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Press Releases

Rossen Milanov and the Columbus Symphony Announce the 2018-19 Masterworks Season

March 5, 2018

Rossen Milanov and the Columbus Symphony Announce the 2018-19 Masterworks Season

The Columbus Symphony and Music Director Rossen Milanov today announced the 2018-19 Masterworks series, a celebration of the excellence of the orchestra. This season will mark Milanov's fourth as artistic leader of the organization, and first of his contract extension through 2025.

"Music is the universal language that unites people, bridges social divisions, inspires us to be the best we can be, and elevates our aspirations. The Columbus Symphony and I are fortunate to have the privilege of being your orchestra and source of inspiration," stated Milanov. "With these guiding principles, it is my great pleasure to present to you our 2018-19 Masterworks season. We would like to think of our concerts as a collection of irresistibly unique experiences that will provide a wide array of choices for you to consider. This year's primary focus will be on the Columbus Symphony itself - its wonderful musicians and their virtuosity!"


  • Opening night celebration concert inspired by Disney's Fantasia, including Stokowski's striking arrangement of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and Dukas' A Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • A celebration of Leonard Bernstein's Centenary with some of his best Broadway-inspired works
  • Performances of Handel's complete Messiah and Mozart's Requiem featuring the Columbus Symphony Chorus and dazzling soloists
  • Columbus Symphony Concertmaster Joanna Frankel and Principal Trumpet George Goad make their debuts as soloists
  • Italian Festival with Rachel Barton Pine performing Paganini
  • Two-week-long Russian Winter Festival featuring BalletMet principal dancers, pianist Sergei Babayan, and Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony, preceded by a documentary film reflecting on the composer's life in the Soviet Union
  • Back by popular demand, local flamenco dancer Griset Damas performs as part of the Spanish Flamenco Festival
  • Nordic Myths Festival featuring music from Scandinavia and original video art projected on the orchestra shell
  • A grand season finale featuring Mahler's Fifth Symphony and Leila Josefowixz, the cutting-edge musician involved in nearly all major violin concerto premieres


Preludes - 30 minutes prior to each Masterworks performance, the CSO will host a 30-minute, educational talk in the theatre. Prelude events can be  hosted by WOSU's Christopher Purdy, or be part of the CSO's Subject Matter lecture series and hosted by a professor from OSU or other partnering universities. 

Postludes - Patrons are invited to stay after the concert and enjoy a variety of Postlude events following select performances. Postludes could include the performance of an additional, related work for smaller ensemble, a post-performance discussion with Maestro Milanov and/or the featured guest soloist(s), dance demonstrations, or food and drink tastings.

Friday Coffee Dress - Select Masterworks programs in 2018-19 will offer $10, general admission tickets to Friday morning rehearsals that will include free coffee and pastries for patrons.

Festivals - The CSO will hold five festivals at the Ohio, Palace, and Southern Theatres that combine music with art, knowledge, and thematically related events. Each will be enhanced with a variety of educational and interactive offerings, enabling patrons to become immersed in the festival's focus across multiple disciplines. 

Mozart to Matisse - The CSO and Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) will collaborate in a series of afternoon lectures that pair chamber music performances by CSO musicians with works from the CMA art collection. The presentations will focus on specific periods being presented in upcoming CSO Masterworks concerts, and explore the common themes and aesthetic influences between music and visual art. 

College Club - This $25 student membership program provides unlimited access to concerts all season long, as well as post-concert events, special member emails, and discounts for the purchase of additional student tickets.




