Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
1241 Elm Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is a dynamic ensemble of some of the world’s finest musicians. The fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and the oldest orchestra in Ohio, the CSO has played a leading role in the cultural life of Greater Cincinnati and the Midwest since its founding in 1895.
Over the years, the CSO has built a reputation as one of the world’s foremost orchestras and a champion of the new music of its day. The CSO has been home to the American premieres of works by such composers as Debussy, Ravel and Bartók, and has commissioned works that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire, including Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. The CSO was the first orchestra to be broadcast to a national radio audience (1921) and the third orchestra to record (1917). Today, the orchestra continues to commission new works and to program an impressive array of music.
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is known around the world for its recordings with Telarc, the Cleveland-based Grammy Award-winning label. Through both the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the orchestra has sold nearly 10 million units on the Telarc label.
Ohio Governor Bob Taft presented the Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Award to the CSO in July 2002, recognizing the global reach of the orchestra, especially through its international recording sales and international touring.
The CSO was the first American orchestra to make a world tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, and continues to tour domestically and internationally, recently completing an 11-concert, five-country tour to Europe in the fall of 2004 and an eight-concert tour of Japan in the fall of 2003. The Orchestra returned to Japan in 2009. The CSO made its Carnegie Hall debut in 1917 with then music director Ernst Kunwald. Since that time, the CSO has performed more than 45 times at Carnegie Hall, most recently in February 2010.
One of 18 North American orchestras performing year-round, including classical and Pops subscription concerts, Young People’s Concerts and Lollipop Family Concerts at Music Hall, Riverbend concerts in June and July, and Concerts in the Park, the CSO also is the official orchestra for the May Festival and Cincinnati Opera. The CSO Chamber Players series, instituted by the orchestra in 1988, provides an intimate chamber music alternative.
Telarc’s 32 recordings of the CSO over nearly two decades have met with critical and listener acclaim. In 2003 the CSO’s Music of Turina and Debussy was nominated for a “Best Orchestral Performance” Grammy. Three other albums by the CSO and Cincinnati Pops were named under the “Producer of the Year, Classical” category. The Pops’ Copland: Music of America won a Grammy in 1997, and four other Pops recordings were nominated for Grammy Awards between 1987 and 1993. The Pops’ 1988 American Jubilee was awarded France’s Grand Prix du Disque.
The CSO is committed to enhancing and expanding music education for the children of Greater Cincinnati and works to bring music education, in its many different forms, to as broad a public as possible. Since 1999, the CSO has been reaching this goal through its innovative education and outreach program Sound Discoveries: Music for Life, Music for the Community, Music for a Career.