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Cincinnati Cincinnati Orchestra

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WGUC is pleased once again to present broadcasts of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra season. You can find a schedule of our broadcasts here.

Paavo + Piano Power Paavo + Piano Power
February 27 & 28, 2015
Paavo Järvi, conductor
Khatia Buniatshvili, piano

NIELSEN: Aladdin 7 Pieces
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 1

Paavo Järvi, the CSO’s Music Director Laureate, returns to lead a dynamic program featuring Khatia Buniatishvili, “one of today's most electrifying performers of Romantic piano music” (Limelight). She’ll play Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto, music whose thematic metamorphosis is revealed through passages of uncommon lyricism—pure poetry! The infectious rhythms and intense colors of the East, as magnificently represented in Nielsen’s Aladdin Suite, and the youthful vigor of a young Shostakovich evident in his bright and energetic Symphony No. 1 complete the program.

WGUC Broadcast: Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Louis + MusicNOW Louis + MusicNOW
March 13 & 14, 2015
Louis Langrée, conductor
Caroline Shaw, violin

Musical worlds merge as this ground-breaking collaboration with the MusicNOW Festival continues. Two unique programs—different on each evening—will feature world premieres by award-winning composers Daníel Bjarnason and Caroline Shaw; Ms. Shaw will also perform as soloist. Details to be announced.

WGUC Broadcast: Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Beethoven + Barber of Seville Beethoven + Barber of Seville
March 20 & 21, 2015
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano; Gillian Benet Sella, harp

ROSSINI: Barber of Seville Overture
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 2
TURNIA / arr. Frühbeck: Theme and Variations for Harp and Orchestra
RESPIGHI: Feste Romana

Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter, a favorite of CSO audiences, brings her elegance and impressive virtuosity to the delightful, witty and brilliantly imaginative Concerto No. 2.

WGUC Broadcast: Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Latin Passion Latin Passion
April 8-9, 2016
Juanjo Mena, conductor
Pablo Villegas, guitar
May Festival Chorus, Robert Porco, director

Rodrigo: Fantasía para un Gentilhombre
Falla: La Vida Breve

Juanjo Mena returns by popular demand to conduct Falla’s La vida breve (“The Brief Life”), featuring massive orchestral forces, flamenco dancing and a colorful score in what is sure to be one of the season’s can’t-miss highlights. The “soulful” Spanish guitarist Pablo Villegas, who was recently praised for his “thoughtful phrasing and gorgeous coloring” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), performs Rodrigo’s lighthearted and exceptionally lovely Fantasia for a Gentleman.

John Adams Conducts Pines of Rome John Adams Conducts Pines of Rome
April 17 & 18, 2015
John Adams, conductor
Leila Josefowicz, violin

John Adams: Sheherazade.2 - Symphony for Violin and Orchestra
LIADOV: Enchanted Lake
RESPIGHI: Pines of Rome

The influential and acclaimed American composer and conductor John Adams returns to lead the CSO in an attractive program featuring violinist Leila Josefowicz, who brings her “gleaming sound and supple technique” (The New York Times) to Mr. Adams’ own Sheherazade.2. Respighi’s phenomenal guidebook to Rome’s majestic pines closes the program with the sounds of laughing children, nightingales and soldiers marching along the Appian Way. Also: Bartók’s spirited Romanian Folk Dances and Liadov’s captivating Enchanted Lake.

WGUC Broadcast: Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Beethoven 4 Beethoven 4
April 24 & 25, 2015
Vassily Sinaisky, conductor
Igor Levit, piano

ELGAR: Cockaigne Overture (In London Town)
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4

For his CSO debut, an artist hailed as “the most fascinating young pianist on today’s classical music scene” (Süddeutsche Zeitung) employs his remarkable expressive powers in Beethoven’s most serene and reflective piano concerto.

WGUC Broadcast: Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Joshua Bell Returns Joshua Bell Returns
May 7 & 9, 2015
Louis Langrée, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin

GLAZUNOV: Violin Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY (Arr. Glazunov): Méditation from Souvenir d’un lieu cher (“Memory of a Dear Place”)
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 11, The Year 1905

Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," Joshua Bell is one of the world's most celebrated violinists and a favorite of CSO audiences. He’ll perform Glazunov’s soulful Violin Concerto, music filled with expressive longing and plaintive romanticism, as well as Tchaikovsky’s achingly beautiful Méditation, a favorite of Mr. Bell’s. Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, whose subtitle, The Year 1905, refers to events of the Russian Revolution and whose themes come directly from revolutionary songs cherished by the people of Russia.

