Cleveland Orchestra debuts members-only Lotus Club

The Cleveland Orchestra wants to make the concert-going experience at Severance Hall even more enjoyable this season. So, at its 2019-2020 season opener, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, this Thursday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Sept. 20, the orchestra will also debut the Lotus Club.

Converted from a meeting space to a relaxing lounge in Severance Hall’s 1,288-square-foot Taplin Room, the Lotus Club will offer a place for certain orchestra concert series subscribers and donors to relax and socialize before concerts and during intermission.

“It’s all part of a bigger strategy of trying to find more spaces for people to relax,” says Ross Binnie, the orchestra’s chief brand officer. “The notion is to [give] donors a little bit of respite before the concert.”

The Lotus Club has two levels of membership. Those who subscribe to four or more concerts and donate between $600 and $2,499 to the annual fund will receive platinum memberships and gain unlimited access to the club, while those who subscribe to four or more concerts and donate $150 to $599 will receive gold memberships and are permitted one-time access to the club.

They are considering opening the Lotus Club for special events and private rentals in the future when the room is not in use, but for now it is specifically designed for the Cleveland Orchestra’s most loyal supporters, Binnie says.

The room is usually used as internal meeting space, but thanks to help from Arhaus Furniture, the Taplin Room has become the Lotus Club—complete with soft seating in navy blue and silver­—with a long, full-service bar, Binnie says.

The Lotus Club will serve “light bites” and local beers and drinks with a Cleveland theme from Marigold Catering. The room can fit up to 200 people and provides access to the adjoining David and Barbara Jacobs Terrace.

“Cleveland’s weather willing, we will open it as often as we can,” Binnie says of the terrace. Additionally, the location is convenient, he says. “It’s 15 paces from the main floor and it’s a convenient place to hang your coats.”

Additionally, the lounge will feature private restrooms, televisions, and a special entrance to Severance Hall along Euclid Avenue for members. Patrons can also reach the Lotus Club through the Campus Center Parking Garage and from inside the concert hall.

The blue and silver color palette was chosen to carry on the aluminum, silver, and blue theme of the 1931 Georgian/Neo-Classical sandstone concert hall designed by acclaimed Cleveland architecture firm Walker and Weeks, Binnie says. Industrialist John Long Severance, who donated $2.5 million toward the $7 million cost, dedicated the hall as a memorial to his late wife, Elisabeth DeWitt Severance.

The Lotus Club at Severance HallOfficials decided on the name Lotus Club because of Elisabeth’s love of lotus blossoms, says Binnie. “It’s based a lot on the architecture,” he says. “In the 1920s, King Tut was all the rage, and the architecture of metal fixtures in and around the building replicates that. Mrs. Severance was very enamored with lotus blossoms, and a lot of spaces are a sort of homage to her.”

Describing the Lotus Club as “modern elegance that’s fitting with Severance Hall tradition,” Binnie says he hopes patrons will be pleased with the new addition. “I hope it just adds another space that people will find intriguing.”

To become a Lotus Club member, contact the Cleveland Orchestra ticket office at 216-231-1111 or 800-686-1141.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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