“Prometheus Project” Education Concert for Students marks the beginning of The Cleveland Orchestra’s 100th Season and Second Century
Under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst, “Beethoven & Prometheus: A Hero’s Journey” Education Concert takes place September 22
The concert program incorporates the creative output of an interdisciplinary curriculum co-created by The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland School of the Arts, and Fifth House Ensemble
In May 2018 “The Prometheus Project” Festival concludes the Orchestra’s 2017-18 season, featuring all nine Beethoven symphonies
For release: August 24, 2017
CLEVELAND – On September 22 a collaborative education project with Cleveland Orchestra musicians and Cleveland School of the Arts (CSA) students centered around the music of Beethoven will culminate when the Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst perform a special Education Concert, “Beethoven & Prometheus: A Hero’s Journey” at Severance Hall. During the spring of 2017, Orchestra musicians and staff immersed themselves at CSA working with students and teachers to explore a unique intersection of mythology and music. The Prometheus Project for Students was inspired by Welser-Möst’s “The Prometheus Project,” a major focal point of the Orchestra’s 100th Season, which will examine Beethoven’s music through the metaphor of Prometheus, a daring Greek Titan who defied Zeus to bestow on humanity the gift of fire. According to Welser-Möst, for Beethoven, this gifting of fire represented the beginning of human civilization, the spark of creativity that has powered the imagination of generations, the warmth of justice and goodness, the fight for right, and individual freedoms – themes that resonated with Beethoven and which he incorporated into his music.
Through an interdisciplinary curriculum co-developed by The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland School of the Arts, and Fifth House Ensemble (a Chicago-based leader in arts-integration and audience engagement), CSA students engaged deeply with the stories, challenges, and accomplishments of Beethoven and Prometheus, and the way they served the greater good. Utilizing artistic mediums (Visual and Performing Arts), engaging core curriculum (English/Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies), and using American scholar Joseph Campbell’s classic “Hero’s Journey” framework, students were challenged to create work that connected these themes to personal narratives, illuminating stories of their personal heroes and the ways in which they envision using their own gifts to shape their future world.
Participating CSA classes included 8th Grade Social Studies, 8th Grade Science, 11th Grade English, Visual Arts, Interdisciplinary Arts, Orchestra, and Dance. Cleveland Orchestra musicians who led this work included violinists Kathleen Collins, Yun-Ting Lee, and Isabel Trautwein; violist Lisa Boyko; cellists David Alan Harrell and Brian Thornton; bassists Mark Atherton and Derek Zadinsky; flutist Marisela Sager; and violinist and pianist Carolyn Warner.
On September 22 at 12:00 p.m. at Severance Hall, in a concert performed exclusively for students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), select CSA student projects will be projected onto large screens surrounding the Orchestra, integrating them into “Beethoven & Prometheus: A Hero’s Journey.” The program will introduce middle and high school students from CMSD to an emotionally rich, multidisciplinary, multimedia concert experience that illuminates the hero’s journey, and its connections to composer Ludwig van Beethoven, the Greek Titan Prometheus, and the students of today. This program will be repeated for schools who attend Education Concerts at Severance Hall on November 8 and 10, 2017. In addition, schools in Lake County will have the opportunity to attend a Cleveland Orchestra performance of Beethoven and Prometheus: A Hero’s Journey, on November 9 at Lakeland Community College, as part of the Orchestra’s Second Century Around the Region celebration. The September 22 concert at Severance Hall will be featured as part of the opening week of events for the 2017-18 season.
Leading up to the September 22 Education Concert, Orchestra musicians will return to CSA for additional in-school work, and will also visit schools within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to prepare students for the concert.
Select Photos, In-School Work of Prometheus Project for Students
Additional Examples of In-School Work
- 8th Grade Science and Social Studies students created and presented identity statements and sonic selfies with Marisela Sager and Derek Zadinsky
- Kathleen Collins taught 11th grade English Language Arts students how to identify characteristics in Beethoven’s music that reflect themes from family and friend interviews and concepts from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- Yun-Ting Lee worked with Creative Writing students in the Interdisciplinary Arts class to connect Beethoven and the hero’s journey to historic, modern, and personal heroes in their narrative writing and poems on heroes.
- Lisa Boyko worked with students in the Visual Arts class to create and present artist statements and photography projects on overcoming challenges and adversity, and that sync to Beethoven’s music
- Eight Cleveland Orchestra musicians prepared orchestra students for a performance of Beethoven’s Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus side-by-side with the Orchestra at the September 22 concert, and lessons have continued throughout the summer.
