It's no secret that The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the best in the world. And, it plays in one of most elegant concert venues, Severance Hall. But, this beloved Cleveland institution is decidedly not elitist or stodgy. In fact, you might just run into a cello master playing in the produce section of an area grocery store.
The Cleveland Orchestra has always shared its love of classical music with the general public through school programs and outdoor summer concerts at Blossom Amphitheater. But, in recent years, the outreach has gone downright off-beat as the orchestra attempts to build new and younger audiences.
An informal Fridays @ 7 series mixes Cleveland Orchestra concerts and world music at the orchestra's historic winter home, Severance Hall, on select Friday nights. On top of that, anyone under 18 can come for free to select concerts.
These elite musicians also hold "residencies" in Cleveland's funkiest neighborhoods that feature a string of free performances in unexpected places. (A record release party at a hot dog joint, oboe duets at a coffee shop, etc.)
But, there's still that special something that'll give you the chills when hearing all 100+ members of the orchestra perform together for the full-on classical experience. Be sure to reserve seats for a concert led by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, at Severance Hall, which looks like an art deco jewel box adorned with blues and silvers and elegant, feminine curves.
If you can't land a ticket to a performance, consider taking a free tour of the building, available on select Sunday afternoons from October through May. And buy an orchestra CD while you're there.