CSO, Pops return to summer concert traditions

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Pops will revive their summer concert traditions in 2021, after last year’s cancellations in the wake of the pandemic.

John Morris Russell and the Pops return to Riverbend Music Center for the Fourth of July. And on Aug. 20, the CSO’s Classical Roots series celebrates its 20th anniversary with performances at three of the orchestra’s partner churches, plus a culminating concert at Music Hall. 

With masking and distance requirements now relaxed, the full complement of musicians can perform on stage together for the first time since a Pops concert celebrating King Records and the Cincinnati Sound in March 2020, and full seating capacities at both Riverbend and Music Hall have been reinstated.

John Morris Russel
John Morris Russell will again conduct the Pops’ Fourth of July concert.

Also: The Pops will perform in the Crown Jewels of Jazz summer series at St. Aloysius in August; CSO In Your Neighborhood will return with members of the orchestra popping up in locations around the city for casual concerts; and the CSO will be part of the Cincinnati Opera’s summer season at Summit Park. 

The schedule as announced so far:

– Red, White & BOOM!, 8 p.m. July 4, Riverbend Music Center; John Morris Russell, conductor; Annie Moses Band; Chris Kenney, vocalist; Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks. Tickets: $15 and up (in advance); $5 for active and retired military members; free lawn admission for kids 17 and under (tickets issued at gate) 

– Cincinnati Opera, July, Summit Park in Blue Ash. The CSO is the official orchestra for the Cincinnati Opera. Information: cincinnatiopera.org 

– Crown Jewels of Jazz, August. John Morris Russell, conductor; details to be announced

– Classical Roots 20th Anniversary, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20, Music Hall. John Morris Russell, conductor; tickets: $14 and up. Members of the CSO will also perform at Classical Roots partner churches Zion Baptist Church, Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church, and Quinn Chapel  A.M.E., with dates and ticket information to be announced. 

Riverbend and Music Hall are following all Ohio and CDC COVID safety guidelines. Fully vaccinated guests are not  required to wear masks.


The Classical Roots Community Mass Choir in concert with the CSO in 2019

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