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The Cleveland Orchestra announces 2015 Blossom Music Festival

Summer season presents musical weekends of family-friendly programming from Fourth-of-July through Labor Day Weekend

Highlights include:

  • Festival Opening Night concert July 11: Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Blossom Festival Chorus and soloists
  • Cleveland Orchestra musicians featured as concerto soloists: clarinetist Franklin Cohen (July 26) and cellist Mark Kosower (August 22)
  • Cleveland Orchestra debuts by soprano Tamara Wilson (July 11), pianist Paul Lewis (July 25), conductor Gustavo Gimeno (August 8), vocalists Shem von Schroeck and Storm Large (August 16)
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis; performing “Swing Symphony” with The Cleveland Orchestra (August 29)
  • Orchestra and Band concerts celebrate Independence Day, July 2, 3, 4

Pops concerts include:

  • The British Invasion: The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, and More featuring hits of iconic bands (August 16)
  • Michael Feinstein: A Big Band Tribute to Frank Sinatra (July 18)
  • The Music of John Williams, a blockbuster tribute to Hollywood’s legendary composer(September 5 & 6)

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

Subscription Renewals currently underway; premier subscriptions and Create-Your-Own now available for purchase

Popular Lawn Ticket Books available now: $160 for a book of ten lawn passes, with two FREE Pavilion upgrade coupons in each book

Pre-sale single tickets for current Cleveland Orchestra subscribers go on sale on April 20 and individual tickets for the general public go on sale May 12

For release:  January 25, 2015

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Orchestra has announced the 2015 Blossom Music Festival season. The Festival comprises 17 concerts; 15 by The Cleveland Orchestra, including the Festival Opening concert on July 11 with Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducting Beethoven’s epic masterpiece, the Symphony No. 9, with the Blossom Festival Chorus and soloists; one Blossom Festival Band concert (July 4); Michael Feinstein: A Big Band Tribute to Frank Sinatra (July 18); and one concert by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (August 29) – allat Blossom Music Center from Fourth of July weekend through Labor Day Weekend (July 2 – September 6, 2015).

Details of the 2015 Blossom Music Festival season, including Festival, as well as Cleveland Orchestra soloist and conductor debuts, are available in the Calendar section below and on the Orchestra’s website, Concert schedules and series renewals are being mailed to subscribers to 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 on Tuesday, May 12.

Franz Welser-Möst Conducts (July 11)

Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Orchestra in the Festival Opening Concert on July 11 in Beethoven’s epic masterpiece, the Symphony No. 9, with the Blossom Festival Chorus and featured soloists: soprano Tamara Wilson, mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby, tenor Stuart Skelton, and bass-baritone Dashon Burton.

Orchestral Masterworks

The Orchestra takes the spotlight at Blossom in performances of great orchestral masterpieces from the baroque, classical, romantic, and twentieth-century eras. Highlights include Nicholas McGegan conducting a selection of baroque and classical works by Bach, Mozart, and Haydn (August 22); Brett Mitchell leading the Orchestra (August 1) in Barber’s Violin Concerto with violinist James Ehnes and a side-by-side performance of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra with the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra; Gustavo Gimeno making his Cleveland Orchestra debut conducting Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony along with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 (“Emperor”) with pianist Garrick Ohlsson (August 8); Edo de Waart conducting Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with violinist Gil Shaham (August 30); James Feddeck conducting violinist Simone Lamsma in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, also on the program are Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe and Sibelius Symphony No. 5 (August 15); and Stéphane Denève conducting pianist Paul Lewis in his Cleveland Orchestra debut performing Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Stravinsky’s Concerto in E-flat major (“Dumbarton Oaks”) (July 25).

Cleveland Orchestra musicians appearing as soloists at Blossom this season include clarinetist Franklin Cohen performing Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2 (July 26) and cellist Mark Kosower performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major (August 22).

Popular Music

Michael Krajewski conducts the Orchestra with vocalists Storm Large and Shem von Schroeck on August 16 in a program titled The British Invasion: The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, and More in a performance that includes the hits of these iconic British bands.

A popular Northeast Ohio tradition for more than four decades, the July 4 weekend will feature the Blossom Festival Band, conducted by Loras John Schissel, celebrating Independence Day with A Salute to America on July 4 with a program that features music by Bernstein, Gershwin, Copland, Williams, and the explosive Tchaikovsky “1812” Overture, followed by fireworks. On July 2 and 3 conductor Thomas Wilkins makes his Blossom Music Festival debut leading the Orchestra in a patriotic celebration with a program titled America the Beautiful.

Additional popular music programs at Blossom this summer include the season closing concerts on Labor Day weekend (September 5 & 6) with the Orchestra under the direction of conductor Richard Kaufman in a program titled The Music of John Williams, as well as Broadway Divas (August 2) led by Jack Everly in a program spanning iconic Broadway shows such as Wicked, Les Misérables, and Chicago.

