By ANDREA C. TURNER
Start planning your summer music season early! You won’t want to miss these upcoming concerts, many with special guest stars performed with the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls. For tickets, contact the Severance Music Center ticket office by phone at 216.231.1111 or online at clevelandorchestra.com.
Rhapsody in Blue with Béla Fleck
Saturday, July 6, 7 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra’s Brett Mitchell conducts. Béla Fleck, “arguably the greatest living banjo player in the world” (NPR), makes his Blossom Music Festival debut and marks the centennial of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with a dazzling new banjo transcription of this beloved showpiece. Experience a fresh take on an American classic. Mitchell rounds out this all-American evening with orchestral gems by Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, and William Grant Still.
An Evening with Leslie Odom, Jr.
Sunday, July 21, 7 p.m.
Tony and Grammy award–winning vocalist, songwriter, author, and actor, Leslie Odom Jr., makes his Cleveland Orchestra debut. Odom is known for his breakout role as the original Aaron Burr in the smash hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” A special fundraising event, the Blossom Summer Soirée, to benefit the Orchestra’s summer home takes place prior to the concert. The evening includes cocktails and an elegant dinner in the Knight Grove, followed by a Cleveland Orchestra performance under the stars. For information, contact Maddie Polk at 216.231.7412 or mpolk@clevelandorchestra.com.
An Evening with John Legend:
A Night of Songs and Stories
Thursday, August 8, 7 p.m.
This special performance will feature songs and stories with multi-platinum, 12-time Grammy winner John Legend who makes his Cleveland Orchestra debut. Experience intimate re-imaginings of his greatest hits (“All of Me,” “Ordinary People,” “Tonight”), unexpected stories from Legend’s life and career, and selections from his most recent release, LEGEND (“Nervous,” “Wonder Woman”), out now on Republic Records. Anthony Parnther conducts the Cleveland Orchestra with Legend on piano and vocals. An EGOT-winner and Ohio native, Legend is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter who along with his 12 Grammy Awards, has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, and an Emmy Award. Limit of four tickets per household. An Evening With John Legend is not eligible for Blossom Festival Lawn Ticket Books or the Under 18s Free program. Live Nation safety rules will be in effect.
Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony
Saturday, August 17, 7 p.m.
Franz Welser-Möst returns to Blossom to conduct the Cleveland Orchestra for Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, which journeys from dark inner turmoil to an unwavering celebration of life. The “breathtakingly brilliant pianist” Víkingur Ólafsson (Gramophone) also joins the Orchestra for Robert Schumann’s “Piano Concerto,” a marvelous showcase for soloist and orchestra that the composer once referred to as “a compromise between a symphony, a concerto, and a huge sonata.”
Sinatra and Beyond
Sunday, August 25, 7 p.m.
The Blossom Festival band performs with singer/pianist/songwriter Tony DeSare on vocals. DeSare takes on the legend of Ol’’’ Blue Eyes himself in a critically acclaimed tribute to the great Frank Sinatra that includes songs like “Come Fly with Me,” I’ve Got the World On a String,” “The Summer Wind,” “I Get A Kick Out of You,” “Night and Day,” “New York, New York,” “My Way,” and many more Sinatra classics. The Cleveland Orchestra does not appear on this concert.
Cirque Goes Broadway
Saturday, August 31, 7 p.m. and Sunday, September 1, 7 p.m.
The Cirque de la Symphonie performs with the Akron Symphony Orchestra; Lucas Waldin conducts. Dizzying acrobatic heights and eye-popping feats come together with top Broadway hits from “Les Misérables,” “Frozen,” “Miss Saigon” and more. Fun for the whole family, Cirque de la Symphonie is a new production formed to bring the magic of cirque to the music hall. It is an exciting adaptation of artistic performances widely seen in theaters and arenas everywhere. Artists include amazing veterans of exceptional cirque programs throughout the world—aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers, and strongmen. Each artist’s performance is professionally choreographed to classical masterpieces and popular contemporary music. The Cleveland Orchestra does not appear in this concert.