Cincinnati Symphony’s Louis Langrée, reshaping orchestra—and city

Posted on: April 19, 2021

“When Louis Langrée became the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s 13th music director in 2013 … we didn’t know … that … we would become ‘Louis’ city,’ ” writes David Lyman in Sunday’s (4/18) Cincinnati Enquirer (subscription required). “In August 2013 … he convened tens of thousands of us in and around Washington Park for ‘Lumenocity.’ … The highlight of the evening was the introduction of Langrée himself. The Pops greeted him with the 1963 rock standard ‘Louie Louie,’ followed by a rousing rendition of ‘La Marseillaise,’ the French national anthem…. What struck us in the audience was his extraordinary enthusiasm, the joy he seemed to take at sharing music with anyone who might listen…. Since then, he has led the orchestra through one of [its] most adventurous periods … introducing seldom-played repertoire, commissioning a wide array of composers—many of them women and people of color…. He is an ardent supporter of anything that will expose more people to music…. ‘It is something that we share together. It’s a collective experience,’ he says. That’s why he was so insistent that the orchestra return to performing in Music Hall as soon as possible, even if state guidelines demanded much smaller audiences.”