Cleveland Orchestra presents 38th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert This January

Cleveland Orchestra presents 38th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert This JanuaryThe Cleveland Orchestra's 38th annual free concert in celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. takes place at Severance Hall on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. conducted by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. The concert is free, however tickets are required. Information on how to request tickets is included below. This concert is sponsored by KeyBank and supported by a grant from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

One of the highlights of the Orchestra's 100th season is the Prometheus Project, an exploration of the myth of Prometheus, the daring Greek Titan who defied Zeus to bring the gift of fire on humanity. This gift is linked to the spark of creativity that has powered and inspired humanity, the belief in justice and goodness, the fight for right, and individual freedoms. Dr. King is a modern day Prometheus, and Music Director Franz-Welser Möst explores his life and legacy, and his dedication to the struggle for racial equality, through a program of music inspired by his spirit.

The January 14 program features classical selections by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Verdi, as well as traditional hymns and spirituals such as "Down by the Riverside," "Precious Lord," and "Lift Every Voice and Sing." The Cleveland Orchestra is joined for this performance by:

· Narrator James Pickens Jr., a Cleveland native who is best known as Dr. Richard Webber on Grey's Anatomy and Deputy Director Alvin Kersh on The X-Files;

· Guest soloist Ryan Speedo Green, called "a show stopper" by The New York Times;

· The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Chorus - an all-Cleveland community volunteer chorus - directed by William Henry Caldwell.

Biographical materials and photos of the Orchestra and guest artists is available upon request.

Free Ticket Lottery

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert is free to the community, however tickets are required. Due to the high demand for tickets - and to provide fair and equitable access to all - free tickets will be distributed via a lottery drawing, which may be entered by filling out a lottery form at, sending a postcard or letter to the Severance Hall Ticket Office, or by calling the Ticket Office. Lottery entries will be accepted beginning December 12, 2017, and all entries must be received by January 3, 2018. Winners will be chosen at random on January 4, 2018, and winners will be mailed tickets at that date. One entry per household is permitted, with a limit of four tickets per entry. Phone entries can be made by calling the Severance Hall Ticket Office at 216-231-1111 during regular business hours. When entering by mail, please send name, address, email address, phone number, and number of tickets requested (up to four) to:

2018 MLK Ticket Lottery/Ticket Office
11001 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106

ideastream TV and Radio Broadcast

This year, in an effort to deepen their longstanding relationship, The Cleveland Orchestra and ideastream have collaborated in a strategic partnership, with the purpose of sharing important community events with a broader audience. The community spirit of this Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert will reach as many people as possible around the region through a first time, delayed television broadcast of the concert on WVIZ/PBS on Friday, January 26, 2018 at 9:00 PM. This program will be offered to all TV stations in Ohio for statewide broadcast. Also for the first time, ideastream will create multimedia content which will be woven into the performance at Severance Hall. On January 14, the concert will be broadcast live on the radio by ideastream on 90.3 WCPN and WCLV 104.9.

Free Community Open House at Severance Hall

A free Community Open House takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 15, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Severance Hall. Performances and family activities will take place throughout the day. Performances by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, Cleveland School of the Arts R. Nathaniel Dett Choir, gospel group Lafayette Carthon & Faith, and more will take place in the Concert Hall. Family activities include the "I Have a Dream" Wall, MLK activity sheets, and a Martin Luther King Jr. Book Display by Cuyahoga County Public Library in Smith Lobby, and Terry Macklin Inc.- DJ and Line Dancing in the Bogomolny-Kozerefski Grand Foyer. For additional information on the groups performing and activities of the open house, please see the Calendar Listing section below or visit

15th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. 2018 Community Service Awards

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 2018 Community Service Awards will be presented as part of the concert by Richard K. Smucker, Board President of The Cleveland Orchestra. The awards are presented by The Cleveland Orchestra and the City of Cleveland, in cooperation with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, to individuals who are positively impacting Cleveland in the spirit of the teachings and example of Dr. King.

League of American Orchestras' Feeding America Food Drive

In January, for the 10th year, The Cleveland Orchestra will participate in the National Food Drive "Orchestras Feeding America." Over the past 10 years, The Cleveland Orchestra has collected more than 10,000 pounds of food through the generosity of our community. The food drive will run from January 8-23. Patrons are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to Severance Hall to all concerts in January (January 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, and 20) as well as the free MLK Open House on Monday, January 15. The recipient of the food drive this year is the Greater Cleveland Food Bank who works to alleviate hunger in 6 Northeast Ohio counties by providing more than 800 partners with food, select non-food products, training and planning strategies. For more information about the League of American Orchestras' Feeding America Food Drive, please visit

Parking Information

Parking in the Case Western Reserve University Campus Center Garage (Lot 29, adjacent to Severance Hall) for the January 14 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert will be available for free, on a first-come, first-served basis. The parking rate for the Community Open House on January 15 will be $7 per vehicle. For more information about parking, please visit

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