The Cleveland Orchestra announces classical concerts for 2023 Blossom Music Festival  

  
(© Roger Mastroianni)  

Under 18s Free ticketing and Lawn Ticket Book programs continue 

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Orchestra announced its full lineup of classical music concerts for its 2023 Blossom Music Festival. The festival, located at Blossom Music Center in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, runs from July 1 to September 9, and features 24 concerts. 

The Blossom Music Festival kicks off its 54th year over Fourth of July Weekend, starting with Beethoven’s triumphant Symphony No. 9 conducted by longtime Cleveland Orchestra collaborator Jahja Ling. That’s followed by three nights of the patriotic Salute to America, featuring the Blossom Festival Band and conductor Loras John Schissel. 

Classical concerts programs range from Mozart to Rachmaninoff and include contemporary music by John Adams, Yasushi Akutagawa, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. There are multiple Cleveland Orchestra debuts: soprano Felicia Moore and tenor Issachah Savage on July 1, conductor Stanislav Kochanovsky and pianist Nikolai Lugansky on July 15, cellist Zlatomir Fung on July 22, and conductor Ryan Bancroft, and pianist Mao Fujita on August 19. For complete information on programming, Cleveland Orchestra debuts and premieres, see the calendar section below.  
 
This summer offers another season of picnicking on the lawn with family and friends, cozying up to the stage to appreciate the acoustics in the pavilion, all at the scenic and beautiful Blossom Music Center.  

 
2023 Ticket Information 

Pavilion tickets start at $25 for adults and $15 for students and children. Individual lawn tickets start at $25. For all individual ticket and subscription offerings, and for questions about this summer’s procedures, contact the Severance Music Center Ticket Office at 216-231-1111 or by emailing boxoffice@cleveland.com. Tickets and packages can also be purchased online at clevelandorchestra.com. The Blossom Box Office will be open throughout the summer season on festival performance days, starting at 1:00 p.m. 
 
Lawn Ticket Books  
Lawn Ticket Books, a great way to save on tickets for the entire Blossom Music Festival season, include vouchers for children 17 and under. Lawn Ticket Books can be used for all Blossom Music Festival concerts, including movie nights, except Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY. Lawn Ticket Books — with 10 adult vouchers, 20 Under 18s Free vouchers, and two free upgrade passes — can be purchased for $180. Contact the Box Office or visit clevelandorchestra.com for information. 
 
Premier Subscription Series  
Subscriptions start at just $123 — a savings of up to 30% off individual ticket prices. Subscribers enjoy exclusive benefits including free Lot B parking and access to Kulas Plaza concessions and restrooms. Box-seat ticket packages include complimentary parking in First Energy Lot A behind the main Box Office and access to Kulas Plaza. Subscribers can also request one free Pavilion youth ticket for each adult subscription ticket purchased as part of our Under 18s Free program (box seats not included). 
 
Create-Your-Own Series 
A Create-Your-Own Series package offers the most flexibility as well as subscriber benefits including free parking in Lot B, access to Kulas Plaza, and savings of 10% off individual ticket prices. 
 
Group Ticket Sales 
Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Call the Cleveland Orchestra Group Sales Office at Severance Music Center at 216-231-7493 for more information.  

Under 18s Free  
Under 18s Free helps make attending Blossom Music Festival concerts more affordable for families. With each regular-priced adult ticket purchased, a family can get two free lawn vouchers for children 17 and under.   

Under 18s Free is a program of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Center for Future Audiences. The Center, created with a lead endowment gift from the Maltz Family Foundation, was established to fund programs to develop new generations of audiences for Cleveland Orchestra concerts in Northeast Ohio. Each year, the Under 18s Free program attracts more than 30,000 young people in Northeast Ohio to attend concerts at Blossom Music Center and Severance Music Center. 

Blossom Music Center Guest Experience and Picnics 
The Cleveland Orchestra is committed to providing a world-class guest experience for all visitors to Blossom Music Center. Bringing a picnic and sharing a meal with family and friends is one of the most treasured summer traditions at Blossom Music Festival, and guests may continue to picnic on the grounds in 2023. Concessions will be available for the 2023 season, including the Blossom Grille restaurant and Tasting Room. The Cleveland Orchestra Store will be open near the main gate entrance. 

