Welcome to the May Festival's 150th Anniversary Season!

Browse the May Festival's 150th Anniversary Season and secure your spot for incredible performances at Music Hall.

Individual tickets available now, starting at $15, or attend more than one concert and save up to 15%! 

Season Brochure


Sat Apr 1, 2023 | 7:30 pm

The May Festival brings the immersive experience of soaring vocal music in a sacred space to a new venue! Director of Choruses Robert Porco conducts Handel's celebratory Dettingen Te Deum, the first work ever performed at the May Festival. Matthew Swanson leads the Youth Chorus in a varied program.

This performance is free, but a suggested donation of $25 is welcomed and encouraged.


Fri May 19, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena opens the 150th Festival with world premieres by American composer James Lee III and former May Festival Creative Partner James MacMillan. Given its American premiere at the 1875 May Festival, Bach's celebratory Magnificat was described then as we would now— as "the highest form of human expression."

This concert is sponsored by Patty Misrach.


Sat May 20, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Celebrated maestra Marin Alsop makes her May Festival debut with a showcase of composers who crafted the American musical identity. Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 is a lyrical dream of the Tennessee summer, while Aaron Copland's "The Promise of Living" rings with the hope of prosperity. The "uncanny radiance" (The New Yorker) of Robert Nathaniel Dett's The Ordering of Moses— a work the Festival premiered in 1937—returns to Music Hall.

This concert is sponsored by Joan P. Baily in memory of Oliver L. Baily.


Thu May 25, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Conductor James Conlon, the beloved former Music Director of the May Festival whose 37-year tenure as artistic leader remains the longest in Festival history, returns to lead a new work by American composer Julia Adolphe and Mozart’s famous music for a Requiem Mass. First performed by the May Festival in 1882, the Requiem radiates fearless brilliance—sacred music for The Last Judgement that touches on the sublime.

This concert is sponsored by the Christine E. and Thomas L. Neyer, Sr. Family.


Sat May 27, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Mahler called his Eighth Symphony, “the biggest thing that I have ever done…in which the most beautiful instrument in the world is given its true place.” Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena concludes the 150th May Festival with a work of gigantic proportions—music of triumph and transcendence that celebrates the power of the human voice, featuring the sounds of the Chorus and the CSO in the breathtaking space of Music Hall.

This concert is sponsored by Ethan and Doreen Stanley in memory of Ethan Bates Stanley II.

Additional Performances

September 8, 2022:  Greenacres Celebration Concert with the Pops
September 24-25, 2022: Mahler's Resurrection Symphony with the CSO
November 3-6, 2022: Orff's Carmina Burana with the Cincinnati Ballet
December 2-3, 2022: Holst's The Planets with the CSO
January 13-14, 2023: Grieg's Peer Gynt with the CSO
January 20, 2023: School for the Creative and Performing Arts Gala Concert
February 23-25, 2023: American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Cincinnati. This event is not open to the general public.
March 19, 2023: Community Choral Showcase of Greater Cincinnati Choral Ensembles at Christ Church Cathedral


Music Makers of Tomorrow

In celebration of the May Festival’s 150th Anniversary, please consider making a gift to the Music Makers of Tomorrow fund. Your contribution will propel us forward in our goal to raise $150,000 and guarantee that choral students of all ages are able to experience May Festival performances at no cost for our next 150 years.

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