Blossom Music Center Turns 50 and Announces Summer Lineup

Blossom Music Center Turns 50 and Announces Summer LineupBlossom Music Center, The Cleveland Orchestra's summer home, marks its 50th anniversary this summer. The Cleveland Orchestra will present a special season for its annual Blossom Music Festival and a summer-long celebration for this milestone year.

The Cleveland Orchestra announces its 2018 Blossom Music Festival season, presented by The J.M. Smucker Company. Festival highlights include:

  • Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducts opening night, featuring Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Beethoven's Triple Concerto with members of The Cleveland Orchestra as soloists: Stephen Rose, violin; Mark Kosower, cello; and Joela Jones, piano, on July 7.
  • Renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will play all six Bach solo cello suites on August 12, an encore of his extraordinary, unprecedented performance last summer at the Hollywood Bowl.
  • On July 21, former Blossom Music Festival Director Jahja Ling continues his 34 year collaboration with The Cleveland Orchestra in a concert featuring Mahler's "Titan" Symphony. The performance will also celebrate 50 years of partnership between the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, and will include the Blossom Festival Chorus in Vaughan Williams's Serenade to Music - a piece featured on the Festival's very first season.
  • Broadway legend Audra McDonald joins The Cleveland Orchestra to sing a program of Broadway favorites on July 29.
  • The big screen comes to Blossom for the blockbuster classic film Star Wars: A New Hope, with The Cleveland Orchestra playing John Williams's classic score live, August 31 - September 2.
  • The power of Orff's dramatic Carmina Burana, featuring the dynamic vocals of the Blossom Festival Chorus (also celebrating its 50th anniversary), on August 25.
  • Family Fun Day with the classic Disney film The Little Mermaid on August 4.
  • Conductor Loras John Schissel returns for the 20th year to lead the Blossom Festival Band in patriotic favorites on July 3 & 4.

All of these concerts, and more, will be held at Blossom Music Center from Fourth of July weekend through Labor Day weekend (July 3 - September 2, 2018).

The Cleveland Orchestra previously announced a special Blossom event: Roger Daltrey performs The Who's TOMMY with The Cleveland Orchestra on July 8 at 8:00 p.m. While not part of the Blossom subscription season, this special event is presented as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Details of the 2018 Blossom Music Festival season, including Cleveland Orchestra and Festival soloist and conductor debuts, are available in the Calendar section below and online at Concert schedules and series renewals are being mailed to subscribers of last year's Festival, and new series packages are available for purchase now. Lawn Ticket Books are also on sale now. Individual tickets for the entire season go on sale to the general public in early May.

Since it opened in 1968, Blossom Music Center has become one of our nation's premier outdoor performing spaces for music of all genres, drawing more than 400,000 visitors each summer, with cumulative attendance of more than 20 Million in Blossom's 50-year history. Enjoying picnics on the lush grounds while experiencing Cleveland Orchestra concerts highlighted by fireworks, stars, and natural beauty has become a cherished Northeast Ohio tradition.

Live Nation operates Blossom under a long-term contract with The Cleveland Orchestra, dividing each year between the Orchestra's Blossom Music Festival of orchestral performances and a series of presentations from a wide range of rock, country, and other live-concert genres.

"One of the amazing things about Blossom," says André Gremillet, executive director of The Cleveland Orchestra, "is that, although it was designed and created to be the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra, it quickly became the place to go in Northeast Ohio to experience not just classical but all kinds of music every summer. The list of pop and rock stars of yesterday and today who have played here - from Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, and Pink Floyd to Brad Paisley and Green Day - is just as impressive as classical artists like Leonard Bernstein, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma. Blossom truly is one of America's greatest summer music parks, as so many Ohio residents know firsthand, whether you like to experience country or rock or jazz or pop - or The Cleveland Orchestra."

The Cleveland Orchestra's special Blossom 50th Anniversary Celebration, sponsored by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, honors this cherished place where our community comes together to relax, refresh, and revel in the best summer has to offer.

As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary, The Cleveland Orchestra will offer special events and debut new special initiatives.

50th Anniversary Benefit Evening
Blossom Friends of The Cleveland Orchestra will present "A Symphony of Food and Fine Wine", a one-of-a-kind benefit event at Blossom on July 13. This event will include cocktails and music in Kulas Plaza, a gourmet dinner, a fine wine auction, and a special performance by members of The Cleveland Orchestra. The garden-to-table dinner with fine wine pairings will be prepared by acclaimed regional and national chefs, and will be served on the Blossom stage and in surrounding areas. Bobbi and Peter van Dijk are the honorary chairs; Mr. van Dijk, a renowned Cleveland architect and winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize, designed Blossom's award-winning Pavilion. All proceeds benefit The Cleveland Orchestra. More information will be available at this spring.