Image Magnification (IMAG), an on-screen display of live footage from the concert, willbe presented for the entire 2022 Blossom Music Festival season. In 2018, state-of-the-art LED screens were installed in the Pavilion which display live concert footage, viewable throughout the venue.  

2023 Blossom Music Festival Sponsors 
The Cleveland Orchestra is proud to partner with The J.M. Smucker Co. as the Presenting Sponsor of the 2023 Blossom Music Festival. We thank Festival Partners Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Ohio CAT.  
 
The J.M. Smucker Co. and The Cleveland Orchestra 
The J.M. Smucker Co. has supported The Cleveland Orchestra for decades with annual contributions as well as capital gifts for improvements at Blossom Music Center. The company’s ongoing, remarkable support has been recognized through concert sponsorship at Blossom for over a decade and has earned membership in the Orchestra’s John L. Severance Society — a group of the Orchestra’s most dedicated and generous corporate, foundation, and individual supporters. Additionally, The J.M. Smucker Co. was a co-presenting sponsor of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Second Century Celebration, bringing the Orchestra’s 100th season to life while animating a bold vision for an extraordinary Second Century.  
 
Cleveland Orchestra Board Chair Richard K. Smucker is the Retired Executive Chairman of The J.M. Smucker Co., which was founded 125 years ago by Mr. Smucker’s great-grandfather, Jerome Monroe Smucker. Today, The J.M. Smucker Co. is a leading marketer and manufacturer of leading brands across the consumer food, coffee and pet food and pet snacks categories in North America. While the company’s portfolio has dramatically evolved, Smucker remains committed to its values, shaped by its Basic Beliefs, Our Commitment to Each Other, and its Purpose, Feeding Connections That Help Us Thrive – Life Tastes Better Together. 
 
A Special Thank You 
We share our deepest thanks to the following funders, whose support makes magical summer evenings at the Blossom Music Festival possible: 
 
The J. M. Smucker Co., Festival Presenting Sponsor 
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Festival Partner 
Ohio CAT, Festival Partner 
CIBC, Summer Soiree Presenting Sponsor 
NOPEC, Movie Night Presenter  
 
Akron Community Foundation 
The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation 
Mary and Dr. George L. Demetros Charitable Trust 
Dr. and Mrs. Hiroyuki Fujita 
GAR Foundation 
MAGIS Advisory Group 
Mr.* and Mrs. Arch J. McCartney 
NOPEC 
The M. G. O’Neil Foundation 
The Esther and Hyman Rapport Philanthropic Trust 
Charles E. & Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation 
The Sisler McFawn Foundation 
Lloyd L. and Louise K. Smith Memorial Foundation 
Mr. and Mrs. Richard K. Smucker 
Tom and Shirley* Waltermire 
The Welty Family Foundation 
 
We recognize the following supporters, who established Endowed Funds in support of Blossom Music Center and Blossom Festival, providing vital support every year: 
 
Blossom Festival Guest Artist 
The Payne Fund 
 
Blossom Festival Family Concerts 
David E. and Jane J. Griffiths 
 
Landscaping and Maintenance 
The William Bingham Foundation 
Family and friends of Emily Blossom 
The GAR Foundation 
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 
 
Thank you to everyone in the community who supports the Blossom Fund and The Cleveland Orchestra’s Annual Fund. 
 
We also thank members of the Blossom Committee and the Blossom Friends of The Cleveland Orchestra for their leadership, time, and support of the Blossom Music Festival. 
 
About Blossom Music Center, Summer Home of The Cleveland Orchestra 
Blossom Music Center was created as the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra and opened in July 1968 with performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by George Szell. The 200-acre music park features the award-winning and acoustically acclaimed Blossom Pavilion, designed by renowned Cleveland architect Peter van Dijk and seating more than 5,000 people under cover. The adjoining Blossom Lawn accommodates as many as 15,000 more outside on an expansive natural-bowl amphitheater of grass surrounded by bucolic woods. 
 
