Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Other Search Options
Christine Honolke
Press Releases
Blossom Music Center
United States
Cuyahoga Falls, OH

The Cleveland Orchestra announces 2013 Blossom Music Festival and return of Joffrey Ballet

by Christine Honolke
May 2, 2013
Blossom Music Center
1145 W Steels Corners Rd
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
(330) 920-8040
The Cleveland Orchestra has announced the 2013 Blossom Music Festival season. The Orchestra will present 19 concerts at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Valley National Park from July 3 – September 1. Continuing a 40-year tradition, the Blossom season opens with Salute to America concerts with the Blossom Festival Band. Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducts three programs at Blossom, including opening night for The Cleveland Orchestra. Highlights of the season are The Joffrey Ballet's return under the direction of Tito Muñoz and the Blossom Music Festival premiere of Pixar in Concert with conductor Richard Kaufman.

The Blossom season showcases the Orchestra in nine programs and features three principal musicians as soloists: Joshua Smith, flute, Mark Kosower, cello, and Franklin Cohen, clarinet. Conductors Nicholas McGegan, Stéphane Denève, Bramwell Tovey, Jahja Ling, and David Afkham return to Blossom, and Kirill Karabits makes his Cleveland Orchestra debut. Returning guest artists include pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, soprano Christine Brewer, bass Alan Held, and violinist Gil Shaham. Debut artists include soprano Luba Orgonášová, pianist Cédric Tiberghien, violinist Ray Chen, and pianist Martin Helmchen.

A wide variety of popular music will be featured at Blossom this summer, including a premiere performance of the music of Simon & Garfunkel under the direction of Michael Krajewski. Broadway stars will take the stage in a Broadway's Leading Men program, led by Jack Everly. Cleveland Orchestra conductor Robert Porco will conduct highlights from the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, and Bramwell Tovey leads an evening of the music of popular song, including music by Cole Porter and Jerome Kern.

Franz Welser-Möst Conducts

Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Orchestra's opening night at Blossom on Friday, July 5, with a program featuring soprano Luba Orgonášová in her Cleveland Orchestra debut performing as soloist in Strauss's Four Last Songs, followed by Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8.

Mr. Welser-Möst will lead Beethoven's Grosse Fuge for string orchestra, Liszt's Totentanz for piano and orchestra with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica") on Saturday, July 6. A commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth will be presented Saturday, July 13. Mr. Welser-Möst will conduct selections from Tristan and Isolde, Die Walküre, and Die Götterdämmerung. Soprano Christine Brewer and bass Alan Held will join the Orchestra in excerpts from the final scene of Die Walküre. Ms. Brewer will also sing the "Liebestod" from Tristan and Isolde and Brünnhilde's Immolation Scene from Die Götterdämmerung.

The Joffrey Ballet Returns

The Cleveland Orchestra and The Joffrey Ballet continue an ongoing collaboration in two performances on Saturday, August 17, and Sunday, August 18, featuring Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the work's shocking Paris premiere in 1913. The production is a reconstruction (currently on tour across the country) created by the Joffrey in 1987, of Vaslav Nijinsky's original choreography and the costumes designed by Nicholas Roerich. In addition to The Rite of Spring, the programs will include Interplay, choreographed by Jerome Robbins to music by Morton Gould, an energetic and brightly colored ballet full of youthful playfulness, and John Adams's Son of Chamber Symphony, reminiscent of classical ballets such as Swan Lake, but distinctly contemporary, with choreography by Stanton Welch.

Pixar in Concert

Pixar in Concert premieres at the Blossom Music Festival on Saturday, August 31, and Sunday, September 1, on Labor Day weekend. The Cleveland Orchestra will perform selections from all 13 smash-hit Pixar films with visually stunning clips projected on large screens. The clips capture the essence of each film, including their beloved characters and the popular music. The films are: A Bug's Life, Brave, Cars and Cars 2, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and 3, Ratatouille, Up, and WALL·E. The concerts will be followed by fireworks, weather permitting.

