Great Performances: The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Celebration
Cleveland (December 12, 2018) — Northeast Ohio will be in the national spotlight on Friday, January 11, 2019, at 9:00 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) in Great Performances: The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Celebration. It will be available to stream the following day via pbs.org/gperf and PBS apps. This 90-minute co-production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, WVIZ/PBS ideastream, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Clasart Classic celebrates The Cleveland Orchestra’s historic centennial. The co-production is in association with international broadcasters NHK (Japan), BR/3Sat (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), and YLE (Finland).
On September 29, 2018 at Severance Hall, WVIZ/PBS ideastream, Northeast Ohio’s innovative public multimedia source, and Great Performances, America’s preeminent performing arts television series, worked together to capture The Cleveland Orchestra’s 100thanniversary gala concert for television. The Cleveland Orchestra’s featured performance was led by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and offered works touching on more than a century of Viennese musical traditions with Lang Lang performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24. The remainder of the concert featured Die Frau Ohne Schatten Symphonic Fantasy by Richard Strauss and Maurice Ravel’s viscerally cataclysmic La Valse (The Waltz), which dramatically evokes the changing artistic worlds between the 19th and 20th centuries.
This Great Performances episode also includes three special segments produced by WVIZ/PBS ideastream. Each includes a historical look at The Cleveland Orchestra. The first segment features “The Mother of The Cleveland Orchestra,” Adella Prentiss Hughes, who was the first female founder of a successful orchestra. The second highlights the Orchestra’s seven music directors, including Kiev-born Nikolai Sokoloff; the tireless, forward-thinking George Szell who is famous for forging what became known as “The Cleveland Sound”; and Franz Welser-Möst, whose collaborative relationship with the Orchestra is widely-acknowledged among the best orchestra-conductor partnerships of today. The final segment showcases the Orchestra’s long legacy of community engagement in Northeast Ohio neighborhoods and schools.
This production marks the fourth time that The Cleveland Orchestra has been featured on Great Performances, most recently in 2006 when Franz Welser-Möst conducted the Orchestra in a Carnegie Hall Opening Night Concert. Additional appearances on the long-running series include a concert from the 1975–76 season with Lorin Maazel and a performance from 2000 conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi.
The Cleveland Orchestra acknowledges the support from Clasart Classic (Germany), the Orchestra’s Global Media Sponsor and co-producer of this Great Performances episode. The Orchestra also thanks NHK Broadcasting (Japan), Bayerischer Rundfunk / 3sat (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company) for their participation. Internationally, the program will broadcast in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on December 15, in Japan on December 17, and in Finland on a date to be announced.
Major support for this episode of Great Performances is provided by The Eric and Jane Nord Family. Major funding for the Great Performances series is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the Irene Diamond Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The Abra Prentice Foundation, public television viewers, and PBS.
Great Performances: The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Celebration will be available on DVD in Germany on December 21 and in the United States on February 8 via Clasart Classic/Concorde Home Entertainment/Belvedere Edition. The DVD will also be available at the Severance Hall Gift Shop in January 2019.
Long-term Partnership: The Cleveland Orchestra and ideastream
The Cleveland Orchestra and ideastream enjoy a long and growing partnership, dedicated to collaborating on projects that can transform lives through the power of music. Cleveland classical radio station WCLV 104.9 has worked for more than half a century in producing and recording the Orchestra’s weekly radio broadcasts, while more recent projects have included the involvement of ideastream in recording productions for the Orchestra’s video recordings of Bruckner and Brahms symphonies (available on DVD through Clasart), online video and audio streaming of live community concerts, and a new initiative at the Orchestra’s summer home, Blossom Music Center, to offer live image magnification (IMAG) at select concerts in 2018.
The Cleveland Orchestra and ideastream are committed to expanding and extending their collaborative partnership to reach new audiences through affordable and accessible avenues. Collaborative projects enhance musical performances and learning experiences through engaging storytelling, quality education programs, and state-of-the-art technology.
