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.