Cleveland cancels into September

Cleveland cancels into September


norman lebrecht

May 08, 2020

press release:

The Cleveland Orchestra announced today the cancellation of its scheduled performances across the summer — in July, August, and early September — due to the continuing coronavirus/Covid-19 crisis. The cancellations include the Orchestra’s 2020 Blossom Music Festival at its summer home, Blossom Music Center, as well as the Summers@Severance series of concerts at Severance Hall in Cleveland.


Also today, Chicago called off the rest of its season and Boston pops cancelled the Fourth of July.


  • jack says:

    How important is this cancellation? You need to compare it with the origination of Blossom Music Center when it was, indeed, the summer home festival for the Cleveland Orchestra. Now it is a summer music venue for rock/pop/country music with the Cleveland Orchestra appended in a minor capacity. I understand that that in the US ticket sales have to drive and support the venues; but, in this instance (I have been there since the beginning) what has become of this venue is a travesty (and it is a great facility). I’m not sure that with the cancellation that we are all that deprived (just check the schedule).

    • David Rohde says:

      Forgive me, but I have to laugh at this inasmuch as the pop, rock and country music line-up at Blossom and analogous venues (such as Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Wolf Trap with the National Symphony Orchestra) is sometimes itself criticized as outdated and deliberately skewed toward a relatively older audience demographic. I think we’re in enough of a travesty overall to do without this kind of sneering at other musical and performing arts genres.

      Also, I wish that everyone in at least American classical music would recognize that the cancellation of so many arena and stadium concert tours by truly prominent pop/rock groups actually opens up an opportunity to get into the headspace of potential new audience members. I’m obviously not talking at the moment about replacing one live performance genre with another, since no one is performing live in the near future. But there is far more open-mindedness among younger Americans to different musical experiences than so many people realize. How you take advantage of this during this unprecedented period is not an easy question, but the opportunity is there with a better attitude than what I’m responding to. Hope this helps.

  • Pat says:

    The Ohio Light Opera has also cancelled this season.

  • fflambeau says:


  • Player says:

    Expected but disappointing news. For those of us in the orchestra business, it seems as if we’re watching our entire way of life disappear. I’m clinging to a desperate hope that our arts institutions can survive this period.

    As long as it isn’t safe to gather in groups, we’re faced with the depressing prospect of trying to play very far apart, with plexiglass shields, masks, and even gauze on flutes. At such great distances, normal references are gone. Because we won’t be able to see or hear each other well, keeping the orchestra together will require a rare, special type of conductor. Absent that, each stand could have its own monitor, or would we use headphones and a click track? I’m trying to be open to possibilities, but I can’t envision such an experience would be satisfying to anyone.

    Fortunately, instrumentalists are quite used to “holing up” in the practice room. It’s our familiar, safe place. Many of us use our daily practice routine as both a meditation and an escape from the realities of life. At least we can keep playing for ourselves.

    I told a music-loving friend overseas that a large orchestra playing a concert for a large audience may be a thing of the past. Though English is her second language, here are her poetic and encouraging words:

    “We need you, amazing sound.

    “Last week, I watched and listened to the Los Angeles Philharmonic 100th anniversary concert in last year on TV… Their performance was just as good as [insert orchestra]. I thought anew, such a marvelous impression can only be obtained with a large orchestra. O, an excellent orchestra like […] is essential. We need your beautiful performance. There are many people around the world, like me, who are looking forward to your performance, you just don’t know. Please manage to overcome this difficulty.

    “Now that you have the time, you are a praiseful performer who is improving his performance. Please be prepared for the day of resurrection. On that day, everyone will have a big applause for […]. You will respond with a bright smile. I’m sure that day must come!

    “It is worth trying because it is difficult to achieve.
    When it doesn’t come true, the dream is trying us out. Is it a dream that I can give up?
    If you keep thinking until the time is ripe, your dream must come true in the best way!
    So, please believe in the recovery of […].
    And some day, we will be able to meet again.

    “I hope that the corona crazy commotion song will stop ringing soon. And I’m looking forward to listening to the amazing and beautiful […] ensemble!”

    I, too, hope that the corona crazy commotion song will stop ringing soon!