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Bach's Saint John Passion

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The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Maximilian Schmitt, tenor (Evangelist)
Andrew Foster-Williams, bass-baritone (Christus)
Lauren Snouffer, soprano
Iestyn Davies, countertenor
Nicholas Phan, tenor
Michael Sumuel, bass-baritone
Cleveland Orchestra Chorus


Once written, Bach rarely revised his compositions, but the Saint John Passion was one of the few works he revised and revived intermittently till the end of his life. The resulting telling of the Crucifixion is extraordinarily moving, achingly beautiful, and dramatically powerful, it is perhaps his most daring, forceful, and poetic work.  

At a Glance
BACH - Saint John Passion

Sung in German with projected English supertitles.
(Supertitles courtesy of Andrew Huth.)

The concert is presented with one intermission,
and will run about 2 hours and 20 minutes in performance,
ending at about 9:50 p.m. on Thursday,
10:20 p.m. on Saturday, and 5:20 p.m. on Sunday.

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Pre-Concert Talks

Free Special Concert Preview on Sunday, March 5:

 "Is Bach's Saint John Passion Anti-Semitic?"
Location:  The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood
Panel Discussion with:
     Franz Welser-Mӧst — music director, The Cleveland Orchestra
     Rabbi Roger C. Klein — associate rabbi, The Temple-Tifereth Israel
     Michael Marissen — professor emeritus, Swarthmore College
     David J. Rothenberg — chair, department of music, CWRU
Free admission, but tickets are required; visit

Free Concert Preview — Dates of Performance

 "Bach, Lutheranism, and the Gospel According to John"
with guest speaker
David J. Rothenberg,
     chair, department of music, Case Western Reserve University

Location:   Concert Hall in Severance Hall   

Concert Previews are free to all ticketholders.  Previews are held prior to every Cleveland Orchestra subscription concert, beginning 1 hour before the performance.  This series is funded by a generous endowment gift from Dorothy Humel Hovorka.

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About the Music

Information and background about the music are printed in program books distributed free-of-charge at most Cleveland Orchestra concerts. The program notes are usually available on-line ahead of time (see links below).

 On-Line FlipBook
Click or tap here to read this week's program book as an online flipbook, best viewed on a desktop or tablet computer.
(2016-17:  Week 14:  March 9, 11, 12)

Mobile-Friendly ExpressBook
Or click or tap here to read about the concert on your phone with our mobile-friendly ExpressBook, available the week of the concert.

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Severance Restaurant

Severance Restaurant at Severance Hall is operated by Marigold Catering and features contemporary American cuisine in an elegant setting.  The restaurant is perfect for a quick bite or leisurely dinner before the concert, or post-concert offerings on select evenings.

The restaurant is located on the street level of Severance Hall along East Boulevard. 

Pre-Concert Dining
       Pre-concert dinner service begins up to three hours before each Cleveland Orchestra evening concert.  Pre-concert luncheon service is offered before Cleveland Orchestra matinee concerts on Sunday afternoons.  For Friday Morning concerts, post-concert Post-Concert Offerings
      The Severance Restaurant is open for post-concert dining and desserts, with our full-service bar.  On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

Reservations are advised, especially for pre-concert dinner service.

For Severance Restaurant reservations, 
please call 216-231-7373 anytime,
or reserve online:

Click here to reserve your table

Click here to view the spring menu


Before concerts and at intermissions, Severance Hall offers wine, beer, cocktails, other beverages, desserts and light refreshments at lobby bars in the Smith Lobby on the street level, in the Bogomolny-Kozerefski Grand Foyer, and in the Kulas Dress Circle Lobby.

Pre-Order Intermission Drinks
     Intermission drinks can be ordered prior to the start of the performance at any bar location at Severance Hall.  Pre-order and pay, and your drink will be waiting for you at intermission.

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A variety of parking options are available for concerts at Severance Hall, including guaranteed pre-paid parking passes (purchased through the Ticket Office or via this website) for many but not all events.

The Case Western Reserve University Campus Center Garage is located directly adjacent to Severance Hall (parking entrance is off East Boulevard), with stair and elevator access to Severance Hall.  Event parking in the Campus Center Garage can be purchased for $11 per vehicle when space permits. However, the garage often fills up well before concert time and only patrons who purchase pre-paid parking passes are ensured a parking space. 

close croppedPre-Paid Parking for the Campus Center Garage can be purchased for many concerts in advance for $15 per concert by calling the Ticket Office or through this website.  Pre-paid parking guarantees you a space, but availability of pre-paid parking passes is limited.  

If you are purchasing online via this website, you will have the opportunity after selecting your concert tickets to add pre-paid parking (if pre-paid parking is available for your performance) to your order.  Please note that each pre-paid parking pass is for a specific date and concert).

If you have already purchased concert tickets, you can still purchase pre-paid parking online by locating the car icon at the top righthand side of this page.  The text with the icon will show you whether pre-paid parking is availble.  Click on the link.

Parking can also be purchased through the Ticket Office by calling 216-231-1111.

Limited additional event parking is available in the Case Western Reserve University Lot 1 off Euclid Avenue across from Severance Hall, or at the University Circle Lot 13A on Adelbert Road, and at the Cleveland Botanical Garden parking garage on East Boulevard.  Space at these lots may be particularly limited during weekday daytime hours.  Some on-street parking is also available, but often fills up well before curtain time.

For a printable map of parking areas surrounding Severance Hall, click here.

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