On a Personal Note

Season 2 Now Available

Every story has a soundtrack. Cleveland Orchestra Musicians and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst share stories about the music that has shaped their lives.

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Episode 1


Music Director Franz Welser-Möst recalls the automobile accident that would forever change his course, sparking a lifelong affinity for Franz Schubert in the process.

Episode 2

Where Words Fail, Music Speaks

Director of Choruses Lisa Wong reflects on the healing power of John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls after 9/11 and the human voice as medicine for the soul.

Episode 3


Principal Percussionist Marc Damoulakis talks about feeling the rhythm from an early age and what it means to keep time for The Cleveland Orchestra.

Episode 4

Love Notes

Pianist and Violinist Carolyn Gadiel Warner reflects on falling in love—with her husband of 40 years, Bruckner symphonies and her profession.

Episode 5


From music conductors to visiting artists to her own family ties, board member Clara Rankin thinks back on the people and performances that define The Cleveland Orchestra. Interview conducted by André Gremillet, President & CEO of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Episode 6

Color and Character

Bassoonist Jonathan Sherwin discusses the existential meaning behind Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony - Resurrection; “Why am I here, what am I doing, and what gives my life meaning…”

Episode 7

Tour de Franz

Cellist Paul Kushious reflects on the works of Richard Strauss as he traces the composer’s path on an unforgettable and perfectly planned trip from Austria to Switzerland.

Episode 8

Change of Seasons, Part 1: The Scramble

In January 2018, The Cleveland Orchestra planned to perform Haydn’s choral masterpiece The Seasons. One soloist fell ill. Then another. What resulted is one of the most unusual and memorable performances in Cleveland Orchestra history.

Bonus Episode

The Sound of Crisis

Music Director Franz Welser-Möst recalls his conflicting emotions conducting The Cleveland Orchestra one last time before the Coronavirus pandemic silenced Severance Hall.

Episode 1

The Lasting Luster of Vinyl

French Horn Player Richard King shares his earliest memories of hearing Beethoven’s "Eroica" on the family phonograph and how the disc ended up shaping his destiny.

Episode 2

A Romance With Rosenkavalier

Violinist Katherine Bormann contemplates whether you can be in a long-term relationship with a composition and talks about why she’ll stick with Strauss's Rosenkavalier Suite until the end.

Episode 3

First Impressions

At age 21, in his second week with The Cleveland Orchestra, Principal Horn Nathaniel Silberschlag played Mahler’s 5th for a packed house, exceeding expectations. Even his own.

Episode 4

Rediscovering Joy

Cellist Martha Baldwin talks about the restorative power of Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto after a difficult diagnosis.

Episode 5

The Boy with the Dragonfly Tattoo

Principal Flute Joshua Smith explains how performing Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen left a lasting mark and why the dragonfly just may be his favorite insect.

Episode 6

The Courage of Our Convictions

Viola Player Eliesha Nelson finds strength in Anton Bruckner’s strongly-held belief that good conquers all—at a time when uncertainty troubles many.

Episode 7

A Musician's Journey Part 1: Emilio Llinás

Long-tenured violinist Emilio Llinás reflects on his journey from Cuba to Cleveland and shares a perspective shaped by his 52 seasons.

Episode 8

A Musician's Journey Part 2: Jessica Sindell

Flutist and hometown girl Jessica Sindell reflects on her time with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, landing her dream job and the relentless pursuit of imperfection.

Episode 9

On Resolutions

Clarinetist Robert Woolfrey talks about finding peace in Brahms’s German Requiem and its power to connect the past with the present.

Episode 10

Remembering Pierre Boulez

Principal Trumpet Michael Sachs reflects on his relationship with one of the most influential figures in modern classical music—and the lasting legacy of Boulez in Cleveland.

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