Cleveland Orchestra

The Cleveland Orchestra is a symphony orchestra based in Cleveland, Ohio. Since its founding in 1918, the orchestra was heard in numerous radio and CD recordings. It is the Big Five, the five largest symphony orchestras in the U.S., and counted among them is regarded as the most European. Currently, Franz Welser -Möst conducts as chief conductor of the orchestra.


The Cleveland Orchestra was founded in 1918 by Adella Prentiss Hughes; Nikolai Sokoloff was the first chief conductor (Music Director). Born when a benefit concert on 11 December 1918, the Church of St. Ann 's Parish in Cleveland Heights. In the 1920s, the orchestra came through tours in Ohio, the East Coast of the United States, Canada and Cuba to greater awareness. Concerts in Cleveland itself were initially undertaken in the Masonic Auditorium and Public Auditorium. In 1931 was built with Severance Hall has its own concert hall for the Cleveland Orchestra.

In the years 1946-1970, when George Szell was chief conductor, the orchestra acquired its present-day prominence. Szell renewed the Cleveland Orchestra, according to his ideas and put this very high demands on the musicians. Who made too many mistakes or questioned his authority, was fired. Many stories are about Szell stern, autocratic style, especially his rehearsals had feared. Became known for his statement: The Cleveland Orchestra gives seven concerts a week and the public is invited to two. ( The Cleveland Orchestra gives seven concerts per week, the audience is [ only ] to two invited ). Supposedly Szell was even the cleaning staff in Severance Hall accurate specifications, as the floor was to wipe and toilet paper which had to be bought.

But not last Szell strict operation led the Cleveland Orchestra of regional notoriety to worldwide fame. End of 1950, the orchestra had already been on many national and international tours and its reputation for precision and high standard. Szell influence continued long after his death.

In an interim period 1970-1972 Pierre Boulez took over the management of the orchestra, before Lorin Maazel was clear as the new chief conductor. In the 1990s, Boulez always returned to Cleveland, to make recordings for the German Grammophon. Lorin Maazel and Christoph von Dohnányi, followed as chief conductor, led the orchestra continues to tour internationally and published numerous records. Under Christoph von Dohnányi, The Cleveland Orchestra in 1992 occurred as the first American orchestra to perform at the Salzbuger Festival.

Franz Welser- Möst has worked as Principal Conductor since 2002, its current contract runs until 2018.

In addition to the recordings with its chief conductor, the orchestra also released records with Vladimir Ashkenazy, Oliver Knussen, Kurt Sanderling, Yoel Levi, Riccardo Chailly, Michael Tilson Thomas and Louis Lane, which long deputy chief conductor under George Szell was. Additional deputy conductor of the orchestra were James Levine, Alan Gilbert, James Judd and Michael Stern.


Cleveland is the smallest city that is home to a Big Five orchestra. The others are located in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. However, enjoy musicians in the city a high reputation and are often treated as local celebrities. In the 1960s it was common for example among fans to receive the jubilantly returning from a tour orchestra at the airport.

The Cleveland Orchestra occurs at the time primarily in two halls: the Masonic Auditorium and Severance Hall. As the " Summer Home " is the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, where during the Blossom Festival a series of summer concerts are played.

Other frequently visited venues are Lucerne, Vienna, New York and Miami.

Chief Conductor