Default Image Blossom Image

— N E W S - R E L E A S E —

The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst present special festival to conclude the Centennial season: The Prometheus Project

Festival concerts include all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies, four Beethoven overtures, and Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge

Prometheus Project concerts featured on tour in Vienna and Tokyo

Special Beethoven discussion with Franz Welser-Möst and Mark Evan Bonds at Severance Hall

For Release:  April 10, 2018   /   Updated:  May 24, 2018

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst announce further details of the The Prometheus Project festival. The festival will take place May 10-13 and May 17-19 at Severance Hall and is dedicated to the exploration of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. Franz Welser-Möst offers a renewed interpretation and perspective on these groundbreaking works, rooted in a studied understanding of the composer’s philosophy of politics and art. Following the Cleveland performances, The Prometheus Project will be presented on tour, May 24-28 at Vienna’s Musikverein and June 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. A complete calendar listing of Cleveland, Vienna, and Tokyo dates can be found at the end of this release.

The Prometheus Project 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. For Beethoven, this gift 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.

Welser-Möst said, “With The Prometheus Project, we are exploring Beethoven’s thinking behind writing these works, at his belief in humanity’s betterment, at what he wrote inside of his music, and between the notes. I am using the story of Prometheus as a metaphor and lens for what Beethoven was writing, not just in his symphonies, but across his lifetime, and throughout all of his music. With Prometheus as a focus, with this earnest and thoughtful approach, we can engage in a new way with audiences. When studying 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.”

“During our 100th season, we challenge the current trend that intellect is not to be prized. Civilization and society only move forward by tackling the big questions, by really thinking and debating what is good, and by fighting to make life better for everyone,” said Welser-Möst.  “Music, great music, is part of that discussion. Music distills philosophy into sound. Being popular or beautiful or half-interested is not sufficient. We need to teach people to be brave. It is important to know not just what you think, but why you think it. Music builds a framework for reflection and discussion.”

Pre-Festival Beethoven Discussion
At the start of the festival, Franz Welser-Möst will take part in a conversation with Mark Evan Bonds. A professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bonds is the author of After Beethoven: The Imperative of Originality in the Symphony and Music as Thought: Listening to the Symphony in the Age of Beethoven. The discussion will be held on the evening of Wednesday, May 9 in Reinberger Chamber Hall at Severance Hall. More details to be announced. For more information on Mark Evan Bonds and his scholarly books on music and Beethoven, please visit https://music.unc.edu/people/musicfaculty/mark-evan-bonds/.

More About The Prometheus Project
For videos, interviews and press resources about The Prometheus Project, please visit the following links.

Second Century Sponsors
The Cleveland Orchestra is deeply grateful to the visionary philanthropy of its Second Century Celebration Presenting Sponsors, The J.M. Smucker Company and KeyBank, who have given generously to celebrate the Orchestra’s 100th season while animating a bold vision for an extraordinary second century. For a full list of Second Century sponsors, please click here.


CALENDAR LISTING:
FESTIVAL: THE PROMETHEUS PROJECT
2018 SEVERANCE HALL

BEETHOVEN’S FIRST & THIRD

Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 1
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”)


BEETHOVEN’S FOURTH & SEVENTH

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Overture to Egmont
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 4
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 7


BEETHOVEN’S EIGHTH & FIFTH

Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Overture to Coriolan
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 8
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 5


BEETHOVEN’S SIXTH & SECOND

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 6 (“Pastoral”)
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 2
BEETHOVEN  Leonore Overture No. 3


BEETHOVEN’S NINTH

Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 18, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Erin Wall, soprano
Jennifer Johnston, mezzo-soprano
Norbert Ernst, tenor
Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
Cleveland Orchestra Chorus

BEETHOVEN  Grosse Fuge (for string orchestra)
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 9 (“Choral”)


 

2018 VIENNA/JAPAN TOUR

Vienna, Austria
Musikverein
Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 1
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”)


Vienna, Austria
Musikverein

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 6 (“Pastoral”)
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 2
BEETHOVEN  Leonore Overture No. 3


Vienna, Austria
Musikverein
Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
BEETHOVEN  Overture to Coriolan
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 8
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 5


Vienna, Austria
Musikverein
Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Overture to Egmont
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 4
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 7


Vienna, Austria
Musikverein

Monday, May 28, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Laura Aikin, soprano
Wiebke Lehmkuhl, mezzo-soprano – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Norbert Ernst, tenor
Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
Vienna Singverein
BEETHOVEN  Grosse Fuge (for string orchestra)
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 9 (“Choral”)

(as of May 24) Please note:  Soprano Luba Orgonášová, who was original announced to sing in this performance, has been forced to cancel her appearances in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with The Cleveland Orchestra in Vienna and Tokyo due to illness.  The Orchestra is grateful for soprano Laura Aikin, for stepping in to sing in her place.


Tokyo, Japan
Suntory Hall
Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 1
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”)


Tokyo, Japan
Suntory Hall
Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Overture to Egmont
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 4
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 7


Tokyo, Japan
Suntory Hall
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
BEETHOVEN  Overture to Coriolan
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 8
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 5


Tokyo, Japan
Suntory Hall

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 6 (“Pastoral”)
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 2
BEETHOVEN  Leonore Overture No. 3


Tokyo, Japan
Suntory Hall
Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Laura  Aikin, soprano
Jennifer Johnston, mezzo-soprano
Norbert Ernst, tenor
Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
New National Theatre Chorus
BEETHOVEN  Grosse Fuge (for string orchestra)
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 9 (“Choral”)

(as of May 24) Please note:  Soprano Luba Orgonášová, who was original announced to sing in this performance, has been forced to cancel her appearances in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with The Cleveland Orchestra in Vienna and Tokyo due to illness.  The Orchestra is grateful for soprano Laura Aikin, for stepping in to sing in her place.


About The Cleveland Orchestra
Now in 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.

 

European Tour Sponsorship and Funding
The Cleveland Orchestra thanks these corporations and individuals for generously supporting the Orchestra’s 2017-18 European Tours: Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich AG, voestalpine AG, Tele München Group, Miba AG, Herbert Kloiber, Wolfgang Berndt, Robert Ehrlich, and Alfred Umdasch. 
The Cleveland Orchestra European Advisory board members: Herbert Kloiber (chair), Wolfgang Berndt (vice chair), Richard K. Smucker (Cleveland Orchestra Board President), Gabriele Eder, Robert Ehrlich, Peter Mitterbauer, Elisabeth Umdasch.

Japan Tour Sponsorship and Funding
The Cleveland Orchestra thanks Quality Electrodynamics (QED), and Mrs. Mikiko and Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita, Founder & CEO of QED, for their generous support as presenting sponsors of the 2018 Tokyo Tour.

International Sponsorship
With special thanks to Clasart Classic, the Orchestra’s Global Media Sponsor, and to Jones Day for international touring sponsorship.