Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Click Here for More Articles on BWW MUSIC NEWS


In a restored Music Hall, built by Samuel Hannaford in 1878, with renovations amounting to $135 million, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra announce the 2017 - 2018 season with several world premieres. The following are season highlights in a transformed Music Hall, registered as a National Historic Landmark in January 1975 by the U.S. Department of Interior and returned to some of its original architecture and features.

Grand opening weekend is October 6 - 7 with Maestro Louis Langree, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra music director, conducting a program to include a world premiere by Jonathan Bailey Holland. Kit Armstrong plays the piano in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine and Scriabin's Le Poeme de L'Extase round out the program.

Patrons who wish to celebrate CSO's opening can attend at a cost of $200 for cocktails and dinner by the bite starting at 5:30 p.m. in addition to purchasing a concert ticket.

ArtsWave is hosting a free Re(NEW)ed Celebration on October 7 from 10 am to 3 pm. Guests can enjoy tours and interactive performances.

John Morris Russell, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra conductor, will celebrate American Originals Vol. 2 on November 10 - 12 with Rhiannon Giddens, Steep Canyon Rangers and Pokey LaFarge. This rendering of American, popular music from the early 20th century will be recorded live on CSO's Fanfare Cincinnati label.

Former Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Music Director Paavo Jarvi (2001 - 2011) returns November 17 - 18 to conduct Grieg's Piano Concerto performed by Alice Sara Ott. Also on the program are Mathis der Maler by Hindemith and Symphony No. 3, Rhenish by Schumann.

In a continuation of the One City, One Symphony series, the CSO will present Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Pathetique on November 24 - 25. A world premiere by Emily Cooley and Cello Concerto No. 1 by Shostakovich with Truls Mork on the cello round out the concert.

Conductor Andrey Boreyko conducts Funeral Song, a recently discovered work by Stravinsky, in addition to Arutunian's Trumpet Concerto performed by Tine Thing Helseth and Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky. The dates are December 2 - 3.

FamEd English conductor Sir Andrew Davis celebrates CSO's history with a performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 with Garrick Ohlsson on piano January 6 - 7. Also on the program are Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme by Bach and Symphony No. 2 by Eugene Goossens, CSO music director from 1933 - 1947.

Another Cincinnati favorite former May Festival music director James Conlon returns to conduct Mahler's Symphony No. 1, Titan on January 12 - 13. Also, concertgoers will hear Jennifer Frautschi on the violin in a performance of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3 and Schubert's Rosamunde Overture.

Broadway star Audra McDonald returns for a repeat engagement with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra on February 25 with Andy Einhorn as conductor. A renowned performer in Broadway history, six-time Tony Award-winning Broadway icon McDonald (Carousel, Ragtime, Porgy & Bess) takes the Music Hall stage with the Pops for an evening of her signature songs, including favorites by Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, George Gershwin and more.

Another world premiere is offered by Enrico Chapela on April 6 - 7. James Gaffigan conducts a Piano Concerto by Barber played by Inon Barnaton and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances

On April 14 - 15, Louis Langree returns to conduct a world premiere by Pierre Jalbert, Prokoviev's Violin Concerto No. 1 with Karen Gomyo on the violin and Beethoven's Symphony No. 4.

The year 2018 represents Leonard Bernstein's centennial. Both the CSO and CPO are marking this occasion. On April 20 - 21, acclaimed pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet returns to perform Gershwin's Piano Concerto under the baton of Cristian Macelaru. Also on the program are Bernstein's Three Dance Episodes from On the Town, Bernstein's Divertimento and Three Places in New England by Ives.

The following weekend April 27 - 29, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra is performing Bernstein's score of West Side Story to accompany the film. John Morris Russell will conduct this iconic piece from 1961 with tunes such as Maria, Tonight and America originally performed by Natalie Wood (dubbed), Richard Beymer and Rita Moreno. The movie was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won Best Picture.

The Music Hall Revitalization Company led by board president Otto M. Budig, Jr. leases the building from the City of Cincinnati and is spearheading fundraising efforts for renovation. 3CDC acts as the project management company in charge of the renovation. The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall's mission is to preserve, promote, improve and provide education about historic Music Hall. Peter A. Koenig serves as president.

To learn more about the renovation, visit

For ticket information, contact the box office at (513) 381-3300. Currently at the Taft Theatre, the box office will return to 1241 Elm St. in time for the opening concerts in October. Single tickets, group sales and subscriptions are now available.

Related Articles

From This Author Laura A. Hobson