In Saturday’s (7/16) Toronto Star (Canada) William Littler writes that the reasons the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra can “punch above its weight” have “much to do with the diversity of services it offers, playing for the Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet as well as giving its own concerts. Then there is Riverbend and its resident tenant, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra…. The Cincinnati Pops concert I attended recently contained not a single note of traditional classical music. The evening’s featured artist was Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth. The orchestra’s previous performances offered the film music of John Williams…. What the Cincinnati Symphony has come to realize, perhaps before some of its sister ensembles, is that, as a community resource, it needs to recognize the diversity of public tastes. At the Riverbend Music Center, concerts of various genres of popular music greatly outnumber orchestral concerts of all kinds…. So it may be that for symphony orchestras of today and tomorrow it isn’t a case of either/or so much as a need to be more versatile…. Those of us who have grown up loyal to the historic identity of the symphony orchestra … are going to have to learn to live with reality.”

Posted July 18, 2016