Pops welcomes six-time Grammy winning ensemble The Chieftains

Day celebration featuring popular Irish and Celtic selections Cincinnati Pops Orchestra John Morris Russell,The Chieftains Music Hall Friday, March 8, 8 p.m. Saturday, March 9, 8 p.m. Sunday, March 10, 2 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and are available by calling: (513) 381-3300 or visiting Cincinnati Pops Orchestra presents its upcoming pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration with Grammy Award-winning ensemble


International sensation The Chieftains was the original band to bring traditional Irish music to the world’s stage. The six-time Grammy winners bring us a pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration of Irish and Celtic favorites, plus popular songs from around the


The Chieftains Music Hall, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 8-10. This enormously popular performing group, known for opening the door for popular world music, performs favorite Irish and Celtic medleys along with folk hits from around the world under Pops Conductor John Morris Russell. Headed by Paddy Moloney, the talented Chieftains flaunt an array of instruments including fiddles, flutes, harp, tin whistle, pipes and vocals.

These Pops concerts also include the guest talents from the following local music and dance groups: The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Glee Club, General Anthony Wayne Pipe Band and McGing Irish Dancers. Those in attendence will have the option of enjoying some concert-themed beverages available at all concession stands and in the lobby including Harp, Guinness and Smithwick’s. On Friday and Saturday, March 8 & 9, patrons may opt to park once, eat and relax with a Pops Prelude Dinner, catered at Music Hall by The Phoenix. Tickets for the dinners are available for $40 via the Box Office or visit cincinnatisymphony.org/dining for menu and order details.

The Cincinnati Pops is grateful to concert sponsor Eagle Realty Group and artist sponsors Dunnhumby USA and The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. The Pops Series Presenting Sponsor is PNC. The ArtsWave partner company for this performance is Macy’s.

The Chieftains, ensemble

Six time Grammy winners, The Chieftains are now recognized for bringing traditional Irish music to the world’s attention. They have uncovered the wealth of traditional Irish music that has accumulated over the centuries, making the music their own with a style that is as exhilarating as it is definitive.

On top of their six Grammy awards, they have been honoured in their own country by being officially named Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors, performed during the Pope’s visit to Ireland in 1979 in front of a 135,000,000 strong audience, and were the subject of a Late Late Show tribute in 1987, their 25th anniversary. In 2010, Paddy’s whistle and Matt’s flute travelled to outer space with a NASA astronaut, Catherine Coleman.

In 2010, The Chieftains released a collaboration with guitarist/producer Ry Cooder entitled “San Patricio” on the Concord Music Group label. The album was named after The San Patricio Battalion, a group of Irish immigrant conscripts who deserted the US Army in 1846 to fight on the Mexican side of the Mexican- American War. This release proved a remarkable collaboration, with many of the most distinguished Mexican and Mexican-American musicians including Lila Downs, Los Tigres Del Norte, Los Cenzontles, and Carlos Nunez, as well as narration by Liam Neeson and a piece featuring Linda Ronstadt. A commercial and critical success, the album sold over 60,000 copies in North America and charted number 37 in the Billboard 200, the highest charting of all 58 of The Chieftains albums. Extraordinarily, “San Patricio” was the subject of a St. Patrick’s Day 2010 New York Times Editorial, which celebrated the unlikely juxtaposition between the Irish and the Mexicans: “The rest is joy, thoroughly Mexican yet utterly Irish, carried aloft by tin whistles, skin drums, pipes, harps, guitars, and stomping feet. It’s a mix you’ve never heard, but eerily familiar…We are all people who have lost our land in one sad way and found another. Whether we lament and celebrate in a pub or cantina, whether our tricolour flag has a cactus on it or not, we are closer to one another than we remember.”

The trappings of fame have not altered The Chieftains’ love of, and loyalty to, their roots – they are as comfortable playing spontaneous Irish sessions as they are headlining a concert at Carnegie Hall. After all these years of making some of the most beautiful music in the world, The Chieftains’ music remains as fresh and relevant as when they first began.

2012 will mark the group’s 50th anniversary, and they plan to celebrate the momentous occasion by collaborating with old and new friends alike, reliving past memories and introducing The Chieftains historic career to a whole new generation of fans. The Chieftains’ Voice of Ages finds the band collaborating with some of modern music’s fastest rising artists (Bon Iver, The Decemberists, and Paolo Nutini among them) to reinterpret traditional songs for old and new generations alike, proving what the music means today while hinting where it might lead tomorrow.

Touring Personnel:

Paddy Moloney tin whistle, uilleann pipes Kevin Conneff bodhran, vocals
Matt Molloy – flute
Triona Marshall

Alyth McCormack, vocals Jeff White guitar, vocals Deanie Richardson – fiddle Jon Pilatzke fiddle, dancer Nathan Pilatzke – dancer Cara Butler dancer

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 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.

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra gratefully acknowledges support from the following:

Tickets start at $25 and are available by phone at (513) 381-3300, on the Internet at www.cincinnatipops.org, or in person at:

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

    Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  •   Student Tickets for Pops concerts are $20 and are available the week of the concert in person at the

    CSO Sales Office, over the phone at 513-381-3300, or online at www.cincinnatipops.org (limit two

    tickets per valid student ID).

  •   Child Tickets are just $20.

    Artist biographies and photos are available in digital or hard copy format upon request to: Media contacts: Christopher Pinelo, 513-744-3338, cpinelo@cincinnatisymphony.org