- Mark Atherton, Isabel Trautwein, and Carolyn Warner worked with CSA music students on chamber group repertoire to perform prior to the concert.
“The Prometheus Project” Festival
In May 2018, “The Prometheus Project” Festival devoted to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven will take place over two weekends to conclude the Severance Hall portion of The Cleveland Orchestra’s 100th Season. Franz Welser-Möst offers a renewed point of view on these groundbreaking works, rooted in a studied understanding of the composer’s philosophy of politics and art, and presented within the context of his thoughts and beliefs. Leading up to the Festival, Welser-Möst will host a special “Prometheus Project” discussion in Reinberger Chamber Hall at Severance Hall.
Welser-Möst said, “In recent years I’ve been studying Beethoven’s music with the Prometheus concept particularly in my mind. This ‘fiery core’ is not just central to Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, but, I believe, also permeates his entire creative output. And I am convinced that this provides a robust and insightful window toward understanding Beethoven’s intended meaning within his art. With an exceptional figure like Beethoven, it is essential that we constantly look at new approaches to his work, to enliven and deepen our understanding of his genius.”
Featuring all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies, paired with important overtures, these programs represent Beethoven’s musical genius in all its glory — as a full-throated cry for humanity’s heroic “fight for good over evil.” Information about this festival and The Cleveland Orchestra’s 100th Season, presented by The J.M. Smucker Company and KeyBank, can be found here: http://www.clevelandorchestra.com/News-and-Updates/News-Releases/2017-releases/2017-03-17-100th-season-announced/
About The Cleveland Orchestra’s Education and Community Engagement Programs
The Cleveland Orchestra has a long and proud history of sharing the joys and benefits of music with people throughout Northeast Ohio. Franz Welser-Mӧst leads the Orchestra into its second century with a renewed commitment to music education and community engagement, based on his belief that every child should be touched by music, that the arts are critical to a well-rounded education, and that learning never ends (lifelong learning). Over 40,000 young people attend Cleveland Orchestra concerts each year via programs funded by the Center for Future Audiences, making up 20% of The Cleveland Orchestra’s audience. For more information about these programs, and the supporters who make them possible, visit https://www.clevelandorchestra.com/education-and-community/overview/.
About The Cleveland Orchestra
As it approaches its 100th Season in 2017-18 and the launch of its Second Century, The Cleveland Orchestra is undergoing a renaissance. Acknowledged as among the world’s best, its musicians, staff, board of directors, volunteers, and hometown are working together on a set of enhanced goals for the Orchestra’s Second Century – to develop the youngest audiences of any orchestra; to renew its focus on fully serving the communities where it performs through concerts, engagement, and music education; to continue its legendary musical excellence; to build on its tradition of community support and financial strength; and to move forward into the Orchestra’s next century with a commitment to diversified programming. Under the direction of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, the New York Times declared Cleveland to be the “best American orchestra” for its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like cohesion. The Cleveland Orchestra divides its time each year across concert seasons at home in Cleveland’s Severance Hall and each summer at Blossom Music Center. Additional portions of the year are devoted to touring and to a series of innovative and intensive performance residencies. These include performances in Miami, a biennial residency at Vienna’s Musikverein, and appearances at Switzerland’s Lucerne Festival, New York’s Lincoln Center Festival, and Indiana University. For more information, visit clevelandorchestra.com.
Beethoven & Prometheus: A Hero’s Journey
Education Concert for Cleveland Area CMSD Students
Friday, September 22, 2017 at 12:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
An emotionally rich, multidisciplinary, multimedia concert experience that illuminates the hero’s journey, as inspired by the lives of composer Ludwig van Beethoven and the Greek Titan Prometheus. Featuring artwork by students from the Cleveland School of the Arts.
Presented to more than 1,800 students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District from schools including:
Adlai E. Stevenson Elementary School
Anton Grdina Pre-K-8 School
Bolton PreK-8 School
Cleveland School of the Arts
East Clark Elementary School
Euclid Park Elementary School
Iowa-Maple Elementary School
Joseph M. Gallagher Elementary School
Louisa May Alcott Elementary School
Village Prep: Cliffs Superior
Village Prep: Woodland Hills
Media are invited to attend. RSVP to Rebecca Calkin.
Justin Holden, Director of Public Relations
Rebecca Calkin, Media Relations Manager