Chris Pinelo



It’s been just over a year since we introduced CSO IN CONCERT, a streaming service providing live recordings of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra performances presented in partnership with our friends at 90.9 WGUC. This initiative affirms the Orchestra’s core value to be Cincinnati’s Ambassador, and the response has been tremendous.

For decades, radio listeners enjoyed one-time broadcasts of CSO subscription concerts on WGUC, but starting last season, music fans from around the world are able to stream one CSO performance per week at inconcert.cincinnatisymphony.org. The current season is streaming now and available on your computer, tablet or smart phone, and the pages include photos and program notes.

Among the performances streaming on demand this month are Louis Langrée conducting the CSO and May Festival Chorus in Bach’s Magnificat and Brahms’ Triumphlied and Robert Porco conducting the world premiere of Julia Adolphe’s Equinox (available February 4–11). February also features Paavo Järvi conducting a program featuring Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony and the Grieg Piano Concerto with Alice Sara Ott (available February 12–18), and Louis leading this year’s One City, One Symphony program with the world premiere of Emily Cooley’s Abound, Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with Truls Mørk, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 (available February 19–25). The final CSO IN CONCERT stream for February features Andrey Boreyko conducting the Cincinnati premiere of Stravinsky’s Funeral Song, Arutinian’s Trumpet Concerto with Tine Thing Helseth, and Ravel’s masterful orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (available February 26–March 4).

A new concert from this season recorded live at beautifully renovated Music Hall airs each Sunday at 8 pm on WGUC, and starting at 10 am the following day, that particular concert broadcast is available for you to listen any time for seven days on our website. When 10 am rolls around on Monday of the following week, that concert gets swapped out for the most recent concert broadcast.

Happy listening!


The Recording Academy announced nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards on November 28, which included two nominations for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra recording, Concertos for Orchestra. This acclaimed live album features world premieres of three works commissioned by the CSO and conducted by Music Director Louis Langrée.

The album received nominations for Best Orchestral Performance (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Louis Langrée, conductor) and Best Contemporary Classical Composition (Zhou Tian, Concerto for Orchestra). Awards will be announced and given on January 28 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Concertos for Orchestra is the culmination of a major commissioning project for the CSO that engaged three composers from three different continents, and the Grammy nominations are a testament to the artistry of the Orchestra and the significance of these works. It was recorded live at Music Hall during the world premiere performances of the works in November 2015 and May 2016. Each work showcases the virtuosity, style and sound of the CSO, furthering a genre championed by the likes of Béla Bartók and Witold Lutosławski.

The commissioned works of Zhou Tian’s Concerto for Orchestra, Thierry Escaich’s Psalmos and Sebastian Currier’s FLEX were made possible by a generous gift from Ann and Harry Santen. The recording of Zhou Tian’s Concerto for Orchestra was made possible by a generous gift from Mace Justice. The recording of Sebastian Currier’s FLEX and Thierry Escaich’s Psalmos were made possible by a generous gift from Tom and Dee Stegman.

Concertos for Orchestra is available to purchase, download and stream around the world. Be sure to check it out! 


What are you doing New Year’s Eve? For my wife, Tasha, and me, in all the years we have been together, the answer has been enjoying a celebratory evening with good friends and an amazing orchestra, and this season New Year’s Eve comes home to the beautifully renovated Music Hall. This is an opportunity to create cherished memories filled with festive music and maybe a few glasses of champagne.

2017 was a big year for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops. Between the return to Music Hall, completing the renovation project itself, continuing big initiatives, and five weeks of international touring, the stakes were high, the intensity palpable and the successes many. The prospects for 2018 are exciting, and whether you had a great 2017 or not, I think everyone can relate to what Oprah Winfrey once said, at least at some level: “Cheers to a new year and a chance for us to get it right.”

On December 31, John Morris Russell and the Pops welcome an incredible singer, Morgan James, who is making her Pops debut for this New Year’s Eve concert at Music Hall. According to The New York Times, she is “a phenomenal talent whose feel for classic soul music is bone deep.... This woman is on fire.” Now imagine a singer that amazing performing with the hottest, most versatile orchestra on the planet. Now imagine yourself there! There will be magic at Music Hall on New Year’s Eve, my friends, and I want to personally invite you to join us.

