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Ambassador Theodore Sedgwick
(Zachary Duvall)

Theodore Sedgwick, the ambassador to the Slovak Republic, is a native Clevelander who grew up in Gates Mills and graduated from the Hawken School. Tuesday at his home in Bratislava, he hosted a little party and confab with the Mayor of Bratislava and representatives of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Omni Quartet
(Zachary Duvall)

Sedgwick and his wife Kate then escorted the group to the Hall of Mirrors of the Primatial Palace for a celebration of the Cleveland-Bratislava Sister City Partnership. There the Omni Quartet performed Beethoven’s String Quartet #15. Following the performance by violinists Jung-Min Amy Lee and Alicia Koelz, violist Joanna Patterson  Zakany, and cellist Tanya Ell, about 100 invitees enjoyed an elegant reception.

Reception
(Zachary Duvall)

This may be the prelude to a much bigger celebration. Ambassador Sedgwick wants the Cleveland Orchestra to perform in Bratislava in October of 2015 to mark the centennial of the Cleveland Agreement. That’s the Slovak version of our Declaration of Independence. It was signed in Cleveland, thanks to the efforts of Cleveland’s Czechoslovakian community. No firm decisions have been made, but Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson reportedly supports the idea.

 

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WKSU’s Vivian Goodman was there when representatives of the orchestra’s Omni Quartet headed to Bratislava from Vienna, and discussions started on the whole orchestra performing in the Slovakian capital during its centennial festival in 2015. Bratislava is one of Cleveland’s sister cities.

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The Cleveland Orchestra at the new Opera hall in Franz Welser Most’s hometown
(Vivian Goodman)

Vienna’s Musikverein is where history was made. But Linz, Austria is breaking new ground in the presentation of classical music with the help of advanced media technology in its new Musiktheater. There Ars Electronica of Linz and other graphic, sculptural and architectural wizards have created a unique environment for modern fans of a classic art form.

The trouble is, the hall is an opera theatre. It was built for singers, not symphonic players. Some here felt that the Cleveland Orchestra’s magnificent dynamics from fortissimo to pianissimo were not shown to their greatest advantage at Monday night’s concert.

There’s lots more Beethoven to come later this week at the Vienna residency, but tonight’s Leonore Overture No. 3, Grosse Fuge, and Eroica Symphony may not have been the best moments of a so far largely successful tour.

Each seat has its own screen
(Vivian Goodman)
View from rear of house
(Vivian Goodman)

 

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This week, the Cleveland Orchestra is touring Europe with stops including Paris, Cologne and Vienna.  WKSU’s Vivian Goodman is with the orchestra and she is giving us the behind the scenes stories you won’t get from anyone else.  Mark Pennell had a chance to talk with her when she was backstage at a new venue just before a performance in Linz, Austria, the hometown of the Orchestra’s own Franz Welser-Möst.

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Last month, PBS’s Charlie Rose interviewed James Levine, the world-famous pianist and conductor.

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