The Cleveland Orchestra Announces June programming and dates for final episodes of inaugural season of In Focus digital concert series
Season One concludes with two broadcast concerts available on-demand via Adella.live and the Adella digital streaming app
June 3: Celestial Serenades: features principal trumpet Michael Sachs and guest harpist Yolanda Kondonassis performing a new version of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Elegy . . . for those we lost, along with works for string orchestra by Kernis and Josef Suk
June 17: Dance & Drama: Music Director Franz Welser-Möst leads Grieg’s Holberg Suite and Korngold’s Symphonic Serenade
CLEVELAND — Today, The Cleveland Orchestra announced its June broadcast schedule for The Cleveland Orchestra: In Focus digital concert series. Two episodes, premiering on June 3 and 17, will conclude the first season of In Focus broadcasts, available for on-demand viewing throughout the summer. This new online concert series was launched in October 2020, sharing newly recorded Cleveland Orchestra performances with audiences in Ohio and around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. Captured live at Severance Hall, the first season features a total of 15 episodes, which are available exclusively for current subscribers and donors at no additional charge, or for premium members through the Orchestra’s online digital streaming service: Adella.live or via the Adella app.
The closing two episodes of the inaugural season of In Focus showcase performances led by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and associate conductor Vinay Parameswaran, along with a duet performed by the Orchestra’s principal trumpet, Michael Sachs, and renowned harpist Yolanda Kondonassis. In the episode premiering on June 3, Celestial Serenades, the two play the world premiere of a new version of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Elegy . . . for those we lost, created especially for Sachs and Kondonassis. Rounding out that June 3 program, Parameswaran conducts works for string orchestra by Kernis and Josef Suk. For the closing digital concert, Dance & Drama, premiering on June 17, Welser-Möst leads works by Edvard Grieg and Erich Korngold. Complete details of the programs for the June episodes are included in the Calendar and Program Listing section below. For more information about Season One of In Focus click here.
The two concerts premiering in June close out a powerful and inspiring debut season of In Focus, which across thirteen episodes (and two bonus episodes) has reached music lovers throughout Northeast Ohio and around the world, offering extraordinary music performances by The Cleveland Orchestra and celebrated guest artists. To date, videos on the Adella site and app have been viewed close to 68,000 times and more than 152,000 people have visited the site and app; people are watching from all 50 states and internationally in over 40 countries. In addition to the concert performances, each episode of In Focus includes behind-the-scenes interviews and features about the music and music making.
The Cleveland Orchestra: In Focus series will continue next season alongside the return of audiences to live concerts. The second season of In Focus is being planned to start in fall 2021, with full details to be announced later in 2021.
When the Covid-19 pandemic halted in-person audiences and live concerts in spring 2020, The Cleveland Orchestra accelerated its long-term plans for a digital broadcast series and In Focus was launched with five episodes later that fall. Each program is currently available on-demand. Music Director Franz Welser-Möst was intimately involved in reshaping and reprogramming the music for the series, traveling to Cleveland from his home in Austria for two extended periods, in the fall and again in the spring, leading ten performances of the inaugural season’s fifteen programs. The Cleveland Orchestra partnered with the Cleveland Clinic throughout the season and video-recording process to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved onstage. In addition to guest collaborators (including pianists Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, organist Paul Jacobs, and nine Cleveland Orchestra principal players), the inaugural season featured two solo recital bonus episodes, created by pianist Mitsuko Uchida and cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
Praise for the first season of The Cleveland Orchestra: In Focus:
“The digital format again works wonders, drawing listeners right up next to the masked musicians on stage at Severance Hall. The audibility of individual bow-strokes and lingering remnants of ringing tones double the impact of a score that already has a unique way of burrowing into the mind.” (Cleveland.com)
“By filming throughout the hall, with no audiences to inconvenience, video crews are able to capture angles spectators rarely see; in Cleveland, the views of Emanuel Ax’s fingers at the keyboard playing Haydn, or of Yefim Bronfman’s in Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano and Strings, are alone worth the price of admission.” (The New York Times)
“Despite the six-month pause, The Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, has not lost any of its beauty of sound nor its legendary precision, as evidenced by the three string works on the first program. The sound was pristine, and the camera work was first rate . . . The audio enabled the listener to get an idea of the miraculous sound in Severance Hall.” (Bachtrack, United Kingdom)
“The sheer joy of having one of the greatest orchestras on the planet back in action again manifests itself on each and every moment of the episode.” (Adventures in Music, Finland)
“The Cleveland strings played with precision, but it was a precision that also allowed a ‘swing’ to the most vigorous fiddling . . . What a glorious return to concert life this was.” (Seen and Heard International, United Kingdom)
Adella Digital Streaming and App
Adella is The Cleveland Orchestra’s digital streaming service. Premiering in October 2020, the Adella app and digital offering is named after the Orchestra’s founder, Adella Prentiss Hughes. Adella is free to download and access, and includes free content from the Orchestra’s Archives, On a Personal Note podcast, and other performance highlights. For more information, visit our Adella page and adella.live.
