About Cincinnati Pops
The Cincinnati Pops, which also performs as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, is under the direction of John Morris Russell and presents a diverse array of musical styles, encompassing the world-renowned “Cincinnati Sound.” The Pops was officially founded in 1977 by Erich Kunzel, and since 1980, the Pops has sold ten million recordings worldwide.
The Pops has performed in recent years with contemporary artists such as Rhiannon Giddens, Idina Menzel, Boyz II Men, Kristin Chenoweth, Vanessa Williams, Audra McDonald, Ben Folds, Roseanne Cash, Bernadette Peters, and Smokey Robinson. These collaborations continue a tradition of working with legends including Aretha Franklin, John Williams, The Temptations, Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Frampton, Dave Brubeck, Mel Tormé, Henry Mancini, Rosemary Clooney, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Arturo Sandoval.
The Pops tours nationally and internationally, most recently in Shanghai and Taiwan for concerts in March 2017 and Florida for a week of performances in December 2014. The Pops traveled to Beijing as part of the Opening Festivities of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, and in 2005, the Pops completed a historic tour to China and Singapore performing in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The Cincinnati Pops was the first U.S. Pops orchestra to perform in China. They have also performed to enthusiastic audiences in Carnegie Hall, Washington D.C., and multiple tours in Japan.
An estimated 30 million people have viewed national telecasts of the Cincinnati Pops on PBS, and the Orchestra has more than 100 available recordings, 55 of which have appeared on the Billboard charts, a record unmatched by any other orchestra. The Pops’ Copland: Music of America won a Grammy in 1997, and four other Pops recordings have been nominated for Grammy Awards.
In 2012, the Pops released its first recording under John Morris Russell, Home for the Holidays, on the Orchestra’s own Fanfare Cincinnati label. Subsequent recordings Superheroes! and Carnival of the Animals reached #8 and #15, respectively, on the Billboard charts. The most recent Pops release, American Originals: 1918, celebrates and reimagines American music of the post-World War I era, and is a successor to the Pops’ 2015 release of American Originals, which received national attention for its reimagining of the Stephen Foster songbook. In the spring of 2016, the Pops unveiled American Soundscapes, an online video series that features Pops performances captured live. It has already reached nearly a million viewers around the world.