In the more than half-century since Blossom’s opening, headline makers and yet-to-be-discovered young artists across all genres have created unforgettable musical experiences for more than 21 million visitors. In a typical summer, Blossom serves more than 400,000 visitors, who attend concerts ranging from rock, country, and pop to classical. Live Nation operates Blossom under a long-term contract with The Cleveland Orchestra, dividing each year between the Orchestra’s Blossom Music Festival of orchestral performances, and a series of presentations from across many genres. 
 
Located 25 miles south of Cleveland and just north of Akron, Blossom is situated in the rolling hills of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which preserves 33,000 acres of natural parkland along the Cuyahoga River. Blossom Music Center was named to honor the Dudley S. Blossom family, who have been major supporters of The Cleveland Orchestra throughout its history. Blossom lies within the city limits of Cuyahoga Falls, an Ohio community first settled in the early 1800s, at 1145 West Steels Corners Road in Summit County. For more information visit clevelandorchestra.com/discover/blossom-music-center/.  

2023 Blossom Music Festival Pops and Special Performances Calendar 
All performances at Blossom Music Center, summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra. 

Beethoven’s Ode to Joy  

Saturday, July 1 at 8:00 p.m.  

The Cleveland Orchestra  

Jahja Ling, conductor  

Felicia Moore, soprano (Cleveland Orchestra debut) 

Elizabeth DeShong, mezzo-soprano  

Issachah Savage, tenor (Cleveland Orchestra debut) 

Soloman Howard, bass (Blossom Music Festival debut) 

  

WAGNER  Siegfried Idyll  

BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 9 (“Choral”)   
  
An Ode to Joy. An anthem for humanity. Experience one of history’s most powerful and inspiring artistic works. A masterpiece whose staggering influence is felt across cultures everywhere, it culminates with the famous Ode to Joy, a rallying cry for hope, humanity, and universal fellowship.  

  

Special performance-not on subscription series.  

Fireworks immediately following the performance, weather permitting.   

Salute to America  

Sunday, July 2 at 8:00 p.m.   

Monday, July 3 at 8:00 p.m.  

Tuesday, July 4 at 8:00 p.m.  

Blossom Festival Band  
Loras John Schissel, conductor  
  
Great music, fireworks, and fun for the whole family! Blossom’s traditional, star-spangled celebration with the Blossom Festival Band returns with a mix of patriotic marches, Broadway favorites, an Armed Forces Salute, and more — concluding with fireworks!  

  

*Please note The Cleveland Orchestra does not appear on this concert.  

Fireworks immediately following the performance, weather permitting.   

Movie Night Live: 
Jurassic Park 
Friday, July 7 at 7:00 p.m. 
Saturday, July 8 at 7:00 p.m. 
Sunday, July 9 at 7:00 p.m. 
The Cleveland Orchestra 
Sarah Hicks, conductor 
 
WILLIAMS  Jurassic Park (film with live orchestral underscore) 
 
Welcome… to Jurassic Park! Relive the magic of Jurassic Park on the big screen with a thrilling performance of John Williams’s iconic score by The Cleveland Orchestra. The action-packed adventure pits man against prehistoric predators in the ultimate battle for survival. Featuring visually stunning imagery and groundbreaking special effects, this epic film is sheer movie magic 65 million years in the making.  
 
Jurassic Park in Concert is produced by Film Concerts Live!, a joint venture of IMG Artists, LLC and The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, Inc. 

NOPEC is the Movie Night Presenter for Movie Night Live: Jurassic Park.  

Romantic Rachmaninoff  

Saturday, July 15 at 7:00 p.m.                        

The Cleveland Orchestra  

Stanislav Kochanovsky, conductor (Cleveland Orchestra debut) 

Nikolai Lugansky, piano (Cleveland Orchestra debut) 

  

RACHMANINOFF  Piano Concerto No. 3  

RACHMANINOFF  Symphony No. 1 (Cleveland Orchestra premiere) 

A true test of will and artistry. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 — called “Rach 3” by fans — is one of the most daunting and demanding concertos ever written. Nikolai Lugansky, called “a pianist who combines elegance and grace with powerful virtuosity, makes his long-awaited Cleveland Orchestra debut in this pianistic test of art and daring.  