To view premium content, such as the Orchestra’s new In Focus concert series, guests will need access to Adella Premium. This service can be purchased for $34.99/month. Adella Premium is also automatically available to all Cleveland Orchestra subscribers (including Members Club, The Circle, and Frequent Fan Card holders) and donors who contribute more than $300 annually. Those interested in purchasing a subscription or membership can contact the Cleveland Orchestra Ticket Office by phone at 216-231-1111, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or at clevelandorchestra.com.
The Cleveland Orchestra is grateful for the following supporters:
Season Presenting Sponsor: The J.M Smucker Company
Digital & Season Sponsors: Ohio CAT, Jones Day, and Medical Mutual
In Focus Digital Partners: Cleveland Clinic and The Dr. M. Lee Pearce Foundation, Inc.
June 2021 In Focus Calendar Listing and Program Information
The Cleveland Orchestra: In Focus Episode 12
Digital Streaming Premiere: Thursday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m.
Available for on-demand viewing throughout the summer
The Cleveland Orchestra
Vinay Parameswaran, conductor
Michael Sachs, trumpet
Yolanda Kondonassis, harp
KERNIS – Elegy . . . for those we lost
KERNIS – Musica Celestis
SUK – Serenade for Strings, Opus 6
This program embraces the journey of finding meaning in grief and reflection, while also returning to the simple joys of everyday life. It opens with two works by American composer Aaron Jay Kernis, with the first a world premiere of an arrangement created especially for Cleveland Orchestra principal trumpet Michael Sachs and renowned harpist Yolanda Kondonassis — of a work written just one year ago offering music to reflect, mourn, and remember those lost to the Covid-19 pandemic. Musica Celestis then envisions a celestial choir of heavenly angels singing God’s praises without end. Closing the performance, we are firmly rooted on earth with a gentle and cheerful Serenade by Josef Suk, Dvořák’s favorite student (and future son-in-law).
Dance & Drama
The Cleveland Orchestra: In Focus Episode 13
Digital Streaming Premiere: Thursday, June 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Available for on-demand viewing throughout the summer
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
GRIEG – From Holberg’s Time: Suite in Olden Style
KORNGOLD – Symphonic Serenade
Music for theater and film has strong historical roots, inspiring music of extraordinary character — vividly turning action into sound and creating moods of tenderness, romance, confrontation, and celebration. This episode of In Focus begins with music by Edvard Grieg, an ardent champion of Norwegian music, art, and theater. Perhaps best known for his poignant score for the play Peer Gynt, here he pays homage to the humanist playwright Ludvig Holberg with a sparkling and lively suite based on 18th century dance forms. The program concludes with a rarely-heard score by the Viennese-born Erich Korngold. Forced to flee Nazi Germany, Korngold found a new life in California, writing scores brimming with Romantic opulence and helping shape the musical sound of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
All programs and artists are subject to change.