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Cleveland Orchestra establishes new Center
for Future Audiences
With a generous $20 million gift, the Orchestra begins work to ensure that concerts are for everyone, forever. To learn more: Plain Dealer's report
or read the news release.
NEWS IN BRIEF
A digest of current news stories and announcements about The Cleveland Orchestra:
January 5, 2012
Franz Welser-Möst to conduct Vienna New Year’s concert in 2013
The Vienna Philharmonic has announced that Franz Welser-Möst will again lead the ensemble’s annual New Year’s Concert, at the start of 2013. He first led the event, which is telecast to millions of viewers around the world, a year ago. That performance was later released as a commercial recording that topped sales charts in Europe last spring. In addition to his post as music director of The Cleveland Orchestra, Welser-Möst became general music director of the Vienna State Opera in 2010 and also regularly leads concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic. Invitations to lead the Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert are extended each year to a prominent conductor. Recent years have included appearances by Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, and Riccardo Muti. The 2012 concert was conducted by Mariss Jansons. Tickets to the event usually sell out well in advance, with the telecast ranked among the most-watched events of the holiday season. Additional information about the 2013 concert can be read on the Vienna Philharmonic’s website.
October 5, 2011
The Cleveland Cleveland Orchestra’s Distinguished Service Award
given to Richard Weiner at concert on October 13
The Cleveland Orchestra’s sixteeth annual Distinguished Service Award is being presented to former principal percussionist Richard Weiner on October 13, at the start of the Thursday evening concert at Severance Hall. The award, created in 1997, honors a person or organization that has provided continuing exemplary service to the Musical Arts Association, the non-profit parent organization that operates The Cleveland Orchestra, Severance Hall, and Blossom Festival.
Richard Weiner was appointed to The Cleveland Orchestra in 1963 by George Szell, who appointed him principal percussionist in 1968. Weiner served as principal percussionist of the Orchestra for 43 years up to his retirement in August this year, leading the section longer than anyone else in the Orchestra’s history. He also served on a variety of Cleveland Orchestra committees over the decades, including the Negotiation Committee (which he chaired for many years), Artistic Advisory Committee, Pension Committee, Travel Committee, and the Severance Hall Renovation Committee.
In announcing Weiner’s selection in August, Executive Director Gary Hanson said, "Richard Weiner has served The Cleveland Orchestra with distinction over his 48-year tenure. As principal percussionist, Rich has exemplified the Orchestra’s devotion to the highest standards of artistic excellence. He has also played a vital role off-stage representing the musicians’ interests during more than four decades of institutional growth. Everyone in the Orchestra family owes Rich a debt of gratitude for his selfless and dedicated service."
September 5, 2011
The Cleveland Orchestra welcomes two new musicians
Two new members have joined The Cleveland Orchestra as the ensemble begins rehearsals for the 2011-12 season.
Jacob Nissly joins The Cleveland Orchestra as principal percussion with the start of the 2011-12 season. Mr. Nissly previously served as principal percussion of the Detroit Symphony and has performed with ensembles including the New World Symphony, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He holds a bachelor of music and jazz studies degree from Northwestern University and a master of music degree from the Juilliard School, and was recently appointed to the faculty of the Eastman School of Music.
Also joining the Orchestra is Ying Fu, as a member of the first violin section. A native of Shanghai, China, Mr. Fu has won prizes in competitions in Europe, China, and the United States. He holds a bachelor of music degree from the Shanghai Conservatory and a master of music degree from Rice University. He is currently a doctor of musical arts degree candidate at Rice University, studying with Cho-Liang Lin and Sergiu Luca.
