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The Cleveland Orchestra has been led since 2002 by Franz Welser-Möst and makes its home in Severance Hall, which opened in 1931. It was founded in 1918 by citizens of the city. The first Music Director was the Russian-American conductor Nikolai Sokoloff, who helmed the Orchestra for 15 years; he was succeeded by Artur Rodzinski (1933–43) and Erich Leinsdorf (1943–46). The tenure of George Szell lasted nearly a quarter century, until 1970; Szell introduced the annual summer season at the Blossom Music Center, idyllically located in the countryside near Akron, Ohio. Following Szell’s death, Lorin Maazel (1972–82) and Christoph von Dohnányi (1984–2002) led the Orchestra. Under Franz Welser-Möst the Cleveland Orchestra has expanded its range of activities to include residencies each winter in Miami, Florida, and regular appearances at the Mu-
sikverein in Vienna, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, and LUCERNE FESTIVAL. In 2015 the New York Times called the Cleveland Orchestra “the best in America.” Plans for the 2016-17 season include performances led by Welser-Möst of De-bussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Bach’s St. John Passion, and many classics of Modernism. Their education programs in particular are a focus: the “Make Music!” initiative invites the musically curious of all ages to make their own music, while the “Under 18s Free” program enables young people to attend special concerts for free. The Cleveland Orchestra’s performances are made accessible to a worldwide community through television and radio broadcasts, CDs, and streaming. Along with the classical canon, their programs include ballet and opera performances, film presentations accompanied live, and concerts that extend to world music, jazz, and pop.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 28 August 1967 in a program of works by Berlioz, Mozart, and Sibelius led by George Szell.
For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at www.clevelandorchestra.com.