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GREAT PERFORMANCES: The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Celebration

The Cleveland Orchestra. Franz Welser-Möst, conductor. Lang Lang, piano.
Courtesy of Roger Mastroianni
The Cleveland Orchestra. Franz Welser-Möst, conductor. Lang Lang, piano.

Airs Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 at 9 p.m. on KPBS 2

Features music director Franz Welser-Möst and Lang Lang at Severance Hall

GREAT PERFORMANCES “The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Celebration” commemorates the centennial of the orchestra’s founding with a gala concert conducted by music director Franz Welser-Möst featuring works touching on more than a century of Viennese musical traditions.

World-renowned, Grammy-nominated pianist Lang Lang joins the orchestra in a special performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24.


The concert also features “Die Frau Ohne Schatten” (The Woman Without a Shadow), Symphonic Fantasy by Richard Strauss and Maurice Ravel’s viscerally cataclysmic “La Valse (The Waltz),” which dramatically evokes the changing artistic worlds between the 19th and 20th centuries.

This GREAT PERFORMANCES episode also includes three special segments produced by WVIZ/PBS ideastream. Each includes a historical look at The Cleveland Orchestra.

The first segment features “The Mother of The Cleveland Orchestra,” Adella Prentiss Hughes, who was the first female founder of a successful orchestra.

The second highlights the Orchestra’s seven music directors, including Kiev-born Nikolai Sokoloff; the tireless, forward-thinking George Szell who is famous for forging what became known as “The Cleveland Sound;” and Franz Welser-Möst, whose collaborative relationship with the Orchestra is widely-acknowledged among the best orchestra-conductor partnerships of today.

The final segment showcases the Orchestra’s long legacy of community engagement in Northeast Ohio neighborhoods and schools.


Music Selections:

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 24
  • Richard Strauss – “Die Frau Ohne Schatten” Symphonic Fantasy
  • Maurice Ravel — La Valse (The Waltz)

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A co-production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, WVIZ/PBS ideastream, The Cleveland Orchestra and Clasart Classic. The co-production is in association with international broadcasters NHK (Japan), BR/3Sat (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and YLE (Finland). Directed by Michael Beyer. For GREAT PERFORMANCES, John Walker is producer; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.