WGUC Broadcast: Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Louis Conducts Sheherazade Louis Conducts Sheherazade
May 15 & 16, 2015
Louis Langrée, conductor
Martin Grubinger, percussion

BORODIN: Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor
AVNER DORMAN: Frozen in Time

Borodin’s poetic Polovtsian Dances, including the “Stranger in Paradise” theme, opens this exotic season finale, and an artist dubbed by critics as “a wizard of percussion,” the Austrian multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger, makes his CSO debut. He’ll perform Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!, whose title the composer says refers to “three substances that are extremely appealing yet filled with danger” and which combines Middle Eastern drums, orchestral percussion and rock drums with orchestral forces. Rimsky-Korsakov’s enthralling tale of a young Sultana who saved her own life by entertaining her husband night after night with the story of the 1,001 Arabian Nights closes the concerts.

WGUC Broadcast: Sunday, May 24, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Season Opener Fantastique!
September 25-26, 2015
Louis Langrée, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano

Beethoven: Overture to Fidelio
Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14a

Louis Langrée opens his third season as CSO Music Director with Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, a tour de force of orchestral sounds and colors, from the dreamy “Reveries” to the whirling “Ball,” to the eerie “March to the Scaffold.” Pianist Yefim Bronfman, an artist beloved by CSO audiences and lauded by listeners the world over, joins the Orchestra to perform the virtuosic Bartók Concerto No. 2, music that is fiery, fierce and lyrical.

Louis + Hilary Hahn Louis + Hilary Hahn
October 2-3, 2015
Louis Langrée, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin

Sibelius: Violin Concerto
Schoenberg: Pelleas und Melisande

Hilary Hahn, a favorite of CSO audiences who reviewers describe as “the epitome of violinist perfection,” returns to Music Hall to perform the soulful and technically dazzling Sibelius Concerto. The concerts close with Schoenberg’s poetic and harmonically daring Pelleas und Melisande, whose first performances are said to have provoked riots among the audience and critics. Today, listeners hear in the music a gripping and innovative rendering of this mythical story of love, jealousy and regret.

The Tchaikovsky Experience The Tchaikovsky Experience
October 16-17, 2015
Semyon Bychkov, conductor
Bertrand Chamayou, piano

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 3, Polish
Liszt: Totentanz
Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini

The prestigious conductor Semyon Bychkov, a mentor to Louis Langrée, leads an intense and imaginative program, opening with Tchaikovsky’s Polish Symphony, so named because of his use of the polonaise, a high-spirited Polish dance. The Totentanz (“Dance of Death”), whose dark drama and pianistic fireworks provide a showcase for Bertrand Chamayou’s technical wizardry, reflects Liszt’s fascination with all things macabre. Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini and its sensual depiction of soaring passion between two ill-fated lovers brings the program to a rapturous end.

Destiny and Dante’s Inferno Destiny and Dante’s Inferno
October 30-31, 2015
Simone Young, conductor
May Festival Chorus, Robert Porco, director

Brahms: Schicksalslied (“Song of Destiny”)
Brahms: Nänie (“Funeral Song”)
Liszt: Dante Symphony

Musical treats abound this Halloween weekend as the May Festival Chorus joins the Orchestra for a program of otherworldly splendor. The internationally renowned Australian conductor Simone Young leads two stunning works by Brahms, ethereal and exquisite music whose titles translate to "Song of Destiny" and "Funeral Song." Liszt’s penetrating Dante Symphony, which takes its subject matter from The Divine Comedy, depicts Dante’s and Virgil’s passage through Hell.

One City, One Symphony: Freedom One City, One Symphony: Freedom
November 13-14, 2015
Louis Langrée, conductor

Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 2
Jonathan Bailey: World Premiere
Holland/ Kristen: World Premiere
Kuster/T.J. Cole: World Premiere
Dvorák: Symphony No. 9, From the New World

This year’s One City, One Symphony program centers on the theme of freedom, featuring a new CSO commission of three short works that set to Dr. Maya Angelou’s poetry to music. A particularly befitting tribute to this warrior for peace, justice and love on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment. The weekend’s finale is Dvorák’s New World Symphony, one of the most beloved symphonies of all time, with nods toward folk songs and spirituals, and the wide open spaces of the American landscape. The CSO’s One City, One Symphony project brings the entire community together by connecting music to themes relevant in our everyday lives. Details, listening parties and related events to be announced.

Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet
November 19-21, 2015
Louis Langrée, conductor
Renaud Capucon, violin

Sebastian Currier: Concerto for Orchestra (World Premiere)
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1
Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasie

One of today’s outstanding violinists” (The Guardian), Renaud Capuçon lends his abundant skills to performances of Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, a true showpiece whose bravura finale never fails to bring listeners to their feet. A world premiere by American composer Sebastian Currier opens the program as part of Louis Langrée’s season-long CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA PROJECT, and Tchaikovsky’s achingly beautiful setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet brings the concerts to a breathtaking close.