So when someone asks, “What are you doing New Year’s Eve,” you can say with confidence, “I’m spending it with the Pops at Music Hall, and it’s going to be amazing.”



You know that feeling when you have butterflies in your stomach (figuratively, of course)? There are moments in your life when you truly feel part of something extraordinary—that’s much larger than yourself. In my time with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops, I have certainly had more than my fair share of these moments. As examples, I will never forget the sense of wonder and excitement when LUMENOCITY was introduced to Cincinnati in 2013 or when the beautifully renovated Music Hall opened to standing ovations and a spellbinding concert program last month.

Experiencing the Orchestra on tour and notably the CSO debut at the BBC Proms on August 27 (pictured) also represents such a moment. I wish all of Cincinnati could have been there to feel that energy and enthusiasm at London’s Royal Albert Hall. It’s just as much an arena as it is a concert hall, with hearty music fans standing on the floor in the middle. The BBC Proms, which hosts the finest artists from around the world, off ers an absolutely electrifying atmosphere with added sizzle provided by the live broadcast across the United Kingdom. Louis Langrée led a captivating program that included Bernstein’s On the Waterfront Suite, Copland’s Lincoln Portrait featuring acclaimed actor Charles Dance as the narrator, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. There was raucous cheering during the standing ovations, and the audience’s clamoring for more led to an encore of Bernstein’s Overture from Candide.

According to the glowing review from The Times of London, “The Ohio orchestra’s fi rst Prom is a touring programme of precision and sparkle that shows us exactly what we’ve been missing,” and Bachtrack declared the performance “a strong showing.”

The receptions for the Orchestra in Scotland, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium and France were equally enthusiastic, and affirm the CSO’s core value to be Cincinnati’s Ambassador. You can learn more about both of the Orchestra’s 2017 international tours at csoontour.com


As we return to Music Hall following an historic renovation, I wanted to return to something I shared back in May of 2016. This treasured icon was about to shut down for 19 months to allow for critically important work, and for many, myself included, it was difficult to say "so long for now" to Music Hall. 

I wrote back then, "Music Hall has played an important part of my life and I'd venture to guess many of you feel the same way.

"Like many Cincinnatians, I can recount coming to CSO Young People's Concerts with my elementary school class. As a child, I remember being awed by The Nutcracker at Music Hall and experiencing Bizet's spectacular opera Carmen for the first time. The May Festival's Carolfest afforded me a first experience 'singing' at Music Hall; thanks to a CSO subscription I was exposed to a dazzling sonic palette of orchestral colors starting at age 10. It all happened right here at Music Hall.

"As a younger adult, I had the privilege to be my late grandmother's 'date' for a Cincinnati Pops television show taping, and attended a diverse array of performances with friends and family - everything from rock concerts to operas to orchestra performances. I joined the May Festival Chorus in 1996 and really got to sing at Music Hall for the first of many times. What a thrill!

"As a member of the CSO staff since 2001, I've gotten to know virtually every nook of this grand old building, experienced more performances than I can easily count, stepped in to narrate a Young People's Concert performance of Peter and the Wolf with 10 minutes' notice, and even 'tied the knot' with my beautiful wife in the Grand Foyer while A Prairie Home Companion rehearsed in Springer Auditorium. (They did eventually 'take a break' so we could finish the ceremony.)

"The connection I feel with Music hall is palpable...and I'm confident this amazing renovation and restoration will ensure that my son and his children and their children will be able to create lasting memories in this beautiful place."

That was then and this is now. After months and months of hard work from so many, Music Hall is more welcoming, more accessible and more comfortable than ever, and the building's historic grandeur has been retained and even enhanced. A new chapter begins. 

Thank you to the many people who made this renovation possible, and I want to especially thank Otto M. Budig Jr. for his tenacious leadership in seeing this project through. It truly is a time for celebration!