It’s time to sneak a little class into your visit. You’ve done the breweries. You’ve seen a hockey game. You’ve scarfed a giant corn dog moments before climbing into another roller coaster. Now, clean yourself up and go listen to some of the world’s most talented musicians play works of the greatest Romantic, Baroque, classical and modern-classical composers ever known. There’s more: The Cleveland Orchestra just so happens to perform in one of the city’s oldest and most storied music venues. Just leave your Browns jersey and dog mask in your hotel.
What You’ll See:
- Yes, the music is world-class, but so is Severance Hall, home to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Concert Hall. Built in 1931, the exterior was designed to complement the classical feel of the neighboring Cleveland Museum of Art before giving way to an eclectic grab-bag of architectural styles on the inside, including Art Deco, French Nouveau, Egyptian Revival and Modernism. Try and count how many lotus flowers you see incorporated into the interior design. Seriously, they’re everywhere.
What Else to Do?
- One of the greatest under-the-radar experiences in Cleveland is the orchestra’s Fridays@7 series, which features an hour-long performance — usually keeping to a theme — followed by a post-concert afterparty. It’s a perfect introduction to the orchestra-going experience for anyone who thinks they identify more with rock 'n' roll than Rachmaninoff.
- Speaking of rock, the Cleveland Orchestra also does an annual summer series at one of the region’s most popular warm-weather rock venues — the amphitheater at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls. You can expect a little lighter fare here, like the music of "Star Wars" and other popular music from stage and screen.
- Don’t forget about the kids! Twenty percent of the orchestra's audience is under the age of 25. The Cleveland Youth Orchestra, comprised of nearly 100 of the best middle and high school students in Northeast Ohio, is headed by members of the Cleveland Orchestra’s conducting staff with concerts held at Severance Hall.
Where to Stay?
There aren’t many neighborhoods in the country that pack as much art and culture into a few city blocks as University Circle. The Cleveland Museum of Art offers some of the best collections in the world, while the Museum of Contemporary Art showcases the most talented artists working today. Step back in time to explore the city’s history at the Cleveland History Center or go even further back to the time of dinosaurs at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
End your night taking in a performance from the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall, and you might just want to grab a nightcap and stay the night. As always, you can enjoy world-class accommodations that are a short walk or rideshare away from some of the best culture in the country