According to my sources, Blossom Music Center has the capacity to seat 19,200 (5,700 in the pavilion and 13,500 on the lawn area). Last night you would have been hard pressed to find a single empty seat or uncovered blade of grass as Jahja Ling led the Cleveland Orchestra with cellist Yo Yo Ma as guest performer.
The show began with the Orchestra playing the “Overture to the Bartered Bride” which has always had a warm place in my heart. Thirty five years ago I took my wife (then date) to see the opera at Cleveland Public Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra and afterwards proposed to her. The overture is energetic and lively and the Blossom Festival Orchestra was truly up to task. For me it was a delightful trip down memory lane as my wife and I held hands through the entire piece.
Following this work, Yo Yo Ma took the stage to play Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor, Opus 85. The nearly complete orchestra was kept in check as a background counter point as the sweet strains of the work came from the labor of Yo Yo Ma’s wonderful playing. The work is in four movements (Adagio, Lento, Adagio and Allegro) which ebb and flow in intensity and nuance as Yo Yo Ma wove an amazing tapestry of sound in the air which filled the huge performance arena.
This brought the audience to their feet (both in the pavilion and on the lawn) as Yo Yo Ma hugged the conductor and all the first chair performers in turn. The thunderous applause continued then grew to a roar as Yo Yo Ma and Jahja Ling returned for an encore of Tchaikovsky’s “Adente Cantible”. This melancholy work had the audience in a trance as faint themes of “Song of the Volga Boatmen” were repeated throughout the piece. At the end it was Yo Yo Ma holding a sustained note for four perfect draws of the bow over a single string that once again brought the entire audience to their feet as a bro-mance erupted on stage between Yo Yo Ma and Jahja Ling. They hugged…they danced…they even did a double high five much to the delight of the audience. It is not hard to imagine that everyone present knew that they were in the shadow of greatness.
Following the intermission, Jahja Ling cut the reins and let the full orchestra race with abandon through the four movements (Allegro, Adagio, Scherzo and Finale) of Antonìn Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 6 in D major, Opus 60”. This is a truly soul stirring piece with the brass section adding the necessary heft to carry the piece through. Time and time again the tempo and texture changed as the musical intensity came and went much like a storm tide finally reaching its maximum conclusion with a thunderous climax. The audience once again rewarded the musicians with thunderous applause and cheers for a full five minutes before departing into the night to their homes happy for the wonderful experience that they had enjoyed. There are only four more performances of the Orchestra at Blossom this season so I suggest you reserve your tickets now to witness the exceptional performances found at this “classical field of dreams” that we know as Blossom Music Center.
The Cleveland Orchestra Remaining Blossom Music Festival Season Offerings
Saturday, August 23, 2014
The Cleveland Orchestra
Andrew Grams, conductor
Nadine Sierra,soprano – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Christopher Pfund,tenor – Blossom Music Festival debut
Brian Mulligan,baritone – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Blossom Festival Chorus
Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus
BACH Toccata and Fugue in D minor
LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
ORFF Carmina Burana
Sunday, August 24, 2014
The Cleveland Orchestra
Classical Mystery Tour– Cleveland Orchestra debut
A Beatles Tribute:
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Their U.S. Arrival
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Blossom Festival Orchestra
Richard Kaufman, conductor
Whitney Claire Kaufman,vocalist
Pat Sajak,narrator – Blossom Music Festival debut
Family Funfest at Blossom
* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
The Cleveland Orchestra
Cleveland Orchestra European Festivals Tour Send-off
WIDMANN Con brio: Concert Overture for Orchestra
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4
All artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.
Lawn Ticket Books of ten tickets are now available for $150 (a savings of up to $100). Two “Under18s 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 individual ticket prices. 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 $23 to $120. Tickets for the Lawn and the General Admission sections of the Pavilion for Blossom Music Festival concerts are priced at $23 or $25. Individual tickets go on sale by telephone, in person at the Severance Hall Ticket Office, and online atclevelandorchestra.com on Tuesday, May 27.
The Blossom Box Office opens for the season beginning on Saturday, May 31, 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 2014 Blossom Festival features a four-concert “Classics” series, a five-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 $80 to $180.
These packages include access to Kulas Plaza. Box-seat season ticket packages are priced at $280 and $350 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
Blossom Women’s Committee
The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation
Mary and Dr. George L. Demetros Charitable Trust
Forest City Enterprises, Inc.
Frantz Ward LLP
Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Hyster-Yale Materials Handling
NACCO Industries, Inc.
Littler Mendelson, P.C.
The Lubrizol Corporation
M.G. O’Neill Foundation
Medical Mutual of Ohio
The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation
North Coast Container, Inc.
Olympic Steel, Inc.
Plain Dealer Publishing Company
Polsky Fund of Akron Community Foundation
The Charles E. and Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial 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