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— N E W S - R E L E A S E —

concert preview images
From left to right, top to bottom: (1) Blossom Music Center, photo by Aerial Agents | (2) Franz Welser-Möst conducts The Cleveland Orchestra, © Roger Mastroianni | (3 & 8) Blossom Music Center © Roger Mastroianni | (4) Star Wars: A New Hope | (5) Audra McDonald, photo by Autumn de Wilde | (6) Disney’s The Little Mermaid | (7) Yo-Yo Ma, photo by Jason Bell | (9) Singin’ in the Rain, photo courtesy of The Gene Kelly Image Trust | High resolution photos available upon request


Northeast Ohio’s Landmark Summer Music Park Reaches Half-Century Milestone, Having Entertained More Than 20 Million Fans in Concerts Across All Genres



Concert highlights: Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducts opening night with Cleveland Orchestra soloists, plus Yo-Yo Ma, Audra McDonald, Roger Daltrey, Star Wars, and more

New: Image Magnification (IMAG) on LED screens in the Pavilion, part of a partnership with ideastream®

“Under 18s Free” continues for every Blossom Music Festival concert

Subscriptions and Lawn Ticket Books on sale now

CLEVELAND – Blossom Music Center, The Cleveland Orchestra’s summer home, marks its 50th anniversary this summer. The Cleveland Orchestra will present a special season for its annual Blossom Music Festival and a summer-long celebration for this milestone year.

The Cleveland Orchestra announces its 2018 Blossom Music Festival season, presented by The J.M. Smucker Company. Festival highlights include:

  • Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducts opening night, featuring Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with members of The Cleveland Orchestra as soloists: Stephen Rose, violin; Mark Kosower, cello; and Joela Jones, piano, on July 7.
  • On August 12, Yo-Yo Ma will play all six of Bach’s suites for solo cello. His performance of the suites at the Hollywood Bowl was described as "The loveliest experience of my listening year … it was as if music had stilled the world."
  • On July 21, former Blossom Music Festival Director Jahja Ling continues his 34 year collaboration with The Cleveland Orchestra in a concert featuring Mahler’s “Titan” Symphony. The performance will also celebrate 50 years of partnership between the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, and will include the Blossom Festival Chorus in Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music – a piece featured on the Festival’s very first season.
  • Broadway legend Audra McDonald joins The Cleveland Orchestra to sing a program of Broadway favorites on July 29.
  • The big screen comes to Blossom for the blockbuster classic film Star Wars: A New Hope, with The Cleveland Orchestra playing John Williams’s classic score live, August 31 – September 2.
  • The power of Orff’s dramatic Carmina Burana, featuring the dynamic vocals of the Blossom Festival Chorus (also celebrating its 50th anniversary), on August 25.
  • Family Fun Day with the classic Disney film The Little Mermaid on August 4.
  • Conductor Loras John Schissel returns for the 20th year to lead the Blossom Festival Band in patriotic favorites on July 3 & 4.

All of these concerts, and more, will be held at Blossom Music Center from Fourth of July weekend through Labor Day weekend (July 3 – September 2, 2018).

The Cleveland Orchestra previously announced a special Blossom event: Roger Daltrey performs The Who’s TOMMY with The Cleveland Orchestra on July 8 at 8:00 p.m. While not part of the Blossom subscription season, this special event is presented as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.clevelandorchestra.com/18-blossom--summer/18-blossom-festival---concerts/2018-07-08-Tommy/

Details of the 2018 Blossom Music Festival season, including Cleveland Orchestra and Festival soloist and conductor debuts, are available in the Calendar section below and online at clevelandorchestra.com. Concert schedules and series renewals are being mailed to subscribers of last year’s Festival, and new series packages are available for purchase now. Lawn Ticket Books are also on sale now. Individual tickets for the entire season go on sale to the general public in early May.

Since it opened in 1968, Blossom Music Center has become one of our nation’s premier outdoor performing spaces for music of all genres, drawing more than 400,000 visitors each summer, with cumulative attendance of more than 20 Million in Blossom’s 50-year history. Enjoying picnics on the lush grounds while experiencing Cleveland Orchestra concerts highlighted by fireworks, stars, and natural beauty has become a cherished Northeast Ohio tradition.   