Family-friendly “Under 18s Free” tickets continue at every Blossom Music Festival concert

“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 tickets to young people, 17 and under, for every Blossom Music Festival concert again this season. Over 50,000 young people have attended Blossom Music Festival concerts since the “Under 18s Free” ticket program began at Blossom in 2011.

Kent/Blossom Music Festival (June - July / Blossom Music Festival Performance August 1)

Celebrating its 48th season in 2015, 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 each summer for professional training in chamber music and orchestral studies with members of The Cleveland Orchestra and other elite faculty. On August 1, participants will perform with The Cleveland Orchestra in a side-by-side concert and also present a pre-concert program of music by Stravinsky, conducted by Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Conductor Brett Mitchell, prior to The Cleveland Orchestra’s concert at the Blossom Music Festival. 

2015 Ticket, Series and Sponsor Information

Lawn Ticket Books of ten vouchers are now available for $160 (a savings of up to $100). Lawn vouchers qualify for youth admission as part of the “Under18s Free” program. Youth admission tickets can be requested after individual tickets go on sale. Contact the Box Office or visit for information about this program.

A Create-Your-Own Series package is being offered again this season. When purchasing 4 or more concerts, there is a savings of 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.

Pavilion tickets start at $24. Individual tickets go on sale by telephone, in person at the Severance Hall Ticket Office, and online at on May 12. The Blossom Box Office opens for the season beginning on Saturday, May 31, 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 concert days.

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Call the Cleveland Orchestra Group Sales Office at Severance Hall at 216-231-7463 for more information.

The 2015 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 $84, 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.

The Cleveland Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the following generous organizations whose support is recognized in connection with the Blossom Music Festival:

Blossom Women’s Committee
The William Bingham Foundation
The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation
Mary and Dr. George L. Demetros Charitable Trust
FirstEnergy Foundation
Forest City Enterprises, Inc.
Frantz Ward
GAR Foundation
Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.
NACCO Industries, Inc.
Littler Mendelson, P.C.
The Lubrizol Corporation
Maltz Family Foundation
The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation
M.G. O’Neil Foundation
Medical Mutual of Ohio
PNC Bank
Polsky Fund of Akron Community Foundation
The Charles E. and Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation
The Sisler McFawn Foundation
Lloyd L. and Louise K. Smith Memorial Foundation
The J.M. Smucker Company
Timken Foundation of Canton
The Welty Family Foundation

2015 Blossom Music Festival Calendar (as of January 25, 2015)


Thursday, July 2, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.*
Friday, July 3, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins, conductor – Blossom Music Festival debut

GOLDSMITH - Fireworks: A Celebration
GERSHWIN - Overture to Girl Crazy
GOULD - “Pavanne” from American Symphonette No. 2
WILLIAMS - “Flight to Neverland” from Hook
BERNSTEIN - Candide: Suite for Orchestra
GOULD - American Salute
COPLAND - Old American Songs
WARD/BATES - America the Beautiful (arr. Dragon)
TCHAIKOVSKY - “1812” Overture

A patriotic celebration featuring The Cleveland Orchestra.  Celebrate Independence Day with a concert of light classics plus Broadway and Hollywood classics, concluding with Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture and fireworks.

* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.


Saturday, July 4, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.*
Blossom Festival Band
Loras John Schissel, conductor
Harold Summy, xylophone – Blossom Music Festival debut

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

* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.


Saturday, July 11, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Tamara Wilson, soprano – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Nancy Maultsby, mezzo-soprano
Stuart Skelton, tenor – Blossom Music Festival debut
Dashon Burton, bass-baritone – Blossom Music Festival debut
Blossom Festival Chorus

MESSIAEN - L’Ascension: 4 méditations symphoniques
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 9 (“Choral”)

Beethoven’s epic masterpiece.  Music Director Franz Welser-Möst kicks off the Blossom season with Beethoven’s most famous work – his timeless message of humanity and brotherhood, which concludes with his inspiring, monumental "Ode to Joy.”


Saturday, July 18, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
Michael Feinstein, vocalistBlossom Music Festival Debut

A Big Band centennial salute to “Ol’ Blue Eyes.”  No one delivered a song like Frank Sinatra.  He defined “cool” for an entire generation with a dazzling array of hit songs and albums.  Michael Feinstein performs live Sinatra’s iconic tunes, including "Love and Marriage," "New York, New York," and “My Way.”

The Cleveland Orchestra does not appear on this program.


Saturday, July 25, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Stéphane Denève, conductor
Paul Lewis, piano – Cleveland Orchestra debut

STRAVINSKY - Concerto in E-flat major (“Dumbarton Oaks”)
SCHUMANN - Piano Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 4

He wore his heart on his sleeve.  Tchaikovsky’s life was filled with inner turmoil, and this whirlwind of emotions is captured perfectly in his Fourth Symphony.  Impassioned and red-blooded, sentimental and wryly humorous, he perfectly expresses the raw emotions that we can all relate to.


