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The Cleveland Orchestra Celebrates 100th Season with Carnegie Hall Concerts

The Cleveland Orchestra Celebrates 100th Season with Carnegie Hall Concerts

Celebrating its 100th year during the 2017-2018 season, The Cleveland Orchestra returns to Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage for two concerts in January, led by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. Since its Carnegie Hall debut in 1922, The Cleveland Orchestra has performed at the Hall a total of 222 times in its 100-year history.

The first performance, on Tuesday, January 23 at 8:00 p.m., features the New York premiere ofStromab by Johannes Maria Staud, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall for its 125 Commissions Project. Mr. Staud, who was The Cleveland Orchestra's Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow from 2007-2009, took inspiration for his piece from the short story The Willows by Algernon Blackwood-a sinister supernatural tale of two friends traveling by canoe along the Danube River. The program also includes Mahler's Ninth Symphony.

The following evening on Wednesday, January 24 at 8:00 p.m. Mr. Welser-Möst leads the orchestra in a production of Haydn's festive oratorio The Seasons, joined by The Cleveland Orchestra Chorusand a trio of guest vocalists including soprano Golda Schultz, tenor Maximilian Schmitt, and baritone Thomas Hampson.

About the Artists
Franz Welser-Möst is among today's most distinguished conductors. The 2017-2018 season marks his 16th year as music director of The Cleveland Orchestra, with the future of this acclaimed partnership now extending into the next decade. Under his direction, The Cleveland Orchestra has been repeatedly praised for its innovative programming, support for new musical works, and recent achievements in semi-staged and staged opera productions. The Orchestra has been hugely successful in building up a new and, notably, young audience through its groundbreaking programs involving students and families.

Franz Welser-Möst's recordings and videos have won major awards, including a Gramophone Award, a Diapason d'Or, a Japanese Record Academy Award, and two Grammy nominations. With The Cleveland Orchestra, his recordings include DVD recordings of live performances of five of Bruckner's symphonies and a multi-DVD set of major works by Brahms, featuring Yefim Bronfman and Julia Fischer as soloists. A new DVD of Brahms's German Requiem was released in 2017.

This past summer, Mr. Welser-Möst was awarded the 2017 Pro Arte Europapreis for his advocacy and achievements as a musical ambassador. His other honors and awards include the Vienna Philharmonic's "Ring of Honor" for his longstanding personal and artistic relationship with the ensemble, as well as recognition from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights, honorary membership in the Vienna Singverein, appointment as an Academician of the European Academy of Yuste, a Decoration of Honor from the Republic of Austria for his artistic achievements, and the Kilenyi Medal from the Bruckner Society of America.

Under the leadership of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, The Cleveland Orchestra has become one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world, setting standards of extraordinary artistic excellence, creative programming, and community engagement. The New York Times has declared it "... the best in America" for its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like musical cohesion. The 2017-2018 season marks the Orchestra's 100th year of concerts, as it begins a second century of extraordinary music-making.

Strong community support from across the ensemble's home region is driving the Orchestra forward with renewed energy and focus, increasing the number of young people attending concerts, and bringing fresh attention to the Orchestra's legendary sound and committed programming, including annual opera presentations in innovative stagings and pairings. Recent acclaimed productions have included Debussy's Pelléas and Mélisande (May 2017), a double bill of Bartók's Miraculous Mandarinand Bluebeard's Castle (April 2016) presented in collaboration with Chicago's Joffrey Ballet, and an innovative presentation of Janá?ek's The Cunning Little Vixen (May 2014, with encore performances in Cleveland and Europe during the autumn of 2017). The 2017-2018 season also features concert performances of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde (April 2018).

