Catch A Concert From The Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra has been one of the city’s cultural treasures since 1918. Their yearly calendar is filled with wonderful performances, from classic compositions to more contemporary arrangements. Take a look at their concert schedule, then take in a show!
The Cleveland Orchestra
Founded by pianist and musical entrepreneur Adella Prentiss Hughes, the Cleveland Orchestra quickly became one of the most prominent ensembles in the U.S. thanks to Cleveland’s extraordinary talent pool and a host of visionary directors. They put on a series of beautiful performances each year, with special series like the film screenings with live music. At any given performance, you may hear the works of legendary composers like Dvořák or Brahms, all masterfully delivered at Severance Hall.
The Szell Shell
George Szell became music director and conductor in 1946, and lead the orchestra on a tenacious pursuit of quality and precision for more than two decades. Szell toured the U.S., appearing in concert halls with extraordinary sound quality, and felt that the Cleveland Orchestra would benefit from a more acoustically-engineered environment. Per his insistence, the stage at Severance Hall underwent significant upgrades in the 1950s, introducing the iconic “Szell Shell” design to optimize sound quality. This innovation along with the removal of dense carpets cured the “dryness” he had detected upon his arrival and ensured that every note in the hall rang crystal clear.
The Big Five
The Cleveland Orchestra is historically considered of the celebrated “Big Five” symphony orchestras that have set the standards for excellence, musicianship, and overall treatment of personnel. The designation dates back to the dawn of recordings and broadcasts, allowing the orchestras to reach audiences across the country with unprecedented quality. To be a part of one of these esteemed outfits was the dream of many classically-trained musicians, who were drawn to the orchestras by recording guarantees, indisputable clout, and considerable wages for the field. While many other orchestras from coast to coast have earned prestige in recent years, the Cleveland Orchestra’s original “Big Five” siblings were the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, and Philadelphia Orchestra.
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