The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra may be part of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, but it is probably far from what you think of when you hear the word “symphony.” Pops orchestras do play some well-known classical music, but unlike symphony orchestras, their repertoire also includes show tunes and current popular music. The Cincinnati Pops is one of the premier pops orchestras in the United States.
The Cincinnati Pops was founded in 1977 under the direction of Maestro Erich Kunzel. Maestro Kunzel left a conducting position at Brown University to become an associate conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1965. The seeds of the Cincinnati Pops were planted with the resounding success of his first Pops concert in October of that year. When the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra was officially founded twelve years later, Maestro Kunzel was the obvious choice to lead it. During his 32 years as the conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, he recorded more than 85 albums and took the orchestra on tours all over the United States and the world.
With its wide variety of musical offerings and top-notch artists, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra has won acclaim ever since its early beginnings. The orchestra’s various tours have gained it many followers, both in the U.S. and around the world. In addition to giving around twenty performances each year in Cincinnati’s Music Hall, the Cincinnati Pops also plays concerts outdoors at Riverbend Music Center during the summer. Its seasons include well-known, top-caliber artists with a wide variety of musical styles, as well as international guest conductors. The diverse series of programs ensures that every performance offers something different from the one before, keeping audiences coming back for more.
Maestro Kunzel passed away in September of 2009, but left an enduring legacy. Although it is a relatively young orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops has become one of the best known and most well-respected Pops orchestras in the world. After more than thirty years, it continues to play to packed audiences at Music Hall. The orchestra has also earned international recognition, as evidenced by its invitation to participate in the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Under the leadership of John Morris Russell beginning in its 2011-12 season, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra will undoubtedly continue to delight audiences for many years to come.
- Administrative Offices: Monday through Friday: 9am to 5pm
- Box Office: Monday through Friday: 10am to 5pm Performances: Friday and Saturday: 8pm, Sunday Matinees: 2pm, Evening Performances: 7pm
- Prices vary by event and by the seats you choose. See the Cincinnati Pops website or call the box office for details.
- Location: Music Hall, 1241 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH
- Administrative Offices: 513-621-1919
- Box Office: 513-381-3300
- Website: www.cincinnatipops.org/Home.php