About The Cleveland Orchestra
Founded by Adella Prentiss Hughes, The Cleveland Orchestra’s inaugural concert took place on December 11, 1918. Under the leadership of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, The Cleveland Orchestra has become one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world, setting standards of extraordinary artistic excellence, creative programming, and community engagement. The New York Times has declared it “… the best in America” for its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like musical cohesion. The 2017-18 season marked the Orchestra’s 100th year of concerts, and the beginning of a Second Century of extraordinary music making, dedicated service to its hometown, and worldwide acclaim.
Strong community support from across the ensemble’s home region is driving the Orchestra forward with renewed energy and focus, increasing the number of young people attending concerts, and bringing fresh attention to the Orchestra’s legendary sound and committed programming — including annual opera presentations in innovative stagings and pairings. Recent acclaimed productions have included Debussy’s Pelléas and Mélisande (May 2017), a double bill of Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin and Bluebeard’s Castle(April 2016), presented in collaboration with Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet, and an innovative presentation of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (May 2014, with encore performances in Cleveland and Europe during the autumn of 2017). The 2017-18 season also featured in-concert performances of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde (April 2018).
The partnership with Franz Welser-Möst, begun in 2002 and entering its 17th year with the 2018-19 season, has earned The Cleveland Orchestra unprecedented residencies in the U.S. and around the world, including one at the Musikverein in Vienna, the first of its kind by an American orchestra. It also performs regularly at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals. The Orchestra’s 100thseason in 2017-18 featured two international tours, concluding with the presentation on three continents of Welser-Möst’s Prometheus Project featuring Beethoven Symphonies and overtures; these Beethoven concerts were presented in May and June 2018, at home in Cleveland, in Vienna’s Musikverein, and in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
The Cleveland Orchestra has a long and distinguished recording and broadcast history. A series of DVD and CD recordings under the direction of Mr. Welser-Möst continues to add to an extensive and widely praised catalog of audio recordings made during the tenures of the ensemble’s earlier music directors. In addition, Cleveland Orchestra concerts are heard in syndication each season on radio stations throughout North America and Europe.
Seven music directors — Nikolai Sokoloff, Artur Rodziński, Erich Leinsdorf, George Szell, Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Franz Welser-Möst — have guided and shaped the ensemble’s growth and sound since its founding in 1918. Through concerts at home and on tour, via radio broadcasts, and a catalog of acclaimed recordings, The Cleveland Orchestra is heard today by a broad and growing group of fans around the world. For more information, visit clevelandorchestra.com.
ideastream serves the people of Northeast Ohio as a trusted and dynamic multimedia source for illuminating the world around us. Publicly supported and locally owned, ideastream is indispensable and highly valued for its unique ability to strengthen our community. ideastream is the consolidation of WVIZ/PBS, with five channels of public television service (WVIZ/PBS-HD, WVIZ/PBS Ohio, WVIZ/PBS World, WVIZ/PBS Create, and WVIZ/PBS Kids); 90.3 WCPN, Northeast Ohio’s NPR news and public affairs radio station; WCLV 104.9, Northeast Ohio’s classical music radio station; ideastream Education, with educational resources, services and the award-winning children’s series NewsDepth; and management of The Ohio Channel and the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau on behalf of all Ohio’s public broadcasting stations. For more information about ideastream’s rich legacy of innovation and credible content, visit ideastream.org.
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, home to ALL ARTS. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create, and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education, and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances,American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, the new nightly interview program Amanpour and Company and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history experience. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique issues and culture through NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, NYC-ARTS, Treasures of New York, Theater Close-Up, and WLIW Arts Beat. WNET creates online-only programming, including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person. Through multi-platform initiatives Chasing the Dream: Poverty & Opportunity in America and Peril & Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change, WNET showcases the human stories around these issues and promising solutions. The weekly program SciTech Now explores the nexus of new ideas in science and technology. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW21 Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW, and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.