Welser-Möst looks to take Cleveland Orchestra outside “ivory tower”

Posted on: April 11, 2012

In Sunday’s (4/8) San Diego Union-Tribune, James Chute writes, “Franz Welser-Möst, the music director of The Cleveland Orchestra, has a perspective that’s different from most music directors with his accomplishments, experience and reputation. An eminent maestro who has conducted in virtually all of the world’s great opera houses and concert halls, Welser-Möst is also passionate about conducting in Cleveland’s not-so-great high school gymnasiums in an effort to reach younger audiences. ‘If we don’t do it, we’ll die,’ said Welser-Möst, speaking on the phone from his office at the Vienna State Opera, where he is also music director. ‘I think it’s highly important we get out of our ivory tower.’ There are few orchestras that engage in as extensive outreach as the Cleveland Orchestra, which the La Jolla Music Society brings to Copley Symphony Hall on April 20 for a program of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (with violinist Nikolaj Znaider), Smetana’s Selections from ‘Má Vlast,’ and Thomas Adès’s Selections from ‘Powder Her Face.’ … Rather than assign those educational concerts to assistant conductors, Welser-Möst insists on giving many of them his personal attention. … The ensemble’s expanded outreach goes beyond educational concerts. Under Welser-Möst’s leadership, the Cleveland Orchestra has established residences not only in Miami, but in Vienna and Lucerne, and is exploring possibilities in New York and Paris.”

Photo of Franz Welser-Möst with composer Toshio Hosokawa by Priska Ketterer/Lucerne Festival

Posted April 11, 2012