Live Nation operates Blossom under a long-term contract with The Cleveland Orchestra, dividing each year between the Orchestra’s Blossom Music Festival of orchestral performances and a series of presentations from a wide range of rock, country, and other live-concert genres.

“One of the amazing things about Blossom,” says André Gremillet, executive director of The Cleveland Orchestra, “is that, although it was designed and created to be the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra, it quickly became the place to go in Northeast Ohio to experience not just classical but all kinds of music every summer. The list of pop and rock stars of yesterday and today who have played here — from Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, and Pink Floyd to Brad Paisley and Green Day — is just as impressive as classical artists like Leonard Bernstein, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma. Blossom truly is one of America’s greatest summer music parks, as so many Ohio residents know firsthand, whether you like to experience country or rock or jazz or pop — or The Cleveland Orchestra.”

The Cleveland Orchestra’s special Blossom 50th Anniversary Celebration, sponsored by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, honors this cherished place where our community comes together to relax, refresh, and revel in the best summer has to offer.

As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary, The Cleveland Orchestra will offer special events and debut new special initiatives.

50th Anniversary Benefit Evening

Blossom Friends of The Cleveland Orchestra will present “A Symphony of Food and Fine Wine”, a one-of-a-kind benefit event at Blossom on July 13. This event will include cocktails and music in Kulas Plaza, a gourmet dinner, a fine wine auction, and a special performance by members of The Cleveland Orchestra. The garden-to-table dinner with fine wine pairings will be prepared by acclaimed regional and national chefs, and will be served on the Blossom stage and in surrounding areas. Bobbi and Peter van Dijk are the honorary chairs; Mr. van Dijk, a renowned Cleveland architect and winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize, designed Blossom’s award-winning Pavilion. All proceeds benefit The Cleveland Orchestra. More information will be available at clevelandorchestra.com this spring.

Image Magnification (IMAG), partnership with ideastream

New LED screens will be installed in the Pavilion of Blossom Music Center. For select concerts, the Orchestra will partner with ideastream — a non-profit multiple media public service organization that operates WVIZ/PBS, 90.3 WCPN, and WCLV 104.9 ideastream — to display live footage from concerts onto the screens, giving audience members throughout the Pavilion the opportunity to clearly see the musicians onstage. Concerts which include IMAG are listed in the calendar below. For more information about ideastream, visit ideastream.org.

New Ways to Enjoy Blossom
The following events and patron amenities will be available for all guests:

  • Local food trucks will be featured at select concerts throughout the season
  • A Lego model of Blossom Music Center is being created to celebrate the 50th Anniversary, and will be on display in the Special Events Center, to the right of the Main Gate, throughout the 2018 Blossom Season.
  • Gourmet picnic packages can be pre-ordered on clevelandorchestra.com and picked up in the Special Events Center on concert evenings.
  • Patrons with Pavilion tickets may now check their coolers and large items with security at the Special Events Center before taking their seats for the concert
  • The Blossom Picnic Contest will be back for its second year! Patrons who believe they have the best picnic food and presentation can compete for prizes before the Schumann’s Spring Symphony concert on July 15. Registration details will be announced in May.

Plus, the following premium amenities will be available to subscribers and donors:

  • Kulas Plaza will be open after concerts for dessert service, allowing patrons waiting for trams to enjoy a sweet treat before heading home.
  • In-seat food and beverage service for box seat holders will continue this season
  • Special refreshments and light bites will be offered to subscribers and donors in Kulas Plaza before select Blossom Music Festival concerts

More 50th anniversary events and initiatives will be announced this spring and summer.


“Under 18s Free” is a program of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Center for Future Audiences. The Center, created with a lead endowment gift from the Maltz Family Foundation, was established to fund programs to develop new generations of audiences for Cleveland Orchestra concerts in Northeast Ohio. “Under 18s Free” continues to develop young audiences by making attending Orchestra concerts affordable for families, offering free Lawn tickets to young people, 17 and under, for every Blossom Music Festival concert again this season. Over 130,000 young people have attended Blossom Music Festival concerts since the Center for Future Audiences was inaugurated.

At Blossom, this program offers free "Under 18s Free" Lawn Passes (two per regular-priced adult paid admission) to young people to any Blossom Music Festival subscription concert each summer. These tickets can be ordered online (once individual tickets for each Blossom season go on sale) or through the Ticket Office.

The Cleveland Orchestra is proud to partner with The J.M. Smucker Company as the Season Sponsor and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company as the 50th Anniversary Celebration Sponsor of the 2018 Blossom Music Festival.

The Cleveland Orchestra is honored to partner with these two locally based international brands in marking this milestone for Northeast Ohio’s most cherished summer tradition. Together, The Cleveland Orchestra, Smucker’s, and Goodyear welcome all to enjoy a wonderful celebration of Blossom – creating and sharing a truly special and memorable experience for everyone.

About The J.M. Smucker Company and The Cleveland Orchestra
The J.M. Smucker Company has supported The Cleveland Orchestra for decades with annual contributions as well as capital gifts for improvements at Blossom Music Center. The company’s ongoing, generous support has been recognized through concert sponsorship at Blossom for over a decade, and has earned membership in the Orchestra’s John L. Severance Society – a group of the Orchestra’s most dedicated and generous corporate, foundation, and individual supporters. Additionally, The J.M. Smucker Company is a co-presenting sponsor of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Second Century Celebration, bringing the Orchestra’s 100th season to life while animating a bold vision for an extraordinary Second Century.

Cleveland Orchestra Board President Richard K. Smucker is the Executive Chairman of The J.M. Smucker Company, which was founded more than a century ago by Mr. Smucker’s great-grandfather, Jerome Smucker. Today, The J.M. Smucker Company is a leading marketer and manufacturer of consumer food and beverage products and pet food and pet snacks in North America. The company remains rooted in the Basic Beliefs of Quality, People, Ethics, Growth, and Independence established by its founder and namesake more than 120 years ago.
About The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and The Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra is grateful for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s visionary leadership as the Presenting Sponsor of the Blossom Music Festival’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. At the heart of this celebration is a spirit of community engagement and volunteerism that honors a longtime partnership stretching more than 30 years. This collaboration further highlights Goodyear’s history of generosity and commitment to the Orchestra – which includes membership in the Orchestra’s John L. Severance Society and generous support as a Second Century Celebration Leadership Sponsor.

As one of the world’s largest tire companies, Goodyear employs about 65,000 people and manufactures its products in 48 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.

About ideastream
The mission of ideastream is to strengthen our communities. ideastream pursues this mission as a multiple media public service organization by providing distinctive, thought-provoking programs and services that enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain.

A Special Thank-You
Deep gratitude goes to the entire Northeast Ohio community, whose incredible support, dedication, and generosity makes possible these magical summer evenings at The Cleveland Orchestra’s beautiful summer home.

2018 TICKET and subscription information
Subscription Renewals are currently underway with Premier Subscriptions, Create-Your-Own Series, and Lawn Ticket Books now available for purchase. Individual concert tickets go on public sale in early May by telephone, in person at the Severance Hall Ticket Office, and online at clevelandorchestra.com. Tickets start at $25. The Blossom Box Office opens for the season beginning on Saturday, June 2, and will be open throughout the summer on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. through intermission on festival performance days.

Premier Subscription Series

The 2018 Blossom Music Festival features two four-concert “Classics” series, a four-concert “Celebrations” series, and a four-concert “Pops” series. Ticket packages, on sale now, offer approximately 20% savings off individual-ticket prices. Ticket package prices start at $76, which includes free Lot B parking and access to Kulas Plaza. Box-seat ticket packages include complimentary parking in First Energy Lot A behind the main Box Office in addition to access to Kulas Plaza.

Create-Your-Own Series

A Create-Your-Own Series package is being offered again this season. When purchasing 4 or more concerts, there is a savings of approximately 10% off the individual ticket prices. There is no limit to the number of Create-Your-Own Series purchases. All subscribers receive free parking in Lot B.

