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The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst announce 2016 European Festivals Tour

2016 European Festival Tour includes performances at Austria’s Salzburg Festival and Grafenegg Festival and at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, from August 18-24

“The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the best in the world…” – October 2015 Süddeutsche Zeitung

CLEVELAND – Following The Cleveland Orchestra’s critically acclaimed 2015 European Tour and Vienna Residency, Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and the Orchestra announce details of their summer 2016 European Festivals Tour, August 18-24, 2016. This will be their sixteenth international tour together. The Orchestra will perform a total of five concerts, featuring works by Thomas Adès, Richard Strauss, Bartók, and Beethoven, including two programs each at the Salzburg Festival and the Grafenegg Festival in Austria, and a single concert at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland.

“We always look forward to returning to Europe to perform as part of the world-class festivals in Salzburg, Grafenegg, and Lucerne,” said Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. “The tour programs, which we developed in Cleveland, illustrate the Orchestra’s extraordinary ability to perform repertoire of the late-20th and early-21st centuries with ease and finesse. The programs include a focus on Thomas Adès repertoire alongside iconic works by Strauss, Bartók, and Beethoven, which was intentional, to provide a unique perspective for the musicians and audiences. On this tour we have a fantastic lineup of guest artists, with Leila Josefowicz, Anja Harteros, and Luba Orgonášová, who each approach their interpretations with insightful musicianship that results in a special blend of artistry with the Orchestra.”

Critical Acclaim for The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2015 European Tour and Vienna Residency

“Cleveland has one of the three best concert halls in the world. . . . The orchestra has long been considered as the most European of American orchestras. Today, it is quite simply the best.”
Le Soir, October 14, 2015 (Brussels)

“With this instrument, magnificent in its velvet clarity and deep, mellow sound, Welser-Möst’s subdued presentation was revealed to be a distillate of simplicity, elegance, and stylistic precision.”
Corriere Della Sera, October 20, 2015 (Milan)

“Long reputed to be an institution for pure virtuosity, The Cleveland Orchestra has taken on an entirely new richness of tone from these master composers. Welser-Möst presents here an orchestra that is attentive to detail.” —La Terrasse, October 20, 2015 (Paris)

“The Cleveland Orchestra’s sheer virtuosity, the honed precision of its interaction, and the scintillating silver gleam that was once its trademark, are still breathtaking.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 19, 2015

“The strings and brass provided gleaming opulence, and Welser-Möst played the mountain guide in overdrive. Overall, as was made clear at the Konzerthaus this evening, the musicians from Cleveland can play anything.”
Westfälische Nachrichten Münster-Stadt, October 24, 2015 (Dortmund)

“Conductor Franz Welser-Möst also strikes the necessary balance between attack and withdrawal, using timbre to maintain the internal tension. . . . Also key: the orchestra’s clarity and transparency are always present in service of expression. . . . It was a brilliant evening by a great orchestra.”
Der Standard, October 29, 2015 (Vienna)

2016 EUROPEAN FESTIVALS TOUR
Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra begin the summer 2016 European Festivals Tour in Salzburg, Austria with two performances at the Salzburg Festival, in the Grosses Festspielhaus.  On Thursday, August 18, the program features Strauss’s Symphonia domestica and violinist Leila Josefowicz as soloist in Thomas Adès’s Concentric Paths.  On Friday, August 19, the program includes Strauss’s Death and Transfiguration and the Four Last Songs with soprano Anja Harteros. This will be the Orchestra’s eighth visit to the Salzburg Festival since it first appeared there in 1967. Their most recent appearances at the festival were in 2012, under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst. 

On Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, August 21, the Orchestra performs at the Grafenegg Festival in Austria.  The Saturday program features Strauss’s Symphonia domestica and Leila Josefowicz performing in Adès’s Concentric Paths. The Sunday concert opens with Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta, and also includes the Four Last Songs with soprano Luba Orgonášová as soloist. The Grafenegg Festival, which began in 2007, takes place in a park on the grounds of the historic fairytale-like Grafenegg Castle in Lower Austria.  Both a modern open-air stage (Wolkenturm) and a concert hall (Auditorium) were built to provide world-class venues for the festival. The Cleveland Orchestra made its first appearance at the Grafenegg Festival in August 2010.

