Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Georgia Stitt and Jason Robert Brown's 'Waiting for Wings' Featured on Cincinnati Pops' Album CARNIVAL OF ANIMALS

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra announces the release of its latest album, Carnival of the Animals, under the direction of Pops Conductor John Morris Russell. The recording marks the 93rd Pops recording in its history (adding to an abundant legacy including a Grammy-winner) and the third under Mr. Russell. Carnival of the Animals will appear on the Orchestra's own label, Fanfare Cincinnati, and be distributed by Naxos.

Featured on the recording is Mr. Russell's own orchestration of Camille Saint-Saëns' classic Carnival of the Animals. Another highlight of the disc is "Waiting for Wings," a work (inspired by Lois Ehlert's children's book by the same name) by famed Broadway composers Georgia Stitt and Jason Robert Brown commissioned by the Pops and premiered at one of the Orchestra's Lollipops Family Concerts in spring of 2013. Rounding out the track list are other animal-inspired classics like "Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks" and "Flight of the Bumblebee," along with delightful animal sounds.

"Throughout my career, I've had many opportunities to perform Carnival of the Animals, especially during concerts for children and their families," said Mr. Russell. "Even though Saint-Sae?ns originally composed this work for instruments that could have fit in his living room, I wanted to be able to utilize the power and color of an entire orchestra, so over the years I orchestrated this piece, movement by movement."

This album was recorded at historic Music Hall in September 2013.

Carnival of the Animals will be released nationally and internationally (in hard copy, as well as via iTunes and Amazon mp3), beginning tomorrow, November 11, 2014. Pre-orders are currently available online.

For more information and a complete track listing, visit

Fanfare Cincinnati - The CSO's recording label, formerly known as Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Media, launched in 2010 and has so far released three Cincinnati Symphony albums, American Portraits, Baltic Portraits, and Hallowed Ground, along with two Cincinnati Pops albums Home for the Holidays and Superheroes!. The label's name, Fanfare Cincinnati, reflects the Orchestra's rich musical heritage and the historic fanfare project from the 1940's that resulted in Aaron Copland's iconic Fanfare for the Common Man. Fanfare Cincinnati's recordings will continue to be distributed nationally and internationally by Naxos. The Orchestra has also released several recordings via free digital downloads available on These digital downloads include a series of five 2011 world premiere commissions, as well as CSO performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw, Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony and Mozart's Davide Penitente. The CSO was the third U.S. orchestra to make a commercial recording in 1917 and since 1980 has sold ten million recordings worldwide as both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops. More than 140 total recordings are available by the CSO and Pops on various labels.

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. Now in his third season as Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, 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. 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.

His two recordings released with the Cincinnati Pops on the Orchestra's Fanfare Cincinnati label, Home for the Holidays and Superheroes!, have both appeared on the Billboard charts. In December 2014, Mr. Russell will lead the Cincinnati Pops on a Florida tour, the first tour since the Pops performed in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics under the late Cincinnati Pops founder Erich Kunzel.

A sought-after guest conductor across the continent, Mr. Russell returned to the Hollywood Bowl this summer to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a trio of concerts. Other recent engagements include the New York Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, among many other ensembles. Across the Atlantic, he conducted the Strauss Festival Orchestra at Vienna's famed Musikverein, featuring the Harlem Boychoir, the Vienna Choir Boys and the late actor Gregory Peck. The performance was recorded for DVD and televised throughout Europe, Japan and in the United States on PBS.

From 1995 to 2006, Mr. Russell was Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra. He also served as Associate Conductor of the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, Director of the Orchestral Program at Vanderbilt University, and Music Director with the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

He received a Master of Music degree in conducting from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Williams College in Massachusetts. He has also studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Hancock, Maine.

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra - The Cincinnati Pops is the alter ego of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, performing a diverse array of musical styles, all bathed in the world-renowned "Cincinnati Sound." The Pops was officially founded in 1977 and just since 1980, the Orchestra has sold ten million recordings around the planet. The growing list of celebrated artists who have collaborated with the Pops include Ella Fitzgerald, Frederica von Stade, Doc Severinsen, Henry Mancini, Mel Torme?, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Holiday, Vanessa Williams, Dave Brubeck, The Temptations, John Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Mandy Patinkin, George Takei, Boyz II Men, Bernadette Peters, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The Pops tours nationally and internationally, most recently performing in Beijing as part of the Opening Festivities of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. In 2005, the Pops completed a historic tour to China and Singapore performing in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The Cincinnati Pops was the first U.S. Pops orchestra to perform in China, and also has appeared to enthusiastic audiences in New York's Carnegie Hall, in Washington D.C. and in Japan and Taiwan.

Following that first historic tour to China, a 2005 editorial in The Cincinnati Enquirer said the tour had "put an exclamation mark on our orchestra's phenomenal popularity in China, cultivated through its dozens of recordings. For residents of Greater Cincinnati, this success ought to underscore the fact that even among our region's wealth of cultural treasures, the Pops represents a unique resource that no other city can quite match."

An estimated 30 million people have viewed national telecasts of the Cincinnati Pops on PBS and the Orchestra has more than 100 available recordings, 55 of which have appeared on the Billboard charts, a record unmatched by any other orchestra. The Pops' Copland: Music of America won a Grammy in 1997, and four other Pops recordings have been nominated for Grammy Awards.

In 2012, the Pops released its first recording under John Morris Russell, Home for the Holidays, on the Orchestra's own Fanfare Cincinnati label. A second recording, Superheroes, was released in September 2013 and reached #8 on the Billboard crossover chart. The next recording due out from the Pops, Carnival of the Animals, will be released on November 11, 2014.

Join Team BroadwayWorld

Are you an avid theatre goer in Cincinnati? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.

Related Articles View More Cincinnati Stories

More Hot Stories For You