Cincinnati Symphony And Pops Orchestra

1241 Elm Street


To seek and share inspiration.


We will engage audiences and community better than any other orchestra in the world.


Determined for Greatness

A Place of Experimentation

Cincinnati’s Ambassador

Cincinnati’s Own


Founded in 1895, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is the fifth oldest orchestra in the United States and represents the evolution of 200 years of musical tradition in the Queen City.


At the end of the 18th century, when Haydn and Beethoven were still living, Cincinnati was little more than a village surrounding old Fort Washington. A "select band" of soldiers stationed at the fort would present concerts for the early settlers, pioneers who had pushed west-ward over the Allegheny Mountains. The Western Spy, a newspaper of the time, mentioned a memorial celebration in honor of Gen. George Washington at which the band played a goodly number of martial airs. An early writer wrote of another celebration that "a band of music accompanied them [the reveling settlers] with the harmonies of Gluck and Haydn."

With the 19th century and the arrival of many German settlers, numerous musical organizations were established in the "Queen City of the West." The Harmonical Society was a brass band of local talent, and the Apollonian Society, with 40 members, promoted "the cultivation of vocal and instrumental music." In 1825 Joseph Tosso, a young graduate of the Paris Conservatory, arrived to direct an orchestra assembled for a reception in General Lafayette's honor. Tosso remained and organized the Orchestra of the Musical Fund Society. About the same time, the Eclectic Academy was founded. The Midwest's first Sängerfest took place in Cincinnati in 1842 at the old Armory Hall.

Recent News

Performance - The French Connection

A French tour de force, these concerts feature evocative works written by three prominent French composers, led by a distinguished French conductor and performed by a French pianist acclaimed for his virtuosity and pure artistry.At the center of this…

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Performance - Rach of Ages

French pianist Lise de la Salle makes her CSO debut with Shostakovich’s First Concerto, a vibrant work of uncommon lyricism and delicacy, while CSO principal trumpet Robert Sullivan plays the virtuoso solo that appears throughout the concerto and s…

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Performance - Raise The Roof

In this soul-stirring season finale, piano phenomenon Lang Lang returns to lend his superior technique and dazzling musicianship to Prokofiev’s striking and popular Third Concerto.China Philharmonic principal conductor Long Yu leads the CSO in Tcha…

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Performance - Life Reflected

On the occasion of his 75th birthday year, we celebrate the incomparable Philip Glass with the world premiere of his Second Cello Concerto, based on the score to the prophetic art film Naqoyqatsi, a Hopi word meaning“life as war.”Returning to the…

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Performance - Melodic High

This dramatic program is the perfect showcase for two of the CSO’s own: Concertmaster Timothy Lees and principal cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn perform Hungarian-themed music by a composer best known for his film score to Ben-Hur.The gifted Maestro Fisc…

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