The Cleveland Orchestra 2

The Cleveland Orchestra | Franz Welser-Möst

Strauss | Schubert

Fri, 09.09. | 19.30

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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Summer Festival

08.08.-11.09. 2022




    The Cleveland Orchestra 2

    The Cleveland Orchestra | Franz Welser-Möst

    Richard Strauss (1864–1949)
    Macbeth, Op. 23
    Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
    Symphony No. 8 in C major, D. 944 Great C major Symphony

    “New thoughts must seek new forms,” Richard Strauss believed – and in 1886 he discovered the genre of the tone poem for himself. The first work in which he took this up was his Macbeth, based on Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same name. But he conceived it less as a musical “retelling” of the drama than as a sonic psychogram of the title character, who ends with bloodlust and self-destruction: an abysmal nocturne that Strauss orchestrated with phenomenal success. Franz Schubert also broke new ground when he composed his “Great” C major Symphony in 1825-26: he wanted to establish himself as a major symphonist, on a par with the “titan” Ludwig van Beethoven. And he succeeded, albeit with a delay. This enormous work did not have its world premiere until eleven years after Schubert’s death. Robert Schumann had discovered it during a visit to Vienna at Schubert’s estate and could not stop raving about it: “These are human voices,” he marveled, referring to the instrumentation, and he praised the score’s “heavenly length, like a novel in four volumes.” But with this music, not a single minute is too long! 

    The Cleveland Orchestra

    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

    August 2016


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    Franz Welser-Möst

    The Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Möst, who was born in 1960 in Linz, has been Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra since 2002. In addition to their concert series in Severance Hall and at the Blossom Music Center, he also regularly performs with them in New York, Miami, and the cultural centers of Europe. Welser-Möst had previously served as Music Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1990 to 1996) and of the Zurich Opera, with which he was associated for 13 years, from 1995 to 2008; from 2010 to 2014 he was General Music Director of the Vienna Staatsoper. Welser-Möst enjoys a close collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic: twice, in 2011 and 2013, he has conducted their famous New Year’s Concert, and he has also led the Philharmonic on tours to the United States, Japan, and Scandinavia. Welser-Möst is additionally a sought-after guest artist at the Salzburg Festival. In recent years, he has led new productions there of Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and Die Liebe der Danae, Beethoven’s Fidelio, and Reimann’s Lear; 2018 he conducted Strauss’s Salome and a program with the Vienna Philharmonic in Salzburg. Over the past season, Welser-Möst has additionally performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris. His discography has won numerous awards, including the Gramophone Award, the Diapason d’or, the Japanese Record Academy Award, and, in the fall of 2015, the Echo Klassik Award for his live DVD recording of Der Rosenkavalier at Salzburg. Franz Welser-Möst is an Honorary Member of the Vienna Singverein and holds the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art; in 2017 he received the Pro Arte Europapreis.

     LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 26 March 1999 leading the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Mahler’s Sixth Symphony.

    July 2018

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