“The Cleveland Orchestra: IN FOCUS” Fall 2020 Fact Sheet & Program Calendar


The Cleveland Orchestra: IN FOCUS is anew, original series of digital concerts performed at Severance Hall that music-lovers around the world will have the ability to stream on-demand across a variety of platforms, including through their smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and by visiting the Orchestra’s new Adella website or by downloading the Adella app.

The Cleveland Orchestra’s latest innovative, digital initiative is bringing live performances back to Severance Hall for the first time since March 2020 with The Cleveland Orchestra: IN FOCUS concert series. 


On Thursday, October 15 at 7:00PM ET, The Cleveland Orchestra: IN FOCUS will present its premiere concert through the Adella video streaming service.  Future performances throughout the 2020-21 Severance Hall season will be recorded live at Severance Hall and made available for viewing at later dates to subscribers, donors, and membership holders.  (See the program information section below for a complete listing of fall concert programs, recording and release dates.)


Three consecutive recording weeks in October feature Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, with guest conductors Bernard Labadie and John Adams leading the Orchestra for two concert recording weeks in November and December.  Guest soloists include renowned pianists Yefim Bronfman, Emanuel Ax, Jan Lisiecki, and Vikingur Olafsson (making his Cleveland Orchestra debut), as well as a solo performance by Cleveland Orchestra associate concertmaster Jung-Min Amy Lee. A complete listing of concert program details can be found below.


The Cleveland Orchestra: IN FOCUS digital concert series can be accessed worldwide on computers, smartphones, tablets, and through TV services (Roku, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, androidtv), and the Orchestra’s Adella video streaming service.


The Cleveland Orchestra’s video streaming service, Adella, which is named after the ensemble’s founder and first general manager, Adella Prentiss Hughes, will be available for download to smartphones and tablets beginning in October, with the specific date to be announced. Through the Adella app, digital guests will have total access to The Cleveland Orchestra: IN FOCUS concert series, behind-the-scenes video extras, and other special content.


The Cleveland Orchestra: IN FOCUS series is available at no additional cost for subscribers (including Members Club, The Circle, and Frequent Fan Card holders) and select donors who contribute $300 or more annually. Student Advantage Club members will receive a free week-long trial offer to Adella with access beyond the trial period to be announced.  Login information and instructions will be sent by e-mail in late September. In addition, a free seven-day trial subscription is available. Those interested in purchasing a subscription or membership can contact the Cleveland Orchestra Ticket Office by phone at 216-231-1111, e-mail boxoffice@clevelandorchestra.com or at clevelandorchestra.com.


After the premiere broadcast dates, concerts can be viewed on-demand for a limited time.


Concert programs were curated to showcase the intimate and transparent chamber music qualities of The Cleveland Orchestra.  Musical selections include works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky.  The series also features The Cleveland Orchestra premiere of George Walker’s Antifonys for String Orchestra, Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra (performed for the first time by Yefim Bronfman), Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, and John Adams’s Shaker Loops (for string orchestra).  A complete listing of concert program details can be found below.


Audience members who watch at the premiere date and time are encouraged to join a live conversation about the music on The Cleveland Orchestra’s social media channels: facebook.com/clevelandorchestra, twitter @CleveOrchestra, instagram @cleveorch.


Each concert will feature exclusive behind-the-scenes footage that provides insight into the performances from the artists themselves, including interviews with Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, Orchestra musicians, as well as guest conductors and artists.


A companion concert publication will be available for digital guests with insight and information about the concerts, artists, and Orchestra.  This publication and other unique content will be accessible through the Adella app and online at clevelandorchestra.com.


Performances will be recorded live at Severance Hall in Cleveland.


The Cleveland Orchestra’s collaborative production team includes ideastreamDigital River Media, and audio engineering by Elaine MartoneGintas Norvilas, and Bruce Egre.


Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, The Cleveland Orchestra has adapted its fall 2020-21 concert programs. In close consultation with the Cleveland Clinic, the Orchestra has worked to keep the safety and health of musicians, staff, and guests a priority. Precautions and guidelines at Severance Hall include requiring staff to wear masks at all times, completing a health questionnaire before entering the building, temperature assessments, practicing social distancing, restricting concerts to one hour with no intermission, using a smaller orchestra with limited brass and woodwind players, excluding large-scale choral performances, and requiring non-wind/brass musicians wear masks, utilizing plexi-glass barriers around wind/brass instruments, and performing socially distanced.



