For Cleveland Orchestra, a low-key approach to 100th-anniversary celebrations

Posted on: January 23, 2018

“Sound the trumpets, peal the bells! The Cleveland Orchestra, which many consider one of the finest ensembles in the nation and the world, turns 100 this year,” writes James Oestreich in Monday’s (1/22) New York Times. “But don’t necessarily expect the orchestra … to join the clamor. There is no major commissioning project … no nationally televised gala…. [Said] Franz Welser-Möst, music director since 2002 … ‘We shouldn’t be celebrating ourselves. We should be celebrating the city and the community.’ … To anchor the season, Mr. Welser-Möst devised the ‘Prometheus Project,’ an exploration of Beethoven’s music. It included an educational venture involving some 250 students of the Cleveland School of the Arts…. [At Carnegie Hall] repertory this week is substantial but low-key: on Tuesday, Mahler’s Ninth Symphony … and ‘Stromab,’ by the Austrian composer Johannes Maria Staud; and on Wednesday Haydn’s oratorio ‘The Seasons.’ … Skeptics say that touring orchestras are steeled and on their mettle when they visit Carnegie Hall, adding, ‘They don’t play that way every week at home.’ The Cleveland Orchestra, as I learned during a season (1988-89) spent as its program annotator and editor, plays that way every week, no matter what or where.”

Posted January 23, 2018

Pictured: The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst at Severance Hall, January 18, 2018. Photo by Dustin Franz / New York Times