Lawn Ticket Books Include Two Pavilion Upgrades and Qualify for the “Under 18s Free” Program

Lawn Ticket Books of ten vouchers are now available for $175 (a savings of up to $100). Lawn vouchers qualify for youth admission as part of the “Under 18s Free” program. New in 2018: each lawn book also includes 20 “Under 18s Free” tickets.

Group Ticket Sales

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Call the Cleveland Orchestra Group Sales Office at Severance Hall at 216-231-7493 for more information.


Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018, Blossom Music Center was created as the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra and opened in July 1968 with performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by George Szell. The 200-acre music park features the award-winning and acoustically-acclaimed Blossom Pavilion, designed by renowned Cleveland architect Peter van Dijk and seating over 5,000 under cover. The adjoining Blossom Lawn accommodates as many as 15,000 more outside on an expansive natural-bowl amphitheater of grass surrounded by bucolic woods.
In the half-century since Blossom’s opening, headline makers and yet-to-be-discovered young artists across all genres have created unforgettable musical experiences for over 20 million visitors. Each summer, Blossom serves more than 400,000 visitors, who attend concerts ranging from rock, country, and pop to classical. Live Nation operates Blossom under a long-term contract with The Cleveland Orchestra, dividing each year between the Orchestra’s Blossom Music Festival of orchestral performances (July Fourth to Labor Day weekends) and a series of presentations from across a wide range of rock, country, and other live-concert genres.

Located 25 miles south of Cleveland just north of Akron, Ohio, Blossom is situated in the rolling hills of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which preserves 33,000 acres of natural parkland along the Cuyahoga River. Blossom Music Center was named to honor the Dudley S. Blossom family, who have been major supporters of The Cleveland Orchestra throughout its history. Blossom lies within the city limits of Cuyahoga Falls, an Ohio community first settled in the early 1800s, at 1145 West Steels Corners Road in Summit County.  

2018 Blossom Music Festival Calendar

#Blossom50 #cleorchblossom


Tuesday, July 3, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.*
Wednesday, July 4, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.*

Blossom Festival Band 
Loras John Schissel, conductor

Great music, fireworks, and fun for the whole family! 
Blossom’s traditional, star-spangled celebration with the Blossom Festival Band features a mix of patriotic Sousa marches, Broadway favorites, an Armed Forces Salute, and more – concluding with the “1812” Overture and fireworks!

* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.

Saturday, July 7, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Stephen Rose, violin
Mark Kosower, cello
Joela Jones, piano

BEETHOVEN  Triple Concerto
MUSSORGSKY  Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Maurice Ravel)

* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.

Special Blossom event – not part of the subscription season

Sunday, July 8, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Roger Daltrey, vocalist – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Keith Levenson, conductor – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Simon Townshend, Jon Button, Scott Devours, Loren Gold,
Frank Simes, members of The Who Band – Cleveland Orchestra debuts

TOWNSHEND Tommy (complete album)

Special Blossom event – not part of the subscription season

Friday, July 13, 2018
Members of The Cleveland Orchestra:
Joshua Smith, flute
Amy Lee Rosenwein, violin
Tanya Ell Woolfrey, cello
Joanna Patterson Zakany, viola
MOZART  Flute Quartet

“A Symphony of Food and Fine Wine” is a one-of-a-kind benefit featuring Cleveland Orchestra musicians, a garden-to-table dinner on Blossom’s stage and surrounding areas, and special wine pairings — presented by Blossom Friends of The Cleveland Orchestra. Blossom Friends is comprised of 6 chapters (Akron, Aurora, Canton, Hudson, Kent, and Northeast), and members are dedicated to promoting and financially supporting The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center. More information will be announced this spring.

Saturday, July 14, 2018, at 8:30 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Richard Kaufman, conductor

HAYTON  Singin' in the Rain (film with live orchestral score)

“What a glorious feeling!” It’s been called the greatest musical ever filmed – now, tap dance your way to Blossom and experience the charm of Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor on the big screen at Blossom with the score played live! 

Sunday, July 15, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
John Storgårds, conductor
Vilde Frang, violin – Cleveland Orchestra debut

ANTHEIL  Over the Plains
BRITTEN  Violin Concerto No. 1
SCHUMANN  Symphony No. 1 (“Spring”)
Start the evening with the Blossom Picnic Contest; registration details to be announced in May.

Saturday, July 21, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Jahja Ling, conductor
Kent Blossom Chamber Orchestra*
Blossom Festival Chorus 

BERLIOZ  Overture to Benvenuto Cellini*
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS  Serenade to Music*
MAHLER  Symphony No. 1 (“Titan”)
The Kent/Blossom Music Festival began when The Cleveland Orchestra and Kent State University launched a partnership in 1968, the year Blossom Music Center opened. For five weeks in June and July, Kent/Blossom Music Festival’s advanced training program brings musicians from around the world to Ohio for professional training in chamber music and orchestral studies with members of The Cleveland Orchestra and other faculty. Festival participants will perform side-by-side with The Cleveland Orchestra and also present a pre-concert program of music.
Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra performs at 7:00 p.m., conducted by The Cleveland Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor Vinay Parameswaran (Blossom Music Festival debut). The Cleveland Orchestra’s concert (program listed above) begins at 8:00 p.m. featuring the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra performing side-by-side with The Cleveland Orchestra on the works by Berlioz and Vaughan Williams.


Saturday, July 28, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.

The Cleveland Orchestra
Herbert Blomstedt, conductor – Blossom Music Festival debut

MOZART  Symphony No. 41 (“Jupiter”)
BRAHMS  Symphony No. 4

Sunday, July 29, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Andy Einhorn, conductor – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Audra McDonald, soprano

VARIOUS  Broadway Favorites

Named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people, six-time Tony Award-winning Broadway icon Audra McDonald performs favorites by the great Broadway composers, including Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Bernstein.

Saturday, August 4, 2018, at 8:30 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Sarah Hicks, conductor - Cleveland Orchestra debut

MENKEN  The Little Mermaid (film with live orchestral score)

One of the most celebrated animated films of all time, is now spectacularly transformed with the music performed live by The Cleveland Orchestra!  Bring the whole family under the sea and make it part of your world!

Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts. © All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 5, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Michael Francis, conductor

SMETANA  “Sárka” from Má Vlast
JANÁČEK  Taras Bulba
DVOŘÁK  Symphony No. 7

Saturday, August 11, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko, conductor
Simon Trpčeski, piano
LIADOV  Baba-Yaga
RACHMANINOFF  Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
PROKOFIEV  Symphony No. 5

Sunday, August 12, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
Yo-Yo Ma, cello

BACH  Complete Cello Suites  

*The Cleveland Orchestra will not perform at this concert

Saturday, August 18, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
James Gaffigan, conductor
Stephen Hough, piano

BARBER  Essay No. 2
MENDELSSOHN  Piano Concerto No. 1
SIBELIUS  Symphony No. 2

Sunday, August 19, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Randall Craig Fleischer, conductor
Capathia Jenkins, vocalist
Tony DeSare, vocalist and piano

VARIOUS  Songs by Frank Sinatra & Ella Fitzgerald

They were the undisputed singing stars of their era, and they ignited the stage when they joined forces — Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.  Hear their hit classics such as “The Lady is a Tramp,” “Come Fly with Me,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “My Way,” and many more.  


Saturday, August 25, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Adrien Perruchon, conductor – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Audrey Luna, soprano – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Matthew Plenk, tenor– Blossom Music Festival debut
Elliot Madore, baritone– Blossom Music Festival debut
Blossom Festival Chorus 
Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus 

COPLAND  Statements
ORFF  Carmina Burana

Friday, August 31, 2018, at 8:30 p.m.*
Saturday, September 1, 2018, at 8:30 p.m.*
Sunday, September 2, 2018, at 8:30 p.m.*

The Cleveland Orchestra
Vinay Parameswaran, conductor

WILLIAMS  Star Wars: A New Hope (film with live orchestral score)

Coming to Blossom from a galaxy far, far away – experience the magic of Star Wars like you’ve never seen it before on the big screen with John Williams’s unforgettable score performed live by the incomparable Cleveland Orchestra!
*Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.
Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts in association with 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm Ltd., and Warner /Chappell Music. © 2017 & TM LUCASFILM LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

All programs, artists, and prices are subject to change.