Paavo Jarvi & Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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, the CSO has played a leading role in the cultural life of Greater Cincinnati and the Midwest since 1895.
The CSO entered a new era in September 2001, when the dynamic, young conductor Paavo Järvi stepped to the podium as the orchestra's 12th Music Director in its 108-year history. Maestro Järvi led the orchestra in 12 subscription concert weekends at Music Hall in the 2002-2003 season, and took the orchestra on a North American tour of major cities, including his first performance with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
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 Bartok, and has commissioned works that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire, including Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. The CSO was the first orchestra to be broadcast to a national radio audience (in 1921) and the third orchestra to record (in 1917).
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra today has 99 full-time musicians, a recording contract with Telarc International, a $61 million endowment, and an operating budget that consistently places it among America's top 10 orchestras. The CSO is the umbrella institution that includes the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and through both, the orchestra has sold 8.7 million compact discs and cassette tapes on the Telarc label. The orchestra continues to commission new works and to program an impressive array of music.
The CSO was the first American orchestra to make a world tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, and continues to tour regularly in Europe and Asia as well as the United States. On his first international tour with the CSO, Paavo Järvi led the orchestra on a Japanese tour in November 2003. Carnegie Hall has presented the orchestra in concert for 14 years.
One of 18 North American orchestras performing year-round, the CSO performed 130 concerts in the 2002-2003 season, including classical and Pops subscription concerts, Young People's Concerts and Lollipop Family Concerts at Music Hall, Concerts in the Park, Bach & Beyond Series in June, and Home for the Holidays at the Taft Theatre in December. The orchestra presents 15 classical and Pops concerts at Riverbend Music Center, the summer home it opened in 1984. It is the official orchestra for the May Festival and the Cincinnati Opera, and maintains a close affiliation with both institutions. Approximately 340,000 people attend performances by the orchestra each year, with 2,000 people on average attending each CSO classical subscription concert at Music Hall. The CSO Chamber Players series, instituted by the orchestra in 1988, showcases the talents of orchestra members and provides audiences an intimate chamber music alternative.
Telarc's numerous recordings of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra over the past two decades have met with critical and listener acclaim. Music of Turina and Debussy, led by Maestro López-Cobos, was nominated for a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance. In 2002-2003, Telarc released two recordings by Maestro Järvi and the orchestra, Eduard Tubin's Symphony No. 5 in B minor and Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 in D major, (one of the recordings that garnered a 2002 Grammy Award for Telarc's Robert Woods as "Producer of the Year, Classical") and the second, Stravinsky's Petrouchka, L'Oiseau de feu ("The Firebird Suite"), and Scherzo à la Russe."