The 2016 European Festivals Tour concludes with a performance at the Lucerne Festivalon Wednesday, August 24, with a program of Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”). The Orchestra first performed at Lucerne in 1967 and most recently in 2014 with Welser-Möst.

Details of each program are listed below. Images and biographies of soloists and guest artists are available upon request.

EUROPEAN FESTIVALS TOUR SPONSORSHIP AND FUNDING
The Cleveland Orchestra acknowledges the following corporations and individuals for their generous support of the 2016 European Festivals Tour: Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich AG, Tele München Group, Miba AG, Dr. and Mrs. Herbert G. Kloiber, Dr. and Mrs. Wolfgang C. Berndt, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Ehrlich, and Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Umdasch. With special thanks and recognition for international touring sponsorship by Jones Day. The Cleveland Orchestra European Advisory board members are: Dr. Herbert G. Kloiber (chair), Dr. Wolfgang C. Berndt (vice chair), Mr. Dennis LaBarre (MAA Board President), Dr. Robert Ehrlich, Mr. Peter Mitterbauer, and Mrs. Elisabeth Umdasch.

CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA RESIDENCIES
Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra have achieved high-profile residencies in the United States and in Europe, including ongoing biennial residencies at the Lucerne Festival and at the Musikverein in Vienna. Mr. Welser-Möst and the Orchestra have performed throughout Europe, in Asia (including a Tokyo residency), and in Canada, and have toured the U.S. from coast to coast, including regular performances at Carnegie Hall. In January 2007, they began an unprecedented long-term residency project in Miami, Florida, where they perform annually at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and provide a wide array of community and educational activities. During the 2010-11 season, the Orchestra held its first academic residency at Indiana University, and a biennial residency with New York’s Lincoln Center Festival began in 2011.


(A detailed tour schedule, biography of Franz Welser-Möst, and a brief Orchestra history follow.)


Program Information:
THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA
2016 European Festivals Tour
__________________________________________________________________________________

August 18                                 Salzburg
August 19                                 Salzburg
August 20                                 Grafenegg
August 21                                 Grafenegg
August 24                                 Lucerne

__________________________________________________________________________________

SALZBURG. AUSTRIA
Thursday, August 18, 2016, at 7:30 p.m.
Grosses Festspielhaus
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Leila Josefowicz, violin

ADÈS  Overture, Waltz, and Finale from Powder Her Face
ADÈS  Concentric Paths (for violin and orchestra)
STRAUSS  Symphonia domestica


SALZBURG. AUSTRIA
Friday, August 19, 2016, at 9:00 p.m.
Grosses Festspielhaus
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Anja Harteros, soprano

BARTÓK  Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
STRAUSS  Death and Transfiguration
STRAUSS  Four Last Songs


GRAFENEGG. AUSTRIA
Saturday, August 20, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.
Wolkenturm
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Leila Josefowicz, violin

ADÈS  Overture, Waltz, and Finale from Powder Her Face
ADÈS  Concentric Paths (for violin and orchestra)
STRAUSS  Symphonia domestica


GRAFENEGG. AUSTRIA
Sunday, August 21, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.
Wolkenturm
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Luba Orgonášová, soprano

BARTÓK  Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
STRAUSS  Death and Transfiguration
STRAUSS  Four Last Songs


LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND
Wednesday, August 24, 2016, at 7:30 p.m.
Kultur und Kongresszentrum Luzern
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BARTÓK  Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”)


FRANZ WELSER-MÖST

Franz Welser-Möst is one of today’s most distinguished conductors. He has been music director of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2002, with his tenure now contracted until 2022. He holds the Orchestra’s Kelvin Smith Family Endowed Chair.