She’s Got Soul 
Sunday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m. 
The Cleveland Orchestra 
Lucas Waldin, conductor 
Capathia Jenkins, vocals 
 
A wide-ranging revue of R&B classics. The sensational Capathia Jenkins brings her powerhouse voice to soulful hits of Adele, Toni Braxton, The Jackson 5, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, and other great soul and R&B artists. 

La Mer  

Saturday, July 22 at 7:00 p.m. 

The Cleveland Orchestra  

Kahchun Wong, conductor (Blossom Music Festival debut) 

Zlatomir Fung, cello (Cleveland Orchestra debut) 

  

AKUTAGAWA  Music for Symphony Orchestra (Cleveland Orchestra premiere)     

SHOSTAKOVICH  Cello Concerto No. 1  

DEBUSSY  La mer 

Take a sonic trip to the ocean. Debussy developed his love of the sea during childhood visits to the Mediterranean, and this imaginative, impressionistic sketch captures all the moods of the sea, from tranquil to ominous and stormy, dazzling and full of elemental force. 

Two Pianos: Who Could Ask for Anything More 
Sunday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m. 
The Cleveland Orchestra 
Keith Lockhart, conductor 
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano 
Michael Feinstein, piano and vocals 
 
Experience music from Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and more when two of today’s most celebrated artists — Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Michael Feinstein — join forces for the first time in an innovative program for two pianos, celebrating the captivating music and world of George Gershwin, including the Rhapsody in Blue. Feinstein, renowned vocalist, and pianist, is a leading authority on the Great American Songbook, while Cleveland favorite Thibaudet brings his sparkling virtuosity as one of today’s finest pianists. 
 
Summer Soirée:This special fundraising event takes place before the concert.For more information about the Blossom Summer Soirée, as well as ticket and table options, please contact Sean Brewster at specialevents@clevelandorchestra.com

Movie Night Live: 
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers  
Friday, July 28 at 7:00 p.m. 
Saturday, July 29 at 7:00 p.m. 
Sunday, July 30 at 7:00 p.m. 
The Cleveland Orchestra 
Ludwig Wicki, conductor 
Blossom Festival Chorus 
Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus 
 
SHORE The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (film with live orchestral underscore) 
 
A new power is arising… the Journey continues. Experience the second installment of the epic trilogy on the big screen—with the original score performed live by The Cleveland Orchestra! Composer Howard Shore brings J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary imagination to vivid life with his Academy and Grammy Award winning scores to the Peter Jackson films. In the saga’s second chapter, The Two Towers, the world has darkened, cloaked beneath the advancing shadow of Mordor and the threat of the evil One Ring. 
 
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is produced by Columbia Artists Music, LLC.  
 
NOPEC is the Movie Night Presenter for Movie Night Live: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. 

Sibelius’s First Symphony  

Saturday, August 5 at 7:00 p.m.  

The Cleveland Orchestra  

David Robertson, conductor  

Conrad Tao, piano 

With the Kent Blossom Chamber Orchestra  

SNIDER Something for the Dark (Cleveland Orchestra Premiere) 

ADAMS  Century Rolls  

SIBELIUS  Symphony No. 1   

Sibelius’s First Symphony opens with mystery — the breathy sound of a single clarinet gradually joined by the distant rumbling of timpani—giving way to gorgeous, romantic, searching melodies. Century Rolls, commissioned and recorded by The Cleveland Orchestra, was inspired by the old piano roll music of the 1920’s. The composer writes: “The concerto takes a kind of polymorphous-perverse pleasure in the whole past century of piano music, both popular and classical.”   

Mozart in the Meadows  
Saturday, August 12 at 7:00 p.m. 
The Cleveland Orchestra  
Nicholas McGegan, conductor  
Afendi Yusuf, clarinet  

MOZART  Overture to The Marriage of Figaro  

MOZART  Clarinet Concerto  

LANGER  Suite from Figaro Gets a Divorce (Cleveland Orchestra premiere) 

MENDELSSOHN  Symphony No. 4, “Italian”  

Mozart is at the heart of this program filled with humor and whimsey. Conducted by audience favorite Nicholas McGegan, the program opens with Mozart’s ever-popular Marriage of Figaro, which is paired with Langer’s contemporary response. The concert concludes with a work influenced by Mozart, Mendelssohn’s sprightly “Italian” Symphony.  

