Cincinnati Pops to Open Season at Newly Renovated Music Hall with the Music of John Williams

Cincinnati Pops to Open Season at Newly Renovated Music Hall with the Music of John Williams

Conductor John Morris Russell conducts the Cincinnati Pops Opening Weekend at the newly renovated Music Hall on October 13-15.

The concert program celebrates the legendary film music of composer John Williams. His scores from such films as Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones have engrained themselves into the American musical experience.

These works demonstrate the full strength and warmth of the Pops while painting the action and emotion of the films for which they were written. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, under Music Director Louis Langree, opened Music Hall following a $143 million renovation on Oct. 6-7 to critical and popular acclaim, and these Pops performances on Oct. 13-15 represent the opening of the Pops season at Music Hall.

This program will feature a world premiere of unpublished work by John Williams, a rarity for any orchestra. The premiere is of the famous theme from Schindler's List, adapted for orchestra and solo cello. This beloved theme was originally written for violin and orchestra. While Mr. Williams wrote the cello adaptation several years ago, it was set aside and never performed. These concerts will be the world premiere of this work, and will feature the Pops' principal cellist, Ilya Finkelsteyn. The Pops is honored to have the opportunity to perform this piece before any other ensemble.

"This building, our Music Hall, has nurtured some of the most significant musical performances in our nation's history, and as we re-open Cincinnati's musical treasure with the Pops, we pop the cork on a new era of musical splendor with works by America's greatest cinematic composer: John Williams," said Mr. Russell. "It's hard to put into words the thrilling anticipation, honor and sheer delight we are all feeling about filling this grand space with the brilliant virtuosity of the Pops during these extraordinarily special concerts. There is no better way to show off the new acoustical resplendence of our home than with the some of the most dazzling and ardently emotive film scores ever created," he said.

Tickets for this concert start at just $25 for adults and $15 for kids and are available by calling the Pops Box Office at (513) 381-3300 or visiting

Pop! The Cork on Opening Night:

Prior to the opening concert on Friday, Oct. 13 (doors open at 5:30 p.m.), audience members are invited to join Mr. Russell and other fans in the Music Hall Grand Foyer for an opening night celebration, Pop! The Cork on Opening Night. Dinner by the bite, cocktails by Molly Wellmann and music from the Poptet (aka the Pops rhythm section) provide a celebratory atmosphere as the Pops returns home to Music Hall. Celebration and concert tickets sold separately. Visit for tickets to this special event.

About John Morris Russell, conductor:

A remarkable artist with boundless enthusiasm for music- making of all kinds, John Morris Russell is a modern conductor who engages and enthralls audiences with the full breadth of the orchestral experience. Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops since 2011, Mr. Russell's diverse programming and electric stage presence have infused new creativity and energy into one of the world's most iconic pops orchestras.

Consistently winning international praise for his extraordinary music-making and visionary leadership, this Ohio native is also Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina where Mr. Russell's commitment has yielded a new level of artistic excellence, as well as Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

A popular guest conductor throughout the United States and Canada, he also holds the title of Conductor Laureate with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada, where he served as Music Director for eleven years.

With the Cincinnati Pops, Mr. Russell regularly leads sold-out performances at Cincinnati's Music Hall. Additionally, he conducts the Pops at the Riverbend Music Center and in concerts throughout the Greater Cincinnati region and on tour. Mr. Russell has collaborated with generations of great performers including the late Ray Charles and Rosemary Clooney, as well as Idina Menzel, Vince Gill, Branford Marsalis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Megan Hilty, Michael McDonald, George Takei, Amy Grant, BrIan Wilson, Katharine McPhee and Marvin Winans.

A sought-after guest conductor across the continent, Mr. Russell's recent engagements include the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the New York Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, among many other ensembles.

Next on Stage

Related Articles View More Cincinnati Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You