The Cleveland Orchestra Announces 101st Season For 2018-2019

The Cleveland Orchestra Announces 101st Season For 2018-2019

As the celebrations, performances, and successes of The Cleveland Orchestra's Centennial Season continue toward its conclusion this spring, the Orchestra has announced details of its 101st season for 2018-2019. Aspects of the celebratory spirit continues - with a 100th Birthday concert in July for the Cleveland community and Centennial Gala in September. The new season also extends the dedicated week-to-week work, creativity, and artistry required to continue being one of the world's best orchestras year after year.

In 1918, The Cleveland Orchestra was founded by impresario Adella Prentiss Hughes and the Musical Arts Association with the first concert on December 11 at Cleveland's Grays Armory with Music Director Nikolai Sokoloff conducting. December 11, 2018 marks the 100th birthday of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Serving the ensemble's hometown community with a season-long series of concerts at Severance Hall remains central to the Orchestra's activities. The 2018-19 season offers a variety of programs, musical works, and styles, while continuing areas of focus for which The Cleveland Orchestra and its music director, Franz Welser-Möst, have been praised.

"As we embark on our Second Century, 2018-2019 can perhaps be thought of as a season of contrasts and continuing exploration," said André Gremillet, Executive Director. "Works by new composers, and discovering a fresh take on standard favorites. New artists, and returning friends. Continuing to share the power of music and The Cleveland Orchestra's passion for music with our great hometown community, and our ongoing commitment to bring more music to more people."

"As The Cleveland Orchestra begins its Second Century, the dedication and incredible focus of these musicians remains unmatched," said Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. "Each year, we are on a journey, striving for excellence and to present extraordinary musical experiences. The Centennial is just one more step forward. Every season I focus on composers and programs that extend and expand the Orchestra's artistic quality and which, in turn, make for a rich experience for our great Cleveland audiences. In 2018-19 this musical journey, in addition to some big and well-known works such as Mahler's Second Symphony, features several lesser-known pieces, including Prokofiev's Symphony Nos. 1 and 3, Bartók's Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3, Schubert's Mass No. 6, and Abrahamsen's Left Alone (for piano left hand and orchestra), among other great works.

I am particularly excited by the works by Schubert and Prokofiev this coming season. They represent some of these great composer's best music, which is too often neglected and is ready for re-discovery. Schubert's music is a perfect fit for the elegance of this Orchestra and his Mass is a masterpiece from his last years - often considered to be as beautiful as his great late song cycle Die Winterreise or the final string quartets. We even have the opportunity to compare these directly, with the presentation at that same time in the season of Winterreise, sung by baritone Simon Keenlyside. The Schubert Mass, paired with Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 3, presents an extraordinary musical testament of two composers' reflections on their own mortality.

The season also features musical discoveries with a deeper look at living composers. Hans Abrahamsen's "Left, alone," for instance, written for piano left hand and orchestra, is a great example of the kind of interesting and dynamic new music being written today. After experiencing the beauty and impact of his stunning "Let Me Tell You," which we performed with Barbara Hannigan two seasons back, I feel compelled to program more of Abrahamsen's work.

We have a sophisticated audience in Cleveland. I always want to bring to them music that may have been neglected, especially so we can discover something new together."

Strauss's Opera Ariadne Auf Naxos, Made-for-Cleveland Production
Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra continue an ongoing commitment to present opera at Severance Hall with a made-for-Cleveland production of Richard Strauss's Ariadne Auf Naxos which is being performed for the first time in the Orchestra's history January 13, 17 and 19. In his years as music director, Welser-Möst has led The Cleveland Orchestra in performances of many orchestral works by Richard Strauss, as well as presentations of four other Strauss operas: Elektra (2004), Der Rosenkavalier (2007), Salome (2012), and Daphne (2015).

