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The Cleveland Orchestra named one of nineteen U.S. orchestras to receive League of American Orchestras’ Futures Fund Grant

This grant will be used to evaluate specific components of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Members Club, an innovative mobile-app loyalty program designed for patrons not being served by traditional subscription services

New York City – The Cleveland Orchestra is one of only nineteen U.S. orchestras named to receive a grant from the League of American Orchestras to support innovation and organizational learning. The two-year American Orchestras’ Futures Fund grants, in the amount of $80,000 – $150,000 each, are made possible by the generous support of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

“This forward-looking work — on stage, in the community, and within the organizations themselves — is essential for the evolution of the art form and the institutions that perform it,” said Jesse Rosen, the League’s President and CEO. “The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation has been a catalyst for innovation, and we are grateful for their vision and support.”

“The initiatives represented by the first two grant cycles far exceeded our expectations,” said Lisa Delan, Director of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. “The level of press attention many of these programs received reflects the timeliness of these efforts and makes clear there is much to gain by venturing outside of our comfort zones and carving new pathways through which to connect with our audiences and our communities. We look forward in anticipation to what this next round brings.”

“The Cleveland Orchestra is honored and privileged to receive this remarkable grant from the League of American Orchestras,” said Ross Binnie, Chief Brand Officer of The Cleveland Orchestra. “These funds will allow us to explore a variety of digital subscription initiatives with our innovative Members Club mobile-app, ultimately engaging more people and helping them experience the power and passion of extraordinary music experiences.”

This year’s Futures Fund grants demonstrate the innovative measures orchestras are taking to grow their audiences and increase their relevance. Programs receiving support include engagement of veterans with PTSD; research on the effects of music education on the emotional, social, and neural development of children; new uses of digital marketing; and partnerships with universities, public and private school systems, and other nonprofits to create new musical experiences.

Because consumer demands are constantly changing, The Cleveland Orchestra recognizes the importance of re-examining subscriptions to meet the varying needs of today’s audiences, including a desire for greater flexibility, increased customization, and deeper organizational relationships. The Orchestra has begun to face these challenges by creating its Members Club, an innovative mobile-app program designed for patrons who aren’t served by traditional subscription services. The Orchestra will use the Futures Fund grant to evaluate various aspects of this program, such as establishing goals that focus on increasing frequency of attendance, strengthening long-term loyalty, and pushing the boundaries of mobile technology. In addition, these funds will allow the Orchestra to identify which parts of the Members Club program are driving patron loyalty, and shape other components to the expanding needs of specific audiences. For more information on the Members Club visit https://www.clevelandorchestra.com/tickets/memberships/.

For this third round of the $4.5 million American Orchestras’ Futures Fund program, U.S.-based orchestras of the League of American Orchestras were eligible to apply. (Previous grants were announced in 2017 and 2018.) An independent peer review panel selected which orchestras would receive grants based on criteria that included each organization’s capacity to respond and adapt to opportunities and changing circumstances, and the potential for artistic, internal, community, public value, and field-wide impact.  In addition to The Cleveland Orchestra, eighteen other acclaimed ensembles received funds, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony.


About The Cleveland Orchestra
Founded by Adella Prentiss Hughes, The Cleveland Orchestra’s inaugural concert took place on December 11, 1918, with the 2017-18 Centennial season marking the Orchestra’s 100th year of concerts. Under the leadership of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, The Cleveland Orchestra has become one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world, setting standards of extraordinary artistic excellence, creative programming, and community engagement. The New York Times has declared The Cleveland Orchestra “... the best in America” for its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like musical cohesion. The 2018-19 season marks the Orchestra’s 101st year of concerts, and the beginning of a Second Century of extraordinary music making, dedicated service to its hometown, and worldwide acclaim.

Strong community support from across the ensemble’s home region is driving the Orchestra forward with renewed energy and focus, increasing the number of young people attending concerts, and bringing fresh attention to the Orchestra’s legendary sound and committed programming — including annual opera presentations with innovative staging and pairings. Recent productions have featured Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (January 2019), Debussy’s Pelléas and Mélisande (May 2017), a double bill of Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin and Bluebeard’s Castle (April 2016) presented in collaboration with Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet, and an inventive presentation of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (May 2014, with encore performances in Cleveland and Europe during the autumn of 2017).

The partnership with Mr. Welser-Möst, begun in 2002, has earned The Cleveland Orchestra unprecedented residencies in the U.S. and around the world, including one at the Musikverein in Vienna, the first of its kind by an American orchestra. It also performs regularly at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals. This past spring, the Orchestra completed its 19th international tour with Mr. Welser-Möst by performing eleven unforgettable concerts in Taiwan and China.

The Cleveland Orchestra has a long and distinguished recording and broadcast history. A series of DVD (available through Clasart Classic) and CD recordings under the direction of Mr. Welser-Möst continues to add to an extensive and widely praised catalog of audio recordings made during the tenures of the ensemble’s earlier music directors. In addition, Cleveland Orchestra concerts are heard in syndication each season on radio stations throughout North America and Europe.

Seven music directors — Nikolai Sokoloff, Artur Rodziński, Erich Leinsdorf, George Szell, Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi and Franz Welser-Möst — have guided and shaped the ensemble’s growth and sound since its founding in 1918. Through concerts at home and on tour, via radio broadcasts and a catalog of acclaimed recordings, The Cleveland Orchestra is heard today by a broad and growing group of fans around the world. For more information, visit clevelandorchestra.com and https://www.clevelandorchestra.com/about/mission-and-history/.

About the League of American Orchestras
The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. For more information, please contact Rachelle Schlosser: 646-822-4027; rschlosser@americanorchestras.com; or visit www.americanorchestras.org.