The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 2015-16 season with a full concert weekend Sept. 25-27

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Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 2015-16 season with a full concert weekend Sept. 25-27 fueled by Berlioz’s psychedelic masterpiece Symphonie fantastique, one movement of which was recently heard as part of the CSO’s wildly popular LUMENOCITY® summer concert. Conducted by Music Director Louis Langrée, the performances on Friday (11 a.m.) and Saturday (8 p.m.) Sept. 25-26 feature this dramatic masterpiece, which Berlioz wrote to impress a love interest, as well as revered pianist Yefim Bronfman (a favorite of CSO audiences) performing Bartók’s Second Piano Concerto.

The concerts open with Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio. The Sunday, Sept. 27 performance is part of the CSO’s new “Stories in Concert” series and will only feature the Berlioz work (see below).

“Symphonie fantastique still sounds raw, wild. Berlioz invents a new sound world for the orchestra,” said Mr. Langrée. “It’s about opium, obsession, murder, fantasy, hell. It’s just a wonderful showpiece for the players, but going completely wild and raw in the imagination.”

Concert tickets start at $12 in advance and are available by calling the CSO Box Office at (513) 381-3300 or visiting cincinnatisymphony.org.

Opening Night Gala + after-party
Surrounding the concert on Saturday, Sept. 26 is the annual Opening Night Gala in the Music Hall Ballroom. The Gala celebrates the launch of another exciting CSO season with Louis Langrée. The festivities begin with cocktails and dinner catered by Jeff Thomas Catering. The Ballroom will be transformed by some of Cincinnati’s most creative design and culinary experts, inspired by Berlioz’s state of mind when he composed Symphonie fantastique, leading to a colorful event full of surprises.

Chaired by Terry and Christie Horan, along with honorary co-chairs Aimée and Louis Langrée and John Morris Russell and Thea Tjepkema, the gala launches the fall arts season for Cincinnati. The CSO is also very pleased to announce that the honorees of this year’s gala are the 25 extraordinary and transformative leadership donors to the Orchestra’s most recent endowment campaign.

The concert will be immediately followed by The 5th Movement, a high-energy event in the Music Hall Ballroom featuring dessert, drinks, a DJ, dancing and additional surprises.

Tickets to the gala and 5th Movement are still available by calling the CSO Box Office or by visiting cincinnatisymphony.org. Gala tickets include the 5th Movement.

Stories in Concert
The Sunday, Sept. 27 performance will feature Louis Langrée giving an in-depth look at Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique along with a full performance of the work (the Bartók Piano Concerto No. 2 and Beethoven Overture to Fidelio will not be performed on Sunday). This is the first performance in the CSO’s new “Stories in Concert” series. For newcomers and classical music aficionados alike and modeled after the CSO’s popular One City, One Symphony “listening parties,” “Stories in Concert” is a collection of masterworks and the fascinating stories which led to their creation. Hear excerpts from Symphonie fantastique performed live by the full Orchestra as Louis shares the compelling story of the composer’s life and art, then hear the full work with a new perspective after intermission. Adult tickets start at $25; tickets for students ages 6-17 are $10. Buy all three “Stories in Concert” (Sept. 27, Jan. 17, 2016, Mar. 13, 2016) and save 10%.

The CSO is grateful to Concert Sponsor U.S. Bank. The Opening Night Gala sponsors include: Supporting Sponsors HORAN, Oliver Family Foundation, Western & Southern Company, Joyce and Dale Uetrecht; Benefactor Sponsors Bartlett & Co., Vivian and Jim Schwab, Melody Sawyer Richardson, Dianne and J. David Rosenberg; Friend Sponsors Trish and Rick Bryan, Mary Ellen and Tom Cody, Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Heidt, Jr., Macy’s, Vicky and Rick Reynolds, Dee and Tom Stegman, William D. Stenger; Special Contributing Sponsors Arnold Printing, Envoi Design, Jeff Thomas Catering, KPG Creative, Quince & Quinn, Taft’s Ale House.