Friday, September 21, 8 pm

Saturday, September 22, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre

Rossen Milanov, conductor


Bach/Stokowski - Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Wagner - "Ride of the Valkyries" from Die Walküre

Dukas - L'apprenti sorcier ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice")

Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra

The new Masterworks season opens with an irresistible selection of masterpieces inspired by the Disney classic, Fantasia. Bach's majestic muisc as seen throug the eyes of the legendary conductor Stokowski and Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" are paired with the rich orchestral palettes of Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Strauss' iconic Also sprach Zarathustra, made famous by the feature film 2001: A Space Odyssey



Friday, October 12, 8 pm

Saturday, October 13, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre

Rossen Milanov, conductor

Daniel Rowland, violin

Jennifer Lynn Cherest, soprano

Columbus Symphony Chorus - Ronald J. Jenkins, chorus director


Bernstein - On the Town: Three Dance Episodes

Bernstein/Brohn - West Side Story: Suite for Violin and Orchestra

Bernstein - Candide: Overture

Bernstein - Candide: "Glitter and Be Gay"

Bernstein/Harmon - Candide: Suite

Legendary composer, conductor, and educator Leonard Bernstein is celebrated in this unique concert feature a kaleidoscope of his most popular works inspired by Broadway.



Friday, October 26, 8 pm

Saturday, October 27, 8 pm

Southern Theatre

Daniel Boico, conductor

Rachel Barton Pine, violin


Respighi - Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite III

Paganini - Violin Concerto No. 1

Mendelssohn - Symphony No. 4 "Italian"

The extraordinary violinist Rachel Barton Pine returns to Columbus to tackle Paganini's devilishly difficult Violin Concerto No. 1. Guest conductor Daniel Boico leads a marvelous tour of Italy with the music of Respighi and Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony.



Friday, November 9, 8 pm

Saturday, November 10, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre

Rossen Milanov, conductor

Alexandra Razskazov, soprano

Amanda Lynn Bottoms, mezzo-soprano

Jonas Hacker, tenor

Andrew Bogart, bass

Columbus Symphony Chorus - Ronald J. Jenkins, chorus director


Handel: Messiah

A performance of Messiah in its entirety is an unforgettable experience. After a long hiatus, Handel's masterpiece returns to the Columbus Symphony, featauring amazing soloists and the incredible Columbus Symphony Chorus. 



Friday, January 4, 8 pm

Saturday, January 5, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre

Rossen Milanov, conductor


The War Symphonies: Shostakovich Against Stalin (film excerpt)

Shostakovich - Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad"

The Russian Winter Festival opens the new year in grandiose fashion with a performance of Shostakovich's iconic Leningrad Symphony, inspired by Nazi Germany's siege of the city during World War II. One of the composer's most powerful compositions, this work conveys tragedy, oppression, resistance, and ultimately, victory.



Friday, January 11, 8 pm

Saturday, January 12, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre

Rossen Milanov, conductor

Sergei Babayan, piano



Tchaikovsky - Suite from The Sleeping Beauty

Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No. 1

Prokofiev - Symphony No. 5

Tchaikovsky's passionate, romantic music is juxtaposed with Prokofiev's bold symphonic tableaux. The virtuosity and brilliant orchestral colors of the Columbus Symphony shine brightly in this magnificent concert. 



Friday, January 25, 8 pm

Saturday, January 26, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre

Rossen Milanov, conductor

Joanna Frankel, violin


Beethoven - Violin Concerto

Beethoven - Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"

CSO Concertmaster Joanna Frankel makes her solo debut with the Columbus Symphony, performing Beethoven's spiritual Violin Concerto. The evocative "Eroica" Symphony completes this program devoted to the great German composer. 



Friday, March 1, 8 pm

Saturday, March 2, 8 pm

Palace Theatre

John Axelrod, conductor

Griset Damas, flamenco dancer


Turina - Danzas fantásticas

Falla - La Vida Breve: Danse Espagnole No. 1

Dvorák - Symphony No. 9 "From the New World"

The Columbus Symphony returns to the newly renovated Palace Theatre in a concert featuring flamenco star Griset Damas and American conductor John Axelrod, who join forces in music inspired by adventure and Spanish exoticism. Dvorák's richly melodic New World Symphony enchants with its rhythmic vitality.



Friday, March 15, 8 pm

Saturday, March 16, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre

Rossen Milanov, conductor

Alessio Bax, piano

Jason Gay, video artist


Wagner - Tristan und Isolde: Prelude & Liebestod

Grieg - Piano Concerto

Sibelius - Lemminkäinen Suite (Four Legends from The Kalevala)

Celtic myths inspire Wagner's passionate love story of Tristan and Isolde, while Grieg's Piano Concerto immortalizes the beauty of the Nordic landscape. Finnish myths from The Kalevala come to life in the expansive music of Sibelius, accompanied by orginal video art by Jason Gay.



