The Cleveland Orchestra
is well known for its residencies in cities like New York, Vienna and Miami. Now the famous ensemble is bringing its talents back to where it all began.
In the first of a handful of planned residencies in Northeast Ohio, the orchestra has partnered with Gordon Square Arts District
for a week of events
May 11 through May 17. Visitors walking the neighborhood are bound to encounter orchestra or youth ensemble musicians performing at one happening joint or another. In addition, musicians will visit local schools for educational programs. All of the events will be free and open to the public
The orchestra has a healthy prior relationship with the West Side district, notes orchestra communications director Ana Papakhian. Ensemble musicians, for example, have played at Happy Dog, and the orchestra has plans to release a vinyl album based on the recordings there. Plans to diversify orchestra activities beyond Severance Hall
and Blossom Music Center
made Gordon Square an easy call for an inaugural neighborhood residency.
"The district is a natural fit," Papakhian says. "The community has always been supportive of us."
Entertainment is just one aspect of the venture, adds the orchestra official. Musicians will talk about their careers with Cleveland students, while a soccer game will pair local youth with musicians and staff. The idea is to form a bond between participating Clevelanders and performers.
"You get an enhanced concert experience when you have some connection to the people on stage," says Papakhian. "It's about seeing the musicians as real people."
SOURCE: Ana Papakhian
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth