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The Cleveland Orchestra Gala raises more than $1.2 million for education and community programs

The 2019 Honorary Gala Chairs were Norma Lerner, Nancy W. McCann, Beth Mooney, and Richard K. Smucker

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Orchestra announced that its Gala Evening, held on Saturday, September 21, 2019 raised more than $1 million for the sixth consecutive year. The 2019 Gala raised more than $1.2 million thanks to the overwhelming generosity of this year’s attendees and the leadership of honorary chairs Norma Lerner, Nancy W. McCann, KeyBank chairman and CEO Beth E. Mooney, and Cleveland Orchestra board president Richard K. Smucker,. More than 400 guests attended the Gala evening this year, including members of the Orchestra’s young professionals group, The Circle.

The Gala Evening helps fund the Orchestra’s education and community programs, which inspire and engage people of all ages across Northeast Ohio through the power of music. With the support of many generous individual, foundation, corporate, and government funding partners, the Orchestra’s education and community programs reach more than 100,000 young people and adults annually, fostering a lifelong relationship with music.

“This year’s Gala was magnificent and a great evening for our Cleveland community,” said Cleveland Orchestra President and CEO André Gremillet. “We experienced a performance by our extraordinary Orchestra, lively conversation with guests, and a spectacular dinner in the Concert Hall. I’d like to extend my deep gratitude to honorary chairs Norma Lerner, Beth E. Mooney, Nancy W. McCann, and Richard K. Smucker. Through their leadership — and the support of all who attended —Cleveland’s Orchestra continues to bring our community together and enrich people’s lives through music. I’m also grateful to music director Franz Welser-Möst and the talented musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra for the commitment, passion, and artistry they demonstrate every week during rehearsals and during each concert throughout the season.”

The evening began with a Cleveland Orchestra performance conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, featuring selections from Richard Strauss’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and a suite from his opera Der Rosenkavalier. After the concert, guests enjoyed cocktails with Host Committee members Patricia M. Kozerefski and Richard J. Bogomolny, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, Camille and Dennis LaBarre, Meredith and Michael Weil, and Barbara and David Wolfort on Severance Hall’s Front Terrace and in the Bogomolny Kozerefski Grand Foyer. Dinner was served inside the Concert Hall — on stage, throughout the Orchestra level, and in concert boxes — catered by executive chef Douglas Katz of Fire Food & Drink.

The Cleveland Orchestra’s Education and Community Programs Serving Northeast Ohio
The Cleveland Orchestra’s commitment to education and community service was central to the establishment of the Orchestra in 1918, and has never been more important. Over the past ten decades The Cleveland Orchestra has introduced more than 4 million young people to symphonic music through live concert experiences. Today, with the support of many generous individual, foundation, corporate, and governmental funding partners, the Orchestra’s education and community programs reach more than 100,000 young people and adults annually, helping to foster a lifelong relationship with music. Music Director 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 include music, that the arts are critical to a well-rounded education, and that learning is a lifelong pursuit and journey.

As we look to the future, we strive to be Cleveland’s Orchestra, engaging our diverse citizenry and building community through music, removing barriers to participation, advocating for and helping to facilitate equitable access to comprehensive music education in schools, nurturing the next generation of musicians and audience members, and harnessing the life-changing power of music to make the world a better place through new initiatives developed for even deeper impactFor more information visit

Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra
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 2019-20 season marks the Orchestra’s 102nd year of concerts, dedicated service to its hometown, and worldwide acclaim.

The partnership with Mr. Welser-Möst, beginning its 18th year, 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.

In June 2019, Mr. Welser-Möst was awarded the Gold Medal in the Arts by the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts in recognition of his long-lasting impact on the international arts community. For more information on Mr. Welser-Möst, visit