Sunday, July 26, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Jahja Ling, conductor
Franklin Cohen, clarinet

This concert features Franklin Cohen’s farewell appearance as a concerto soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra after 39 seasons as Principal Clarinet. Also on the program, Elgar’s popular Enigma Variations is both musical and personal, as Elgar portrays his friends in music of tenderness, admiration, and joy.

Program includes:
WEBER - Clarinet Concerto No. 2
ELGAR - Enigma Variations


Saturday, August 1, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Brett Mitchell, conductor
James Ehnes, violin
with the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra*

DVOŘÁK - The Noon Witch
BARBER - Violin Concerto
BARTÓK - Concerto for Orchestra

This gorgeous violin concerto should be on your playlist.  From its magical first notes to a breathtaking conclusion, American composer Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto is a virtuoso tour-de-force.  Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra showcases the brilliant individual virtuosos of The Cleveland Orchestra.

* Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra performs music by Stravinsky at 7:00 p.m.  The Cleveland Orchestra’s concert (program listed above) begins at 8:00 p.m.


Sunday, August 2, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Jack Everly, conductor

Wicked. Les Misérables. Chicago.  These iconic shows gave us the heroines we love … and the villains we revile: the unforgettable Divas of Broadway.  Treat yourself to a Wicked-good evening of Broadway showstoppers, featuring selections from Wicked, Les Miz, Cabaret, My Fair Lady, Chicago, and more.


Saturday, August 8, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Gustavo Gimeno, conductor – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

BEETHOVEN - “Leonore” Overture No. 2
BEETHOVEN - Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”)
DVOŘÁK - Symphony No. 8

The greatest of piano concertos, performed by a masterful interpreter.  He’s remembered as a tempestuous, intense composer, but Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto is proof of the tenderness and beauty that runs this great man’s music.  Immensely popular with audiences and critics alike, Garrick Ohlsson is recognized worldwide as one of the finest pianists of his generation.


Saturday, August 15, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
James Feddeck, conductor
Simone Lamsma, violin – Blossom Music Festival debut

WEBER - Overture to Euryanthe
TCHAIKOVSKY - Violin Concerto
SIBELIUS - Symphony No. 5

Dazzling, breathtaking, and devilishly difficult.  Perhaps the favorite violin concerto of all time – and certainly the most virtuosic – Tchaikovsky’s music is infused with rich, passionate melodies.


Sunday, August 16, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Michael Krajewski, conductor
Storm Large, vocalist – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Shem von Schroeck, vocalist – Cleveland Orchestra debut

The Beatles arrived in 1964 … but that was only the beginning.  The phenomenon called The British Invasion dominated the American airwaves, and leading the charge were the Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, and more.  Now, these hits are given the full treatment with brilliant orchestrations performed as only the masterful musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra can.


Saturday, August 22, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Mark Kosower, cello

BACH - Orchestral Suite No. 3
HAYDN - Cello Concerto in C major
J.C. BACH - Sinfonia in G minor
MOZART - Symphony No. 31 (“Paris”)

An evening under the stars with two of music’s favorite masters.  Mozart and Bach are revered as two of the very greatest musicians of all time.  Enjoy an evening of music spanning the Baroque and Classical eras that feature some of their most-loved works. 


Saturday, August 29, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
William Eddins, conductor – Blossom Music Festival debut
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – Combined Blossom Music Festival debut

Program includes:
MARSALIS - Symphony No. 3 (Swing Symphony)

Virtuosos of jazz meet the virtuosos of The Cleveland Orchestra.  For the first time, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis joins The Cleveland Orchestra.  A Pulitzer Prize- and nine-time Grammy Award-winner, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis has been lauded for his work in both jazz and classical music.


Sunday, August 30, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Edo de Waart, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin

BRUCH - Violin Concerto No. 1
MAHLER - Symphony No. 1 (“Titan”)

One of the most popular – and most beautiful – of all violin concertos.  With lovely lyricism and brilliant virtuosity, Bruch’s concerto is a dazzling showcase for pretty much everything the violin can do.  Renowned violinist and audience favorite Gil Shaham returns for a concert that concludes with Mahler’s ebullient, triumphant first symphony.


Saturday, September 5, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.*
Sunday, September 6, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Richard Kaufman, conductor

A blockbuster tribute to Hollywood’s most legendary composer.  He needs no introduction: John Williams’s film scores are instantly recognizable – and beloved across the world.  Join The Cleveland Orchestra as they perform music from his movie classics, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T., Harry Potter, Superman, Jaws, Jurassic Park, and many more!

* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.

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