Orchestra performs Parisian-inspired program under Pops Conductor John Morris Russell. Concert followed by annual dinner and ball. Mercedes-Benz lease one of dozens of silent auction items


Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

John Morris Russell, conductor Natalie Choquette, vocalist Cincinnati Studio for Dance,

Shari Poff, director

Music Hall

Monday, December 31, 7:30 p.m.

Concert tickets start at $10, and gala tickets start at $185 (includes concert ticket). More information and tickets are available by calling: (513) 381-3300

or visiting  www.cincinnatisymphony.org

A Night at the Moulin Rouge

French tastemakers and chanteurs alike: join us in the concert-cabaret hall for a sumptuous and sultry evening of Parisian music, including La vie en rose, Offenbach’s can-can and music from Cabaret, Gigi, La bohème and more. Spectacular singers and dancers break out their feathers and sequins for an evening of French flair that can only be delivered by JMR and your Cincinnati Symphony and Pops. Ooh la la!

Concert sponsor:

Artswave Partner:

CINCINNATI – One of Cincinnati’s favorite holiday traditions continues this season when the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, led by John Morris Russell, performs its annual New Year’s Eve concert followed by the classiest December 31 gala in town. This year, the Orchestra nods to the golden age of the Moulin Rouge, with a Parisian-inspired program with selections such as Gershwin’s An American in Paris, works by Saint-Saëns and Offenbach, and, of course, the can-can. Comedic soprano Natalie Choquette, who is making her debut with the Orchestra, blends opera, humor, circus and symphony, while an accordion player, circus performers and students from the Cincinnati Studio for Dance round out the lighthearted, lively concert program.

After the concert, guests can celebrate midnight in Paris in the Music Hall Ballroom during the annual New Year’s Eve Gala hosted by the Cincinnati Symphony Volunteer Association. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres set the stage for an elegant seated dinner catered by Funky’s. Then guests have the opportunity to dance the night away with the music of Hank Mautner and the Swing Heritage Orchestra before counting down to the midnight champagne toast.

It’s the classiest party in town,” said Mr. Russell. The music is joyous, ebullient; all of our New Year’s Eve programs are lighthearted and fun. We’ve got a little bit of Pops and a little bit of the symphonic traditions. And then the fantastic party afterwards with the wonderful dinner and dancing everyones going to love it,he said.

The Orchestra also announces an exciting addition to the traditional New Year’s Eve Silent Auction. Guests will have the opportunity to begin 2013 in luxury and style The New Year’s Eve Ball will feature the auction of a two-year lease of a 2013 C300 4MATIC Sport Sedan, donated by Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati. Patrons must be present to bid.

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra salutes and thanks its 2013 “A Night at Moulin Rouge” Gala sponsors: Dr. John & Louise Mulford Fund for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Premier Sponsor; the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and CFM, Supporting

Sponsors; Frisch’s Big Boy and Grant Thornton, Benefactor Sponsors; and Mercedes-Benz, Official Auction Sponsor. The CSO is grateful to US Bank for its generous sponsorship of the New Year’s Eve concert. The ArtsWave Partner for this concert is Frisch’s Big Boy. This years gala is being chaired by Hengameh Nassef.

Natalie Choquette, soprano

Born in Tokyo of diplomat parents during a raging typhoon, Canadian soprano Natalie Choquette is a rather unique multilingual classical entertainer who presents opera with an irresistible humorous twist. Her show, “Whoever said opera was boring?” has delighted audiences across the planet and won over many new opera fans.

Awarded many prizes (including an Honorary Doctorate from the

University of Ottawa) for democratizing opera, Natalie Choquette loves to create and portray colorful zany divas (such as “La Fettucini from il Teatro Bolognese”) dressed in outrageous costumes, singing the most famous and beautiful opera arias while interacting with the audience, the

musicians and even the Maestro!

No other first-class soprano in the world will be found impeccably singing Verdi while doing a head stand on a piano or rendering a tear-jearking interpretation of Puccini’s “Nessun dorma” while eating spaghetti and gargling with wine.

As well at ease at the Vienna Konzerthaus with the Vienna Symphonics or in cathedrals with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra as in arenas with the “Night of the Proms, at the “Just for Laughs Festival” in Montreal, with the Roncalli Circus in “Clowns in Concert” or in charming theatres with her pianist, this artist is an act in herself.

Her beautiful crystal-clear voice and unique sense of humor have touched many souls and uplifted many spirits around the world.

