The Cleveland Orchestra Announces Details of Annual European Tour for September 2014

The Cleveland Orchestra embarks on its 14th international concert tour under the direction of music director Franz Welser-Möst in September 2014, performing 13 concerts in 7 cities between September 7 and 22.

For the tour, which features appearances at a number of Europe's festivals and at premier concert halls across the continent, Welser-Möst has chosen to program works by two romantic composers, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) and Jörg Widmann (b. 1973). The tour brings together the unusual juxtaposition of music by one of the 19th century's great masters with an acclaimed living composer with whom The Cleveland Orchestra has enjoyed a strong artistic relationship.

"There is no other orchestra playing music from the recent era - from the last sixty years -better than Cleveland at this time," says Welser-Möst. "Jörg Widmann and The Cleveland Orchestra makes perfect sense because of this. Adding Brahms to the mix is also the right step in Cleveland's progression among the world's most wondrous orchestras, combining two great romantics, a modern one and a grand master. Together and each of these composers separately, push us to work as one united ensemble, from the podium and across all the stands of individual artistry, all of us breathing together."

Jörg Widmann served as the Orchestra's composer-in-residence under its Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow Program, 2009-2011. Both Widmann and Brahms are well known for their romantic and melodic writing, as well as for the rigor of their studies and compositions. Both composers have also been acclaimed as instrumentalists - Brahms was praised among the 19th century's most feeling and ardent pianists, while Widmann has been acclaimed as a solo clarinetist performing with many of the world's finest ensembles.

The pairing of Brahms and Widmann follows on Welser-Möst's recent programming of works by John Adams with symphonies of Anton Bruckner, most prominently at the 2011 Lincoln Center Festival, and the pairing of symphonies by Beethoven and Shostakovich, which was featured at concerts in Cleveland, Paris, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Vienna in autumn 2013.

The tour begins with two performances at the BBC Proms, on September 7 and 8, marking the first time in a decade that The Cleveland Orchestra has appeared in London, continues with a single program at the 2014 Lucerne Festival, and concludes at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw on September 22. In between, the Orchestra performs an all-Widmann program in Berlin, three concerts in Linz and two in Paris, plus two programs at Vienna's Musikverein, where the Orchestra has appeared in biennial residencies throughout Welser-Möst's tenure as music director in Cleveland, and one at Vienna's Konzerthaus.

Two soloists are featured in the programs. Joshua Smith, who has served as The Cleveland Orchestra's principal flute since 1990, will perform Widmann's "Flûte en suite," a concerto commissioned by Cleveland for Smith and given its world premiere in 2011. The concerto will be presented in six of the Orchestra's thirteen concerts across Europe in September. In addition, violinist Nikolaj Znaider will appear as guest soloist to perform the Brahms Violin Concerto in Paris.

The tour concerts highlight the four symphonies of Johannes Brahms. All four will be performed in Vienna across the three concerts there, September 14, 15, and 16.

In addition to the flute concerto, three orchestral works by Jörg Widmann are being featured during the tour - "Lied" (or "Song"), "Con brio" (a concert overture for orchestra), and "Teufel Amor" (or "Devil Love," a "Symphonic Hymn after Schiller"). All four works are being presented in a special all-Widmann program at Berlin's Philharmonie on Thursday evening, September 11. Widmann is particularly well known and acclaimed in his native Germany, and The Cleveland Orchestra's concert represents an unusual honor for the composer's work to be the complete focus of a program by a foreign orchestra. The Cleveland Orchestra has performed a variety of Widmann's works at home in Cleveland in recent seasons, beginning with "Chor" in 2009.

Prior to the tour, The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst will present two different concerts, August 29 at Severance Hall and August 31 at Blossom Music Center, highlighting much of the tour's repertoire at home in Northeast Ohio.

SPONSORSHIP AND FUNDING

The Cleveland Orchestra acknowledges the following corporations and individuals for their generous support of the 2014 European Tour: Tele München Group, Miba AG, Dr. Herbert G. Kloiber, Dr. and Mrs. Wolfgang Berndt, Mr. and Mrs. Harro Bodmer, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Umdasch, and Elisabeth and Karlheinz Muhr.

With special thanks and recognition for international touring sponsorship by Jones Day.

CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA RESIDENCIES

In addition to an extensive touring schedule, Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra have achieved high-profile residencies in the United States and in Europe, including ongoing biennial residencies at the Musikverein in Vienna and an annual set of performances in Miami, Florida. In the first dozen years of his tenure as music director, Welser-Möst and the Orchestra have performed throughout Europe, in Canada, Japan, and Korea, and have toured the U.S. from coast to coast, including regular performances in New York City. In January 2007, they began an unprecedented long-term residency project in Miami, Florida, where they perform under the name Cleveland Orchestra Miami several weeks of subscription concerts annually at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and partner with the community and area learning institutions in a wide array of engagement and education activities. The Orchestra has regularly held academic residencies at Indiana University, and a program of recurring residencies has begun with New York's Lincoln Center Festival.

THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA

2014 European Tour

September 7, 8 - London

September 10 - Lucerne

September 11 - Berlin

September 13 - Linz

September 14, 15, 16 - Vienna

September 17 , 18 - Linz

September 20, 21 - Paris

September 22 - Amsterdam

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