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The Cleveland Orchestra offers inaugural recording on its own label this spring, with “A New Century” album featuring six musical works conducted by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst

Deluxe box set released on June 5 and now available for pre-order smarturl.it/ANewCentury

Entire collection exclusively available to stream on Apple Music and download on iTunes from today (March 13) apple.co/2W7UVKA

Six musical selections showcase the range of the Franz Welser-Möst & Cleveland Orchestra partnership — from Beethoven to composers of today, with two works each from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, and two world premiere recordings of works by Johannes Maria Staud and Bernd Richard Deutsch

Collector’s edition 3-disc album set available in-person in Cleveland beginning in May; featuring a deluxe companion book detailing the recordings alongside discussion of the Orchestra’s achievements during Welser-Möst’s record-breaking tenure

clevelandorchestra.com/newcentury

CLEVELAND – One of the world’s most recorded orchestras, The Cleveland Orchestra, has announced details of the inaugural release on its own recording label, The Cleveland Orchestra: A New Century.  The three-disc album features six musical works under the direction of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, all recorded live in concert at Severance Hall during the past three years (2017 to 2019). 

Worldwide release of the deluxe CD box set, via international retail outlets and The Cleveland Orchestra Store, will take place on Friday, June 5, 2020. Starting Friday, March 13, the entire collection will be available for exclusive streaming on Apple Music and for download on iTunes. Pre-orders for the physical set can be purchased at clevelandorchestra.com/newcentury. On Thursday, May 7 the set will be available to purchase at The Cleveland Orchestra Store. Selections will be available for streaming on other services in the months leading up to the release.  For additional details, see the Production Information section below.

“The Cleveland Orchestra has a long and storied catalogue of recordings, providing testament to the ensemble’s ongoing and evolving artistry,” says André Gremillet, President and CEO of the Orchestra. “As we launch a new series of recordings on our own label, this inaugural recording set documents the remarkable abilities and achievements of this ensemble under Franz Welser-Möst’s leadership. The repertoire has been chosen to highlight the breadth, depth and great artistic partnership between Franz and the Orchestra, with a particular focus on 20th and 21st century music.”

The Cleveland Orchestra: A New Century release is designed to showcase the Welser-Möst and Cleveland Orchestra partnership, now in its 18th year.  Welser-Möst’s contract was extended in 2019 to run through 2027, carrying him past George Szell’s legendary status as the longest-serving musical leader in the ensemble’s history.

A New Century offers a diverse selection of six musical pieces, from Beethoven to contemporary composers, with two works each from the 19th, 20th, and 21sts centuries.  Two world premiere recordings are included, of Johannes Maria Staud and Bernd Richard Deutsch; these first-ever recordings of these pieces continue The Cleveland Orchestra’s longstanding commitment and abilities with new musical scores.  (In both instances, the recordings document The Cleveland Orchestra’s United States premiere of each work.)  Both Deutsch and Staud have served as composers-in-residence through The Cleveland Orchestra’s Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellowship program.  In addition to Beethoven and the two living composers, pieces on the set include Richard Strauss’s first tone poem, Aus Italien, Edgard Varèse’s wildly noisy portrait of New York City, Amériques, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Third Symphony.  Organist Paul Jacobs is the featured soloist in Deutsch’s organ concerto, titled Okeanos. Additional details are listed in the product information section below.

In both its physical and digital formats, the set is grouped into three volumes or discs, pairing an older and new work together, showcasing a kind of pairing or juxtaposition that Welser-Möst often uses in programming to help concerts act as musical journeys for the listeners.  “I believe that every concert is as much about creating an emotional journey for the audience as it is a musical one,” says Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst.  “An orchestra’s technique and artistry are not just about serving the music as an art form, but creating a special experience in performance.”

“In my career, I have found no better place in the world to work and create music than here in Cleveland, with The Cleveland Orchestra,” say Welser-Möst.  “From the beginning, I have been inspired by the musicians and the support and keen interest that the entire Cleveland community provides their Orchestra.  The six pieces on this new recording are just a sampling of what we have accomplished together.  We have an exciting opportunity going forward, as we choose additional music to offer the world through online recordings.”

Streaming access and videos available beginning March 13: To view A New Century overview video and Beethoven String Quartet No. 15 (version for string orchestra) / Varèse Amériques video with insight about these works from Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, visit clevelandorchestra.com/newcentury. To stream, for free, the Beethoven / Varèse recording, search all major streaming services for the recording or visit this link https://smarturl.it/ANewCentury.  

Included with the box set is an extensive 150-page deluxe companion book which explores continuity and change at The Cleveland Orchestra, across musical leaders, changes and enhancements to the ensemble’s home concert hall, and the rock-steady influence of a hometown community that constantly demands and responds to great musicians playing great music with new and refreshing perspectives.

A New Century 150-page deluxe companion book (11” x 7.5”) contents:

  • Introduction by André Gremillet, President and CEO, The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Essay about “Why Music Matters,” by Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director, The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Two interviews with Welser-Möst, about The Cleveland Orchestra and its future
  • Program notes about the six musical selections, taken from the Orchestra’s program book, written by Welser-Möst, James R. Oestreich, Hugh Macdonald, and Eric Sellen
  • Articles about Severance Hall’s acoustics and the Orchestra’s history, by Eric Sellen
  • Portrait of Cleveland as a city, by Suzanne de Roulet
  • Illustrated with over 150 photographs, press quotes, and recording details

The complete physical set will be available for pre-order beginning on Friday, March 13, and for exclusive streaming on Apple Music and download from iTunes, via clevelandorchestra.com/newcentury.

Released by The Cleveland Orchestra, the inaugural A New Centurywill be available on all major digital download purchase and streaming services worldwide (including Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz, IDAGIO, Primephonic, and QQ Music China.) 

This and planned, ongoing future releases are designed to share the unique artistry of the Welser-Möst/Cleveland Orchestra partnership with audiences in Cleveland and around the world, while expanding the Orchestra’s extensive recording catalog, including video/DVD releases of Bruckner and Brahms under Welser-Möst’s baton.

A dedicated Cleveland Orchestra microsite: clevelandorchestra.com/newcentury will include:

  • Recording set and project overview
  • Embedded audio stream/link to the entire album (via Apple Music)
  • Product & release information
  • Links to pre-order options (both physical and digital)
  • Video featurettes
  • Excerpt from the deluxe companion book

“The Cleveland Orchestra: A New Century” Background and More Details

Widely regarded as one of the world’s finest orchestras, The Cleveland Orchestra in 2018 celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding Today, as the Orchestra forges ahead into a new century, the ensemble is launching its own record label with this six-piece, three-disc set, available through digital channels or as a deluxe box set and titled A New Century.  The selections were curated and conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, who has served as the Orchestra’s Music Director for almost two decades. All six works were recorded in concert within the famed acoustic of Severance Hall. 

A New Century features live recordings of landmark works by Beethoven, Varèse, Richard Strauss, and Prokofiev alongside two newer works by Austrian composers Johannes Maria Staud and Bernd Richard Deutsch.  The set is organized into three volumes or discs, each of which pairs and older and newer work together.

A New Century VOLUME-DISC 1 / Beethoven and Varèse
BEETHOVEN – String Quartet No. 15 (version for string orchestra)
VARÈSE – Amériques

Recorded in the intimate acoustics of Severance Hall, the first volume of A New Century pairs Beethoven’s Opus 132 late string quartet with Edgard Varèse’s big-hearted and hard-hitting 1928 orchestral portrait of New York City, Amériques. The String Quartet No. 15 is performed by the entire Cleveland Orchestra string section in an extraordinary display of precision and chamber music warmth.  Welser-Möst writes, “The experience of performing works by such a well-known composer as Beethoven in a new way helps magnify your understanding of what that music can be.  For this recording, we have paired it with Varèse’s daringly invigorating modern tone poem from the early 20th century.  Thus we hear how music evolves across generations, how the new repertoire affects our understanding of how older works can be viewed today.”

A New Century VOLUME-DISC2 / Staud and Strauss
STAUD – Stromab (Cleveland Orchestra co-commission; world premiere recording)
R. STRAUSS – Aus Italien

The second volume of A New Centurypairs the world premiere recording of Stromab by the Austrian composer Johannes Maria Staud with Richard Strauss’ earliest — and oft neglected — tone poem Aus Italien.  Welser-Möst believes “’the best composers’ are aware of the past, and looking forward beyond their own time, bringing a through-line to musical history carried forward by each new generation of innovation and change.  By listening to Strauss and Staud together, we can begin to see how these different channels of thought progressed in the larger river of music’s evolution.”

