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James D. Ireland III to be honored with Cleveland Orchestra’s nineteenth annual Distinguished Service Award

Award to be presented at Cleveland Orchestra concert on October 9 at Severance Hall

CLEVELAND – James D. Ireland III is receiving the nineteenth annual Cleveland Orchestra Distinguished Service Award, honoring a person or organization that has provided continuing exemplary service to the Orchestra.  The Award will be presented to Mr. Ireland on Thursday, October 9, on the stage of Severance Hall, immediately prior to the beginning of the Orchestra’s evening concert.

Jamie Ireland has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Musical Arts Association, The Cleveland Orchestra’s non-profit governing organization, for two decades, served as its President from 2002 to 2008, and continues to be instrumental in fundraising and leadership for the institution. 

“It is exceptionally rare to find someone who has loved The Cleveland Orchestra so deeply and who has served this Orchestra and this community so effectively as Jamie Ireland,” said Dennis W. LaBarre, the Orchestra’s current Board President, who will present the Distinguished Service Award on Thursday.  “For the past twenty years, Jamie has been a steadfast devotee to the Orchestra’s musical pre-eminence, and an indispensible member of The Cleveland Orchestra family.  He has held multiple leadership roles on the Board, and in those roles has made — and continues to make — a lasting and significant impact on the stability and success of this Orchestra and its ability to serve the people of Northeast Ohio.”

The citation for the Award, to be printed in Thursday evening’s program book, reads:

Excellence and service define James D. Ireland III.  These values underscore all his work, for the orchestra he loves and for the community to which he is devoted.

Jamie first attended The Cleveland Orchestra at age seven.  As a devoted subscriber, each season’s concerts confirm and renew his dedication to the Orchestra’s mission to serve the Northeast Ohio community with a level of musical excellence unrivalled in the world today — and to inspire future generations of music lovers through education and engagement.  His connection with the ensemble has intensified across the past twenty years as a member of the Board of Trustees, with leadership roles that rose from Annual Fund Chairman (1994-97) to Vice President (1995-2002) and President (2002-08).  His work continues today as a passionate and tireless fundraiser and counselor.  

Jamie was an effective and energetic leader from the moment he was elected to the Board of Trustees.  After just one year, he became Vice Chair and then Chair of the Orchestra’s Annual Fund, which grew by over 30% in three years under his leadership.  As Vice President, Jamie co-chaired the Orchestra’s Twenty-First Century Campaign (1996-2000), a landmark Campaign to support the renovation of Severance Hall and build the Endowment.  The Campaign exceeded its $100 million goal by $16 million. 

Jamie chaired the search committee that identified and in 1999 chose Franz Welser-Möst as The Cleveland Orchestra’s seventh music director.  As President, he was instrumental in extending Franz’s contract to provide a creative period of artistic stability — which continues to blossom as a new golden age of achievement.  Jamie helped steer the Orchestra during a new era of leadership and success, through the unexpected economic tumult of a new century and changing times across Northeast Ohio.  He early on became a driving force in recruiting a new generation of Board members, and he was integral to creating a transformative vision for the Orchestra’s future — combining a continuity of artistic excellence with a renewed commitment to serve all citizens through quality programming and innovative thinking.  Throughout his tenure, Jamie has made generous personal commitments to the Orchestra, and has been instrumental in securing funding from multiple corporations, foundations, and individuals. 

Although his strongest devotion has long been focused on The Cleveland Orchestra, Jamie Ireland has unstintingly given his time and counsel to other causes and concerns across Northeast Ohio, including serving as trustee or chair of half a dozen civic or cultural organizations.  During his presidency of the Orchestra, he was a leading advocate and proponent for the passage of Issue 18, which in 2007 created Cuyahoga Arts & Culture to inspire and strengthen this community through substantial, ongoing public funding for the region’s vibrantly diverse and wide-ranging arts scene.

In recognition of his many accomplishments for The Cleveland Orchestra and his extraordinary ongoing leadership and service, the Musical Arts Association is de­lighted to present James D. Ireland III with its highest award for distinguished service.

The Musical Arts Association established the Distinguished Service Award in 1996 to recognize ongoing and extraordinary service to the Orchestra.  Written nominations are reviewed by a committee currently chaired by Musical Arts Association Trustee Marguerite B. Humphrey.

Previous Distinguished Service Award recipients are: Dorothy Humel Hovorka (1996-97), David Zauder (1997-98), Ward Smith (1998-99), Christoph von Dohnányi (1999-2000), Gary Hanson (2000-01), John Mack (2001-02), Richard J. Bogomolny (2002-03), Thomas W. Morris (2003-04), Alex Machaskee (2004-05), Klaus G. Roy (2005-06), John D. Ong (2006-07), Gerald Hughes (2007-08), Louis Lane (2008-09), Clara Taplin Rankin (2009-10), Robert Conrad (2010-11), Richard Weiner (2011-12), Milton and Tamar Maltz (2012-13), and Pierre Boulez (2013-14).


Kathy Pahr
Media Relations Manager
phone:  216-231-7518   or  440-478-4207

Eric Sellen