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Cleveland Orchestra expands "Under 18" program
23,000 under-18 listeners attended Blossom season
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:
The Cleveland Orchestra is continuing its push for younger audiences through both the price and programs it’s lined up for the 2012-13 season. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia has more.
The orchestra first offered free concerts for kids under 18 at Blossom Music Center last summer. And by the time it finished up the Blossom season last weekend, more than 23,000 under 18s had attended orchestra concerts there. 

Now, it’s extending the “Under 18s Free” program to Severance Hall. Kids will get free tickets to all Fridays@7, Friday matinee, and Sunday afternoon concerts. And the Fridays@7 Series, which started four years ago, will open with music from the founder of The Police, Stewart Copeland, and feature a collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 

The orchestra will also offer programs downtown and on the west side, and begin a Cleveland Orchestra Neighborhood Residency program with free concerts for residents in the Gordon Square area in May. 

There are 350 professional orchestras in the U.S., many of which have been struggling to shore up finances and attract younger audiences. Last year, the Philadelphia orchestra became the first major US orchestra to file for bankruptcy protection.
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