Orchestral Masterworks

The Orchestra takes the spotlight at Blossom in performances of masterworks from the classical, romantic, and twentieth-century eras. Nicholas McGegan will lead a performance of Haydn's Symphony No. 103 ("Drum Roll). Stéphane Denève leads Debussy's La Mer, Ravel's La Valse, and Saint-Saëns's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Cédric Tiberghien in his Cleveland Orchestra debut. Conductor Kirill Karabits makes his debut in a program including Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5. Bramwell Tovey will conduct Holst's The Planets. Violinist Ray Chen, in his Cleveland Orchestra debut, joins conductor Jahja Ling for Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. David Afkham will conduct Schubert's Symphony in C major ("The Great"). The program also includes Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 with debuting guest artist Martin Helmchen.

Cleveland Orchestra principals appearing as soloists at Blossom this season are: Joshua Smith in Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 1, Mark Kosower in Barber's Cello Concerto, and Franklin Cohen in Navarro's II Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra.

Popular Favorites and Broadway Hits

The smooth sounds of Simon & Garfunkel will be revisited onstage at Blossom in a tribute by vocalists AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle, conducted by Michael Krajewski. Chart-topping songs on the program include "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Sound of Silence," "The Boxer," "America," and "Mrs. Robinson."

Highlights from the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess return to the Blossom stage conducted by Robert Porco. Acclaimed for her recent portrayal of Bess at the San Francisco Opera, soprano Laquita Mitchell will be joined onstage by Leontyne Price Vocal Competition winner Eric Greene, baritone, as Porgy, Broadway star Rodrick Dixon, tenor, as Sportin' Life, and the Blossom Festival Chorus.

Four of today's most talented Broadway leading men, along with one leading lady, join conductor Jack Everly and the Orchestra for great moments in musical theater history, including selections by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, and Rodgers & Hammerstein. The hits include "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man, "Maria" from West Side Story, and a medley from Les Misérables.

Blossom Festival Band

Continuing a 40-year annual tradition, the Blossom Festival Band, conducted by Loras John Schissel, celebrates Independence Day with A Salute to America on Wednesday, July 3, and Thursday, July 4. The program features music by Gershwin and Sousa, and the explosive Tchaikovsky "1812" Overture, followed by fireworks.

Kent/Blossom Music

Celebrating its 46th season in 2013, Kent/Blossom Music began under the direction of George Szell when The Cleveland Orchestra and Kent State University launched a partnership in 1968, the year Blossom Music Center opened. Kent/Blossom Music's advanced training program brings more than 40 musicians from around the world to Ohio each summer for professional training in chamber music and orchestral studies. Participants receive lessons, coachings, and masterclasses with members of The Cleveland Orchestra and other elite faculty for five weeks in June and July. On Saturday, July 27, participants will perform with The Cleveland Orchestra in a side-by-side concert and also present a pre-concert program, conducted by Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Conductor James Feddeck, prior to The Cleveland Orchestra's concert at the Blossom Music Festival.

Twenty Cleveland Orchestra musicians serve on the faculty at Kent/Blossom Music. Twenty alumni of Kent/Blossom Music are now members of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Family-friendly "Under 18s Free" tickets continue at every Blossom Music Festival concert

The Cleveland Orchestra continues its mission to offer free tickets to young people 17 and under for every Blossom concert again this season. More than 26,000 young people attended Blossom Music Festival concerts through the "Under 18s Free" ticket program in 2011 and 2012.

The "Under 18s Free" initiative is an integral part of The Cleveland Orchestra's Center for Future Audiences, which was created to provide broader access for the Northeast Ohio community and is endowed through the leadership and generosity of the Maltz Family Foundation.

2013 Blossom Music Festival Calendar

Wednesday, July 3, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 4, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

*A Salute to America*
Blossom Festival Band
Loras John Schissel, conductor

Northeast Ohio's favorite Independence Day concerts feature patriotic favorites from some of the country's best-loved composers, including Gershwin and Sousa, topped off with the "1812" Overture and a spectacular fireworks display.
Pavilion Tickets: $25; Box Seats: $45. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Friday, July 5, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

*Blossom Music Festival Opening Night*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Luba Orgonášová, soprano – Cleveland Orchestra debut

Strauss: Four Last Songs
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Saturday, July 6, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

*Heroic Beethoven*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Beethoven: Grosse Fuge
Liszt: Totentanz [for piano and orchestra]
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica")
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Saturday, July 13, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

*Wagner's Valkyrie - Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Wagner's Birth*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Christine Brewer, soprano
Alan Held, bass – Blossom Music Festival debut

Wagner: Prelude and "Liebestod" from Tristan and Isolde
Wagner: "Wotan's Farewell" and "Magic Fire Music" from Die Walküre
Wagner: Excerpts from Die Götterdämmerung
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Sunday, July 14, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

*Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Michael Krajewski, conductor – Blossom Music Festival debut
AJ Swearingen, vocalist – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Jonathan Beedle, vocalist – Cleveland Orchestra debut

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel's literary lyrics, sculpted melodies, and exquisite harmonies created a folk-pop sound that propelled them to the top of the charts and left a mark on thousands of future singer-songwriters. With voices that blend effortlessly into that signature duo's sound, AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle re-create the memories of these classic hits, performing "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Sound of Silence," "The Boxer," "America," "Mrs. Robinson," and more. Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Saturday, July 20, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

*Much Ado About Mozart*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Joshua Smith, flute

Mozart: Symphony No. 33
Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 1
Cimarosa: Overture to Il matrimonio segreto
Haydn: Symphony No. 103 ("Drum Roll")
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Sunday, July 21, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

*Porgy and Bess*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Robert Porco, conductor
Franklin Cohen, clarinet
Laquita Mitchell, soprano – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Rodrick Dixon, tenor
Eric Greene, baritone – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Blossom Festival Chorus

Williams: Liberty Fanfare
Williams: Suite from Lincoln
Navarro: II Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
Gershwin/arr. Bennett: Highlights from Porgy and Bess
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Saturday, July 27, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

*The French Connection*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Stéphane Denève, conductor
Cédric Tiberghien, piano – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra (James Feddeck, conductor)

Berlioz: Overture to Les Francs-juges
Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2
Debussy: La Mer
Ravel: La Valse

Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra performs selections at 7:00 p.m. The Cleveland Orchestra's concert (program listed above) begins at 8:00 p.m.
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Sunday, July 28, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

*Broadway's Leading Men*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Jack Everly, conductor

A quintet of Broadway veterans joins The Cleveland Orchestra for the most memorable tunes of Broadway's legendary leading roles, such as Tony's "Maria" from West Side Story, Dr. Jekyll's "This is the Moment" from Jekyll and Hyde, Professor Harold Hill's "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man, a medley from Les Misérables, and more.
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Saturday, August 3, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

*Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Kirill Karabits, conductor – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Gil Shaham, violin

Glinka: Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Sunday, August 4, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

*The Planets*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Bramwell Tovey, conductor
Mark Kosower, cello
Women of the Blossom Festival Chorus

Walton: The Spitfire: Prelude and Fugue
Barber: Cello Concerto
Holst: The Planets
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Sunday, August 11, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

*The Four Seasons*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Jahja Ling, conductor
Ray Chen, violin – Cleveland Orchestra debut

Rossini: Overture to The Thieving Magpie
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 ("Scottish")
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Joffrey Ballet in "Rite of Spring". Photo by Herbert Migdoll.

Saturday, August 17, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 18, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

*The Joffrey Ballet*
Ashley C. Wheater, artistic director
The Cleveland Orchestra
Tito Muñoz, conductor
Joela Jones, piano

The Joffrey Ballet: The Rite of Spring
Gould/Robbins: Interplay
Adams/Welch: Son of Chamber Symphony
Stravinsky/Nijinsky: The Rite of Spring [100th Anniversary Commemoration]

An evening of ballet with the renowned Joffrey Ballet, highlighted by a staged performance of Stravinsky's profoundly influential and once-controversial ballet score, The Rite of Spring. The ballet's premiere in 1913 was scandalous – the adventurous score, outrageous costumes, unusual choreography, and bizarre story of pagan sacrifice caused audience riots in the streets. The music is now admired for its brilliance and innovation.
Pavilion Tickets: $35, $45, $55; Box Seats: $100. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Saturday, August 24, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

*Beethoven and Schubert*
The Cleveland Orchestra
David Afkham, conductor
Martin Helmchen, piano – Cleveland Orchestra debut

Beethoven: Overture to Coriolan
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1
Schubert: Symphony in C major ("The Great")
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Sunday, August 25, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

*Celebrating Popular Song: Cole Porter and Friends*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Bramwell Tovey, conductor

"Night and Day," "Begin the Beguine," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" – some of the cleverest, funniest, and most romantic songs ever written came from the pen of Cole Porter and his contemporaries, including Richard Rodgers and Duke Ellington – an era of unmatched songwriters and lyricists.
Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

Saturday, August 31, 2013, at 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 1, 2013, at 8:30 p.m.

