Here’s something to help you think of summer: The Cleveland Orchestra has announced details of the 2014 Blossom Music Festival season.
The Blossom season will comprise 18 concerts — 15 by the Cleveland Orchestra, two Blossom Festival Band concerts, and one concert by the Blossom Festival Orchestra — at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Valley National Park from July 3 to Aug. 31.
For the 41st consecutive year, the Blossom season will begin with traditional “Salute to America” concerts by the Blossom Festival Band. Highlights of the season include a concert featuring Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony conducted by Jaap van Zweden; the return of conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5; a concert featuring Yo-Yo Ma as soloist in the Elgar Cello Concerto; a performance of Orff’s “Carmina Burana;” and “A Beatles Tribute: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Their U.S. Arrival.”
The Blossom Festival Band, conducted by Loras John Schissel, celebrates Independence Day with A Salute to America on Thursday, July 3, and Friday, July 4. The program features music by Bernstein, Gershwin and Sousa, and Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture, followed by fireworks.
The Aug. 24 Beatles show will feature the Cleveland Orchestra and tribute band Classical Mystery Tour performing original orchestrations of songs including “Penny Lane,” “Yesterday,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “With a Little Help From My Friends.” among many others.
There will be quite a bit of popular music featured at Blossom this summer, including a “Sci-Fi Spectacular” program on July 13 with music from the major science fiction TV shows and movies, under the direction of Jack Everly. Broadway stars will take the stage in a “Broadway Standing Ovations” program on July 27, also led by Everly. Hollywood maestro Richard Kaufman will conduct “Hollywood under the Stars,” a tribute to music from many favorite movies, on Aug. 3.
Cleveland Orchestra music director Franz Welser-Möst conducts the orchestra’s closing night concert at Blossom on Sunday, Aug. 31, with a European Festivals Tour send-off performance featuring Brahms’s Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 along with Jörg Widmann’s “Con brio: Concert Overture for Orchestra.”
The orchestra also said it will continue to offer free tickets to people age 17 and under for every Blossom Music Festival concert this summer. Nearly 50,000 young people have attended Blossom Music Festival concerts since the “Under 18s Free” ticket program began at Blossom in 2011, the orchestra said.