JUNE 1, 2011
The Cleveland Orchestra’s Center for Future Audiences
celebrates new initiatives with a special gala evening at Blossom on July 2
About the Center for Future Audiences
Announced in October 2010, The Cleveland Orchestra’s Center for Future Audiences was created to ensure that Northeast Ohio’s cultural ambassador to the world will be here for the next century and beyond. It is the first in a series of Centers of Excellence being created to remove all cultural, economic, and geographic barriers to attending live concerts of the Orchestra at the annual Blossom Festival, at Severance Hall, throughout Northeast Ohio, and around the world. Ultimately, the Orchestra’s goal is to have the youngest orchestra audiences in the country by the time of the ensemble's centennial in 2018.
As part of this effort, the Orchestra is providing free Blossom Festival tickets, beginning this summer, to young people under age 18. Two “under 18s” are admitted to the Lawn with each adult ticket purchase. The young people must be accompanied by an adult.
Created with a generous lead gift of $20 million from the Maltz Family Foundation, which provided one-third of the $60 million endowment funding needed, the Center for Future Audiences is a major step toward fulfilling a vision that The Cleveland Orchestra will inspire audiences throughout the region and the world for the next century and beyond. Friends of the Orchestra are invited to attend the celebration on July 2 and make further contributions to advance the work of this remarkable new initiative.
July 2 Concert: Starring Idina Menzel
Visit the event detail page to buy tickets for the concert only,
or continue reading about the gala benefit experience for the same evening.
Blossom. Sizzle. Pop! Benefit
While many concertgoers will experience the July 2 concert, benefit attendees will join a select group to enjoy a gala evening, featuring cocktails and a pre-concert dinner in the Knight Grove, premium seating for the concert with Idina Menzel and The Cleveland Orchestra, fireworks, and a post-concert party.
Here’s the lineup:
6 p.m. Pre-Concert
Cocktails, Hors d’oeuvres, and Dinner Party in the Knight Grove
(summer cocktail attire, jackets optional)
8 p.m. Concert
Starring Idina Menzel with The Cleveland Orchestra
Immediately following the concert:
Fireworks and after-party at the Blossom Grille.
Savor libations and desserts, mix and mingle with
Cleveland Orchestra musicians and other special guests,
and enjoy live jazz.
For more information or to request an benefit invitation,
please contact Emily Szy at 216-231-7524 or email to email@example.com
Proceeds from this concert and gala evening will benefit
the Orchestra's new Center for Future Audiences, endowed by the Maltz Family Foundation.
MAY 12, 2011
Gourmet Matinee series announced for Blossom 2011
Gourmet Matinees return to Blossom again this year, with three Wednesday luncheons across the summer. Presented by the Blossom Women’s Committee, each program features select Cleveland Orchestra or Blossom Festival artists performing a special recital or discussing their experiences.
The first luncheon is Wednesday, June 29, and features the Cleveland Duo (Cleveland Orchestra musicians Carolyn and Stephen Warner) with saxophonist Jim Umble. The program on July 27 features Cleveland Orchestra bassoonist Phillip Austin and section colleagues Barrick Stees and Jonathan Sherwin. The third and final Gourmet Matinee, on August 10, features conductor Jahja Ling discussing his years leading The Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival.
Tickets are $35 each or $90 for the series.
For additional information or tickets, call 216-231-7557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
APRIL 5, 2011
“Baroque & Beyond” festival features new artist-in-residence
and collaborative performances April 28 thru May 8ing
Coinciding with Ton Koopman’s first season as The Cleveland Orchestra’s artist-in-residence, a festival titled “Baroque & Beyond” is being created around Koopman’s two weekends of concerts with the Orchestra, April 28-30 and May 6-8. The Festival will feature collaborative performances with the Cleveland Museum of Art and with Case Western Reserve University’s Chapel, Court, & Countryside series, as well as a masterclass with Koopman working with students from CWRU and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Koopman, founder of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, is an acknowledged expert on Baroque music and performance practice. The position of artist-in-residence with The Cleveland Orchestra is made possible through a generous endowment gift establishing the Malcolm E. Kenney Artist-in-Residence Fund. The concerts at the Cleveland Museum of Art are funded in part by the Keithley Fund for Artistic Collaboration, created through a generous gift to The Cleveland Orchestra.
