Franz Welser-Möst: Other orchestras play politics. We play music

The Cleveland music director is asked what makes his orchestra unique.

Watch his answer here.


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  • He didn’t say that. He said if you go the other big places, New York, London, Berlin, Paris etc. there is always some politics involved, here [in a relatively little city like Cleveland] it’s only about the music. I’m a foreigner and explain to an English man the (not so ) subtleties of English grammar. Fun…

    • Indeed and while we’re on the topic of acuity (or lack thereof), the “Cleveland music director [wasn’t] asked what makes his orchestra unique” either.
      Franz Welser-Möst was asked “Why Cleveland? Why this orchestra? What keeps you here?” and he responded by saying “Because it’s really unique”.

  • What happened about all the negative reviews of Franz W-M when he was with the Cleveland Orchestra? There was a lot of that about at the time. What’s changed?

    • One thing that changed was that Donald Rosenberg was taken off reviewing Cleveland Orchestra concerts in Severance Hall for The Plain Dealer, the local daily, something he had been doing since long before FWM arrived. His book, The Cleveland Orchestra Story, is a detailed history of the CO.

  • I live in Ohio and was at the concerts of Cleveland orchestra several times. Now I have a plan to attend the forthcoming concert in November with pianist Daniil Trifonov. What is said by Welser-Most in the interview and how it is interpreted in the article, has common sense regardless the rules of English grammar. It just means that musical performances in Cleveland are not influenced by political moods and issues as it happens in more prominent cities. And this is right.
    So, I hope to enjoy the concert of Russian pianist with Cleveland musicians and their conductor not considering current political issues.

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