Stefani Matsuo Appointed CSO Concert Master
Following a competitive audition process that attracted candidates from around the world, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Music Director Louis Langrée announced Stefani Matsuo as the audition winner and appointed Concertmaster beginning in the CSO's 125th anniversary season in September. The Concertmaster chair was endowed by Anna Sinton Taft.
Matsuo joined the CSO in 2015 as a member of the second violin section. She then won the audition for Associate Concertmaster in 2018, and served in that role throughout the 2018-19 season. That season, the CSO featured a number of guest concertmasters, and Matsuo also performed in the vacant concertmaster chair while the search for a new concertmaster commenced.
After winning the concertmaster audition in March, Matsuo was the featured soloist in the CSO's season finale program in May during her concertmaster trial week, performing Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4. Cincinnati Business Courier music critic Janelle Gelfand described her performance as "masterful."
The CSO holds screened auditions for open positions in the Orchestra, with candidates' identities hidden from the selection committee. Once a candidate wins the audition, that individual performs a trial week or weeks with the CSO before a contract offer is extended.
"Stefani has consistently demonstrated remarkable artistry and leadership," said Langrée. "Throughout the audition process, her playing set Stefani apart from the competition. I am confident in her extraordinary abilities and am thrilled she is serving in this vital role of Concertmaster moving forward."
"I have worked toward this my entire career and am truly honored to be appointed Concertmaster of the CSO," said Matsuo. "This is an orchestra respected around the world and steeped in great artistry. I embrace the enormous responsibilities that come with this pivotal role and look forward to making music with my colleagues and serving this great community for years to come."