For additional details, read the complete news release.
FEBRUARY 22, 2011
Cleveland’s Rotary Club honors Welser-Möst and
Cleveland Orchestra as region’s “best ambassadors”
The Rotary Club of Cleveland has chosen to honor Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra with its 2011 International Service Award. The club selects an individual or organization each year to recognize work toward the furtherance of world understanding and peace. In announcing the choice of The Cleveland Orchestra for the award, the Club cited “the outstanding awareness it brings to our community on the international stage.” The announcement called the Orchestra “Cleveland’s best international ambassador,” noting, “it travels the world representing the quality of life and importance our city places on the arts. The Orchestra furthers world understanding and peace through the power of music.”
On Thursday, February 17, Gary Hanson, executive director of the Orchestra, accepted the award on behalf of Welser-Möst and the members of The Cleveland Orchestra, and presented the keynote address at the Rotary Club of Cleveland’s weekly luncheon.
FEBRUARY 17, 2011
Mitsuko Uchida wins Grammy Award as soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra;
Orchestra violist’s album wins for engineering
Two recordings involving The Cleveland Orchestra received Grammy Awards this year. The two awards were presented or announced on February 13. Pianist Mitsuko Uchida received her first-ever Grammy as “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra” for the album Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 23 and 24 on Decca. The album was recorded live at Severance Hall with The Cleveland Orchestra. (A second album with Uchida and the Orchestra, of Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 27, was released this past autumn in Asia, and is now available in the United States. Both albums are available at the Cleveland Orchestra Store on the ground floor of Severance Hall.)
In addition, an album featuring Cleveland Orchestra violist Eliesha Nelson, Quincy Porter: Complete Viola Works, on the Dorian Sono Luminus label, was awarded this year’s Grammy for “Best Engineering of a Classical Album.”
This year marked the 53rd Grammy Awards. Up to this year, Cleveland Orchestra recordings had won a total of eight Grammys and thirty-one previous nominations for its recordings.
JANUARY 5, 2011
Cleveland Orchestra joins in national food drive January 14-17
The Cleveland Orchestra is holding a food drive from January 14-17 to collect goods to be donated to the Cleveland Foodbank. The event is part of Orchestras Feeding America, a national food drive held by America’s symphony orchestras. Last season, more than 250 orchestras representing all 50 states collected more than 200,000 pounds of food for their communities. The project was the single largest orchestra project organized at a national level, uniting musicians, staff, volunteers, and audiences to help alleviate hunger.
Unexpired, non-perishable food donations will be collected surrounding performances throughout the Martin Luther King weekend, January 14-17, at Severance Hall. Food items will be collected during Cleveland Orchestra concerts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, at the PNC Musical Rainbow concerts on Saturday morning, January 15, and throughout the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Open House on Monday afternoon, January 17. Marked bins will be available in the lobby to collect donations before each concert and throughout the open house (12 noon to 5 p.m.).
DECEMBER 1, 2010
Welser-Möst leads telecast of Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s concert
Franz Welser-Möst will lead the Vienna Philharmonic in its annual New Year’s concert, televised and broadcast around the world on January 1, 2011 — including locally in Northeast Ohio on WVIZ/ideastream and WCLV (104.9 FM). A grand tradition at the Philharmonic, the program presents the waltz music of the Strauss family and other cherished favorites. The New Year’s Day concert is now televised in more than 50 countries. This year, which is also Franz’s first season as General Music Director of the Vienna State Opera, marks Franz’s first time conducting the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert..
OCTOBER 28, 2010
The Cleveland Orchestra’s Tokyo Residency and Asia Tour set for November 10-21
Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra embark on their tenth international tour together next month, performing in Japan and South Korea. Pianist Mitsuko Uchida joins the Orchestra in Japan. The eight-concert, four-city tour begins with a performance in Sapporo, Japan, and ends with a program at the Seoul Arts Center in South Korea.
