The Cleveland Orchestra has just renewed Franz Welser-Möst’s contract as music director to 2027,a tenure that will amount to 25 years.
Over that period, he has survived the departure of two chief executives and the turbulent #Metoo removal of his concertmaster, focussing all the while on the orchestra, its content and its quality.
Chairman Richard K. Smucker said: ‘From Franz’s work here over the past quarter century, from everything we’ve witnessed and experienced across our Centennial Celebrations in 2018 to today, and through ongoing discussions and plans for the future, I know there is so much more to look forward to. This pairing, of Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra, is already among the most successful artistic partnerships in the world today. Newspapers regularly proclaim Cleveland’s Orchestra under Franz’s baton as ‘America’s finest,’ as ‘America’s best,’ as ‘one of the top three in the world.’ This recognition inspires in us great pride and deep humility — as well as extraordinary awe and thanks to these exemplary, hard-working musicians. But, and let me say this loud and clear, together we know that Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra can do even more. Franz’s vision and leadership reach across all areas of our institution, building and fostering our commitment to music education, dedicated to excellence, and determined to play more music for more people, to inspire young and old alike through the incredible power of music.’
Franz said: ‘I am humbled by the faith that the musicians of the Orchestra and everyone in Cleveland has placed in my hands,” commented Franz Welser-Möst. “From the beginning, I have been inspired by Cleveland’s musicians and by the support and keen interest that the entire Cleveland community provides to The Cleveland Orchestra. I continue to be energized by these incredible artists and by all that we are able to do together. There is no better place in the world to work and to create music together than what The Cleveland Orchestra and community have offered to me.’