The Cleveland Orchestra Announces 2019 Blossom Music Festival

The Cleveland Orchestra Announces 2019 Blossom Music Festival

The Cleveland Orchestra announces its 2019 Blossom Music Festival season, presented by The J.M. Smucker Company. Twenty concerts will be part of the Blossom Music Festival, taking place from the weekend prior to the Fourth of July through Labor Day weekend (June 29 - September 1).

This summer, discover rising stars, experience living legends, and welcome back returning friends. Seventeen soloists, conductors, and special guest performers will be making debuts this summer, continuing the Orchestra's commitment to bring emerging young artists to Northeast Ohio during its annual summer festival. In addition to these sensational newcomers, Blossom audience favorites join music legends in thrilling performances on the festival stage.

This exciting and varied slate of artists and conductors includes:

- Winner of the prestigious Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2018, American conductor Roderick Cox makes his Blossom Festival debut in a program including Tchaikovsky's crowd-pleasing "1812" Overture and music by Leonard Bernstein during the worldwide celebration of the composer's 100th birthday. Rising jazz superstar pianist Aaron Diehl returns to the Blossom stage for an original take on Gershwin's ever-popular "Rhapsody in Blue." Praised by New York Times jazz critics for "melodic precision, harmonic erudition, and elegant restraint," Diehl has performed with jazz greats Wynton Marsalis and Cécile McLorin Salvant. (July 5 & 6).

- Featured on The New York Times' 2018 list of the Best Classical Music and renowned as both a pianist and composer, Conrad Tao continues his busy schedule performing with top orchestras by debuting with The Cleveland Orchestra for Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3. (July 13).

- Young Finnish conductor and newly-appointed Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Klaus Mäkelä makes his Cleveland Orchestra debut leading a program that includes Bruch's melodic Violin Concerto No. 1, featuring another debut - 17-year-old Swedish violin prodigy Daniel Lozakovich (July 20).

- Legendary classical guitarist Pepe Romero will perform with The Cleveland Orchestra for the first time in over 50 years with Rodrigo's colorful Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra (July 21).

- The Cleveland Orchestra's own Jung-Min Amy Lee makes a Blossom solo turn with Barber's lush and masterful Violin Concerto (August 10).

- Continuing the celebration of "Bernstein at 100," Blossom audiences can discover the composer's rarely-performed Symphony No. 1 ("Jeremiah"), plus Rachmaninoff's lush Symphonic Dances, led by Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Conductor Vinay Parameswaran (August 24).

- Brian Wilson, legendary songwriter and co-founder of The Beach Boys, along with long-time bandmates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, joins the Blossom Festival Orchestra to perform the classic album Pet Sounds in its entirety, along with other chart-topping hits (August 11).

- Peter Yarrow and Noel "Paul" Stookey - singer-songwriters from the influential American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary - join The Cleveland Orchestra to perform some of the group's most beloved songs (July 7).

- Audience-favorite, vocalist Capathia Jenkins, returns to the Blossom stage for a tribute to the Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin. Also joined by Ryan Shaw and the Blossom Festival Chorus, hear The Cleveland Orchestra perform hits like "Chain of Fools," "Respect," and "A Natural Woman" (July 28).

- The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music, will be performed in concert with singers from the Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre program (August 24).

In addition to the incredible artists onstage, the programming this summer offers audiences a wide range of music to explore. Concert selections range from treasured classical works - such as Elgar's Enigma Variations, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor"), and Brahms's Symphony No. 1 - to rarely-heard music for Blossom audiences to discover-including Zemlinksy's Die Seejungfrau [The Mermaid], based on the Hans Christian Andersen classic The Little Mermaid.

These highlights join the previously announced films included on the 2019 season, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's StoneTM (June 29 & 30) and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes BackTM (August 30 & 31). Due to popular demand, an additional concert of the beloved action-packed film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes BackTM will take place on Labor Day Weekend (September 1). See the calendar listing below for updates to the featured artists and times for these concerts.

