The season is the last for festival director Jahja Ling, who has been the music director of the San Diego Symphony since last fall; Cleveland Orchestra music director Franz Welser-M‹st will add the festival post to his job description in 2006.
Ling will conduct the orchestra in seven programs at the festival, including the season-opening concert on July 9, which features Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 and Chopin's Piano Concert No. 1, with Horacio Guti_rrez as soloist. In August, Welser-M‹st will lead two programs (Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Mahler's Symphony No. 3) as a warmup for the orchestra's European tour.
Guest soloists include pianists Lang Lang and Jon Kimura Parker, and cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
The festival will also feature the Blossom Festival Band, which will perform Fourth of July concerts and an all-Bernstein program, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, led by music director Erich Kunzel, which ends the festival with two concerts on Labor Day.