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The Cleveland Orchestra announces details of annual European Tour

The Cleveland Orchestra will be performing in thirteen concerts in seven cities during its 14th International Concert Tour.
The Cleveland Orchestra will be performing in thirteen concerts in seven cities during its 14th International Concert Tour.
Roger Mastroianni

Cleveland returns to BBC Proms for first performances in London since 2005

Tour features musical mix of newer and older romantics, juxtaposing works by Johannes Brahms and Jörg Widmann

Berlin concert is special all-Widmann program

Tour includes six performances of Widmann’s flute concerto, “Flûte en suite,” with Cleveland’s principal flute Joshua Smith, who premiered it in 2011

Three concerts will be played in Vienna, three at Linz’s Brucknerhaus, two programs in Paris, and one in Amsterdam

The Cleveland Orchestra will be performing in thirteen concerts in seven cities during its 14th International Concert Tour. The Orchestra will be appearing at a number of European festivals as well as some of the premiere concert halls across the continent. The tour will take place between September 7 and 22, 2014 and will be under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst. The musical selections for the concerts will be the works of two romantic composers, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) and Jörg Widmann (b. 1973) which brings together music of an acclaimed 19th century composer with that of an acclaimed living composer.

“There is no other orchestra playing music from the recent era — from the last sixty years —better than Cleveland at this time,” says Welser-Möst. “Jörg Widmann and The Cleveland Orchestra make perfect sense because of this. Adding Brahms to the mix is also the right step in Cleveland’s progression among the world’s most wondrous orchestras, combining two great romantics, a modern one and a grand master. Together and each of these composers separately, push us to work as one united ensemble, from the podium and across all the stands of individual artistry, all of us breathing together.”

The connection between Widmann and the Orchestra is that he served as the Orchestra’s composer in residence as part of the Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow Program, 2009-2011. Further, both Widmann and Brahms are well renowned for their style of romantic and melodic compositions. Along with being composers, both men were also acclaimed as instrumentalists with Brahms on piano and Widmann with clarinet with whom he has performed with many of the world’s finest ensembles.

The tour kicks off with two performances at the BBD Proms on September 7 and 8 which is the Orchestra’s first time performing in London in over a decade. This is followed by a single program at the Lucerne Festival followed by performances of an all Widmann program in Berlin, three concerts in Linz, two in Paris, two programs at Vienna’s Musikverein with one performance at Vienna’s Konzerthaus and concludes in Amsterdam at the Concertgebouw on September 22.

During the tour, two soloists will be featured. Cleveland Orchestra principle flutist, Joshua Smith will perform Widmann’s “Flûte en suite” at six stops in the tour while violinist Nikolaj Znaider will be featured as a guest soloist while performing Brahms Violin Concerto during the Paris concerts.

The tour concerts highlight the four symphonies of Johannes Brahms. All four will be performed in Vienna across the three concerts there, September 14, 15, and 16.
In addition to the flute concerto, three orchestral works by Jörg Widmann are being featured during the tour —“Lied” (or “Song”), “Con brio” (a concert overture for orchestra), and “Teufel Amor” (or “Devil Love,” a “Symphonic Hymn after Schiller”). All four works are being presented in a special all-Widmann program at Berlin’s Philharmonie on Thursday evening, September 11. Widmann is particularly well known and acclaimed in his native Germany, and The Cleveland Orchestra’s concert represents an unusual honor for the composer’s work to be the complete focus of a program by a foreign orchestra. The Cleveland Orchestra has performed a variety of Widmann’s works at home in Cleveland in recent seasons, beginning with “Chor” in 2009.

Prior to the tour, The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst will present two different concerts, August 29 at Severance Hall and August 31 at Blossom Music Center, highlighting much of the tour’s repertoire at home in Northeast Ohio.

Sponsorship and Funding

The Cleveland Orchestra acknowledges the following corporations and individuals for their generous support of the 2014 European Tour: Tele München Group, Miba AG, Dr. Herbert G. Kloiber, Dr. and Mrs. Wolfgang Berndt, Mr. and Mrs. Harro Bodmer, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Umdasch, and Elisabeth and Karlheinz Muhr.
With special thanks and recognition for international touring sponsorship by Jones Day.

Cleveland Orchestra Residencies

In addition to an extensive touring schedule, Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra have achieved high-profile residencies in the United States and in Europe, including ongoing biennial residencies at the Musikverein in Vienna and an annual set of performances in Miami, Florida. In the first dozen years of his tenure as music director, Welser-Möst and the Orchestra have performed throughout Europe, in Canada, Japan, and Korea, and have toured the U.S. from coast to coast, including regular performances in New York City. In January 2007, they began an unprecedented long-term residency project in Miami, Florida, where they perform under the name Cleveland Orchestra Miami several weeks of subscription concerts annually at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and partner with the community and area learning institutions in a wide array of engagement and education activities. The Orchestra has regularly held academic residencies at Indiana University, and a program of recurring residencies has begun with New York’s Lincoln Center Festival.

The Cleveland Orchestra 2014 European Tour Schedule

September 7, 8 London
September 10 Lucerne
September 11 Berlin
September 13 Linz
September 14, 15, 16 Vienna
September 17, 18 Linz
September 20, 21 Paris
September 22 Amsterdam