*Pixar in Concert*
The Cleveland Orchestra
Richard Kaufman, conductor

From Toy Story to The Incredibles and Up, Pixar has forever impacted filmmaking and given audiences of all ages some of the most beloved characters onscreen today. Now, The Cleveland Orchestra performs memorable songs from Pixar's greatest movies live, accompanying visually stunning film scenes projected on large screens. Presentation licensed by Disney Concert Library © Disney/Pixar. Pavilion Tickets: $25, $35, $45; Box Seats: $85. Lawn Tickets: $20 (Under 18s Free)

[All artists and programs are subject to change.]


Lawn Ticket Books of ten tickets are now available for $150 (a savings of 25% off the single-ticket price). Two "Under 18s Free" are admitted with each adult Lawn Ticket and the Lawn Ticket Book includes two free Pavilion upgrade coupons.


A Create-Your-Own Series package is being offered again this season. When purchasing 4 or more concerts, there is a savings of 10% off the single-ticket price. There is no limit to the number of Create-Your-Own Series purchases. All subscribers receive free parking in Lot B.


Pavilion tickets range in price from $25 to $100. Tickets for the Lawn and the General Admission sections of the Pavilion for Blossom Music Festival concerts are priced at $20. Individual tickets go on sale by telephone, in person at the Severance Hall Ticket Office, and online at clevelandorchestra.com on Tuesday, May 28. The Blossom Box Office opens for the season beginning on Saturday, June 1, and will be open throughout the summer on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. through intermission on concert days.

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Call the Cleveland Orchestra Group Sales Office at Severance Hall at 216-231-7463 for more information.

The 2013 Blossom Festival features two four-concert "Classics" series, a four-concert "Celebrations" series; and a four-concert "Pops" series. Season ticket packages, on sale now, represent approximately 25% savings off single-ticket prices. Season ticket package prices range from $75 to $135. These packages include access to Kulas Plaza. Box-seat season ticket packages are priced at $272 and $340 and include complimentary parking in First Energy Lot A behind the main Box Office in addition to access to Kulas Plaza.


The Cleveland Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the following generous organizations whose support is recognized in connection with the Blossom Music Festival: Akron Community Foundation, BakerHostetler, Blossom Women's Committee, The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation, Mary and Dr. George L. Demetros Charitable Trust, Eaton Corporation, FirstEnergy Foundation, Forest City Enterprises, Inc., Frantz Ward LLP, GAR Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Laura R. and Lucian Q. Moffitt Foundation, Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, Medical Mutual of Ohio, NACCO Industries, Inc., Olympic Steel, Inc., OMNOVA Solutions, PNC, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Park-Ohio Holdings, The Charles E. and Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation, The Sage Cleveland Foundation, The Sisler McFawn Foundation, Lloyd L. and Louise K. Smith Memorial Foundation, The J.M. Smucker Company, The Welty Family Foundation.

* * *

Blossom Music Center, which opened in 1968 as the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra, is located 25 miles south of Cleveland just north of Akron, Ohio. The Center's name honors the Dudley S. Blossom family, major supporters of The Cleveland Orchestra throughout its history. Blossom is situated in the rolling hills of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which protects 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland. Blossom lies within the city limits of Cuyahoga Falls, an Ohio community first settled in the early 1800s, at 1145 West Steels Corners Road in Summit County. Blossom reopened in 2003 following the completion of the Blossom Redevelopment Project, which featured a highly-acclaimed renovation of the facility and improved patron amenities. The Blossom Redevelopment Project was the first major capital improvements project in the history of the facility, which serves more than 400,000 visitors each summer. The Blossom Festival is a smoke-free environment. Smoking is not permitted at concerts and other events during the Blossom Festival.

Blossom Music Center address: 1145 W Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
The Joffrey Ballet and The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center, Tito Muñoz conducting 2010.

The Joffrey Ballet and The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center, Tito Muñoz conducting 2010.

Photo © & courtesy of Roger Mastroianni

Joffrey Ballet in 'Rite of Spring'.

Joffrey Ballet in "Rite of Spring".

Photo © & courtesy of Herbert Migdoll

Joffrey Ballet in 'Rite of Spring'.

Joffrey Ballet in "Rite of Spring".

Photo © & courtesy of Herbert Migdoll

Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health