A New Century VOLUME-DISC 3 / Deutsch and Prokofiev
DEUTSCH – Okeanos with Paul Jacobs (organ) (world premiere recording)
PROKOFIEV – Symphony No. 3

The third volume of A New Century pairs Prokofiev’s enigmatic Third Symphony — using musical material from his opera The Fiery Angel — with the world premiere recording of Bernd Richard Deutsch’s concerto for organ and orchestra, Okeanos. “When I have chosen to pair composers together, I often want to show that there are similarities between the two,” says Welser-Möst. “There are certain elements of their music, how they create intimate moments and contrasting eruptions of sound which absolutely align.  When you hear these two pieces juxtaposed with one another, there is an unexpected, satisfying symmetry.  Both works, by Prokofiev and by Deutsch, feature metaphysical aspects of water and fire, elemental feelings of expanse and energy.”


The Cleveland Orchestra’s Recording Legacy

Since its first recording session in 1924, The Cleveland Orchestra has been among the most acclaimed and recorded orchestras in the world. Through successive eras and music directors, the Orchestra’s profile and renown have grown with each wave of new technological advances.  Long-playing records and the advent of stereo sound were instrumental in bringing international attention to the ensemble’s growth and evolving artistry during George Szell’s tenure.  Lorin Maazel helped Cleveland pioneer in early digital recording technology, while the number of albums produced under Christoph von Dohnányi’s baton secured the Orchestra’s boast as “the most-recorded orchestra in America” during the 1990s.  Guest conductors including Pierre Boulez also added to The Cleveland Orchestra’s extensive and widely-admired discography.  As the economics of the recording industry shifted, the Orchestra also issued a series of private label, limited editions, celebrating the ensembles 75th anniversary (1993), Szell’s 100th birth year (1997), Dohnányi’s tenure (2002), and Robert Shaw’s work as the Orchestra’s choral director (2004) — all drawn from decades of radio broadcast recordings that were heard throughout the United States and continually documented Cleveland’s rising artistic finesse and abilities.

In the first decades of the 21st century, The Cleveland Orchestra has continued expanding its catalog of recordings, sharing the art of music with new audiences through traditional disc sales, radio broadcasts, and online purchase and streaming.  Franz Welser-Möst has led the ensemble through two series of widely-praised video recordings of symphonies by Anton Bruckner and the major works of Johannes Brahms.  In addition, Mitsuko Uchida recorded a series of Mozart’s piano concertos and Pierre Boulez led the Orchestra in a series of recordings of works by Mahler, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, and others.  Across all these eras, the Orchestra’s recordings have received nine Grammy Awards, along with prize ratings around the world and inclusion in many best-of-year lists.

With the launch of its own label in 2020, The Cleveland Orchestra will add to its longstanding recording legacy, sharing new and old repertoire with fans and music aficionados around the world.  New albums released each year will be offered alongside its continuing annual series of radio broadcasts on Cleveland’s ideastream/WCLV Classical 104.9 (available worldwide via the internet) and the Orchestra’s ongoing annual tours, which make the ensemble available to in an international concert schedule unrivalled by any other major American orchestra.

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 it “the best in America” for its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like musical cohesion, “virtually flawless,” and “one of the finest ensembles in the country (if not the world).”  The 2019-20 season marks the Orchestra’s 102nd year of concerts, remarkable music making, and dedicated service to its hometown.

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 included 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 innovative presentation of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (May 2014, with encore performances in Cleveland and Europe during the autumn of 2017).  The 2017-18 season also featured in-concert performances of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde (April 2018).

