The Cleveland Orchestra Announces 100th Season; Returns to Carnegie Hall; Continues Youth Free Programs

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Continuing To Develop The Youngest Audience In The Country Through Innovative Programs

"It's hard for me to imagine just how well this initiative has taken root since 2010.  Simply put, the results for the programs funded by the Center for Future Audiences have exceeded all expectations," said Ross Binnie, Cleveland Orchestra Chief Marketing Officer and Director of the Center for Future Audiences.  "In only the first six years, more than 210,000 young people have witnessed The Cleveland Orchestra live by participating in a broad range of programs. More than 40,000 young people per season are now attending our concerts at Severance Hall and at each summer's Blossom Music Festival, which is more than ever in our history by quite a margin.  Today, over 20% of the classical concert audience is made up of patrons 25 years old and under.  As we look to the start of our Second Century, the Center will continue to push these boundaries and create even more innovative programs that promote concert attendance among the next generation and solidify Cleveland's place as having one of the very youngest audiences of any orchestra."

Center for Future Audiences 
The Cleveland Orchestra's Center for Future Audiences was established to fund programs to develop new generations of audiences for Cleveland Orch­estra concerts in Northeast Ohio.

The Center was created in 2010 with a $20 million lead endowment gift from the Maltz Family Foundation.  Center-funded programs focus on addressing economic and geographic barriers to attending Cleveland Orch­estra concerts at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center.

Programs include research, introductory offers, targeted discounts, student ticket programs, and integrated use of new technologies.  For additional details, see the corresponding Center for Future Audiences fact sheet.

More young people than ever are attending Cleveland Orchestra concerts at Severance Hall and at each summer's Blossom Music Festival.  Over 20% of the classical concert audience is now made up of patrons 25 years old and under, up from just 8% prior to the introduction of the expansion of programs made possible by the Center's funding.

The Circle was launched in January 2014, and provides a monthly membership model for young professionals to not only receive subsidized tickets but also to engage with the Orchestra and its musicians on a deeper level, including behind-the-scenes access, networking, and volunteer opportunities.  As The Circle approaches its third year, there are currently 285 members signed up on a monthly basis, an active volunteer board structure, and a wide variety of engaging events.

The Members Club is the newest focus geared toward expanding audience participation among younger adults, specifically targeting those aged 25-40, by providing the flexibility of a monthly membership program.  For a monthly fee, each patron has access to club membership benefits, including steeply discounted tickets, private receptions, and increased access to the Orchestra.  The Cleveland Orchestra Members Club launched in the fall of 2016.  Currently, the Members Club has 200 members who are attending an average of six concerts a season.  This represents an increase of 150% over their previous participation.

"Under 18s Free" is a program of The Cleveland Orchestra's Center for Future Audiences.

"Under 18s Free" continues to develop young audiences by making attending Orchestra concerts affordable for families, offering free tickets to young people, 17 and under, for select Severance Hall concerts again this season.

Building on the Orchestra's long emphasis on school programs and the Center's focus on future generations, the Alexander and Sarah Cutler Fund for Student Audiences was established through a pledge of $5 million in 2011.  This fund supports existing and new programs for students, with particular emphasis on Cleveland Orchestra concerts and programs at Severance Hall. 

Education and Community Engagement Programs:  Serving the Northeast Ohio community to foster a true love of, and passion for, music

The Cleveland Orchestra has a long and proud history of sharing the joy and benefits of music with people throughout Northeast Ohio.  Franz Welser-Mӧst leads the Orchestra into its second century with a renewed commitment to music education and community engagement, based on his belief that every child should be touched by music, that the arts are critical to a well-rounded education, and that learning never ends (lifelong learning). 

A very special Education Concert titled "Sparks of Genius:  Beethoven and Prometheus" will be featured as part of the opening weekend events for the 2017-18 season.  In a unique collaboration between The Cleveland Orchestra, led by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, and the Cleveland School of the Arts (CSA), the program is inspired by the Prometheus Project, a highlight of the Severance Hall season.  The program will introduce middle and high school students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to an emotionally-rich, multidisciplinary, multimedia concert experience that illuminates the hero's journey, as inspired by the lives of composer Ludwig van Beethoven, and the Greek Titan Prometheus, and will be repeated for school systems throughout the region later in November 2017.

The Second Century celebration season will also include a variety of performances that provide access to the greater community.  On January 14, 2018, The Cleveland Orchestra will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a special community concert led by Franz Welser-Möst that will showcase the life and legacy of Dr. King.  In partnership with ideastream, the concert will be broadcast live on 90.3 WCPN / WCLV 104.9 and will be recorded for statewide delayed television broadcast on WVIZ/PBS for expanded community reach.  In addition, a second series of Education Concerts will be featured in February 2018 that connects to the legacy of Dr. King and civil rights themes.

In July 2018, the Star-Spangled Spectacular, the Orchestra's free community concert in downtown Cleveland, will be the public occasion to celebrate the Orchestra's 100th Anniversary.  Franz Welser-Möst will lead the Orchestra in a concert extravaganza for the entire community.

The 2017-18 season will also feature a series of performances around the region by all of the organization's ensembles – The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, and Cleveland Orchestra Youth and Children's Choruses.  The performances will celebrate and thank the communities that have supported The Cleveland Orchestra over the past century.

Details for education concerts and community events as well as the American Greetings Family Concert and PNC Musical Rainbows series will be announced leading up to the start of the 2017-18 season.

Introducing CODA:  Cleveland Orchestra Digital Archives
Beginning in the autumn of 2017 and over the course of coming seasons, the Archives of The Cleveland Orchestra will begin launching a series of expanded online resources in support of Second Century celebrations and introducing the Cleveland Orchestra Digital Archives (CODA) as a permanent and growing feature of the Orchestra's efforts to make its living, illustrious history available to a worldwide audience.  These new features include:

The Soundwave:  A timeline of 100 photos, musical clips, and spoken oral histories/interviews, and video clips that builds as each item is added over the season.

Prometheus Project:  Supporting the Prometheus Project through essays, video, and historical audio performances by The Cleveland Orchestra related to the Beethoven repertoire in the Prometheus Project.

Digital Fanfare:  A searchable database of the roster of Orchestra musicians from 1918 to the present.  Searchable fields will include name, tenure dates, instrument(s), title position(s), music director appointed under, photo, and brief biographies.  Fanfare: Portraits of The Cleveland Orchestra was published in January 1995, as part of the celebration of The Cleveland Orchestra's 75th anniversary.  The book includes biographies of members of The Cleveland Orchestra (from the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons), accompanied by black-and-white portrait photographs of the musicians.

Ask the Archivist:  An opportunity to connect easily and directly with the Archives staff.

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