Default Image Blossom Image

— N E W S - R E L E A S E —

Cleveland Orchestra Gala Evening and Concert Features Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and Pianist Emanuel Ax at Severance Hall on October 1, 2016

Gala Evening is Chaired by Norma Lerner, with Corporate Chair Beth Mooney and Co-Chair Nancy W. McCann

Cleveland Orchestra Gala supports the Orchestra’s education programs for the community

Concert-only tickets available to Orchestra subscribers and donors beginning May 25

Release Date:  May 24, 2016

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Orchestra has announced that its annual Gala concert and benefit will take place on Saturday, October 1, at 7:00 p.m., with pianist Emanuel Ax joining Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra in performance.  Chaired by Norma Lerner, with KeyBank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Beth Mooney as Corporate Chair and Nancy W. McCann as Co-Chair, the annual Gala supports education services that the Orchestra provides for the Northeast Ohio community.  The Gala evening begins with cocktails in Severance Hall’s Smith Lobby at 6:00 p.m.; the concert performance begins at 7:00 p.m., and is followed by an elegant dinner in the Bogomolny-Kozerefski Grand Foyer and Smith Lobby of Severance Hall, catered by Doug Katz. 

The Cleveland Orchestra Gala concert program is conducted by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and features pianist Emanuel Ax performing as soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2.  The complete program will be announced in the coming months.  Emanuel Ax has been a frequent collaborator with The Cleveland Orchestra; his first performance with the Orchestra was 40 years ago, in January 1976.  Over the years, he has joined the Orchestra in more than 100 concerts at Severance Hall, Blossom Music Center, Carnegie Hall, and on tour in Europe.  He most recently appeared with The Cleveland Orchestra in 2012 at the Blossom Music Festival, in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22. 

Gala tickets are $1,500, $1,000, and $500, including valet parking, cocktails, and premium concert and dinner seating.

Concert-only tickets range from $49 to $92 and will be made available to Orchestra Subscribers and Donors beginning on May 25, 2016.  Individual concert tickets will be available to the general public in late summer. For more information, call 216-231-7535 or visit

Young Professionals Gala Tickets
This year, in addition to a formal plated dinner taking place throughout the hall, The Cleveland Orchestra’s Gala includes an exclusive black-tie event for young professionals.  Members of The Circle, the young professionals of The Cleveland Orchestra, can purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $125/single and $175/couple.  Non-Circle members can purchase tickets for $150/single and $250/couple.  A Young Professionals Gala ticket includes valet parking, pre-concert reception, concert seating, and post-concert dinner in Severance Restaurant, catered by Fire.  Those interested in attending the Young Professionals event may call 216-231-7558 or email

About The Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra serves more than 70,000 people of all ages each year through a comprehensive array of education concerts, workshops, and instructional resources, working in partnership with hundreds of local schools, colleges and universities, libraries, and other cultural and community-based organizations.  Since 1918, the Orchestra has introduced more than four million Cleveland-area school children to symphonic music.  The Orchestra’s all-volunteer Cleveland Orchestra Chorus; the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, Youth Chorus, and Children’s Chorus; and neighborhood Music Study Groups offer extraordinary life-long learning opportunities for participants from across Northeast Ohio.


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

The Cleveland Orchestra has reached new heights under Mr. Welser-Möst’s direction.  The New York Timesrecently declared The Cleveland Orchestra the “best American orchestra“ for 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 success in semi-staged and staged opera productions — including 2014’s critically-acclaimed performances of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen combining computer-animated stage design with live action and 2016’s Bartók doublebill of Bluebeard’s Castle and The Miraculous Mandarin, created in partnership with The Joffrey Ballet.  In addition to recurring 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.

During his tenure, The Cleveland Orchestra has been hugely successful in building up a new and, notably, a young audience through groundbreaking programs involving students and by working closely with universities.  His commitment to community programs is demonstrated through ongoing music education programs and performances in schools and through a new program of neighborhood residencies designed to partner with vibrant communities across Northeast Ohio.

In December 2015, Franz Welser-Möst conducted the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra for the year’s Nobel Prize concert in Stockholm and led the annual televised Christmas concert of the Filarmonica della Scala, Milan. Recent and upcoming engagements in 2016 include concerts with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, and the Staatskapelle Dresden.


Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax captured public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition.  He went on to win the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists (1975) and the Avery Fisher Prize (1979).

Three prominent duo collaborations will be carried through Mr. Ax's current season. Beginning with the release of sonatas by Fauré and Strauss on the Deutsche Grammophon label, Mr. Ax will partner with long-time friend and colleague Itzhak Perlman for concerts in Kansas City, Ravinia, Dallas, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and La Jolla in the first half of the season.  A return visit to Japan will be followed by concerts in Paris, Berlin, Rome, Tel Aviv, and Amsterdam. As an annual guest with the New York Philharmonic, he will play Brahms with Alan Gilbert in addition to return visits to orchestras in Houston, Chicago, and Pittsburgh as well as duo recitals in Philadelphia and New York with violinist Pamela Frank in a program of Mozart sonatas.  Long-standing partner Yo-Yo Ma will join him in Norfolk (Virginia), Washington D.C., and Carnegie Hall, where they will program all the Beethoven sonatas for cello and piano.  Solo recitals in Tokyo, Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Boston culminated in April at Carnegie Hall, with Mr. Ax performing in the iconic space’s 125th anniversary celebrations on May 5, 2016.

Emanuel Ax is a Grammy-winning artist exclusive to Sony Classical since 1987.  His most recent release is a recital disc exploring “variations” by composers including Haydn, Schumann, and Copland.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia universities.


Cleveland Orchestra Gala Reception, Concert, and Dinner
Saturday, October 1, 2016, at 7 p.m.
Franz Welser-Most, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano

Program Includes:
BEETHOVEN  Piano Concerto No. 2

Gala tickets: $1,500, $1,000, and $500.  Please call 216-231-7535.

Concert-only tickets will be made available to Cleveland Orchestra Subscribers and Donors beginning on May 25, 2016.