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Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and pianist Lang Lang perform special Cleveland Orchestra 100th Anniversary Gala at Severance Hall on September 29

Annual celebration to raise vital funds for The Cleveland Orchestra’s education and community programs

The 2018 Gala Evening – a benefit concert and dinner – is Chaired by Norma Lerner and Co-Chair Nancy W. McCann with Corporate Co-Chairs Beth Mooney and Richard K. Smucker

For Release:  May 29, 2018

CLEVELANDThe Cleveland Orchestra announces additional details of its annual Gala Evening at Severance Hall on Saturday, September 29, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., with Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and pianist Lang Lang. This year’s special 100th Anniversary Gala, a benefit event comprising a concert and dinner, is chaired by Norma Lerner; co-chair Nancy W. McCann; corporate co-chair, KeyBank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Beth Mooney; and corporate co-chair, Cleveland Orchestra Board President Richard K. Smucker. As the Orchestra enters its Second Century, the Gala Evening provides essential funding for The Cleveland Orchestra’s engaging education and community programs, which share the value and joy of music with people throughout Northeast Ohio.

The complete evening benefit experience includes pre-performance cocktails on Severance Hall’s Front Terrace and in the Bogomolny-Kozerefski Grand Foyer at 6:00 p.m. and the concert at 7:00 p.m., followed by an elegant dinner in the Bogomolny-Kozerefski Grand Foyer, Hood Meyerson Box Promenade, Founders Gallery, Grand Marquee (an extension of the Grand Foyer Terrace located in front of Severance Hall), and Severance Restaurant catered by Executive Chef Douglas Katz of Fire Food and Drink.

This year’s program features Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, works by Richard and Johann Strauss Jr. and Ravel’s La Valse. Lang Lang first performed with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Festival in 2000 and at Severance Hall in 2002.

Lead Sponsors of The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2018 Gala Evening

To date, support for the Gala Evening includes the following lead sponsors: The Lerner Foundation, KeyBank, Albert and Audrey Ratner, and Richard and Emily Smucker. To join this visionary group of philanthropic leaders as a Gala Evening sponsor, call Sarah Jessie at 216-231-7562 or email

Gala Evening Sponsorships and Individual Concert Tickets

Gala Evening table sponsorships start at $15,000. Individual Gala Evening tickets are $1,000 and $500. Both Gala Evening table sponsorships and ticket packages include valet parking, cocktails, and premium concert and dinner seating. Individual concert-only tickets — starting at $51 — are available now for subscribers to the 2018-19 season, and will be available to the general public in August.

Young Professionals Tickets

The Cleveland Orchestra Gala includes an exclusive event for young professionals. Members of The Circle, the young professionals of The Cleveland Orchestra, will have a pre-sale opportunity to purchase tickets before they are available to the public. A Young Professionals Gala ticket includes valet parking, pre-concert reception, concert seating, and post-concert dinner in Severance Restaurant, catered by Fire Food and Drink. Tickets start at $100/single and $175/couple for Circle members, or $150/single and $250/couple for non-Circle members. If you are interested in attending the Young Professionals event, please call Margaret Gautier at 216-231-7558 or email

The Cleveland Orchestra’s Education Programs Serving Northeast Ohio

The Cleveland Orchestra’s commitment to education and community service is as old as the Orchestra itself and has never been more important. 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’s life should be touched by music, that the arts are critical to a well-rounded education, and that learning is a lifelong pursuit and journey. The Cleveland Orchestra has introduced more than 4 million young people to symphonic music through live concert experiences and performances over the past ten decades. Today, with the support of many generous individual, foundation, corporate, and governmental funding partners, the Orchestra’s educational and community programs reach more than 60,000 young people and adults annually, helping to foster a love of music for a lifetime.

Franz Welser-Möst

The Cleveland Orchestra’s 101st season in 2018-19 marks the 17th year of the Orchestra’s acclaimed partnership with Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, with this partnership’s future now extending into the next decade.  Under his direction, the Orchestra is hailed for its continuing artistic excellence, is broadening and enhancing its community programming at home in Northeast Ohio, is presented in a series of ongoing residencies in the United States and Europe, and has re-established itself as an important operatic ensemble.
Under Mr. Welser-Möst’s leadership, The Cleveland Orchestra has established a recurring biennial residency in Vienna at the famed Musikverein concert hall and appears regularly at Switzerland’s Lucerne Festival.  Together, they have also appeared in residence at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Japan, and at the Salzburg Festival, where a 2008 residency included five sold-out performances of a staged production of Dvořák’s opera Rusalka.  In its Centennial 2017-2018 season, The Cleveland Orchestra embarked on two international tours, the ensemble’s seventeenth and eighteenth international tours with Franz Welser-Möst. The Cleveland Orchestra’s nineteenth international tour with Welser-Möst will take place in 2019, traveling to mainland China.

About Lang Lang

Heralded by the New York Times as “the hottest artist on the classical music planet,” Lang Lang plays sold-out concerts covering all continents of the globe. He has formed ongoing collaborations with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo  Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim and Christoph Eschenbach and performs with all the world’s top orchestras. Lang Lang is known for thinking outside the box and frequently steps into different musical worlds. His performances at the Grammy Awards with Metallica, Pharrell Williams or jazz legend Herbie Hancock were hailed by millions of viewers.

For about a decade Lang Lang has contributed to musical education worldwide. In 2008 he founded the Lang Lang International Music Foundation aimed at cultivating tomorrow’s top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences. In 2013 Lang Lang was designated by the Secretary General of the United Nations as a Messenger of Peace focusing on global education.

Lang Lang started playing the piano aged three, and gave his first public recital before the age of five. He entered Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory aged nine, and won First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians at 13. He subsequently went to Philadelphia to study with legendary pianist Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music. He was seventeen when his big break came, substituting for André Watts at the Gala of the Century, playing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach: he became an overnight sensation and the invitations started to pour in. Lang Lang’s boundless drive to attract new audiences to classical music has brought him tremendous recognition: he was presented with the 2010 Crystal Award in Davos and was picked as one of the 250 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum. He is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from the Royal College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and New York University. In December 2011 he was honoured with the highest prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and received the highest civilian honours in Germany (Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) and France (Medal of the Order of Arts and Letters). In 2016, Lang Lang was invited to the Vatican to perform for Pope Francis. He has also performed for numerous other international dignitaries, including four US presidents and monarchs from many nations.


100th Anniversary Gala Evening
Saturday, September 29, 2018
6:00 p.m. – cocktails
7:00 p.m. – concert
Post-concert dinner

The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Lang Lang, piano

MOZART - Piano Concerto No. 24 
RICHARD STRAUSS - Fantasy from Die Frau ohne Schatten
JOHANN STRAUSS JR - Waltz: Wiener Blut [Viennese Spirit]
RAVEL - La Valse

Gala packages: $1,000 and $500.  Please call Sarah Jessie at 216-231-7562.

Individual concert tickets are available now for subscribers and will be available to the general public in August 2018.  

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