THE PROMETHEUS PROJECT To Conclude Cleveland Orchestra's Centennial Season
The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst announce further details of the The Prometheus Project festival. The festival will take place May 10-13 and May 17-19 at Severance Hall and is dedicated to the exploration of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. Franz Welser-Möst offers a renewed interpretation and perspective on these groundbreaking works, rooted in a studied understanding of the composer's philosophy of politics and art. Following the Cleveland performances, The Prometheus Project will be presented on tour, May 24-28 at Vienna's Musikverein and June 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 at Tokyo's Suntory Hall. A complete calendar listing of Cleveland, Vienna, and Tokyo dates can be found at the end of this release.
The Prometheus Project will examine Beethoven's music through the metaphor of Prometheus, a daring Greek Titan who defied Zeus to bestow on humanity the gift of fire. For Beethoven, this gift of fire represented the beginning of human civilization, the spark of creativity that has powered the imagination of generations, the warmth of justice and goodness, the fight for right, and individual freedoms.Welser-Möst said, "With The Prometheus Project, we are exploring Beethoven's thinking behind writing these works, at his belief in humanity's betterment, at what he wrote inside of his music, and between the notes. I am using the story of Prometheus as a metaphor and lens for what Beethoven was writing, not just in his symphonies, but across his lifetime, and throughout all of his music. With Prometheus as a focus, with this earnest and thoughtful approach, we can engage in a new way with audiences. When studying an exceptional figure like Beethoven, it is essential that we constantly look at new approaches to his work, to enliven and deepen our understanding of his genius."
"During our 100th season, we challenge the current trend that intellect is not to be prized. Civilization and society only move forward by tackling the big questions, by really thinking and debating what is good, and by fighting to make life better for everyone," said Welser-Möst. "Music, great music, is part of that discussion. Music distills philosophy into sound. Being popular or beautiful or half-interested is not sufficient. We need to teach people to be brave. It is important to know not just what you think, but why you think it. Music builds a framework for reflection and discussion."
Pre-Festival Beethoven Discussion
At the start of the festival, Franz Welser-Möst will take part in a conversation with Mark Evan Bonds. A professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bonds is the author of After Beethoven: The Imperative of Originality in the Symphony and Music as Thought: Listening to the Symphony in the Age of Beethoven. The discussion will be held on the evening of Wednesday, May 9 in Reinberger Chamber Hall at Severance Hall. More details to be announced. For more information on Mark Evan Bonds and his scholarly books on music and Beethoven, please visit https://music.unc.edu/people/musicfaculty/mark-evan-bonds/.