The centerpiece of the tour is a Cleveland Orchestra Residency at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, with four concerts at the acclaimed venue November 14-18. Mitsuko Uchida is featured in three of the concerts at Suntory Hall. In two, she leads all-Mozart programs from the keyboard. Franz Welser-Möst leads the other two Suntory Hall performances, with Uchida featured as soloist in an all-Beethoven program. Welser-Möst also leads an all-orchestral program at Suntory Hall, including Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony and Takemitsu’s Dream/Window.
The Plain Dealer will be previewing the tour in the coming weeks. Regular reports from the tour can be heard on WCLV or read online at the Orchestra’s Blog. WKSU’s Vivian Goodman will cover the tour from Tokyo and Korea.
The Cleveland Orchestra first performed in Japan in 1970 and most recently appeared there in 1998, during a tour of Japan and China. The Orchestra performed in Korea for the first time in 1970, and most recently in 1978.
International tours of The Cleveland Orchestra are supported by the Frances Elizabeth Wilkinson International Touring Fund. The concert on November 20 in Goyang, Korea, is generously supported by Miba AG.
OCTOBER 14, 2010
Principal flute Joshua Smith releases new album of Bach
Cleveland Orchestra principal flute Joshua Smith has released a second album of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, following up on the success of his first Bach recording a year ago. The new CD, featuring Smith and colleagues on the Delos label, is available for purchase at the Cleveland Orchestra Store. A Cleveland Plain Dealer review of the new disc called Smith’s performances, “doubly persuasive, elegant and academically informed, revealing both the music’s surface beauty and its textural intricacy.”
Principal trombone Massimo La Rosa releases debut CD album
Cleveland Orchestra principal trombone Massimo La Rosa released his debut album at the beginning of October, available at the Cleveland Orchestra Store or Amazon.com. The album, titled "Cantando," features standard repertoire for trombone and piano, as well as arrangements of Italian opera music and new arrangements by Teddy Abrams, the conducting fellow of the New World Symphony. Among these is a new arrangement for trombone and piano of the Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and a Brazilian love song, “Ave Maria No Morro.” Abrams and Elizabeth DeMio are featured pianists on the album.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2010
New Cleveland Orchestra recordings of Mahler and Ravel
to be released October 5; Pierre Boulez conducts
Two new recordings by The Cleveland Orchestra with guest conductor Pierre Boulez are being released on the Deutsche Grammophon label on October 5. Both were made at Severance Hall during performances celebrating the conductor’s 85th birthday and the 45th anniversary of his American professional orchestra debut with The Cleveland Orchestra in March 1965.
The all-Mahler recording features the Adagio from Symphony No. 10, along with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená and baritone Christian Gerhaher performing in the song cycle The Youth’s Magic Horn. The performances were also filmed by Clasart Classic for future release on DVD and television broadcast.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G minor and the Concerto for the Left Hand with Boulez and the Orchestra on a recording that also includes Aimard performing Ravel’s Miroirs, for solo piano.
Pierre Boulez served as musical advisor of The Cleveland Orchestra 1970-72 and has been a regular and favorite guest conductor of the Orchestra, leading more than 200 concerts. Among his many recordings with the Orchestra, five have won Grammy Awards.
National "Arts in Education Week"
highlights the important role of arts in learning and life
In tandem with the start of the new school year and the opening of the new performing arts season, The Cleveland Orchestra continues its commitment to music education and performances for citizens of all ages throughout Northeast Ohio. September 12-18 was declared National “Arts in Education” Week by resolution of the United States House of Representatives, bringing national attention to the role and importance of music and the arts in childhood development and in creating well-rounded and balanced adults. “Arts in Education Week draws public attention to the role of arts education as a core academic subject that provides skills and knowledge essential to the education of all students,” commented Joan Katz, director of Education and Community Programs for The Cleveland Orchestra. “All children deserve access to music and the arts.”