Image Magnification (IMAG), partnership with ideastream
New LED screens will be installed in the Pavilion of Blossom Music Center. For select concerts, the Orchestra will partner with ideastream - a non-profit multiple media public service organization that operates WVIZ/PBS, 90.3 WCPN, and WCLV 104.9 ideastream - to display live footage from concerts onto the screens, giving audience members throughout the Pavilion the opportunity to clearly see the musicians onstage. Concerts which include IMAG are listed in the calendar below. For more information about ideastream, visit

New Ways to Enjoy Blossom
The following events and patron amenities will be available for all guests:

  • Local food trucks will be featured at select concerts throughout the season
  • A Lego model of Blossom Music Center is being created to celebrate the 50th Anniversary, and will be on display in the Special Events Center, to the right of the Main Gate, throughout the 2018 Blossom Season.
  • Gourmet picnic packages can be pre-ordered on and picked up in the Special Events Center on concert evenings.
  • Patrons with Pavilion tickets may now check their coolers and large items with security at the Special Events Center before taking their seats for the concert
  • The Blossom Picnic Contest will be back for its second year! Patrons who believe they have the best picnic food and presentation can compete for prizes before the Schumann's Spring Symphony concert on July 15. Registration details will be announced in May.

Plus, the following premium amenities will be available to subscribers and donors:

  • Kulas Plaza will be open after concerts for dessert service, allowing patrons waiting for trams to enjoy a sweet treat before heading home.
  • In-seat food and beverage service for box seat holders will continue this season
  • Special refreshments and light bites will be offered to subscribers and donors in Kulas Plaza before select Blossom Music Festival concerts

More 50th anniversary events and initiatives will be announced this spring and summer.

"Under 18s Free" is a program of The Cleveland Orchestra's Center for Future Audiences. The Center, created with a lead endowment gift from the Maltz Family Foundation, was established to fund programs to develop new generations of audiences for Cleveland Orchestra concerts in Northeast Ohio. "Under 18s Free" continues to develop young audiences by making attending Orchestra concerts affordable for families, offering free Lawn tickets to young people, 17 and under, for every Blossom Music Festival concert again this season. Over 130,000 young people have attended Blossom Music Festival concerts since the Center for Future Audiences was inaugurated.

At Blossom, this program offers free "Under 18s Free" Lawn Passes (two per regular-priced adult paid admission) to young people to any Blossom Music Festival subscription concert each summer. These tickets can be ordered online (once individual tickets for each Blossom season go on sale) or through the Ticket Office.

2018 TICKET and subscription information
Subscription Renewals are currently underway with Premier Subscriptions, Create-Your-Own Series, and Lawn Ticket Books now available for purchase. Individual concert tickets go on public sale in early May by telephone, in person at the Severance Hall Ticket Office, and online at Tickets start at $25. The Blossom Box Office opens for the season beginning on Saturday, June 2, and will be open throughout the summer on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. through intermission on festival performance days.

Premier Subscription Series
The 2018 Blossom Music Festival features two four-concert "Classics" series, a four-concert "Celebrations" series, and a four-concert "Pops" series. Ticket packages, on sale now, offer approximately 20% savings off individual-ticket prices. Ticket package prices start at $76, which includes free Lot B parking and access to Kulas Plaza. Box-seat ticket packages include complimentary parking in First Energy Lot A behind the main Box Office in addition to access to Kulas Plaza.

Create-Your-Own Series
A Create-Your-Own Series package is being offered again this season. When purchasing 4 or more concerts, there is a savings of approximately 10% off the individual ticket prices. There is no limit to the number of Create-Your-Own Series purchases. All subscribers receive free parking in Lot B.

Lawn Ticket Books Include Two Pavilion Upgrades and Qualify for the "Under 18s Free" Program
Lawn Ticket Books of ten vouchers are now available for $175 (a savings of up to $100). Lawn vouchers qualify for youth admission as part of the "Under 18s Free" program. New in 2018: each lawn book also includes 20 "Under 18s Free" tickets.

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Call the Cleveland Orchestra Group Sales Office at Severance Hall at 216-231-7493 for more information.

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018, Blossom Music Center was created as the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra and opened in July 1968 with performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony conducted by George Szell. The 200-acre music park features the award-winning and acoustically-acclaimed Blossom Pavilion, designed by renowned Cleveland architect Peter van Dijk and seating over 5,000 under cover. The adjoining Blossom Lawn accommodates as many as 15,000 more outside on an expansive natural-bowl amphitheater of grass surrounded by bucolic woods.

In the half-century since Blossom's opening, headline makers and yet-to-be-discovered young artists across all genres have created unforgettable musical experiences for over 20 million visitors. Each summer, Blossom serves more than 400,000 visitors, who attend concerts ranging from rock, country, and pop to classical. Live Nation operates Blossom under a long-term contract with The Cleveland Orchestra, dividing each year between the Orchestra's Blossom Music Festival of orchestral performances (July Fourth to Labor Day weekends) and a series of presentations from across a wide range of rock, country, and other live-concert genres.

Located 25 miles south of Cleveland just north of Akron, Ohio, Blossom is situated in the rolling hills of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which preserves 33,000 acres of natural parkland along the Cuyahoga River. Blossom Music Center was named to honor the Dudley S. Blossom family, who have been major supporters of The Cleveland Orchestra throughout its history. Blossom lies within the city limits of Cuyahoga Falls, an Ohio community first settled in the early 1800s, at 1145 West Steels Corners Road in Summit County.

Related Articles View More Cleveland Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram