Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra - Recent History

Recent History

From 2001 to 2011, the orchestra's music director was Paavo Järvi. The orchestra made a number of recordings for the Telarc label during Järvi's tenure. In January 2007, the orchestra reported financial difficulties, projecting a monetary deficit of about US$2 million for the current fiscal year. In 2009, those difficulties, in addition to the purchase of Telarc by the Concord Music Group, led to the termination of the orchestra's recording contract. In late 2009, Cincinnati arts patron and philanthropist Louise Nippert announced a gift of $85M (USD) for the orchestra. The orchestra was scheduled to receive directly about $3M each year (around 75% of its annual distribution). 12% and 5% was allocated to the Cincinnati Opera and Ballet companies, respectively, with the intent of maintaining the Cincinnati Symphony as the resident orchestra for those organisations.

In December 2010, John Morris Russell was named the new conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, following the death in 2009 of Erich Kunzel. After the conclusion of his music directorship in 2011, Järvi was named music director laureate. In January 2011, as part of the interim period after the conclusion of Järvi's music directorship and during the search for a new music director, the orchestra named a number of musicians to "Creative Director" posts to curate various concert series. For the 2011-2012 season, these musicians were:

  • Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Creative Director of the Masterworks Series
  • Philip Glass, Creative Director of the Boundless Series
  • Lang Lang (pianist), Creative Director of the Ascent Series

For the 2012-2013 season, Frühbeck de Burgos reprised his role as Creative Director of the Masterworks Series. For the other two series, new musicians were named as directors:

  • Jennifer Higdon, Creative Director of the Boundless Series
  • Branford Marsalis, Creative Director of the Ascent Series.

In 2010, the Orchestra launched its own record label, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Media. The inaugural album on the new label, "American Portraits," was released internationally in January 2011. In November 2011, it became the first orchestra in the world to establish a tweeting zone at its concerts.

In April 24, 2012, the orchestra named Louis Langrée as its 13th Music Director, effective as of the 2013-2014 season, with an initial contract of 4 years. He took the title of Music Director Designate with immediate effect.

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