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Classical 07/08/2015

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Releases 'American Originals' On September 11, 2015

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Releases 'American Originals' On September 11, 2015
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) 17-Track Live Recording Honoring American Songwriter Stephen Foster Features
Rosanne Cash, Aoife O'Donovan, Joe Henry, Dom Flemons,
Over the Rhine, Comet Bluegrass All-Stars and John Morris Russell
Rosanne Cash, Joe Henry, Dom Flemons, Aoife O'Donovan, Over The Rhine, and Comet Bluegrass All-Stars and the iconic Cincinnati Pops Orchestra have come together under the direction of Pops Conductor John Morris Russell to honor Stephen Foster, the father of American music, in a 17-track live recording, 'American Originals,' out Fri., Sept. 11 on the Fanfare Cincinnati label, distributed by Naxos.

In addition to a who's-who of American Roots artists, Russell engaged arrangers and composers Chris Walden, Rob Mounsey, Rebecca Pellett, Peter Boyer and the Cincinnati Pops' own Timothy Berens for a live, recorded three-day concert in January 2015 at Cincinnati's historic Music Hall.

Fully orchestrated, featuring poignant moments for soloists, 'American Originals' marks the 94th Pops recording, yet the Orchestra's first live recording, and celebrates the earliest chapters of the Great American Songbook -- "O! Susannah," "Amazing Grace," and "My Old Kentucky Home" to name a few.

"These songs are 'classic' in every way. They have stood the test of time and are still sung in anthems, pop songs and covers across the country and around the world," said Russell, "though often folks have no idea they were created by a man who died unrecognized and penniless at the age of 37."

Stephen Foster (1826-1864), known as the "father of American music," wrote the first pages of the American Songbook in his early 20's while working in Cincinnati (1846-1850) at his brother's steamboat shipping company in the mid-1800s.

Continuing the legacy, 'American Originals' will be released on Fri., Sept. 11 and is available for preorder at

'American Originals' tracklist:
1. O! Susannah
2. Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
3. My Old Kentucky Home
4. Amazing Grace
5. Rolling River: Sketches on Shenandoah
6. Why. No One To Love?
7. Old Folks At Home
8. Kumbaya
9. Slumber My Darling
10. Aura Lee
11. Foster's Folly
12. Ring, Ring The Bandjo
13. Red River Valley
14. The Battle Cry of Freedom
15. Beautiful Dreamer
16. Hard Times Come Again No More
17. Camptown Races

About Cincinnati Pops Orchestra:
The Cincinnati Pops is the alter ego of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and performs a diverse array of musical styles, all bathed in the world-renowned "Cincinnati Sound." The Pops was officially founded in 1977 and just since 1980, the Orchestra has sold ten million recordings around the globe, touring nationally and internationally in Beijing, New York's Carnegie Hall, in Washington D.C., Japan, Taiwan, and in 2014 its first tour to Florida.

The growing list of celebrated artists who have collaborated with the Pops include Ella Fitzgerald, Frederica von Stade, Doc Severinsen, Henry Mancini, Mel Tormé, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Holliday, Vanessa Williams, Dave Brubeck, The Temptations, John Williams, Idina Menzel, Rosemary Clooney, Mandy Patinkin, George Takei, Arturo Sandoval, Peter Frampton, Boyz II Men, Bernadette Peters and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

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.

About John Morris Russell, conductor:
Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops since 2011, Mr. Russell's diverse programming and electric stage presence have infused new creativity and energy into one of the world's most iconic pops orchestras.

Consistently winning international praise for his extraordinary music-making and visionary leadership, this Ohio native is also Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina where his commitment has yielded a new level of artistic excellence. Mr. Russell is also the Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Conductor Laureate of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada, where he served as Music Director for 11 years.

Mr. Russell is a sought-after guest conductor across the continent, with a list of frequent engagements that include the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, New York Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, among many other ensembles.

About Fanfare Cincinnati:
The CSO's recording label, formerly known as Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Media, launched in 2010 and has so far released three Cincinnati Symphony albums, American Portraits, Baltic Portraits, and Hallowed Ground, along with three Cincinnati Pops albums Home for the Holidays, Superheroes! and Carnival of the Animals. The label's name, Fanfare Cincinnati, reflects the Orchestra's rich musical heritage and the historic fanfare project from the 1940's that resulted in Aaron Copland's iconic Fanfare for the Common Man. Fanfare Cincinnati's recordings will continue to be distributed nationally and internationally by Naxos. The Orchestra has also released several recordings via free digital downloads available on These digital downloads include a series of five 2011 world premiere commissions, as well as CSO performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw, Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony and Mozart's Davide Penitente.

The CSO was the third U.S. orchestra to make a commercial recording in 1917 and since 1980 has sold ten million recordings worldwide as both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops. More than 140 total recordings are available by the CSO and Pops on various labels.

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra is grateful to The George and Anne P. Heldman Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation for their generous support of this project. The Cincinnati Pops Series Sponsor is PNC and the Pops Series Artist Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

The Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra gratefully acknowledge support from the following: The Louise Dietrie Nippert Music Arts Fund, Artswave, Ohio Arts Council and Art Works.

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