CSO, Pops return to full schedule with star-studded 2021-22 season

The just-announced Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Pops 2021-22 season marks the post-pandemic return of the orchestra’s full complement of musicians, along with full seating capacity at Music Hall for concertgoers.

The concert lineup includes 15 CSO subscription weekends – eight conducted by Music Director Louis Langrée – plus five Pops programs, including four conducted by Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, celebrating his 10th anniversary at the helm.

The CSO’s season will blend familiar orchestral masterworks with a range of newer music, including 10 works commissioned by the CSO. Guest artists include such luminaries as Emanuel Ax, Eighth Blackbird, Yefim Bronfman and Leila Josefowicz (photo below by Chris Lee), with guest conductors including Karina Canellakis, May Festival Conductor Laureate James Conlon, James Gaffigan and others.

“This coming season will be special,” Langrée said. It celebrates our return to life and to each other with music and performances filled with the emotion and energy that have been suppressed for so long.”

In addition to the subscription season, the CSO presents two CSO Proof events, continuing its experimental incubator program. Creative Partner Matthias Pintscher, who conducts the world premiere of his new violin concerto during the season, leads two preseason projects to be announced.

And the CSO has several other special concerts on tap in Music Hall and beyond, notably a recital by legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, April 10, and a program by famed Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov, Nov. 10.

Meanwhile, Russell and the Pops will celebrate a variety of musical styles – yes, including the ever-popular Holiday Pops program – and Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton will lead a 90th-birthday tribute to renowned film composer John Williams.

Among the musical highlights: Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 on the CSO season opener Oct. 29-30; Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Gaffigan and soprano Catherine Trottmann Nov. 13-14; Elgar’s Cello Concerto with soloist Alisa Weilerstein and conductor Canellakis March 4-5; a Pops Tribute to Aretha Franklin March 18-20; Berlioz’ “Symphonie Fantastique” with new works by Wynton Marsalis and the Kinds of Kings composer collective March 25-27.

The entire season lineup is available on the orchestra’s website.

Also, the CSO and Pops will continue to stream many of their concerts online, with the schedule to be announced later. And many of the orchestra’s other initiatives – such as its Lollipops Family Concerts, Multicultural Awareness Council and Young People’s Concerts – will resume after a pause during the pandemic.

Season subscription packages are on sale, starting at under $60. Single tickets go on sale Sept. 27, starting at $14 for CSO concerts and $25 for Pops concerts.


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