Cincinnati Symphony’s concertmaster on how she and orchestra are pivoting in 2020 and beyond

Posted on: January 20, 2021

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Stefani Matsuo and other women arts leaders discuss “how they have navigated the past year as well as their outlook ahead” with Janelle Gelfand in Friday’s (1/15) Cincinnati Business Courier. Writes Gelfand, “Matsuo stepped into her new role … in September 2019. She is the first woman appointed to the orchestra’s top chair in its history…. In March [2020], the orchestra performed Beethoven’s ‘1808 Akademie’ concert, re-creating the most extravagant program in history over a six-hour span. Then, the music stopped as the nation locked down. In May, Matsuo got a call. Would she be willing to play for a digital concert streamed live from an empty Music Hall? The musicians would wear face masks and be distanced, …. ‘just a quartet playing the Mahler Quartet–I don’t think anyone hesitated in responding,’ she said…. ‘I was overwhelmed and happy.’ … The Cincinnati Pops also performed a livestream on July 4th. Since then, they’ve made huge strides with streaming broadcasts…. ‘We feel fortunate that the management has been able to jump into the digital era…. We’ve connected with people around the world and … in the community. We’ll have the best of both worlds as things return to normal.’ ”