The Cleveland Orchestra, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2018, has reached new heights under Mr. Welser-Möst’s direction.  The New York Times recently declared The Cleveland Orchestra the “best American orchestra“ due to its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like musical cohesion. The Cleveland Orchestra has been repeatedly praised for its innovative programming, support for new musical works, and for its recent success in semi-staged and staged opera productions —including 2014’s critically acclaimed performances of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with a revelatory computer-animated stage design. In addition to their regular residencies in the USA and Europe, Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra are frequent guests at many prestigious concert halls and festivals, including the Salzburg Festival and the Lucerne Festival. The Cleveland Orchestra has been hugely successful in building up a new and, notably, a young audience through its groundbreaking programs involving students and by working closely with universities.

Franz Welser-Möst served as music director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, 1990-96, and of the Zurich Opera, 1995-2008. From 2010 to 2014, he held the position of general music director of the Vienna State Opera, one of the world’s most important repertoire houses. In addition to cultivating the traditional German, Italian, and Slavonic repertoire, including a significant spotlight on the works of Janáček, Mr. Welser-Möst placed a strong focus on 20th-century works, including the operas of Richard Strauss. He has an annual presence on the operatic stage at the Salzburg Festival, and after triumphant successes with Rusalka, Der Rosenkavalier, and his seventy-second opera premiere, of Fidelio this past summer winning huge acclaim for his “brilliant conducting” (FAZ) he leads a new production of Die Liebe der Danae at Salzburgin 2016.

As a guest conductor, Franz Welser-Möst has developed a particularly close and productive relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic. He has twice appeared on the podium at the Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert and conducts the orchestra regularly in subscription concerts at the Musikverein, as well as in Lucerne, at the BBC Proms, and on tour in the United States, Scandinavia, and Japan. His close association with the Vienna Philharmonic was honored in spring 2014 when he was presented with the orchestra’s Ring of Honor. Franz Welser-Möst has received many other honors and awards, while his numerous CDs and DVDs have been awarded many international prizes the Salzburg Festival production of Der Rosenkavalier was recently awarded the Echo Klassik 2015 for “best opera recording.“

Upcoming engagements include concerts with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Filarmonica della Scala of Milan, and the 2015 Nobel Prize concert in Stockholm.

THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA
Under the leadership of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, The Cleveland Orchestra has become one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world, setting standards of artistic excellence, creative programming, and community engagement. The strong and ongoing financial support of the ensemble’s home region is driving the Orchestra forward with renewed energy and focus, increasing the number of young people attending concerts, and bringing fresh attention to the Orchestra’s legendary sound and committed programming.

The partnership with Franz Welser-Möst, begun in 2002, currently in its 14th year with the 2015-16 season, has earned The Cleveland Orchestra unprecedented residencies in the U.S. and around the world, including one at the Musikverein in Vienna, the first of its kind by an American orchestra. The Orchestra’s annual residency in Miami, Florida, presented under the name Cleveland Orchestra Miami, is currently in its tenth year in 2015-16, and involves four weeks of full programming in South Florida, including concerts, community presentations, education programs, and collaborative partnerships.

The Cleveland Orchestra has a long and distinguished recording and broadcast history. A series of DVD and CD recordings under the direction of Mr. Welser-Möst continues to add to an extensive and widely praised catalog of audio recordings made during the tenures of the ensemble’s earlier music directors. In addition, Cleveland Orchestra concerts are heard in syndication each season on radio stations throughout North America and Europe.

Seven music directors — Nikolai Sokoloff, Artur Rodzinski, Erich Leinsdorf, George Szell, Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Franz Welser-Möst — have guided and shaped the ensemble’s growth and sound since its founding in 1918. Through tours, residencies, radio broadcasts, and recordings, The Cleveland Orchestra is heard today by a broad and loyal constituency around the world. For more information visit clevelandorchestra.com.