Cleveland Orchestra

Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra
Background information
Origin Cleveland, Ohio
Genres Classical
Occupations Symphony orchestra
Years active 1918-present
Associated acts Cleveland Orchestra Chorus
Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO)
Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus(COYC)
Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus (COCC)
Music Director
Franz Welser-Möst
Music Director Laureate
Christoph von Dohnányi
Assistant Conductors
James Feddeck
Sasha Mäkilä
Director of Choruses
Robert Porco
Assistant Director of Choruses
Frank Bianchi
Past members
Nikolai Sokoloff
Notable instruments
Concert Organ
Ernest M. Skinner IV-94

The Cleveland Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Cleveland, Ohio. It is one of the five American orchestras informally referred to as the "Big Five".[1] Founded in 1918, the orchestra plays most of its concerts at Severance Hall. The music director is Franz Welser-Möst.



The orchestra was founded in 1918 by Adella Prentiss Hughes, with Nikolai Sokoloff as its principal conductor. From early in its existence, it toured throughout the eastern United States, made radio broadcasts, and recorded many albums. Subsequent principal conductors, with the title of Music Director, were Artur Rodziński (1933–1943), Erich Leinsdorf (1943–1944), George Szell (1946–1970), Pierre Boulez (Musical Advisor 1970-1972), Lorin Maazel (1972–1982), and Christoph von Dohnányi (1984–2002). Franz Welser-Möst has been Music Director since 2002 and is contracted to remain through the 2017-2018 season.[2][3]

George Szell's long reign as Music Director has been largely credited for the orchestra's rise to eminence. He reformed the orchestra in the late-1940s, firing a dozen musicians in the process with a dozen more leaving of their own volition.[4] Szell is also credited with giving the orchestra its distinct, European sound.[4] He pushed an ambitious recording schedule with the orchestra, bringing its music to millions worldwide. Szell's influence has continued, even decades after his death.

Cleveland is the smallest city amongst the traditional "Big Five" orchestras; the others are based in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. However, musicians in Cleveland are often treated as local celebrities, and, much like sports heroes elsewhere, fans seek autographs after performances and greet musicians on the street. Clevelanders are proud that their city boasts an orchestra that has several times been touted as America's finest, and compared favorably to many of the great orchestras in Central Europe.[4][5] In the 1960s fans were known to "have airport rallies when the orchestra comes home from tour [and] chant, 'We're the best! We're the best!' and carry placards reading 'Bravo!'" [4]

In addition to a vast catalog of recordings created with the ensemble's music directors, the orchestra has made many recordings with guest conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Oliver Knussen, Kurt Sanderling, Yoel Levi, Riccardo Chailly, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Louis Lane (the orchestra's longtime Associate Conductor). Past assistant conductors of the Cleveland Orchestra include James Levine, Alan Gilbert, James Judd and Michael Stern.


Severance Hall

Severance Hall is the Cleveland Orchestra's home. It was built for the orchestra in 1931. The orchestra performs the majority of its concerts at Severance and also uses the hall for rehearsals and to house their administrative offices.

During the summer months, the orchestra presents their annual Blossom Festival at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Until 2005, the Blossom Festival had its own music director. The last person to serve in that capacity was Jahja Ling. After he stepped down from that position, the orchestra eliminated the post, and now has current music director Franz Welser-Möst in charge of the classical music concerts at the Blossom Festival.[6]

The orchestra also has long-term performing relationships in Lucerne, Vienna, New York City, and Miami, and has conducted multi-concert tours on the West Coast off and on since the 1960s.[7]

Music directors

See also


Further reading

  • Rosenberg, Donald (2000). The Cleveland Orchestra Story. Cleveland: Gray & Company. ISBN 1886228248. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cleveland Orchestra —   [ kliːvlənd ɔːkɪstrə], gegründet 1918 von Adella P. Hughes (* 1869, ✝ 1950) und der Musical Arts Association; Chefdirigent seit 1984: C. von Dohnányi. Frühere bedeutende Dirigenten waren u. a. A. Rodzinski, E. Leinsdorf, G. Szell und L. Maazel …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cleveland Orchestra — Orchestre de Cleveland Severance Hall, résidence de l orchestre de Cleveland. L Orchestre de Cleveland (Cleveland Orchestra en anglais) est l un des plus importants orchestres symphoniques américains. Il est basé dans la ville de Cleveland, dans… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cleveland Orchestra — Das Cleveland Orchestra ist ein Symphonieorchester in Cleveland, Ohio. Es wird zu den großen Symphonieorchestern der USA (Big Five) gezählt und gilt als eines der besten weltweit. Es gilt als das europäischste unter den US amerikanischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cleveland Orchestra — ▪ American orchestra       American symphony orchestra based in Cleveland, Ohio. It was founded by Adella Prentiss Hughes in 1918 and was one of the last major American orchestras to be created. Nikolai Sokoloff (1918–33), the first music… …   Universalium

  • Cleveland Orchestra discography — The Cleveland Orchestra, which was founded in 1918, was first recorded in 1924. Most of the orchestra s recordings have been made either in its concert home, Severance Hall, or in nearby Masonic Auditorium. Contents 1 Recording labels 2 Premiere… …   Wikipedia

  • Cleveland — Spitzname: Forest City Der Terminal Tower in Cleveland …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cleveland, Ohio — Cleveland Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cleveland (homonymie). Cleveland …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cleveland (Ohio) — Cleveland Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cleveland (homonymie). Cleveland …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport — Cleveland Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cleveland (homonymie). Cleveland …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cleveland Institute of Music — Established 1920 Type Private Endowment US $28.8 million[1] …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.