About the story of Ariadne Auf Naxos
Premiered in its final version in 1916, the opera features a play within a play. It tells of an evening of theatrical presentations that compete for attention - and which comment on both the audiences' and performers' desires for attention and understanding. Two theatrical companies have been hired to entertain guests. One is a bawdy comedic troupe, the other a serious opera company. Due to a change of plans, the two companies are told to present their performances simultaneously, bringing conflict and humor - and unexpected understanding - to a what was originally intended to be simply entertaining and dramatic.

This original staged production for Severance Hall will be directed by Frederic Wake-Walker, who is making his Cleveland Orchestra debut. The creative team also includes Alex Nichols (Lighting, Projection, and Set Design), Dominic Robertson (Video Content Designer), Lottie Bowater (Director of Photography), and Jason Southgate (Costume Design). The cast of singers features soprano Tamara Wilson (Ariadne/Diva) who makes her Severance Hall debut, tenor Andreas Schager (Bacchus), mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey (Composer), and soprano Daniela Fally (Zerbinetta) who also makes her Cleveland Orchestra debut.

Franz Welser-Möst on Ariadne Auf Naxos, "After Tristan and Isolde in the current season, our next opera, Ariadne auf Naxos, is part of a series of operas which I have programmed to expand and challenge the Orchestra as they continue to grow artistically," said Franz Welser-Möst. "Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos does exactly this. Instead of a very large Wagnerian orchestra, Ariadne is scored for a chamber group of 35 musicians. After the dark seriousness of Wagner, Ariadne features comic elements. It is a wonderful opera, funny and serious at the same time, with beautiful music. In essence, it is a contest between classical art and comedy. There is a play within the play, or really an opera within an opera. The similarities and contrasts between what is happening and what the characters want to be happening are very telling."

"I really love this opera," Welser-Möst continues, "and I am eager to hear the musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra interpret this music. Strauss's writing includes marvelous solos - for flute and oboe and cello, for instance - that will be truly vibrant and meaningful when played by the principal players in Cleveland. The music is unbelievably beautiful, so much so that some passages literally bring me to tears. I have always admired and enjoyed Strauss's musical genius. As time passes, I find that I appreciate his approach to music-making more and more. This opera spans, as the saying goes, 'from the sublime to the ridiculous - from beauty to humor.' And audiences will love it."

Commissions, Premieres and Works by Living Composers in 2018-19
The Cleveland Orchestra continues its commitment to new works to expand and extend the repertoire with the presentation of a world premiere commission and four United States premieres of works by living composers in 2018-2019: Hans Abrahamsen, Matthias Pintscher, Bernd Richard Deutsch, and Detlev Glanert. The season also features ten works performed for the first time by The Cleveland Orchestra, four of which are by living composers.

World Premiere by Jeffrey Rathbun
The 2018-19 season features a world premiere of a Cleveland Orchestra commission, Pantheon, by Cleveland Orchestra assistant principal oboist, Jeffrey Rathbun (September 20 and 22). The Orchestra has performed orchestral works by Rathbun on three occasions as well as one chamber music composition: Daredevil (1995), Three Psalms of Jerusalem (1998), Motions for Cellos (2000), and a chamber music performance of Three Diversions for Two Oboes (2013).

"When The Cleveland Orchestra announced the 100th Anniversary Celebration, I was excited for both the musicians and the entire organization, and knew that the recognition of this greatest of Orchestras would be very meaningful for all of our fans and supporters as well," said Jeffrey Rathbun. "I wanted to contribute to this anniversary in some way, so I proposed writing a composition. Having been a member of the Orchestra for 28 out of its 100 years, I am familiar with my distinguished colleagues' abilities, and a composer could never ask for a better ensemble to write for. My concept is to feature the sections that make up the Orchestra, both in individual solos, highlighting by section and combinations of sections. While the composer is the creator of a musical work, it is the distinguished musicians on stage that bring it to life - the illustrious performers being, in essence, a Pantheon of the highest artistic quality."

Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow
Bernd Richard Deutsch will begin his first year as The Cleveland Orchestra's tenth Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow in the 2018-19 season. As part of the fellowship, he has been commissioned to create a new work to be premiered by the Orchestra during the 2019-20 season. During the 2018-19 season the Orchestra will give the first Cleveland performances of Deutsch's Okeanos (March 14, 15, 16, and 17), and Deutsch will participate in rehearsals and in educational activities serving the Northeast Ohio community as part of his fellowship. The Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow program began in 1998. Works by the composers are commissioned by The Cleveland Orchestra through the Young Composers Endowment Fund, which was established in 1997 by a generous endowment gift from Daniel R. Lewis and Jan R. Lewis.

About Bernd Richard Deutsch
Bernd Richard Deutsch grew up in Lower Austria and studied composition, piano and bassoon at the Josef Matthias Hauer Conservatory in Wiener Neustadt and also studied composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. He has participated in international academies and master classes with HK Gruber, Ivana Loudova, Boguslaw Schaeffer, Marek Choloniewski, and Manuel Hidalgo. Mr. Deutsch has received the 2013 Erste Bank Composition Award, the 2014 Hindemith Prize, a Toru Takemitsu Composition Award prize and has been commissioned by the Ensemble "die reihe," Ensemble reconsil, and collaborated with internationally renowned ensembles the Arditti Quartet and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information about Bernd Richard Deutsch, visit

United States Premieres
The 2018-19 season also includes four United States premieres, all by living composers: Left, alone (for piano left hand and orchestra) by Hans Abrahamsen (September 20 and 22); Transir (for flute and orchestra) by former Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow, Matthias Pintscher (November 8 and 10); Okeanos (for organ and orchestra) by the tenth Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow, Bernd Richard Deutsch (March 14, 15, 16, and 17); and Distant Land: Music with Brahms by Detlev Glanert (May 9 and 11).

United States Premieres of New Arrangements
The 2018-19 season also includes three United States premieres of new arrangements of works: Debussy's Suite from Pelléas and Mélisande arranged by guest conductor Alain Altinoglu (November 8, 9 and 10), guest conductor Harry Bicket's arrangement of Mozart's Fantasia: Piece for Mechanical Clock (February 14, 15, 16, and 17), and Philippe Manoury's reconstruction of Debussy's Rêve, from Première Suite d'Orchestre (February 28 and March 2).

Cleveland Orchestra Premieres
The 2018-19 season features ten works performed for the first time by The Cleveland Orchestra, four of which are by living composers: Kabelá?'s Mystery of Time with conductor Jakub Hr?ša (November 15, 17 and 18); John Adams's Scherazade.2 (for violin and orchestra) conducted by Adams (November 29, 30 and December 1); works by Strauss: a made-for-Cleveland production of his opera Ariadne Auf Naxos (January 13, 17, and 19), as well as Symphony for Winds: Fröhliche Werkstatt (January 18), and Haydn's Symphony No. 34 (March 14, 15, 16, and 17), all led by Franz Welser-Möst; Jennifer Higdon's blue cathedral with conductor Stéphane Denève (April 25, 26 and 27); James MacMillan's Piano Concerto No. 3 ("The Mysteries of Light") with conductor Stéphane Denève (April 25 and 27); Martin?'s Concerto for Two Pianos with conductor Semyon Bychkov (May 9, 10 and 11); Eötvös's Seven (for violin and orchestra) with conductor François-Xavier Roth (February 28 and March 2); and Ginastera's Cello Concert No. 2 with Gustavo Gimeno (October 18, 19 and 20).

The Cleveland Orchestra 100th Anniversary Gala
On September 29, Franz Welser-Möst and pianist Lang Lang perform a special 100th Anniversary Gala concert. The program features Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24, works by Richard and Johann Strauss and Ravel's La Valse [The Waltz.] Lang Lang first performed with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Festival in 2000 and at Severance Hall in 2002. The Cleveland Orchestra's annual gala supports the Orchestra's education and community programs which share the value and joy of music with people throughout Northeast Ohio.

