The history of musical legend

Learn about the history of one of the most famous orchestras in the World

About orchestra

The organization

The organization was founded in 1918 by a group of local citizens led by Adella Prentiss Hughes, an expert pianist and budding impresario whose initial attempts at creating a citywide classical ensemble were ineffective. She persuaded Russian-born conductor Nikolai Sokoloff to leave his post in San Francisco to become the orchestra's music director. He had been among the first conductors in North America to open auditions for women and insisted they receive the same pay as their male counterparts. Sokoloff remained with the Cleveland Orchestra before 1932.

Severance Hall

Severance Hall is the official home of the Cleveland Orchestra. It is situated east of downtown Cleveland in the University Circle area, a district which also boasts the city's art museum, automobile museum, and the campus of Case Western Reserve University. Georgian-style architecture dominates the arrangement but elements of different styles are also located, such as Art Deco, Egyptian Revival, and French Nouveau. The opening night's concert included a performance of an orchestral version of J.S. Bach's Passacaglia, also Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms.

The Conductor

The years following World War II saw the orchestra reach its world-class ranking below the baton of George Szell, a Hungarian-born conductor whose exacting criteria and precise musicianship created a distinctive sound that emulated the best of their best European ensembles. Szell held the post as the Cleveland Orchestra's music director, as well as serving as its primary conductor, from 1946 to 1970. Throughout his tenure the orchestra made countless recordings many of them for Columbia Records also became particularly known for playing audio by these German Romantic composers as Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann. There could hardly be a less probable city than Cleveland [Ohio] to sponsor one of the world's foremost orchestras.

Other facts

Read more about Cleveland

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Performing outdoors

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The Industrial city

Even at its peak as a manufacturing powerhouse, beginning in the early 1900s and lasting until a little past mid-century […]

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