MXO ‘The Arts Unplugged’: Cleveland Orchestra Announces Return To In-Person Concerts!


The Cleveland Orchestra will return to the Blossom Music Festival this year.

Last year, all of the orchestra’s concerts were canceled due to COVID-19. On Sunday, the orchestra announced it would make its long-awaited return with in-person concerts to Blossom starting July 3. Eleven concerts are scheduled between the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.

“Notwithstanding the few guests who attended some of our recording sessions these past few weeks, it has been more than a year since The Cleveland Orchestra played concerts for a live audience, and we’re eagerly looking forward to performing for music lovers across Northeast Ohio this summer,” said André Gremillet, president and CEO of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Subscription tickets for the concert series are now on sale. Individual concert tickets will go on sale May 3.

Here’s the slate of currently scheduled concerts:

  • July 3 — Former Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchell will lead a performance of patriotic hits and staples of American composers. This will be the orchestra’s first concert since 2019.
  • July 11 — Jane Glover, Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, will lead an all-Mozart program.
  • July 18 — Lucas Waldin and singer Capathia Jenkins will lead The Great American Songbook performance, with songs by Gershwin and Ellington.
  • July 25 — Music director of the San Diego Symphony Rafael Payare makes his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in a concert featuring Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”).
  • August 1 — Herbert Blomstedt returns to Blossom for a program featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. Blomstedt has appeared with The Cleveland Orchestra in 15 of the last 20 years.
  • August 8 — The Cleveland Orchestra will host The Classical Mystery Tour, a tribute to the Beatles. Audiences will hear classic songs like Penny Lane, with a live trumpet section, and Yesterday, with a string section.
  • August 15 — Karina Canellakis, chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, makes her Cleveland Orchestra debut with Tchaikovsky’s passionate Symphony No. 4.
  • August 22 — Former Cleveland Orchestra resident conductor and former music director of Blossom Music Festival Jahja Ling leads an ensemble featuring Brahms’s gorgeous Third Symphony.
  • August 28 — Elim Chan will lead the ensemble for the first time, in a program featuring Elgar’s powerful and mysterious Enigma Variations.
  • September 4 and 5 — Richard Kaufman, a Hollywood score conductor, will lead the orchestra through scores from blockbuster films like “Star Wars,” “Harry Potters,” “E.T.,” and more.

“After what has been a challenging and, for so many, a tragic time, we believe that the upcoming Blossom Music Festival season will provide a measure of joy and relief — offering an opportunity for our community to come together again through the extraordinary power of music. Enjoying picnics and music at Blossom is a beloved summertime tradition, and we hope this year’s concerts will mark a joyful reunion for all of us — musicians, audience, staff, volunteers, and our entire Northeast Ohio community,” Gremillet said.

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