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An Interview With Louis Langrée

An Interview With Louis Langrée
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Louis Langrée, Music Director of the world renowned Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra introduced himself to our city with a bang. LumenoCity was an event that no one will soon forget. He followed with his first concert that included a performance of Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait (narrated by Dr Maya Angelou). This past weekend, Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra were back in Music Hall with Beethoven and Brahms.  Louis has charmed our city in each of his concerts and was thrilled to this time also be working with the deeply passionate and musical pianist, Hélène Grimaud. was honored to have the chance to sit down with Louis Langrée to chat about life in Cincinnati and music. What part does music play in your life?
Louis Langrée: It’s nearly impossible to answer this question! Music has been in my life so much since the very beginning that to say that it’s a “part” of my life would be incomplete—it permeates my entire life! Of course music is my job, so to speak, but it doesn’t stop when I’m off the podium.

CM: How has the adjustment to living partially in Cincinnati been?
LL: My family and I are thrilled to have purchased a home and we will begin moving here permanently this summer. Of course I have spent a lot of time here this season, but it will be much nicer once we really get settled. I’ve loved getting to know all that Cincinnati has to offer, and once we are here permanently I’m sure we’ll discover many new things. One thing I really like about Cincinnati is all of the parks and outdoor space that is here—something we don’t have in Paris. Cincinnati also has a deep relationship with art, which is evident in the great orchestra, conservatory, art museums, architecture, May Festival, ballet, opera, theatres, etc. Although I already feel like part of the community, I’m excited to truly call Cincinnati “home.”

CM: What are you most looking forward to this year with the CSO?
LL: This year has already been so defining in my life as a musician and as a man. LumenoCity, my Inaugural concerts in November and One City, One Symphony have been highlights in my life and speak to things that are to come. This Orchestra has everything one could ask for in terms of technique, experience and expression. So now we are able to blaze new trails. Although it’s hard to point to one concert program in particular, the general spirit of experimentation makes this a very exciting place to be right now. Our upcoming collaboration with Bryce Dessner and MusicNOW is a perfect example of this. These musicians are so talented and I’m so looking forward to collaborating with them and developing a sound unique to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

CM: Have you been able to check out of any of our local bands?
LL: Unfortunately most of the time I have spent in Cincinnati so far has been devoted to making music with the CSO and house hunting, so I haven’t had a chance to listen to the smaller bands. But it’s clear that Cincinnati has a culture so conducive to all kinds of music, so I’m looking forward to taking in live music in all of the smaller venues—bars, restaurants, clubs, etc.—in the coming months.

CM: Any advice to give to Cincinnati musicians?
LL: Cincinnati is a town that is so devoted to art and music, and having a culture that supports musicians like this is very rare. My advice would be to take advantage of all the support that Cincinnati has to offer and let the city and its people inspire you. Music brings people together, and likewise, that unity generates a distinct musicality.