Friday, March 29, 8 pm

Saturday, March 30, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre

Rossen Milanov, conductor

Alexandra Nowakowski, soprano

Hannah Ludwig, mezzo-soprano

Roy Hage, tenor

Adam Cioffari, bass

Columbus Symphony Chorus - Ronald J. Jenkins, chorus director


Bates - Auditorium

Mozart - Requiem

Mozart's last and unfinished masterpiece is haunting and enigmatic. The Columbus Symphony Chorus and a quartet of vocalists lead this emotional journey, preceded by a clever piece by Mason Bates that combines technology and live sound to depict an orchestra of historic instruments.



Friday, April 5, 8 pm

Saturday, April 6, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre

Rossen Milanov, conductor

Dominic Cheli, piano

George Goad, trumpet


Janácek - Sinfonietta

Shostakovich - Piano Concerto No. 1

Stravinsky - The Fairy's Kiss: Divertimento

Three iconic 20th century works combine originality of musical language, intricate textures, and sonic beauty. Principal Trumpet George Goad makes his solo debut alongside rising-star pianist Dominc Cheli in Shostakovich's mercurial concerto for piano, trumpet, and string orchestra.



Friday, May 3, 8 pm

Saturday, May 4, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre

Rossen Milanov, conductor

Leila Josefowicz, violin


Ades - Violin Concerto "Concentric Paths"

Mahler - Symphony No. 5

Mahler's most popular and life-affirming symphony opens a world full of beauty, love, nostalgia, and divine exuberance - a potentially life-changing experience! Leila Josefowicz returns to Columbus with one of her signature works in this grand season finale.


Subscriptions go on sale Monday, March 5, and 10am. The following packages are available:

Masterworks 12 - Includes all 12 Masterworks programs in the Ohio, Palace, and Southern Theatres, free parking for one vehicle to each concert, and four free tickets for friends or family to attend any Masterworks performance. Subscription packages range from $276-$744.

Ohio 10 - Includes the ten Masterworks programs to be performed in the Ohio Theatre and two free tickets for friends or family to attend any Masterworks performance. Subscription packages range from $230-$620.

Festivals 5 - Includees the five Masterworks festivals - Italian Festival (Southern Theatre), Russian Winter Festival I (Ohio Theatre), Russian Winter Festival II (Ohio Theatre), Spanish Flamenco Festival (Palace Theatre), and the Nordic Myths Festival (Ohio Theatre). Festival subscription packages range from $115-$325.

Build Your Own - Choose four (or more) of the 12 Masterworks programs in any theatre. Subscription packages start at $100.

Flex Ticket Subscription - Choose your own concerts - any night, any theatre, any series. Must purchase a minimum of six Flex Tickets. Subscription packages start at $270.

College Club - Students that purchase a $25 College Club membership will receive admission for one to all Masterweorks concerts in the season. Membership also includes all post-concert events, special membership emails, and the ability to purchase up to four additional student tickets for $8 each.

Subscriptions can be purchase in person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), by phone at (614) 469-0939, or online at

Single tickets will go on sale to the public at 10am on Monday, May 14.


Programs and artists are subject to change.

# # #

The 2018-19 season is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. The CSO also appreciates the support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city's artists and arts organizations since 1973, and the Robert W. Stevenson, Preston Davis, and Kenneth L. Coe and jack Barrow funds of The Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the benefit of all its citizens.

About the Columbus Symphony

Founded in 1951, the Columbus Symphony is the longest-running, professional symphony in central Ohio. Through an array of innovative artistic, educational, and community outreach programming, the Columbus Symphony is reaching an expanding, more diverse audience each year. This season, the Columbus Symphony will share classical music with more than 175,000 people in central Ohio through concerts, radio broadcasts, and special programming. For more information, visit





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