As part of its opening week of the season, September 20-24, The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Most are performing a free, in-school concert at John Adams High School on Friday afternoon, September 24. And a “PNC Musical Rainbow on the Road” is being presented on September 25 in Hudson. These continue the Orchestra’s Community Music Initiative launched last season to bring more music to more people of all ages throughout Northeast Ohio.
Welser-Möst leads first performances
as new General Music Director of Vienna State Opera
Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst became General Music Director of the Vienna State Opera at the start of this season. He opened the season in Vienna in early September, leading performances of Wagner’s Tannhaüser and Puccini’s La Bohème in repertory.
Franz had led the premiere of the new Tannhaüser production in June, at which
time he said in an interview with the Vienna Courier that “Tannhäuser is a romantic opera, where you can hear music history — you hear the resonance of Spontini, of Beethoven. Wagner was looking beyond the Alps toward the South. This is what I want to make audible. There are very song-influenced sections and real hits.”
London’s Financial Times praised Franz’s conducting as “always shimmering, warm and luminous,” and Vienna’s The Standard said, “Franz Welser-Möst knows how to light up the magic of color of the score.”
Of the new season opening night performance, the Kurier newspaper said, “The future looks bright from the first two performances . . . with Welser-Möst and the orchestra creating a wonderful pairing to highlight the music.”
And, in the dozens of serious media stories about Franz and his new leadership role in Austria, on a pop music radio station, Franz revealed that some of his favorite pop music choices include Deep Purple and Steppenwolf. He also said that Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”
is a “hit” and it “rocks.”
New principal cellist begins first Severance Hall season
The Cleveland Orchestra welcomes Mark Kosower, who began his tenure as principal cello with the 2010 Blossom Festival. A native of Wisconsin, Kosower comes to Cleveland from the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany, where he served in the same capacity leading the cello section. He holds the Louis D. Beaumont Endowed Chair of The Cleveland Orchestra.
Mark Kosower received a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2002 and won prizes in the Rostropovich Competition in Paris (2001) and the Pablo Casals Competition in Germany (2000). He holds a bachelor’s degree and artist diploma in cello performance from Indiana University and a master’s degree and artist diploma in cello performance from Juilliard. He has joined the music faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
New violinist joins Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra welcomes Elayna Duitman as a new member of the second violin section. She began playing with the Orchestra at the beginning of August, for Blossom Festival concerts and the European Festivals Tour. Duitman (pronounced DITE-mun) served as a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (2002-10) and previously performed with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. She holds degrees from the New England Conservatory in Boston and the Royal Conservatory in the Netherlands.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2010
Orchestra’s new Wagner CD receives strong praise
The Cleveland Orchestra’s newest recording was released earlier this summer in Europe and is now available in the United States. The CD, released by Deutsche Grammophon, features the Orchestra performing music of Richard Wagner under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst, with soprano Measha Brueggergosman singing Wagner’s Wesendonck Songs.
The recording has garnered strong praise from the press, including:
“A grandly moving collaboration. . . . Few orchestras can compete with the gossamer sheen that The Cleveland Orchestra posseses.” —Audiophile Audition
“The Cleveland Orchestra, with its tight, piercing brass and soaring strings, plays fabulously throughout.” —ArkivMusic.com
“Welser-Möst’s conception is seamless and transcendent.” —ClassicalSource
Franz Welser-Möst’s special summer concert
with Vienna Philharmonic broadcast in U.S. on August 25
A million people witnessed Franz and the Vienna Philharmonic perform the outdoor annual “Summernight Concert” at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace on June 8. 100,000 spectators attended the celestial-themed program, which featured pianist Yefim Bronfman and saluted composer Robert Schumann’s 200th birthday. About 900,000 additional people watched on television in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Deutsche Grammophon released a CD and DVD of the concert in Europe earlier this summer. The program was broadcast in the United States on many PBS stations on August 25.