Bruckner & Adams with the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Once again, I was given the opportunity to attend a performance of the world-​renowned Cleveland Orchestra. This time it was at Blossom Music Center, there was a Meet the Musicians panel before the performance, and a chance to meet the featured violiniset, Leila Josefowicz, during intermission. We were also plied with wine & hor d’oeuvres at both times; so, you know, bonus. The performance featured pieces from John Adams and Anton Bruckner.

In my previous post, I complained a bit about the lack of reasonably priced ticket opportunities to see the Orchestra and a lack of young folks. In the run up to attending this performance, however, I learned that seeing the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom is a family tradition for families all over the Northeast Ohio area; that’s a serious perk of living near Cleveland. Growing up in the middle of nowhere Indiana, there was never an opportunity to see something as special as the Cleveland Orchestra. It’s definitely something I’ll be taking my son to in the future. The acoustics at Blossom are admirably suited to listening to the Orchestra, from any vantage. At Severance Hall you sit inside the music, at Blossom it washes over you.

I really enjoyed the Meet the Musicians panel; hearing from Frank Cohen (clarinet), Amy Lee (violin), Stephen Rose (violin) and Paul Yancich (timpani). Frank in particular was charming and had some great stories to relate about growing up attending orchestral performances. All of the musicians spoke a bit about upcoming performances and their thoughts on the pieces and being part of the orchestra in general. When it was time for questions I asked if any of the musicians could expand on their forays into playing in non-​traditional spaces, like the Happy Dog or in Ann Arbor, MI. Amy Lee has been active in that area and mentioned that some orchestra members have been trying to find a place to play on their night off during their upcoming trip to New York City, but were having difficulty finding a venue that would be cool with it. That’s really stupid of you, New York.

Our box seats were top notch (of course), and the chance to kibitz as the more musically knowledgeable asked Leila Josefowicz questions during the intermission was an added bonus to what had already been a wonderful evening. Post-​intermission was spent on the lawn with dozens and dozens of families and the sounds of Anton Bruckner’s 9th Symphony. It was a perfect evening for classical music. Many thanks to the Cleveland Orchestra for the invitation.