All of “The Cleveland Orchestra: IN FOCUS” concerts will be recorded live at Severance Hall and will be available for subscribers and donors to stream on-demand through the Adella app and various other digital platforms.

Episode No. 1 - INSPIRATIONS
Digital Streaming Premiere: Thursday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m. ET

The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

RESPIGHI  Ancient Airs and Dances, Set 3
WALKER  Antifonys (for string chamber orchestra) – Cleveland Orchestra premiere
TCHAIKOVSKY  Souvenir de Florence, Opus 70 (for string orchestra)

This opening performance for our IN FOCUS series brings together new inspirations in the form of souvenirs from the past, with three musical works created across history, places, and styles. Respighi took his departure from Renaissance lute music, while American composer George Walker was inspired by the collision of musical styles he experienced as a student in Paris.  Tchaikovsky penned his souvenir filled with ideas and melodies from a trip from Russia to Italy. 

Digital Streaming Premiere: Thursday, October 29 at 7:00 p.m. ET
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano

SCHNITTKE  Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra
BEETHOVEN  String Quartet No. 10 (“Harp”) — performed by string orchestra

A pair of pieces reflecting the sensibilities of two very different centuries.  Schnittke’s virtuosic and bravura concerto is performed by Yefim Bronfman, a Cleveland favorite, playing music filled with wry humor and Shostakovich-inspired sarcasm and beauty.  For this concert, Beethoven’s “Harp” quartet is expanded to an orchestra of strings, showcasing The Cleveland Orchestra’s extraordinary ensemble work and artistry.  (The “Harp” nickname comes from plucked pizzicato sections in the first movement, but only hint at the beautiful verse-like melodies throughout this piece.)

Episode No. 3 - AX PLAYS MOZART
Digital Streaming Premiere: Thursday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET

The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano

MOZART  Piano Concerto No. 9 (“Jeunehomme”), K271
BARTÓK  Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta

One of the most beloved concert pianists on the stage today, Emanuel Ax returns to perform a charmingly bright and cheerful concerto by Mozart, followed by a mesmerizingly soulful work by Béla Bartók — which calls for two string orchestras on opposite sides of the stage, one a mirror image of the other.  Between the strings sits an array of percussion and keyboard instruments.  This music is infused with shadows of folk melodies, Fibonacci   sequences, and a finale featuring a melody inspired by a nonsense song sung by Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times.

Digital Streaming Premiere: Thursday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m. ET
The Cleveland Orchestra
Bernard Labadie, conductor
Jan Lisiecki, piano

HAYDN  Overture to L’isola disabitata [The Abandoned Island]
MENDELSSOHN  Piano Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 1

Guest conductor Bernard Labadie explores works by three towering composers of Classical music, each composer directly influenced by one who preceded him.  The overture to a rarely-performed opera reminds us of Joseph Haydn’s inventive imagination, just as his youthful Piano Concerto displays the elegance and command of Mendelssohn’s mature artistry.  Finally, Beethoven’s First Symphony demonstrates young Ludwig’s creative ambition to build on Haydn’s foundation and to go where no composer had gone before.

Digital Streaming Premiere: Thursday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m. ET
The Cleveland Orchestra
John Adams, conductor
Jung-Min Amy Lee, violin
Vikingur Ólafsson, piano – Cleveland Orchestra debut

PÄRT  Fratres (for solo violin, strings, and percussion)
GLASS  Glassworks: Opening (reworked by Christian Badzura) 
– Cleveland Orchestra premiere
BACH  Keyboard Concerto No. 5
ADAMS  Shaker Loops (for string orchestra)

This concert, led by superstar American composer John Adams, celebrates connections between old and new, between today’s musical patterns and the timeless, structured elegance of Johann Sebastian Bach.  Rhythm, melody, and pattern remain the building blocks of music, here showcased in intriguing modern, minimalist, and Baroque works filled with lush transparency — and enveloping and involving the listener anew.

All concert programs, dates, and artists subject to change