Details of the 2019 Blossom Music Festival season, including the full list of 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 April.

The Cleveland Orchestra is committed to providing a world-class guest experience for all visitors to Blossom Music Center. Every year, Blossom audiences eagerly await a summer of picnics on the lawn, gatherings with friends and family, and incredible music under the stars. Updates at Blossom that will enhance that already-top-notch experience include:

- The Tasting Room - a new bar space located steps away from the Lot A entrance to Blossom - will open at the start of the Blossom Music Festival season. With seating extending to Eels Gallery, this spot offers guests plenty of room to relax and spend time with friends and family before or after a concert. The menu includes a full bar with a wide variety of liquor, beer, and wine options. After the concert, dessert service is available, allowing guests a comfortable space to lounge and dine while avoiding the post-concert crowds.

- In 2018, new, state-of-the-art, LED screens were installed in the Pavilion of Blossom Music Center. Image Magnification (IMAG) will return for the 2019 Blossom Music Festival season. IMAG is a display of live footage from the concert onto the screens, giving audience members the opportunity to clearly see the musicians onstage. 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 - to produce the IMAG feed for several of these concerts. For more information about ideastream, visit

- Want a picnic without having to shop or load up the car? Gourmet picnic packages can be pre-ordered on and picked up in the Special Events Center on all Festival concert evenings.

- Special refreshments and light bites will be offered to subscribers and donors in Kulas Plaza before select Blossom Music Festival concerts.

- A Lego model of Blossom Music Center was created last year to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. This model - built with more than 7,500 Lego bricks - will be on display in Eels Gallery throughout the 2019 Blossom Music Festival season.

"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, once again offering free Lawn tickets to young people (17 and under) for every Blossom Music Festival concert this season. Over 150,000 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. "Under 18s Free" tickets are also available as part of Lawn Book purchases (see below for more details).

The Cleveland Orchestra is proud to partner with The J.M. Smucker Company as the Presenting Sponsor of the 2019 Blossom Music Festival.

The J.M. Smucker Company has supported The Cleveland Orchestra for decades with annual contributions as well as capital gifts for improvements at Blossom Music Center. The company's ongoing, remarkable support has been recognized through concert sponsorship at Blossom for over a decade, and has earned membership in the Orchestra's John L. Severance Society - a group of the Orchestra's most dedicated and generous corporate, foundation, and individual supporters. Additionally, The J.M. Smucker Company was a co-presenting sponsor of The Cleveland Orchestra's Second Century Celebration, bringing the Orchestra's 100th season to life while animating a bold vision for an extraordinary Second Century.

Cleveland Orchestra Board Chair Richard K. Smucker is the Executive Chairman of The J.M. Smucker Company, which was founded more than a century ago by Mr. Smucker's great-grandfather, Jerome Smucker. Today, The J.M. Smucker Company is a leading marketer and manufacturer of consumer food and beverage products, as well as pet food and pet snacks, in North America. The company remains rooted in the Basic Beliefs of Quality, People, Ethics, Growth, and Independence established by its founder and namesake more than 120 years ago.

ideastream serves the people of Northeast Ohio as a trusted and dynamic multimedia source for illuminating the world around us. Publicly supported and locally owned, ideastream is indispensable and highly valued for its unique ability to strengthen our community. ideastream is the consolidation of WVIZ/PBS, with five channels of public television service (WVIZ/PBS-HD, WVIZ/PBS OHIO, WVIZ/PBS WORLD, WVIZ/PBS CREATE and WVIZ/PBS KIDS); 90.3 WCPN, Northeast Ohio's NPR news and public affairs radio station; WCLV 104.9, Northeast Ohio's classical music radio station; ideastream Education, with educational resources, services and the award-winning children's series NewsDepth; and management of The Ohio Channel and the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau on behalf of all Ohio's public broadcasting stations. For more information about ideastream's rich legacy of innovation and credible content, visit

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