An Evening with Audra McDonald 
Sunday, August 13 at 7:00 p.m. 
The Cleveland Orchestra 
Andy Einhorn, conductor 
Audra McDonald, vocals 
 
Named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015, Emmy, Grammy, and six-time Tony Award–-winning Broadway icon Audra McDonald star of CBS’s The Good Fight and HBO’s The Gilded Age – joins The Cleveland Orchestra for a special evening of Broadway favorites by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, George Gershwin, and many others, with songs from her latest album, Sing Happy.

Fujita Plays Tchaikovsky  
Saturday, August 19 at 7:00 p.m. 
The Cleveland Orchestra  
Ryan Bancroft, conductor (Cleveland Orchestra debut) 
Mao Fujita, piano (Cleveland Orchestra debut) 

SHAW  Entr’acte (Cleveland Orchestra premiere) 

DAWSON  Negro Folk Symphony       

TCHAIKOVSKY  Piano Concerto No. 1  

  

A rising star performs a beloved concerto. Mao Fujita’s meteoric rise is fascinating and extraordinary— he burst on the international scene when he won the Silver Medal at the 2019 International Tchaikovsky Competition as an unknown 20-year-old. He makes his not-to-be-missed Cleveland debut performing Tchaikovsky’s powerful, iconic piano concerto. 

French Impressions 

Saturday, August 26 at 7:00 p.m.  

The Cleveland Orchestra  

Fabien Gabel, conductor  

Simone Lamsma, violin  

   

RAVEL  Alborada del gracioso  

SAINT-SAËNS  Violin Concerto No. 3  

DE FALLA  Suite No. 2 from The Three-Cornered Hat  

RAVEL  Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloé  

  

Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and relax under the stars to the sounds of atmospheric music from the French Impressionistic period, with Spanish flare. Vivid, colorful works by Ravel bookend a program filled with dance steps and evocative melodies. 

Movie Night Live: 
Disney: The Sound of Magic 
Friday, September 1 at 7:00 p.m. 
Saturday, September 2 at 7:00 p.m. 
Sunday, September 3 at 7:00 p.m. 
The Cleveland Orchestra 
Susie Benchasil Seiter, conductor (Cleveland Orchestra debut) 
 
A symphonic celebration of Disney music, animation, and memories –100 years in the making! Your favorite characters and soundtracks from the Walt Disney Animation Studios and Disney Parks come to life on the big screen in a live music-to-film concert like never before. This new concert takes you on a magic carpet ride through the most memorable song, score, and movie moments of the first 100 years of The Walt Disney Company, including Peter PanMoanaAladdinThe Jungle BookFrozenThe Lion KingFantasiaEncanto, and more.  Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY 
Saturday, September 9 at 7:00 p.m. 
Blossom Festival Orchestra 
Arnie Roth, conductor (Blossom Music Festival debut) 
Blossom Festival Chorus 
 
UEMATSU  Music from FINAL FANTASY 
 
Celebrating the entire FINAL FANTASY video game seriesDistant Worlds features the music of composer Nobuo Uematsu, often called the “John Williams of video games.” With high-definition presentations from the FINAL FANTASY game developers, Square Enix, projected onto giant screens, Distant Worlds showcases diverse and constantly expanding repertoire of classic Final Fantasy music throughout the history of the game series in an innovation multimedia concert experience that has delighted audiences around the world. 
 
Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY is produced by Nobuo Uematsu and Arnie Roth, AWR Music Productions, LLC, and Square Enix. All associated trademarks are owned by and used under license from SQUARE ENIX CO.LTD. © 2022 SQUARE ENIX CO.LTD. All Rights Reserved. 
 
Special performance-not on subscription series.  
Under 18s Free Ticketing Program is not valid for this concert.  
Lawn Ticket Books cannot be redeemed for Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY. 
*Please note The Cleveland Orchestra does not appear on this concert. 

All programs, artists, and prices are subject to change.