BBC Proms, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. He has held positions as Music Director of the Orchestre de Picardie (1993-98) and Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège (2001-06).
Mr. Langrée was Music Director of Opéra National de Lyon (1998-2000) and Glyndebourne Touring Opera (1998-2003). He has also conducted at La Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opéra-Bastille and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dresden Staatsoper, Grand Théâtre in Geneva and the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam.
A DVD of La Traviata recorded at the Aix-en-Provence Festival with the London Symphony Orchestra has recently been released by Virgin Classics and awarded a Diapason D’Or. Louis Langrée’s discography includes recordings for Virgin Classics, Universal and Naïve. Many of these have won awards including Diapason d’Or, Gramophone and Midem Classical. In 2006 he was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.
Mr. Langrée hails from France and lives in Paris.
For more information, please visit www.cincinnatisymphony.org/louis.
Mr. Langrée’s management agency is Askonas Holt,
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is a dynamic ensemble of some of the world’s finest musicians. The fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the U.S. and the oldest orchestra in Ohio, the CSO has played a leading role in the cultural life of Greater Cincinnati and the Midwest since its founding in 1895.
Louis Langrée begins his tenure as CSO’s thirteenth Music Director in the 2013-14 season, succeeding Paavo Järvi, whose tenure concluded in 2011 after ten seasons. Over the Orchestra’s 117-year history, it has also been led by Leopold Stokowski, Eugène Ysaÿe, Fritz Reiner, Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers and Jesús López-Cobos, among others.
During this most recent music director search, the Orchestra enlisted Creative Directors for the CSO’s three respective subscription series. For the 2011-12 season, the Creative Directors are conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, pianist Lang Lang and composer Philip Glass. For the 2012-13 season, they are Maestro Frühbeck de Burgos, saxophonist Branford Marsalis and composer Jennifer Higdon.
Over the years, the CSO has built a reputation as one the world’s foremost orchestras and a champion of new music. Cincinnati has been home to the American premieres of works by such composers as Debussy, Mahler, Ravel and Bartók, and the world premiere of many works including Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait. The Orchestra has also commissioned works that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire including Copland’s iconic Fanfare for the Common Man. Most recently, the CSO commissioned Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto No. 2, Naqoyqatsi, which was premiered in March. A recording of the piece will be released in October on the Orange Mountain Music label.
The CSO was the first orchestra to be broadcast to a national radio audience in 1921 and the Orchestra continues to be featured on national radio broadcasts, reaching 2.3 million listeners this year alone. The CSO was the third orchestra to record in 1917 and that rich legacy continues. Ten million CSO and Cincinnati Pops recordings have been sold around the world since 1980, mostly on the Telarc label and including Grammy winners. The CSO also performs and records as the Cincinnati Pops, which was founded by the late Erich Kunzel and is now under direction of Conductor John Morris Russell. In January of 2010, the CSO launched its own record label, re-named Fanfare Cincinnati in 2011, which has released two CSO discs to date, American Portraits and Baltic Portraits. The third Fanfare Cincinnati disc, Home for the Holidays from the Cincinnati Pops, is scheduled for release later this year.
The CSO was the first American orchestra to make a world tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and continues to tour domestically and internationally, most recently to Europe in 2008 (Paris, Madrid, Vienna and Amsterdam) and to Japan in 2009, including two concerts at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the CSO’s first-ever nationally televised concert in Japan at NHK Hall. The CSO has performed at New York’s world-famous Carnegie Hall 47 times since its debut there in 1917, most recently in February 2010.
One of 18 North American orchestras performing year-round, the CSO presents classical and Cincinnati Pops subscription concerts, Young People’s Concerts, Lollipops Family Concerts, CSO Chamber Players performances, summer performances at Riverbend Music Center, and Concerts in the Park. The CSO is also the official orchestra for the Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet.
The CSO is committed to enhancing and expanding music education for the students of Greater Cincinnati and works to bring music education, in its many different forms, to as broad a public as possible. Education and outreach programs serve more than 60,000 individuals annually. Since 1999, the CSO has been reaching this goal through its innovative education and outreach program Sound Discoveries: Music for Life, Music for the Community, Music for a Career.
For more information, please visit www.cincinnatisymphony.org.