The Cleveland Orchestra 100th Anniversary Gala raises record-breaking $1,750,000

2018 Cleveland Orchestra Gala Chaired by Norma Lerner and Co-Chair Nancy W. McCann with Corporate Co-Chairs Beth E. Mooney and Richard K. Smucker

Proceeds raised support the Orchestra’s education and community programs throughout Northeast Ohio

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Orchestra announced today that the 2018 100th Anniversary Gala held on Saturday, September 29 raised – for the fifth year in a row – more than one million dollars. This year’s Cleveland Orchestra Gala raised a record-breaking $1,750,000, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the sponsors, patrons, and long-time supporters, as well as the leadership of Gala Chair Norma Lerner; co-chair Nancy W. McCann; corporate co-chair, KeyBank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Beth E. Mooney; and corporate co-chair, Cleveland Orchestra Board President Richard K. Smucker. The Gala has nearly doubled the annual revenue in the last six years. The Cleveland Orchestra Gala supports the Orchestra’s education and community programs which share the value and joy of music with people throughout Northeast Ohio, enriching the quality of life for all members of our community.

More than 1,800 guests attended the concert and more than 550 attended the full Gala evening this year. Gala attendees included more than 125 members of the Orchestra’s young professionals group, The Circle. The evening began with pre-performance cocktails on Severance Hall’s Front Terrace and in the Bogomolny-Kozerefski Grand Foyer.

“Tonight’s Gala funds support The Cleveland Orchestra’s music education and community engagement programs across Northeast Ohio,” said Richard Smucker, President of the Board of Trustees. “Last year alone, these programs served over 100,000 people across Northeast Ohio. Thanks to all of our supporters for helping ensure that Cleveland’s Orchestra can continue to bring our community together and enrich lives across our region with the power of music. It is because of the people of Northeast Ohio that we are able to keep bringing unparalleled musical experiences, thoughtful education programs, and unique community initiatives to enrich the lives of thousands, year after year.”

“At this landmark milestone, our 100th Anniversary, and for this festive gathering, I’d like to extend my gratitude to gala chairs Norma Lerner, Beth E. Mooney, Nancy W. McCann, and Richard K. Smucker. Their efforts helped shape and create a magnificent evening of shared music, fellowship, and caring,” said André Gremillet, Executive Director. “Tonight’s success has brought together an unprecedented level of support, raising a remarkable $1,750,000 — more than $500,000 higher than the previous record-breaking amount from 2017. I must also voice heartfelt and humble gratitude to the musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra, together with our acclaimed music director, Franz Welser-Möst. As a collaborative partnership, the extraordinary artistry of these musicians reaches heights beyond words.”

The evening’s concert featured Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, pianist Lang Lang, and The Cleveland Orchestra in a program that included Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, works by Richard and Johann Strauss Jr. and Ravel’s La Valse. Lang Lang first performed with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Festival in 2000 and at Severance Hall in 2002. For the complete program information visit

The concert was followed by dinner throughout Severance Hall, in the Bogomolny-Kozerefski Grand Foyer, Hood Meyerson Box Promenade, Founders Gallery, Grand Marquee (an extension of the Grand Foyer Terrace located in front of Severance Hall), and Severance Restaurant. The Gala was catered by Executive Chef Douglas Katz of Fire Food and Drink.

America’s preeminent performing arts television series Great Performances in association with ideastream recorded The Cleveland Orchestra’s 100th Anniversary Gala Concert for an exclusive U.S. television broadcast on PBS slated for January 11, 2019. The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Celebration broadcast is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, ideastream, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Clasart Classics in association with NHK, BR/3Sat and YLE. More information on this co-production can be found at this link

The lead sponsors for the Gala are The Lerner Foundation, KeyBank, Richard and Emily Smucker, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, Eric and Jane Nord Family, and Audrey and Albert Ratner.

Special thanks for generous ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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 60,000 young people and adults annually, helping to foster a lifelong relationship with music. An additional 40,000 young people attend Cleveland Orchestra concerts each year via programs funded by the Center for Future Audiences, through student programs and Under 18s Free ticketing. Music Director Franz Welser-MÓ§st 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 impact. For more information visit