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Impressive results from economic study focusing on The Cleveland Orchestra’s influence across Northeast Ohio

The Orchestra’s financial impact throughout region annually exceeds $135 million

Activities at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center supported by the Orchestra created 1,292 jobs that were directly responsible for over $60 million of annual income

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Orchestra recently commissioned a study by research firm Kleinhenz & Associates and Case Western Reserve University to examine its economic and social impact on the local and regional areas the ensemble calls home. Driven by a commitment to enrich lives by creating extraordinary musical experiences at the highest level, The Cleveland Orchestra continues to foster a culture of excellence, integrity, and artistic innovation.  The economic study, conducted during the Orchestra’s Fiscal Year 2017-18 Centennial Season, analyzes the financial influence this renowned institution has on Northeast Ohio.  Focusing on a variety of factors, including performances held at Severance Hall and summer concerts at Blossom Music Center — both classical programming by the Orchestra and rock shows presented by Live Nation — the study concludes that The Cleveland Orchestra is responsible for generating $135.4 million of annual sales across Northeast Ohio’s seven-county region.

In addition, activities at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center supported by The Cleveland Orchestra created 1,292 jobs that are directly accountable for $60.8 million of annual payroll income.  Not surprisingly, the study determined that the Orchestra remains an integral thread woven through the very fabric of this community, and the economic areas most affected by its influence are performing arts, dining and restaurants, hotel, and travel.

“The Cleveland Orchestra provides terrific value to the people of Northeast Ohio and is an invaluable asset in helping our company recruit the best talent from around the nation,” said Richard K. Smucker, Chair of The Cleveland Orchestra and Executive Chairman of The J.M. Smucker Company. “The Cleveland Orchestra is also the only art form from this region that travels the globe every year, and as such it performs an important role as ambassador for the city. By carrying the name of Cleveland in this way, the Orchestra provides many of our region’s companies with exciting connections to new international business possibilities.”

“For more than a century, The Cleveland Orchestra has been committed to presenting inspirational and unrivaled music performances for audiences across Northeast Ohio — and around the world,” said André Gremillet, President and CEO of The Cleveland Orchestra. “This remarkable ensemble has demonstrated a lifelong dedication to engaging the members of its community by participating in a wealth of educational programs for people of all ages.  Although many Clevelanders possess a deep and enduring appreciation for the Orchestra’s musical and cultural significance, we hope this study also helps people understand the organization’s economic value to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.”

“The Cleveland Orchestra has been a vibrant part of Cleveland’s economic and cultural fabric, benefitting those who live here and those who visit from all over the world,” said Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic, CEO & President of the Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Orchestra Trustee. “It is internationally recognized for the highly talented musicians, leaders, and programs that have made it a tremendous asset to this community for many years. We are very proud and honored to have such a treasure that helps the city recruit great talent to Cleveland.”

After concluding that the Orchestra is responsible for $135.4 million in spending across the region, the report also determined that $116 million of that total comes from operations and $19.4 million from visitors to the region.  At Severance Hall, the Orchestra generates approximately $99.5 million in economic activity within Cuyahoga County.  Further findings reveal that the Orchestra generates $84.2 million in spending from its operating expenditures, and its visitors generate $15.3 million in sales. There were 159,000 attendees at Severance Hall, spending $11.2 million excluding ticket sales; 45 percent of those visitors were from outside Cuyahoga County.

More than half of The Cleveland Orchestra’s musicians are connected to the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) as members of the faculty, alumni, or both. Together, The Cleveland Orchestra and CIM are responsible for annually adding $172.1 million to Northeast Ohio’s economy.

About 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 music-making, and community programming.  The New York Times has declared it “... the best in America” and “America’s most understatedly amazing orchestra” for the group’s virtuosity, humility, self-confidence, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like musical cohesion.  Having celebrated its 100th birthday year in 2018, The Cleveland Orchestra is making its mark as a decidedly 21st-century ensemble, dedicated to serving its hometown and the art of music with focused traditions and innovative initiatives.

Strong community support from across the ensemble’s home region is driving the Orchestra forward with renewed energy, increasing the number of young people attending concerts, and bringing fresh attention to the Orchestra’s legendary sound and committed programming — including programming that regularly juxtaposes older and newer musical works in standard concerts and festival settings, including annual opera presentations.

As The Cleveland Orchestra looks to the future, it strives to be Cleveland’s Orchestra by building community through music, removing barriers to participation, nurturing the next generation of musicians and audience members, and harnessing the life-changing power of music to make the world a better place. For more information visit