Prokofiev + Cello Majesty Prokofiev + Cello Majesty
December 4-5, 2015
Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 2
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5

The husband-wife duo of Rafael Payare and Alisa Weilerstein return for a weekend celebrating two remarkable 20th-century Russian composers. Alisa Weilerstein, “Yo-Yo Ma’s heiress apparent as sovereign of the American cello” (New York Magazine), is a recent recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant. She returns to Music Hall to play Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 2, an intense and dramatic work that is by turns introspective and energetic. Prokofiev’s rousing and enormously popular Symphony No. 5 brings these concerts to an exhilarating conclusion.

Brahms + Schumann: Songs for Clara Brahms + Schumann: Songs for Clara
January 14-16, 2016
Louis Langrée, conductor
Kirill Gerstein, piano

Schumann: Piano Concerto
Brahms: Symphony No. 1

This program of warmth and romance for a cold winter’s weekend begins with Schumann’s Piano Concerto, music its first performer, his wife Clara, described by saying “the piano is interwoven with the orchestra in the most delicate way—one can’t imagine the one without the other.” The “remarkable pianist” (New York Times) Kirill Gerstein will be the ideal interpreter of this beautiful music. Brahms’ brilliant Symphony No. 1, whose finale includes a horn theme he originally wrote as a birthday song to Clara, concludes a program of depth, passion and splendid orchestral effects. This program is part of Louis Langrée’s two-year BRAHMS FEST, celebrating the CSO’s German roots and connecting Brahms’ music to Cincinnati.

Elgar’s Enigma Variations Elgar’s Enigma Variations
January 22-23, 2016
Cristian Macelaru, conductor
Colin Currie, percussion

Gunther Schuller: Symphonic Triptych (World Premiere)
Julia Wolfe: riSE & fLY
Elgar: Enigma Variations

Colin Currie, the extraordinary percussionist whose performances have electrified audiences the world over, returns by popular demand to perform music written for him by American composer Julia Wolfe. In riSE and fLY, subtitled “A Body Concerto,” he first plays entirely on his body, with claps, chest slaps and stamps, then moves to a variety of found objects for “street percussion” effects. Music of Gunther Schuller, who at age 17 was named Principal Horn of the CSO and has composed two works for the Orchestra, opens the concerts. Bringing everything together into one tantalizing package are Elgar’s 14 vivid and charming sketches of his friends and acquaintances, including the majestic Nimrod.

Piano Legend Leon Fleisher Piano Legend Leon Fleisher
February 5-6, 2016
Christof Perick, conductor
Leon Fleisher, piano

Nicolai: Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 4 (Left Hand Alone)
R. Strauss: Symphonia domestica, Op. 53

The illustrious Leon Fleisher continues to impart his life-affirming artistry throughout the world. Fleisher mastered the repertoire for left hand alone after losing the use of his right hand in 1964. Although he regained use of his right hand more than a decade ago, he continues to perform music such as Prokofiev’s brilliant (and technically demanding) Concerto No. 4. The moonlit music of Nicolai’s Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor opens the concerts and Richard Strauss’ richly rendered autobiographical reflection of his family life brings the program to a magnificent conclusion.

Appalachian Spring Appalachian Spring
February 19-20, 2016
Louis Langrée, conductor
Timothy Lees, violin

Ives: The Unanswered Question
Barber: Violin Concerto
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Bernstein: On the Waterfront Symphonic Suite

Louis conducts a program of American masters, including Copland’s Appalachian Spring, which captures the vast openness of the American landscape and our country’s pioneer spirit. CSO Concertmaster Timothy Lees plays Barber’s Violin Concerto, whose sweetly elegant opening movements and virtuoso fireworks of the finale provide a perfect showcase for his artistry. Ives’ “cosmic drama” The Unanswered Question, in which a solo trumpet intones the “question” and ensembles of flutes and strings seek an “answer,” opens the concerts, and the pulsating drama of Bernstein’s On the Waterfront, which recalls the docks and slums of postwar New Jersey, completes this stunning program.

Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody
February 25-27, 2016
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
Conrad Tao, piano
May Festival Chorus, Robert Porco, director

Rachmaninoff: Cinq Études-tableaux
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Rachmaninoff: The Bells

This weekend the Orchestra celebrates the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff. After an opening featuring the multi-hued Cinq Études-tableaux (“Five Study Pictures”), the “ferociously talented” (New York Times) young pianist Conrad Tao performs the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, brilliant variations on an irresistible melody. The Bells, featuring the May Festival Chorus, is the composer’s ingenious treatment of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem by the same name, including cheerful sleigh bells, melodious marriage bells, brazen alarms and solemn death-knells.

