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The Cleveland Orchestra


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The Cleveland Orchestra was founded in 1918 under the direction of Russian-American conductor Nikolai Sokoloff, who initiated an extensive domestic touring schedule, educational concerts, commercial recordings, and radio broadcasts. Concerts were given at Grays Armory during the Orchestra’s first season, after which they moved to Cleveland’s Masonic Auditorium. In 1931, the Orchestra moved to its new permanent home, Severance Hall, in Cleveland’s University Circle area. This magnificent facility was primarily the gift of John L. Severance (Musical Arts Association president from 1921 to 1936) as a memorial to his wife.

Artur Rodzinski served as Music Director from 1933 to 1943. Highlights of his decade in Cleveland included the presentation of 15 fully-staged operas at Severance Hall as well as significant recording and radio broadcasts. Erich Leinsdorf served as Music Director from 1943 to 1946, although much of his directorship was in ab¬sentia while he served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II.

Under George Szell, named Music Director in 1946, The Cleveland Orchestra entered a new period of dramatic and sustained growth. Both the number of Orchestra members and the length of the season were increased, international tours were inaugurated, and the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus was established (and Robert Shaw was engaged to direct the group). The expansion to a year-round season was made possible in 1968 with the opening of Blossom Music Center on an 800-acre site south of Cleveland.


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  • nitingarg88

    Discovered from Air's Late Night tales compilation. Beautiful sound.

    5 Jun 2011 Reply
  • milvus45

    I heard them perform Bruckner's 8th this week - thoroughly beautiful!

    28 Aug 2010 Reply
  • songsandshapes

    I love this orchestra. I'm a bit surprised there are no other shouts here.

    18 Aug 2010 Reply

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