The partnership with Franz Welser-Möst, begun in 2002 and entering its 16th year with the 2017-2018 season, has earned The Cleveland Orchestra unprecedented residencies in the U.S. and around the world, including one at the Musikverein in Vienna, the first of its kind by an American orchestra. It also performs regularly at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals. The Orchestra's 2017-2018 features two international tours, concluding with the presentation on three continents of Welser-Möst's Prometheus Project featuring Beethoven symphonies and overtures; these Beethoven concerts will be presented in May and June 2018, at home in Cleveland, in Vienna's Musikverein, and in Tokyo's Suntory Hall.

The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus is one of the few professionally trained, all-volunteer choruses sponsored by a major American orchestra. In addition to performing with The Cleveland Orchestra in concerts at Severance Hall each season, the Chorus has appeared with the Orchestra on tour in Boston, Brussels, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, London, Lucerne, Luxembourg, Paris, Miami, and New York, as well as on television and in numerous recordings. The Chorus has also toured on its own, either a cappella or with other ensembles, to the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the Chautauqua Institution in New York; and to venues in England, Wales, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany.

Cleveland Orchestra Chorus members hail from nearly 50 northeast Ohio communities. Together, the group's 150 members volunteer more than 50,000 hours annually, through rehearsals and performances. They also raise money for their tours through a variety of projects and events.

Thomas Hampson, America's foremost baritone, has received many honors and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership. Honored as a Metropolitan Opera Guild "Met Mastersinger" and inducted into both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Gramophone's "Hall of Fame," Mr. Hampson is one of the most respected and innovative musicians of our time. With an opera repertoire of over 80 roles sung in all the major opera houses of the world, his discography comprises more than 170 albums, which include multiple nominations and winners of the Grammy Award, Edison Award and the Grand Prix du Disque. He received the 2009 Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and was appointed the New York Philharmonic's first Artist-in-Residence. In 2010, he was honored with a Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress, where he has served as Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America. Furthermore, he has received the famed Concertgebouw Prize, and was named ECHO Klassik's "Singer of the Year" in 2011 for the fourth time in 20 years. In 2017, Thomas Hampson received the Hugo-Wolf-Medal from the International Hugo-Wolf-Academy together with his long-time musical companion Wolfram Rieger for their outstanding achievements in the art of song interpretation.

German tenor Maximilian Schmitt discovered his passion for music at a very early age, as a member of the Regensburg Cathedral Choir. He continued his studies with Professor Anke Eggers at Berlin's University of the Arts and Roland Hermann. In 2005 and 2006, he was a member of the young ensemble at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Well known as a Lied singer, Maximilian Schmitt has already performed at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, the Heidelberger Frühling, Cologne's Philharmonie and Tonhalle Düsseldorf together with his accompanist Gerold Huber. Ever since his debut at London's Wigmore Hall, Maximilian Schmitt has been regularly invited back. In the 2017-2018 season he again can be heard with a Lied program at the prestigious concert hall in London.

A growing array of critically-acclaimed debuts has solidified the already flourishing reputation of South African soprano Golda Schultz, of whom The Financial Times writes, "Golda Schultz sings with strength and assurance, her voice with its own distinctively thrilling radiance; she is a newcomer who simply has everything." From Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare) at Stadtheater Klagenfurt, Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) at Salzburger Festspiele and the creation of the role of Sibilla in the world-premiere of Beat Furrer's La bianca notte at Staatstheater Hamburg in 2015, to Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Glyndebourne Festival, Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) at Teatro alla Scala and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) at Bayerische Staatsoper in 2016, Golda Schultz has been warmly received by audiences and critics alike, and sown the seeds of several continuing musical collaborations.

Program Information
Tuesday, January 23 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director and Conductor

JOHANNES MARIA STAUD Stromab (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 9

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

Wednesday, January 24 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director and Conductor
Golda Schultz, Soprano
Maximilian Schmitt, Tenor
Thomas Hampson, Baritone
The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus
Lisa Wong, Acting Director

Joseph Haydn The Seasons

This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Ticket Information
Tickets, priced $39-$130, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office on 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website,

Photo by Jennifer Taylor

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