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 10th 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 United States, Mr. Welser-Möst and the
orchestra have toured from coast to coast, including regular appearances at Carnegie Hall.
In January 2007, they launched an annual residency called Cleveland Orchestra Miami, which
provides a wide array of community, performance, and educational activities in Miami,
Florida. In addition, the orchestra has performed in residence at Indiana University and
began a new residency program in New York City as part of the 2011 Lincoln Center
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 available by
internet download, DVD, and CD provide access to the orchestra's music making to a broad
and loyal constituency around the world. Visit clevelandorchestra.com for additional
The 2011-2012 season marks Franz Welser-Möst's 10th year as music director of The
Cleveland Orchestra, with a long-term commitment extending 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 and Switzerland's Lucerne Festival, as well as programs at the Lincoln
Center Festival and Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. The orchestra's annual
residency in Miami, under the name Cleveland Orchestra Miami, features multiple weeks of
concerts coupled with community activities (modeled on the orchestra's long-term
educational programs in Cleveland) with more than a dozen partnerships across Miami-Dade
organizations and educational institutions.
Mr. Welser-Möst has led opera performances each season 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 and leads concert performances of Strauss's Salome this month.
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, with
which he recently performed at the Lucerne Festival and Salzburg Festival, in Tokyo, and in
concert at La Scala in Milan. He led that orchestra's annual New Year's concert in 2011,
telecast worldwide, and has been invited to conduct it again in 2013. Across a decade-long
tenure with the Zurich Opera, culminating in three seasons as general music director
(2005-2008), he led the company in more than 40 new productions.
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. 5, 7, 8, and 9. Together, they have released recordings of
Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder (with soprano Measha Brueggergosman) and
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
Franz Welser-Möst has been recognized by the Western Law Center for Disability Rights and
is an honorary member of the Vienna Singverein. Musical America named him the 2003
Conductor of the Year. He is the co-author of Cadences:Observations
andConversations, published in a German edition in 2007.