Center for Future Audiences, Young Audiences Development
The Cleveland Orchestra's Center for Future Audiences was established to fund programs to develop new generations of audiences for Cleveland Orchestra concerts in Northeast Ohio. The Center was created in 2010 with a $20 million lead endowment gift from the Maltz Family Foundation. Center-funded programs focus on addressing economic and geographic barriers to attending Cleveland Orch­estra concerts at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center. Programs include research, introductory offers, targeted discounts, student ticket programs, and integrated use of new technologies.

More young people than ever are attending Cleveland Orchestra concerts at Severance Hall and at each summer's Blossom Music Festival. Over 20% of the classical concert audience is now made up of patrons 25 years old and under, up from just 8% prior to the introduction of the expansion of programs made possible by the Center's funding.

"The Cleveland Orchestra has consistently sold tickets to more than 40,000 young people and their families in each of the last five seasons. Sustaining our offerings for new audiences is a long-term commitment, with programs that generate interest no matter your age. Making sure that with each foundational building block, each program and each initiative we maintain a rock-solid base for the future is our strategic audience focus. We began this quest centered on the very youngest future patrons, then added students and young professionals, and it is safe to say all the programs have been remarkably successful. Maintaining our relevance for audiences as they grow up with us is our most important objective." said Ross Binnie, Director of the Center for Future Audiences.

The Members Club: started in 2016, this program is geared toward expanding audience participation among Millennial and Generation X audiences (though participation is open to anyone) by providing the flexibility of a monthly membership program as opposed to a traditional subscription. For a monthly fee, each member has access to attend concerts on the days of their choosing without being locked into concert dates or packages. Currently, the Members Club has over 230 members who attend an average of 6+ concerts per season, more than doubling their concert attendance before being part of the program.

The Circle: launched in January 2014, it provides a monthly membership model for young professionals (21-40) to not only receive subsidized tickets but also to engage with the Orchestra and its musicians on a deeper level, including behind-the-scenes access, networking, and volunteer opportunities. As The Circle enters its fourth year, there are currently 335 members, the highest membership number to date with an average of five new members per month over the past year, an active volunteer board structure, and a wide variety of engaging events.

The Student Advantage Program encourages broader participation from area students across Northeast Ohio. Members receive discounted tickets, exclusive invitations to masterclasses, post-concert receptions with musicians, and behind-the-scenes open rehearsals. As of March 2018 membership is at 1704 with an average of 65 students joining each month over the course of the season.

Frequent Fan Cards ($50 for the season to attend any classical concert) were introduced for students in 2012-13. Designed to encourage and enable more frequent attendance among student patrons, 396 cards were purchased in that first season. As of March 2018, in the 2017-18 season, there is the highest number of card holders at 1857. The cards have also had the desired effect of encouraging repeat attendance, growing the frequency from 1.2 concerts per season before its inception to 5.2 last year.

"Under 18s Free" is a program of The Cleveland Orchestra's Center for Future Audiences. "Under 18s Free" continues to develop young audiences by making attending Orchestra concerts affordable for families, offering free tickets to young people, 17 and under, for select Severance Hall concerts again this season.

Cleveland Orchestra Family of Artists
The 2018-19 season features conductors and guest artists who have strong collaborative connections with the Orchestra. They include pianists Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Kirill Gerstein, Lang Lang, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Mitsuko Uchida; conductors Herbert Blomstedt, Alan Gilbert, Jakub Hr?ša, and Matthias Pintscher; and violinist Leila Josefowicz.

Cleveland Orchestra Members Featured as Soloists
Over the course of the 2018-19 season, five members of the Orchestra are featured as soloists performing works by Copland, Ginastera, Matthias Pintscher, and Vivaldi. They are principal cello Mark Kosower, principal flute Joshua Smith, concertmaster William Preucil, principal English horn Robert Walters, and principal trumpet Michael Sachs.

