Opinions are in...

Monday, September 28, 2009 ·

Comments about the Lincoln Center Festival announcement from the public and the media are rolling in...

From The Plain Dealer:

Bravo! The Cleveland Orchestra goes to school and to New York

Give the Cleveland Orchestra a standing ovation for its plan to make fine music in New York and in Greater Cleveland's local schools. What could be better?

The New York story is a potential blockbuster. The world-renowned orchestra will take up residency at the prestigious Lincoln Center Festival, an annual summer event, beginning in 2011, and every other year thereafter, through 2015. Its concerts surely will attract faithful fans and make new ones.

And attracting audiences, new and old, is exactly what the orchestra must do. The recession has not been kind to this orchestra or other arts organizations.

The orchestra faces a depleted endowment -- down to under $95 million from $128 million -- and projects a $4 million to $5 million deficit this year. The ensemble has done all of the usual things, such as slicing pay, but it had the foresight to see it needed to do more, so it wisely added the prestigious New York residency tour to its schedule. The broader exposure should result in broader financial support.

Closer to home, the orchestra deserves applause for creating the Community Music Initiative, a program to nurture young, classical musicians and audiences in Greater Cleveland. Last week, the orchestra performed in Cleveland public schools for the first time since 1921.

These concerts are most welcome. Many public school children who wouldn't get a chance to see conductor Franz Welser-Möst and his talented musicians at Severance Hall benefited from their city's acclaimed orchestra coming to them instead.

Teens can be a tough audience, but the orchestra appeared to win their appreciation.

There was no swooning, but there was a lot of applause and cheers. For at least some of the students, maybe this introduction will lead to a fine romance with the classics.

© 2009 cleveland.com. All rights reserved.

An e-mail to the Orchestra's Executive Director:

I want you to know I was thrilled to pick up the New York Times this morning and read about the new relationship of the The Cleveland Orchestra to New York City. This is great news for the The Cleveland Orchestra community because of the additional performances and financial support. However, the announcement is important for us as well here in Miami. Some doubters of the Cleveland residency hold that our relationship cannot substitute for a full time orchestra. It is highly relevant for us that New York is willing to make a commitment to enhance significantly its music scene by establishing the Orchestra's residency even though it already has a world class orchestra. The announcement this morning reaffirms that The Cleveland Orchestra and Miami are on the right track with a bright future.

Congratulations and best wishes,

Alan, Coral Gables, FL

Cleveland Magazine Blog:

"...out-of-town support is key to the orchestra's plan for future prosperity."

Crain's Cleveland:

"For the orchestra, the arrangement with Lincoln Center Festival helps further broaden its audience..."

The Plain Dealer's Five Things You Should Know: The Week in Review:

"Growth by diversifying: The Cleveland Orchestra announced Tuesday it will soon be a regular feature of the Lincoln Center Festival. Orchestra officials said a new long-term residency with multiple performances at the center's annual summer feast of culture will begin in 2011 and continue every other year through 2015. The Orchestra's decision to enter into a relationship outside Cleveland is part of a strategy to survive tough times by touring."


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