News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

The Holden Arboretum


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Arts and Entertainment




How the Cleveland Orchestra's instruments travel overseas: Very carefully
Stage Manager Joe Short's job is part builder, part weather forecaster, and all caution
by WKSU's VIVIAN GOODMAN
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter
Vivian Goodman
 
The crew gets right to work immediately following the Linz concert. No time to waste with three concerts coming up on Wednesday through Friday at the famed Musikverein in Vienna, Austria.
Courtesy of Vivian Goodman
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Cleveland Orchestra’s tour of Europe is an enormous undertaking. In all, including the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus which is along for four of the concerts, about 260 musicians and their support staff will have traveled to eight cities in about 2 1/2 weeks.

Every hall has different acoustical challenges, not to mention the delicate work of transporting the instruments safely to each of their destinations.

That’s been the responsibility of Stage Manager Joe Short for the past 13 seasons. WKSU’s Vivian Goodman is following the orchestra on tour and had a chance in Cologne to talk with Short:

 

 

LISTEN: Joe Short's very big job

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (6:44)


Imagine moving 100 trunks full of delicate musical instruments to eight cities in 18 days. That's the responsibility of the Cleveland Orchestra stage hands, and they're always note-perfect, just like the musicians.

Joe Short says he’s always been a backstage guy. He began his career in stage lighting, then transitioned to corporate work, rock shows and even Broadway. His first tour with the Cleveland Orchestra was in 1998 to Japan, Hong Kong and China, and today he’s in his 13th season as the orchestra’s stage manager.

He says the most stressful part of his job is shipping the very valuable cargo – the musicians’ instruments.

“They certainly are very valuable and it’s interesting – not just valuable in the dollars sense category, but also very valuable in the sense that some musicians, they’ll spend half their career, five years perhaps at the minimum, searching for that perfect violin.

“So we have a very, very, very successful record of no damage; certainly not serious damage to any instruments. However, what adds to the stress is the personal relationship that each musician has with their instrument and how important that particular instrument is to their career.”

Keeping the temperature just so
Shipping them requires building pallets, loading and unloading cargo hulls in planes, and traveling with two 53-foot trucks.

“There’s about 130 trunks depending on how much percussion we’re bringing. One thing that we pay very close attention to … is the temperature. Especially this time of year when it starts getting cold, we really have to guard against any of the instruments being exposed to the cold weather and then – even more so -- they’re immediately brought into a warm building. So we’re very paranoid about that.”

The trucks are temperature controlled, maintaining a temperature of 68-72 degrees. “I actually have sensors that I had in a violin case, in a base case, that I can check and make sure that that’s being maintained.

“And then they’re put on part of the aircraft that is very much watched and temperature controlled -- usually the part of the aircraft that ships things such as live lobster. “

The instruments are kept under wrap and seal to keep out moisture on the tarmac. And some of the instruments carry their own, smaller, instruments.

But “it can often be tough on musicians in the double bass or cello section, trombone section, just because of the nature of our travel . … It can be several days until they see their instrument.”

(Click image for larger view.)

Listener Comments:

Dear Vivian,
Excellent job on the interview. What a special treat it must be to see them play in the Musikverein. I have been there but would love to see my beloved Cleveland Orchestra play there. Thanks.
-Bernie P.


Posted by: Bernie (Pepper Pike) on November 20, 2013 5:11AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook


Support for WKSU Coverage of the Cleveland Orchestra European Tour 2013 provided by:





Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on who should be paid minimum wage
Just a correction for your story: The trial court sided with the owners. The court of appeals sided with the sales reps.

Husted defends the use of "monopoly" in the wording of Issue 3
Jon, Give me a break. Why don't you concentrate your efforts on other issues to make Ohio a better place to live. Your comments about monopolizing the marijuana...

The Sierra Club is launching ads against Ohio's U.S. Sen. Rob Portman
“'I don’t know what the ad’s going to say. But I hope it’s truthful,' said Portman." This from a man who voted "no" last winter on a Senate resolution s...

Ohio Republicans protest the loss of Mt. McKinley
I believe the U.S.gov't. was overstepping its bounds by renaming a mountain that belongs to Alaska. How would we like it if Alaska (or any other state) telling ...

Pluto: University of Akron cuts baseball - should football be next?
remember when akron and Youngstown state were both in the ovc. As a Morehead State fan, made trips to both schools and had a wonderful experience. Played Akron ...

Ohio to aid young adults who age out of foster care
I think it's a great idea. I worked for an at risk high school and it was really sad to see the amount of kids who had no where to go because they had aged out...

Could University Circle developments ripple into East Cleveland?
Outsiders are so far off the beaten path and you all need to attend the meeting being held today 8/31/15 Cleveland Public Library, 1:00 PM. http://44112news.co...

ResponsibleOhio leader says the state is trying to set Issue 3 up for failure
Ohio suppose to believe that a group of investors were united under one cause to legalize marijuana.Once legal they all of sudden turn into 10 different compani...

Terry Pluto: U of A's new athletic director has the toughest job in town
It is a hard sell. The Students do not want to go to the football games and they do not want to pay for the program. They have a lot of student loan debt and t...

Akron considering the future of the B.F. Goodrich smokestacks
This BFGoodrich alumna says, "Thank you, Dave Lieberth!"

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University