Cleveland Orchestra Choral Ensembles
The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, one of the few professionally trained, all-volunteer choruses sponsored by a major American orchestra, will be featured in a variety of performances throughout the season. Its members hail from nearly fifty Cleveland-area communities and together contribute more than 15,000 volunteer hours to the Orchestra's music-making each year. In addition to performances in December for the annual Christmas concerts, the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus performs as part of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 ("Resurrection") on October 4, 5, and 6 and Schubert's Mass No. 6 (May 16, 17, and 18). The Cleveland Orchestra Chamber Chorus is featured in Handel's Messiah (December 6, 7, 8, and 9), and the Men of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus perform as part of Busoni's Piano Concerto (February 7 and 9).

Acclaimed Guest Conductors
Guest conductors in the 2018-2019 season include Gustavo Gimeno (Music Director, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg), Matthias Pintscher (Music Director, Ensemble Intercontemporain/ Principal Conductor, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra), Jakub Hr?ša (Chief Conductor, Bamberg Symphony), John Adams (Pulitzer Prize for Music, 2003), Jane Glover (Music Director, Music of the Baroque), Alan Gilbert (Chief Conductor, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra), Harry Bicket (Artistic Director, The English Concert/ Chief Conductor, Santa Fe Opera), Herbert Blomstedt (Conductor Laureate, San Francisco Symphony), Stéphane Denève (Music Director, Brussels Philharmonic), Semyon Bychkov (Music Director, Czech Philharmonic), and Brett Mitchell (Music Director, Colorado Symphony).

Cleveland Orchestra Debuts
Nine guest artists are making their Cleveland Orchestra debut during the 2018-2019 season, including pianist Alexandre Tharaud, tenor Paul Appleby, bass-baritone Henry Waddington, soprano Daniela Fally, director Frederic Wake-Walker, soprano Kiera Duffy, conductor François-Xavier Roth, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and conductor Michail Jurowski.

The Cleveland Orchestra International and Domestic Touring and Residencies
In 2019, The Cleveland Orchestra will embark on its 52nd international tour, travelling to mainland China. This is the nineteenth international tour with Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. Details of the 2019 China tour programming and cities will be announced later in 2018. The Orchestra's first China tour took place in 1978 with Lorin Maazel and the last tour was in 1998 with Christoph von Dohnányi.

Domestic touring during the 2018-19 season brings The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst to Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County for the thirteenth year of its residency and series of concerts in January and February 2019. Details of the 2019 Miami Residency can be found here: The Orchestra's domestic touring during the season also includes a performance in Florida at Naples' Hayes Hall at Artis-Naples in January 2019.

In January 2019, the Orchestra returns to Indiana University for the fifth biennial residency as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Jacobs School of Music. Details of the residency will be announced later in 2018.

Other Concert Series at Severance Hall
Fridays@7 started in October 2009 with Franz Welser-Möst conducting and continues with three concerts in the 2018-19 season, October 19, November 30, and February 15, each with a 7:00 p.m. start time and an after-party.

The 2018 Holiday Festival features The Cleveland Orchestra's annual Christmas Concerts exploring the music of Christmas with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus, Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus Chamber Ensemble, and guest choruses.

At the Movies concerts continue in the 2018-19 season. Following the popularity of film showings with live music the past six seasons, the Orchestra's concerts will feature movies projected on a screen above the Severance Hall stage, with music performed live. Complete details of the 2018-19 At the Movies series will be announced in April. Gerswhin's An American in Paris (May 30, 31, and June 1) is a special add on for the larger subscription series.

Concerts for Families and Community - A lifelong musical journey begins in childhood
The Cleveland Orchestra has a long and proud history of sharing the joys and benefits of music with citizens throughout Northeast Ohio. Franz Welser-M?st leads the Orchestra into its second century with a renewed commitment to music education and community engagement, based on his belief that every child should be touched by music, that the arts are critical to a well-rounded education, and that learning never ends (lifelong learning). The Cleveland Orchestra has introduced more than 4 million young people to symphonic music through live concert experiences and performances over the past ten decades. Today, with the support of many generous individual, foundation, corporate, and governmental funding partners, the Orchestra's education and community programs reach more than 60,000 young people and adults annually, helping to foster a love of music for a lifetime.

At Severance Hall, the Under 18s Free program also offers free tickets (one per regular-priced adult paid admission) to young people ages 7-17 to the Orchestra's American Greetings Family Concerts (ages 7 and up), PNC Musical Rainbows (ages 3-6), and Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra concerts.

American Greetings Family Concerts - The Cleveland Orchestra's 2018-19 Family Concert series for children 7 and up, opens on October 28 with the Halloween Spooktakular!, a bewitching afternoon of musical fun, filled with magical Tricks and musical Treats in celebration of Halloween. On February 8, The Cleveland Orchestra and the hilariously funny and talented Magic Circle Mime Co. team up for "The Mozart Experience." Originally created for the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, this story concert features Mozart favorites including Overture to The Magic Flute, Eine kline nachtmusik, the Jupiter Symphony and more! To wrap up the Family Concert season, The Cleveland Orchestra is joined by pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque on May 12, to perform Saint-Saëns beloved Carnival of the Animals. Every Family Concert includes family friendly pre-concert activities throughout Severance Hall, beginning one hour prior to the concert start.

PNC Musical Rainbow Series - The Cleveland Orchestra's PNC Musical Rainbow Series introduces children 3-6 years old to the instruments of the Orchestra, one at a time. Little ones will be singing, clapping and moving to the music while Cleveland Orchestra musicians and guests perform short solo selections and kid-friendly tunes, and demonstrate how their instruments make sound. The 2018-19 series includes the Terrific Trumpet, Heavenly Harp, and more.

Details about subscription packages and tickets for American Greetings Family Concert and PNC Musical Rainbows series will be announced in spring of 2018.

2018-19 will mark the 33rd season for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) and its' second under the direction of Vinay Parameswaran, COYO Music Director and Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Conductor. The Youth Orchestra rehearses weekly and performs in Severance Hall under the guidance of Cleveland Orchestra musicians who serve as coaches. COYO will have three subscription concerts at Severance Hall on November 16, March 3 - in collaboration with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus - and May 10. The Youth Orchestra will also embark on its' third international tour to Europe in June 2019. Details about subscription packages and tickets for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra 2018-19 season will be announced later in 2018.

In July 2018, the Star-Spangled Spectacular, the Orchestra's annual, free community concert in downtown Cleveland, will be the public occasion to celebrate the Orchestra's 100th Anniversary. Franz Welser-Möst will lead the Orchestra in a concert extravaganza for the entire community. Details will be announced in spring of 2018.

In January 2019, the 39th annual, free, Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert in celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. takes place at Severance Hall. Details of the 2019 ticket lottery system will be announced later in 2018. On Monday, January 21, the annual, free Martin Luther King, Jr. Open House and Day of Music will take place at Severance Hall.

Subscriptions for the 2018-19 season are on sale now and start at just $81 for a three-concert package. Subscribers receive seating priority over individual-ticket buyers, ticket exchange privileges, and other benefits, including savings of up to 30% to 35% off individual-ticket prices.

Cleveland Orchestra Memberships can be purchased at any time throughout the year. Memberships are designed to offer convenience and value for patrons who want to experience more Cleveland Orchestra concerts each season and includes access to year-round concerts at both Severance Hall and the Blossom Music Festival. In exchange for a monthly membership fee of $35 (billed automatically), Members can reserve a single ticket for $10 to any concert, at any time. For more information about the Members Club, please visit and watch a video here:

Tickets to individual performances go on sale in mid-August 2018. For more information about the variety of subscription packages offered, or for other questions, call Cleveland Orchestra Ticket Services at 216-231-1111 or 800-686-1141, or visit

Second Century Celebration Sponsors
The Cleveland Orchestra is deeply grateful to the visionary philanthropy of the sponsors listed here who have given generously in support of bringing to life a bold vision for an extraordinary Second Century - to inspire and transform lives through the power of music.

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