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Much More Music to Come with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom

orchestra on stage
Roger Mastroianni
The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom
The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom

The Cleveland Orchestra has kicked off its Blossom season, and WKSU’s Vivian Goodman recently sat down with the orchestra’s artistic administrator Ilya Gidalevich for a preview of what’s yet to come. 

Music Director Franz Welser-Most led the orchestra last weekend in Beethoven's Heroic Symphony, but there is much more classical and popular music on tap through Labor Day weekend at the Cleveland Orchestra's summer home. 

Ilya Gidalevich
Ilya Gidalevich joined the Cleveland Orchestra in January as Artistic Administrator

Artistic Administrator Ilya Gidalevich works with guest conductors and artists to set the repertoire and create the season. 

Tomorrow night, it will be Vaughan Williams "A London Symphony," and at the podium someone new to the Blossom stage.

Young British conductor Michael Francis, recently appointed music director of the Florida Orchestra, is debuting with Cleveland.

Then on Sunday night, it's Bramwell Tovey conducting with pianist Javier Perianes playing the Ravel Piano concerto in G major.

"If we went back, we would be hard-pressed to find a Blossom season that did not feature Gershwin."

For Blossom's fourth weekend, Jahja Ling will lead the orchestra in the Sibelius Symphony No. 1 and Jean-Yves Thibaudet will play Grieg's Piano Concerto.

"Two people who have such a strong presence with the Cleveland Orchestra. Jahja Ling has over a 30-year history conducting in many different capacities, and Jean Yves Thibaudet, we work with a lot. We just worked with him in Miami."

On July 24, it’s the magic of the movies with conductor Michael Krajewski and vocalist Capathia Jenkins.

“And they’ll be joined by the Blossom Festival Chorus. It’s a program of the most memorable music from blockbuster hits.”

Weekend five brings violinist Pinchas Zukerman for Mozart’s Violin concerto No. 5., and vocalist Michael Feinstein singing classics by Gershwin, Berlin, and more. “With Jack Everly conducting, another staple of the Blossom stage, so it should be a great show.”

Also still to come, Nicolas McGegan conducting Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony on Aug. 7. “Also a very exciting solo debut for one of our musicians, Jeffrey Rathbun, our oboe.”

Fireworks over Blossom Music Center.
Credit Roger Mastroianni / Cleveland Orchestra
Cleveland Orchestra
Fireworks kicked off the Blossom season and will end it, too.

Rounding out the season will be Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk road Ensemble; the music of Led Zeppelin with the blossom Festival Orchestra and vocalist Randy Jackson; the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra playing Bach on August 27.

The finale comes on Labor Day weekend.

“We’re finishing with Raiders of the Lost Ark, this comes on the  35th anniversary of the release of the motion picture. "

And there will be fireworks to follow.