Vienna: From Strauss to Brahms Vienna: From Strauss to Brahms
March 11-12, 2016
Louis Langrée, conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin

J. Strauss, Jr.: On the Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz
Berg: Violin Concerto, To the Memory of an Angel
Brahms: Symphony No. 2

This luminous program of Viennese masterpieces begins with the enchanting and most famous of the Strauss waltzes, the Blue Danube. Berg’s Concerto is a poetic and deeply poignant work dedicated “To the Memory of an Angel”—the young daughter of Gustav Mahler, who succumbed to polio. In Augustin Hadelich’s hands the Concerto’s every phrase will be beautifully brought to life. The program ends with a final burst of sunshine, courtesy of Brahms’ Second Symphony—music he composed at the picture-postcard village of Pörtschach, just one year before Cincinnati Music Hall was built. This program is part of Louis Langrée’s two-year BRAHMS FEST, celebrating the CSO’s German roots and connecting Brahms’ music to Cincinnati.

MusicNOW MusicNOW
March 19, 2016
Louis Langrée, conductor

The MusicNOW Festival under Artistic Director Bryce Dessner returns in its third year of artistic collaboration with Louis Langrée and your CSO.

López-Cobos Conducts Mahler 9 López-Cobos Conducts Mahler 9
March 31-April 2, 2016
Jesús López-Cobos, conductor

Mahler: Symphony No. 9

For 15 seasons as CSO Music Director, Jesús López-Cobos inspired audiences with unparalleled interpretations of the music of Gustav Mahler, including the monumental Symphony No. 9, which he recorded with the CSO to critical acclaim. Only the greatest conductors and orchestras can do justice to this powerful music—Mahler’s magnum opus. This world-class maestro and Orchestra reunite after more than a decade for performances that will surely be a season highlight.

Richard Goode Plays Mozart Richard Goode Plays Mozart
April 1-16, 2016
David Zinman, conductor
Richard Goode, piano

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27
Bruckner: Symphony No. 3, Wagner

A pianist of “staggering virtuosity” (The Times London) whose playing is “thrilling from first to last” (Gramophone), Richard Goode returns to Music Hall after a long hiatus for performances of Mozart’s final piano concerto. He joins another legend of the classical music world, conductor David Zinman, who leads Bruckner’s masterful Wagner Symphony, dedicated to composer Richard Wagner and which references some of Wagner’s most famous themes.

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto
April 28-30, 2016
Carlo Montanaro, conductor
Sergej Krylov, violin

Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Mendelssohn: Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, Italian

This program is like postcards from Italy, starting with Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, inspired by a trip the composer took to Rome during Carnival. The program’s centerpiece is Tchaikovsky’s fiery Violin Concerto—from the shimmering opening theme to the breathless pyrotechnics of the finale, it is sure to be a marvel in the hands of violinist Sergej Krylov. After a sightseeing trip, Mendelssohn composed his vivid Italian Symphony, about which he said, “It will be the most joyous thing I’ve ever written.”

Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony
May 6-7, 2016
Louis Langrée, conductor
Thierry Escaich, organ

Thierry Escaich: Concerto for Orchestra (World Premiere)
Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3, Organ

This spectacular program is a veritable showcase for the Orchestra as well as for the internationally acclaimed composer and organist Thierry Escaich. The concerts open with the CSO premiere of Escaich’s CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA as part of Louis Langrée’s season-long Concerto for Orchestra Project, then Escaich takes center stage for performances of Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony. This masterpiece is Saint-Saëns at his best, with lush harmonies, soaring melodies and magnificent orchestral colors.

Beethoven’s Eroica Beethoven’s Eroica
May 13-14, 2016
Louis Langrée, conductor

Zhou Tian: Concerto for Orchestra (World Premiere)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, Eroica

A memorable weekend is in store for this final program of the 2015–16 season, starting with the world premiere of music by acclaimed Chinese-American composer Zhou Tian, presented as part of Louis Langrée’s CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA. Beethoven’s compelling Eroica Symphony, which never ceases to thrill audiences with its grandeur, boldness and memorable themes, will bring this program and this season to a resounding conclusion.

WGUC is proud to present the CSO broadcasts in DTS Neural Surround™

This breakthrough technology provided by DTS, Inc. allows WGUC to offer an all enveloping sound experience for our digital listeners, placing you front and center in the best seats in the concert house. But, it also provides a richer stereo environment and pleasing surround sound experience for analog listeners as well. You will fully experience the richness and subtleties in the CSO recordings as never before.

How can I listen in Surround Sound?

To fully participate in WGUC’s surround sound experience you must have a receiver capable of receiving the DTS Neural Surround™ transmission. DTS Neural Surround™ is available in brand name receivers such as Yamaha, Sony, Pioneer, Onkyo and Denon nationwide.

DTS Neural SurroundWGUC staff has confirmed that these receivers are currently available online through sources like and in area electronics retail stores. Look for this logo:

Learn more about DTS Neural Surround™ by clicking here.

Ticket information is available by calling Cincinnati Symphony at (513) 381-3300 or visiting

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