The Cleveland Orchestra
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. In concerts at its
winter home at Severance Hall and at each summer's Blossom Festival, in ongoing residencies
from Miami to Vienna, and on tour around the world, the orchestra sets the highest
standards of artistic excellence, creative programming, and community engagement.
The partnership with Franz Welser-Möst, now in its 11th season, has earned The Cleveland
Orchestra unprecedented residencies in the US and in Europe, including one at the
Musikverein in Vienna-the first of its kind by an American orchestra. The
orchestra regularly appears at European festivals, including an ongoing series of biennial
residencies at the Lucerne Festival. In the US, Mr. Welser-Möst and the orchestra have
toured from coast to coast, including regular appearances at Carnegie Hall. Since January
2007, they have presented a series of concerts each season in Miami. Under the name
Cleveland Orchestra Miami, this residency program provides a wide array of community,
performance, and educational activities across Miami-Dade County, working in partnership
with a local non-profit governing board and with dozens of area educational
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 has recently been
added to an extensive and widely praised catalog of audio recordings made during the
tenures of the ensemble's former music directors. In addition, Cleveland Orchestra concerts
are heard in syndication each season on radio stations throughout North America and
The Cleveland Orchestra was founded in 1918 by a group of local citizens intent on
creating an ensemble worthy of joining America's top rank of symphony orchestras. Over the
next decades, the orchestra grew from a fine regional organization to one of the most
admired symphonic ensembles in the world. Seven music directors (Nikolai Sokoloff,
1918-1933; Artur Rodziński, 1933-1943; Erich Leinsdorf, 1943-1946; George Szell, 1946-1970;
Lorin Maazel, 1972-1982; Christoph von Dohnányi, 1984-2002; and Franz Welser-Möst, since
2002) have guided and shaped the ensemble's growth and sound. Touring performances
throughout the US and, beginning in 1957, to Europe and across the globe have confirmed
Cleveland's place among the world's top orchestras. Year-round performances became a
reality with the first Blossom Festival in 1968, presented at an award-winning,
purpose-built outdoor facility located just south of the Cleveland metropolitan area near
Akron, Ohio. Today, touring, residencies, radio broadcasts, and recordings provide access
to the orchestra's music making to a broad and loyal constituency around the world. Visit
clevelandorchestra.com for more information.
The 2012-2013 season marks Franz Welser-Möst's 11th year as music director of The
Cleveland Orchestra, with a long-term commitment that extends to the orchestra's centennial
in 2018. He holds the orchestra's Kelvin Smith Family Endowed Chair. Under his direction,
the orchestra is acclaimed for its continuing artistic excellence, is presented in a series
of ongoing residencies in the US and Europe, continues its championship of new composers
through commissions and premieres, and has re-established itself as an important operatic
ensemble. Concurrently with his Cleveland post, Mr. Welser-Möst is general music director
of the Vienna State Opera.
Under Mr. Welser-Möst's leadership, The Cleveland Orchestra has launched a series of
residencies in important cultural locations around the world. These include residencies at
Vienna's Musikverein, Switzerland's Lucerne Festival, and in Miami, as well as programs at
the Lincoln Center Festival and Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. Mr.
Welser-Möst has led a series of opera performances during his tenure in Cleveland.
Following six opera-in-concert presentations, he brought fully staged opera back to
Severance Hall with a three-season cycle of Zurich Opera productions of the Mozart-Da Ponte
operas. In May 2012, he led the orchestra and an international cast of singers in acclaimed
concert performances of Strauss's Salome in Cleveland and at
In addition to serving as general music director of the Vienna State Opera, Mr.
Welser-Möst maintains an ongoing relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Recent concert performances with the Philharmonic include appearances at the Lucerne
Festival and Salzburg Festival, in Tokyo, and at La Scala, as well as leading the
Philharmonic's 2011 New Year's concert, telecast worldwide; he will conduct the New Year's
Day concert again in 2013 and will also lead the Philharmonic in a series of concerts at
Carnegie Hall in March 2013.
Mr. Welser-Möst's recordings and videos have won international awards and two Grammy
nominations. He has led The Cleveland Orchestra in video recordings of live performances of
Bruckner's symphonies nos. 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9, and also released albums that feature music
by Wagner and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
Franz Welser-Möst has earned honorary membership in the Vienna Singverein, a Decoration of
Honor from the Republic of Austria, and the Kilenyi Medal from the Bruckner Society of
America. He has also been recognized by the Western Law Center for Disability Rights. Mr.
Welser-Möst is the co-author of Cadences: Observations and Conversations,
published in a German edition in 2007.