In Sunday’s (1/17) Cincinnati Enquirer, Janelle Gelfand writes, “Never in its 115-year history has the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra faced so many challenges at once and so much uncertainty about its future. The decisions being made now, mostly behind closed doors, will affect how—and whether—the CSO will continue to thrive in the coming decades as one of America’s major orchestras. On the bright side, amid the worst U.S. economy since the Great Depression, the orchestra’s financial picture improved considerably last month with an $85 million gift from arts patron Louise Nippert. … Music director Paavo Järvi announced last week that he will leave the CSO in May 2011—just as Music Hall is set to close for 16 months of major renovations. Järvi has taken the orchestra to a new level of excellence over the past nine seasons. … Equally pressing is the search for a new Pops maestro. Erich Kunzel died in September after building the Cincinnati Pops into a definable brand, with a huge local and international following. … The other big unknown concerns Music Hall. Where will the orchestra play for more than a season, when its longtime home undergoes the first extensive makeover in 40 years?”

Posted January 19, 2010