The partnership with Franz Welser-Möst, begun in 2002 and entering its 18th year with the 2019-20 season, 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.  The Orchestra’s 100th season in 2017-18 featured two international tours, concluding with the presentation on three continents of Welser-Möst’s Prometheus Project featuring Beethoven Symphonies and overtures; these Beethoven concerts were presented in May and June 2018, at home in Cleveland, in Vienna’s Musikverein, and in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

The Cleveland Orchestra has a long and distinguished recording and broadcast history. A series of DVD (available through Clasart Classics) 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 Franz Welser-Möst

Franz Welser-Möst is among today’s most distinguished conductors.  The 2019-20 season marks his 18th year as music director of The Cleveland Orchestra, with the future of this acclaimed partnership extending into 2027.  The New York Times has declared Cleveland under Welser-Möst’s direction to be the “best American orchestra“ for its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like musical cohesion. 

During The Cleveland Orchestra’s centennial season — dedicated to the community that created it — Franz Welser-Möst led two ambitious festivals, The Ecstasy of Tristan and Isolde, examining the power of music to portray and create transcendence, followed by a concentrated look at the philosophical and political messages within Beethoven’s music in The Prometheus Project (presented on three continents, in Cleveland, Vienna, and Tokyo).  His innovative approach to programming, introducing new music, and rediscovering and re-examining older works continues this season, including a groundbreaking citywide festival, Censored: Art & Power, scheduled for May 2020 and centering around Alban Berg’s opera Lulu and the Degenerate Art & Music movement.  

Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra are frequent guests at many prestigious concert halls and festivals around the world, including regular appearances in Vienna, New York, and Miami, and at the festivals of Salzburg and Lucerne.  During Welser-Möst’s tenure, The Cleveland Orchestra has been hugely successful in building up a new and, notably, younger audience at home in Cleveland through innovative programs involving families, students, universities, and cross-community partnerships.  A series of established and newly created education offerings continue to energize and engage students throughout the region.  To read more about Franz Welser-Möst visit this link: https://www.clevelandorchestra.com/about/musicians-and-conductors/franz-welser-most/.

About LSO Live

The Cleveland Orchestra’s own label recordings are being released in a promotional partnership with LSO Live, who is helping oversee and manage worldwide distribution.  LSO Live is the Grammy Award-winning label of the London Symphony Orchestra. The Cleveland Orchestra label joins LSO Live’s growing family of partners, which now includes Valery Gergiev’s Mariinsky label, King’s College Recordings, Colin Currie Records and the new label of the National Symphony Orchestra, The Kennedy Center. All LSO Live group labels are distributed in partnership with [PIAS], who handle worldwide digital distribution and physical distribution in North America and Canada, UK, France and Benelux. German physical distribution is handled in partnership with Note-1 Music. For a full list of distributors, please visit: www.lsolive.co.uk/distribution

Product Information The Cleveland Orchestra: A New Century

Suggested Retail Price CD Box Set: $65.00

From March 13 the entire collection will be available for exclusive streaming on Apple Music and download on iTunes, ahead of the official release date of the deluxe CD box set on June 5, 2020. Selections of the set will become available on other streaming platforms on March 13, April 24 and June 5. Stream/buy here smarturl.it/ANewCentury

A New Century vol. 1/ Beethoven and Varèse
BEETHOVEN – String Quartet No. 15 (version for string orchestra)
VARÈSE – Amériques

A New Century vol. 2 / Staud and Strauss
STAUD – Stromab (Cleveland Orchestra co-commission; world premiere recording)
R. STRAUSS – Aus Italien

A New Century vol. 3/ Deutsch and Prokofiev
DEUTSCH – Okeanos with Paul Jacobs (organ) (world premiere recording)
PROKOFIEV – Symphony No. 3

CD box size dimensions:  12.625” x 8.75” x 1.625”
Companion book:  11” x 7.5” x 150 pages
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Media contacts:
(United States)
Justin Holden, Senior Director of Communications, jholden@clevelandorchestra.com, 216-231-7476
Amanda Ameer, First Chair Promotion, amanda@firstchairpromo.com, (212) 368-5949

(Austria) Claudia Kapsamer, Kapsamer PR, kapsamer@kapsamerpr.com , +43 /1/905 31 61
(Germany) Peggy Schmidt, PS Music Berlin, peggy.schmidt@psmusicberlin.com, +49 (0) 30 3087597 16

(United Kingdom and other international territories)
LSO Live, Thomas Rozwadowski, Marketing & Partnerships Manager, Thomas.Rozwadowski@lso.co.uk, +44 20 7382 2543

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