Signing off 54 years in the Cleveland Orchestra

Signing off 54 years in the Cleveland Orchestra


norman lebrecht

September 23, 2021

Message from the orchestra:
The Cleveland Orchestra’s principal keyboard, Joela Jones, will be presented with the Orchestra’s twenty-fifth Distinguished Service Award… on October 14, which features her in a performance of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5.

Joela Jones’s singular career with The Cleveland Orchestra — across 54 seasons, more than 250 concerto performances, and thousands of unforgettable concerts — stands out as extraordinary. But her contributions go well beyond the countless notes played on stage. These were decades filled with Monday night rehearsals, accompanying the remarkable volunteers of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, afternoons or mornings in coaching sessions interacting with conductors and guest vocalists, countless chamber music rehearsals, and many Orchestra committee meetings, working tirelessly for the sake of her fellow musicians and the ensemble.

Joela joins the distinguished list of the world’s longest serving orchestral players.




  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    Congrats on a successful career.

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    I imagine she is the last Cleveland Orchestra member to have played under Szell. Have a happy retirement!

  • 88 says:

    Congratulations, and well-deserved!

  • Ernie says:

    Bravo to her! She must be one of the last of the Szell appointees.

  • Patrick says:

    She is the BEST! (And the Cleveland Orchestra is absolutely the finest in the US)

  • Ilio says:

    Wow, what a career. I recall hearing her solo in the Paganini Rhapsody with the Cleveland Orchestra and Maazel when they were on tour.

  • Music fan says:

    With Joela Jones’ departure, violinist Emilio Llinás is the last remaining orchestra member appointed by George Szell.

  • Linda Cerone says:

    Joella is one of our dedicated and gifted musicians of strong character who have made Cleveland and TCO so very special. No number of compliments can do her justice. God bless!