Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Announces 2013-14 Season

The dynamic ensemble eighth blackbird, comprised of six musicians, joins the CSO for two subscription concert weekends in November 2013 and March 2014. Known as advocates for new music by active composers, the ensemble regularly has works commissioned exclusively for their unique brand of music-making. They perform Jennifer Higdon's On a Wire under Mr. Langrée in November, and a yet to be determined work as part of the MusicNOW collaboration in March. As an ensemble-in-residence, eighth blackbird will likely also ? include meet-and-greet sessions, public Q&A, career talks and masterclasses.

"Shakespeare for your Ear"
The CSO commemorates the 450th anniversary of legendary playwright William Shakespeare's birth with a celebration of his considerable inspiration in the world of music. Four of the 2013-14 Masterworks programs feature works that conjure Shakespeare's stage. On September 12 & 14, the series begins with Weber's Oberon Overture from the opera, A Midsummer Night's Dream. On January 16 & 18, Tchaikovsky's Hamlet Fantasy-Overture will include dramatic readings by members of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Music Director Laureate Paavo Järvi conducts Berlioz's poetic rendition of one of the most iconic scenes of all time, the "Love Scene" from Roméo et Juliette, on February 20-23. Finally, the series wraps up at the season Finale concert May 2-3 when the CSO partners with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Drama Department in a program featuring Berlioz's King Lear Overture and Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suite.

CSO again offers three distinct series
In addition to the highlights mentioned above, each of the three distinct subscription series offers the usual powerful repertoire and the finest guest artists paired with the CSO's world-class musicians.

Grand Masterworks Presented by U.S. Bank
The 10-concert Grand Masterworks Series features the return of former CSO Creative Director and Musical America's 2011 Conductor of the Year Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who leads a concert program also marking the return of famed classical guitarist Pepe Romero.

Guest conductor Robert Spano will return to lead Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Symphony No. 2, along with Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25 performed by Jeremy Denk in his CSO debut.

Revered pianist Radu Lupu, who performed with the CSO at Carnegie Hall in 2010, performs Beethoven's spirited Piano Concerto No. 3, in a romantically themed program (led by guest conductor David Afkham) beginning with Wagner's Siegfried Idyll and ending with Beethoven's Symphony No. 4.

Mr. Langrée is joined by legendary flutist Sir James Galway who returns for Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 2, paired with Bruckner's Symphony No. 7.

The music of Mozart also starts Mr. Langrée's One City, One Symphony program with Davide penitente and the Mighty May Festival Chorus and closes with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.

Popular guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero returns for the first concerts of the season to lead Percy Grainger's epic and rarely experienced The Warriors, featuring a massive complement of orchestra musicians with three conductors and three pianists, along with Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 performed by Olga Kern in her CSO debut.

Violinist Pekka Kuusisto returns with Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2, while Midori (whose last concert completely sold out Music Hall) tackles another Russian giant with Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1.

Music Director Laureate Paavo Järvi takes on Mahler's Symphony No. 4, on the same program during which pianist Zhang Zuo makes her CSO debut with Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1.

The Masterworks series closes the 2013-14 season with violinist Nicola Benedetti, who thrilled CSO audiences in September 2011, performing Bruch's Scottish Fantasy and guest conductor James Gaffigan leading a suite from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, recorded by the CSO in 2003.

Ascent Series
The five-concert Ascent Series, which highlights some of the best known (and soon-to-be-famous) artists from around the world.

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein performs Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1, paired with Strauss' Mighty Suite from Der Rosenkavalier.

The Orchestra takes back Black Friday in an American Thanksgiving weekend program conducted by Mr. Langrée and featuring some of the most beloved works by George Gershwin, including Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris with Kirill Gerstein taking on Ravel's Piano Concerto for Left Hand.

Mr. Langrée conducts two of the classical "B" composers with Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 and Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 with charismatic international pianist Hélène Grimaud.

Finally, Maestro Frühbeck de Burgos returns for a second engagement for Verdi's Requiem, a popular and breathtaking tour de force featuring operatic soloists and the May Festival Chorus.

Boundless Series Presented by Macy's
The groundbreaking Boundless Series features the aforementioned MusicNOW Festival programs.

Additionally, the CSO's own Principal Trumpet Robert Sullivan performs a rarely heard gem, William Perry's Trumpet Concerto with guest conductor Rafael Payare also leading Sibelius' Symphony No. 2. The program opens with John Estacio's Borealis. Cincinnati Ballet has also commissioned Mr. Estacio to compose music for a new ballet, King Arthur, in honor of the company's 50th anniversary season in 2013-14. The CSO is the official orchestra for Cincinnati Ballet.

This Boundless series also includes Mr. Langrée's inaugural weekend featuring eighth blackbird's performance of Jennifer Higdon's On a Wire, Copland's Lincoln Portrait narrated by Dr. Maya Angelou and Beethoven's popular Symphony No. 5.

Percussionist Colin Currie returns to Cincinnati to perform James MacMillan's Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, which is paired with Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 5 under the baton of Christoph König.

Finally, guest conductor David Robertson makes his CSO debut, closing out the series with another debut artist, pianist Orli Shaham. The program features Bernstein's Three Dance Episodes from On the Town and Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety, as well as Steven Mackey's Stumble to Grace and Barber's luminous Adagio for Strings, which the CSO last performed on tour in Japan in 2009.

Handel's Messiah
Continuing what has become a popular holiday tradition, the CSO will perform Handel's Messiah on December 22 at historic Music Hall with the May Festival Chorus, this time under the baton of returning guest conductor John Nelson. Tickets for this Christmastime classic start at just $10.

New Year's Eve 2013: The Big Easy
The CSO and Pops will ring in 2014 with the annual New Year's Eve Concert and Ball. Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell again leads the Orchestra in a program celebrating The Preservation Hall big band favorites, including the timeless "When The Saints Go Marching In." Concert tickets start at $10.

A New Year's Eve Gala Celebration, presented by the Cincinnati Symphony Volunteer Association and sponsored by the Dr. John and Louise Mulford Fund for the CSO, follows the concert. Details will be announced at a later date.

Music Hall Update
With a lease agreement finalized with the City of Cincinnati, plans for the revitalization of historic Music Hall continue to move forward. The current plans for the renovation project are in flux, and an exact timeline is not in place. While originally scheduled to be in the Taft Theatre during the construction of Music Hall, the CSO's 2013-14 season will take place in Music Hall.

Series Package Benefits Include Free Tickets to Experience Anne-Sophie Mutter
The series package renewal deadline for the CSO's 2013-2014 season is February 28 for current subscribers. Subscribers enjoy a long list of benefits, including priority seating and unlimited free ticket exchanges. Additionally, patrons who subscribe to two or more series packages (ten-plus concerts) before February 28 receive a ticket to experience Anne-Sophie Mutter (or another CSO concert of choice) for free. (Some restrictions apply.) Visit for complete information on subscriptions or contact the CSO Box Office at 513.381.3300.

Single tickets go on sale for the Anne-Sophie Mutter concert on June 4. Single tickets for the rest of 2013-2014 CSO performances go on sale to the general public beginning August 8. Single tickets start at $12 for all subscription concerts, New Year's Eve and Messiah.