Her secret? Natalie Choquette just sings her love of people, life and music with all her heart. www.nataliechoquette.ca

John Morris Russell, conductor

2012-2013 marks John Morris Russell’s sophomore season as the conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, to which he has brought both creative artistry and boundless energy. Consistently winning international praise for his extraordinary music-making and visionary leadership, he was recently named Music Director of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He completed his role as Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada at the end of the 11/12 season whereupon he was named that orchestra’s first Conductor Laureate.

With his position at the Pops, Mr. Russell leads performances at Cincinnati’s Music Hall and the Riverbend Music Center; additionally he conducts the orchestra in concerts throughout the Greater Cincinnati region as well as on tourserving as a musical ambassador to help cultivate the reputation of the Cincinnati region as one of the world’s leading cultural centers. No stranger to Cincinnati audiences, for many seasons John Morris Russell served as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He was recognized for his innovative programming and commitment to attracting new and diverse audiences to orchestral music,

creating the Classical Roots: Spiritual Heights series, which brought the music of African-American composers and performers to thousands of listeners in area churches, and was also the co-creator of the Christmas spectacular, Home for the Holidays.

As a guest conductor, Mr. Russell has worked with many of North America’s most distinguished ensembles, leading Canadian orchestras that include Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Kitchener-Waterloo and Orchestra London.

In the US he has conducted the orchestras of Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas, Louisville, Miami’s New World Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Colorado Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New York Pops, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival. Abroad he conducted at the famed Musikverein in Vienna in a concert that featured the Harlem Boychoir, the Vienna Choir Boys and the actor Gregory Peck. The performance continues to be televised throughout Europe, Japan and in the USA on PBS.

2011-2012 marked Mr. Russell’s eleventh and final season as Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. While at Windsor he fostered a decade of unprecedented artistic growth and invigorated the musical life of the Windsor-Essex region. Under John Morris Russell’s baton, the WSO made seventeen national broadcasts on CBC Radio 2; the most recent broadcast recording of Aurora Borealis by Jordon Nobles, was selected to represent Canada in June, 2010 in the 57th annual International Rostrum of Composers in Lisbon, Portugal. The WSO’s first nationally televised production was created with Mr. Russell for the CBC Television series Opening Night, and subsequently won the Gold Worldmedal for “Best Performance Program” at the New York Festivals Awards for Television and New Media, as well as a Gemini Award Nomination. In 2006 the Windsor Symphony Orchestra released Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf narrated by the internationally acclaimed actor, Colm Feore, and Last Minute Lulu, composed by WSO Composer-in-Residence, Brent Lee, with text by the Newbery Medal winning author, Christopher Paul Curtis. The recording won Mr. Russell and the WSO its first Juno nomination for Best Children’s Album in 2008. Mr. Russell helped nurture many new voices in Canadian music, conducting numerous Windsor premiers of important Canadian works and over 45 world premiers of commissioned compositions. He created the WSO’s first multi-year composer-in-residence position, and was deeply involved in the production of the annual Windsor Canadian Music Festival, described by CBC producer David Jaeger as, “one of the most exciting and innovative developments to appear lately in the Canadian musical scene.” A two-time recipient of Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Arts, as well as the Ontario Arts Council’s Vida Peene Award for Artistic Excellence, in 2010 Mr. Russell received the prestigious Herb Gray Harmony Award by the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County, in recognition of the WSO’s programming and outreach activities. In October of 2010 he was honored as the first recipient of the Arts Leadership Award by the Windsor Endowment for the Arts, in recognition of the enormous contribution he has made to the region’s cultural life. And in the spring of 2011 the University of Windsor awarded John Morris Russell an Honorary Doctor of Law degree.

John Morris Russell is widely considered one of North America’s leaders in orchestral educational programming. From 1997 to 2009 he conducted the “LinkUP!” educational concert series at Carnegie Hall, the oldest and most celebrated series of its kind, created by Walter Damrosch in 1891 and made famous by Leonard Bernstein. The “Sound Discoveries” series Mr. Russell developed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra remains a leading model for educational concerts.

John Morris Russell has also served as associate conductor of the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, director of the orchestral program at Vanderbilt University, and music director with the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, Massachusetts. He received a Master of Music degree in conducting from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Williams College in Massachusetts. He has also studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Hancock, Maine.

Concert tickets
start at $10; Gala tickets start at $185 and include a concert ticket. Tickets are available by phone at (513) 381-3300, on the Internet at www.cincinnatisymphony.org, and in person at:

  •   CSO Box Office at Music Hall, 1241 Elm Street, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  •   All seating for this concert is General Admission


  CSO Ignite tickets for CSO concerts are $12. They are available for members of the program ages

18-30 and full-time students beginning Monday of the performance week at the CSO Sales Office, over the phone at 513-381-3300, or online at www.cincinnatisymphony.org 


The Cincinnati Symphony gratefully acknowledges support from the following: