Performance Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | 8 PM

The Cleveland Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Hear one of America’s greatest orchestras perform exemplary music from three centuries. The Cleveland Orchestra and Maestro Franz Welser-Möst are joined by acclaimed violinist Gil Shaham for a program that includes the New York premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Laterna magica, a work inspired by the autobiography of Ingmar Bergmann, and works by Brahms and Shostakovich.


  • The Cleveland Orchestra
    Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director and Conductor
  • Gil Shaham, Violin


  • BRAHMS Violin Concerto
  • KAIJA SAARIAHO Laterna magica (NY Premiere)
  • SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 6 in B Minor



    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 Festival.

    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 Europe.

    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 for additional information.

    Franz Welser-Möst

    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.

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  • Gil Shaham

    Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time. Combining flawless technique with inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit, he is sought after as a concerto, recital, and ensemble artist by the world's leading orchestras, venues, and festivals. During the 2011-2012 season, he continued his long-term exploration of violin concertos of the 1930s with the New York Philharmonic, New World Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Other season highlights included Brahms's Violin Concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and with the orchestras of San Francisco, Boston, and Delaware. In the fall, Mr. Shaham performed several of Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin during his US recital tour.

    Mr. Shaham has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, including bestsellers that have appeared on record charts in the US and abroad, winning him multiple Grammy Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d'Or, and Gramophone Editor's Choice. His recent recordings-produced on the Canary Classics label, which he founded in 2004-comprise Haydn's violin concertos and Mendelssohn's Octet with the Sejong Soloists, Sarasate: Virtuoso Violin Works, Elgar's Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Butterfly Lovers and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A Major with Yefim Bronfman and Truls Mørk, The Prokofiev Album, The Fauré Album, Mozart in Paris, and works by Haydn and Mendelssohn.

    Mr. Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990. In 2008, he received the coveted Avery Fisher Award. He plays the 1699 "Countess Polignac" Stradivarius. Mr. Shaham lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their two children.

    Mr. Shaham's first appearance with The Cleveland Orchestra was in 1988. This evening's performance marks his 14th.

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Laterna Magica
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra | Sakari Oramo, Conductor
Brahms's Violin Concerto (Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace - Poco piu presto)
Berliner Philharmoniker | Claudio Abbado, Conductor | Gil Shaham, Violin
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

JOHANNES BRAHMS  Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77

During the composition of the Op. 77 Violin Concerto, Brahms relied heavily on close friend and famed violinist Joseph Joachim to help fashion a solo part that was playable and effective. After extensive revisions and fiery exchanges, this epic, intensely virtuosic concerto was produced with a cadenza written by Joachim himself.  

Laterna magica  

Born in Helsinki, Kaija Saariaho studied at the Sibelius Academy, in Freiburg with the avant-gardists Brian Ferneyhough and Klaus Huber, and at the IRCAM research institute, where she developed techniques of computer-assisted composition and acquired fluency in working on tape and with electronics. Her 2008 work Laterna magica—which takes its title from the autobiography of the great Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman and refers to an early type of manual film projector—consists of shifting mirages of sound and referential sonic gestures.

Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 54  

Shostakovich had no objection to composing large-scale hymns to the Revolution, and he did just that in his early symphonies; however, the liberal artistic climate that had prevailed during the first decade or so of Soviet rule gave way to a new conservatism under Stalin, which caused Shostakovich to fall from his position as one of Soviet Russia's most esteemed artists to that of cultural pariah. In his Sixth Symphony, which was originally conceived as a tribute to Lenin, political or representative elements are entirely absent, and the work has become accepted as a strong and personal musical statement.

Program Notes


Kaija Saariaho introduces her Ingmar Bergman-inspired Laterna magica.

The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel R. Lewis in support of the 2011-2012 season.
Kaija Saariaho is the holder of the 2011-2012 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall.
Duff and Phelps 115 x
The Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is sponsored by Duff & Phelps.
Macy's 95x
This Carnegie Hall Live broadcast is supported by Macy's.

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