Beatles, Carmina Burana, Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak among highlights of 2014 Blossom Music Festival

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The Cleveland Orchestra has announced the 2014 Blossom Music Festival season. The Festival comprises 18 concerts - including 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 - Aug. 31. For the 41st consecutive year, the Blossom season begins with traditional Salute to America concerts by the Blossom Festival Band. Highlights of the season include the Festival opening 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, "A Beatles Tribute: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Their U.S. Arrival," and two different programs to close the season on Labor Day weekend, beginning with "Family Funfest at Blossom" featuring the Blossom Festival Orchestra performing tunes from The Little Mermaid, The Wizard of Oz, Frozen, and other movie favorites, plus family-friendly pre-concert activities, and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducting The Cleveland Orchestra in the final program of the season, a European Festivals Tour send-off concert. The tour performances will be announced at a later date.

Guest conductors

In addition to Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, conductors returning to Blossom are Johannes Debus, Jack Everly, Andrew Grams, Richard Kaufman, Michael Krajewski, Jahja Ling, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and Bramwell Tovey. Asher Fisch, Matthew Halls, and John Storgårds make their Cleveland Orchestra debuts. Jeffrey Kahane, who has appeared with the Orchestra numerous times as piano soloist, makes his Cleveland Orchestra conducting debut. Conductor Jaap van Zweden and Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Conductor Brett Mitchell make their Blossom Music Festival debuts. Returning guest soloists include pianist Stephen Hough, soprano Kristen Plumley, violinist Karen Gomyo, and vocalists Ben Crawford, Whitney Claire Kaufman, and Ted Keegan. Debut artists include soprano Nadine Sierra, mezzo-soprano Emily Fons, baritone Brian Mulligan, pianist Francesco Piemontesi, and violinists Renaud Capuçon and Isabelle Faust. Tenor Christopher Pfund, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, and narrator Pat Sajak make their Blossom Music Festival debuts.

A wide variety of popular music will be featured at Blossom this summer, including a "Sci-Fi Spectacular" program 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, also led by Jack Everly. Hollywood maestro Richard Kaufman conducts Hollywood under the Stars, a blockbuster tribute to music from many favorite movies.

Franz Welser-Möst Conducts

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.

Orchestral Masterworks

The Orchestra takes the spotlight at Blossom in performances of great orchestral masterpieces from the classical, romantic, and twentieth-century eras. Jaap van Zweden conducts Dvořák's "New World" Symphony and the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Renaud Capuçon as soloist in his Cleveland Orchestra debut. Asher Fisch makes his debut in a program including Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with soloist Isabelle Faust, also making her debut. Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducts Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony and a performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27 marking the debut of soloist Francesco Piemontesi. John Storgårds makes his debut in a program including Sibelius's Symphony No. 2. Jeffrey Kahane leads a program including Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4 ("Italian"). Franz Welser-Möst conducts Brahms's Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4.

Cleveland Orchestra musicians appearing as soloist at Blossom this season include: Principal Trumpet Michael Sachs in "With Malice Toward None" from Lincoln and First Associate Concertmaster Peter Otto in Haydn's Violin Concerto No. 1.

A Beatles Tribute

A Beatles Tribute: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Their U.S. Arrival relives the greatest hits of the Beatles when The Cleveland Orchestra is joined by the hit tribute band Classical Mystery Tour to perform the original orchestrations of favorites including "Penny Lane," "Yesterday," "Eleanor Rigby," and "With a Little Help From My Friends," among many others.

Blossom Festival Band

In a tradition now entering its fifth decade, 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 the explosive Tchaikovsky "1812" Overture, followed by fireworks.

Kent/Blossom Music

Celebrating its 47th season in Kent/Blossom Music began under the direction of George Szell when The Cleveland Orchestra and Kent State University launched a partnership in 1968, the year Blossom Music Center opened. Kent/Blossom Music's advanced training program brings more than 40 musicians from around the world to Ohio each summer for professional training in chamber music and orchestral studies. Participants receive lessons, coachings, and masterclasses with members of The Cleveland Orchestra and other elite faculty for five weeks in June and July. On Saturday, July 26, participants will perform with The Cleveland Orchestra in a side-by-side concert and also present a pre-concert program of music by Ravel and Wagner, conducted by Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Conductor Brett Mitchell, prior to The Cleveland Orchestra's concert at the Blossom Music Festival.

Twenty Cleveland Orchestra musicians serve on the faculty at Kent/Blossom Music. Twenty alumni of Kent/Blossom Music are now members of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Ticket information

Lawn Ticket Books of ten tickets are now available for $150 (a savings of up to $100). Two "Under18s Free" are admitted with each adult Lawn Ticket and the Lawn Ticket Book includes two free Pavilion upgrade coupons.

Pavilion tickets range in price from $23 to $120. Tickets for the Lawn and the General Admission sections of the Pavilion for Blossom Music Festival concerts are priced at $23 or $25. Individual tickets go on sale by telephone, in person at the Severance Hall Ticket Office, and online at clevelandorchestra.com on Tuesday, May 27. The Blossom box office opens for the season beginning May 31, and will be open throughout the summer on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 5 p.m. and from 1 p.m. through intermission on concert days.

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Call the Cleveland Orchestra Group Sales Office at Severance Hall at 216-231-7463 for more information.

Blossom Music Center is at 1145 W Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls.

2014 Blossom Music Festival Calendar

A Salute to America

July 3, at 8 p.m.*

July 4, at 8 p.m.*

Blossom Festival Band

Loras John Schissel, conductor

Northeast Ohio's favorite Independence Day concerts feature American classics and patriotic selections. Come celebrate America with the whole family! Music by such beloved composers as Bernstein, Gershwin, and John Philip Sousa, topped off with the "1812" Overture and a spectacular fireworks display.

* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.

Festival Opening: Dvořák's New World

July 5, at 8 p.m.*

The Cleveland Orchestra

Jaap van Zweden, conductor - Blossom Music Festival debut

Renaud Capuçon, violin - Cleveland Orchestra debut

TCHAIKOVSKY Capriccio Italien

SIBELIUS Violin Concerto

DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World")

* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.

July 12, at 8 p.m.

Beethoven's Seventh

The Cleveland Orchestra

Asher Fisch, conductor - Cleveland Orchestra debut

Isabelle Faust, violin - Cleveland Orchestra debut

WAGNER Overture to The Flying Dutchman

MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7

July 13, at 7 p.m.

Sci-Fi Spectacular

The Cleveland Orchestra

Jack Everly, conductor

Kristen Plumley, soprano

Members of the Blossom Festival Chorus

Explore strange, new worlds with music from the biggest and best science fiction TV shows and movies, including selections from Star Trek, Star Wars, E.T., and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

July 19, at 8 p.m.

A Taste of Spain

The Cleveland Orchestra

Bramwell Tovey, conductor

Karen Gomyo, violin

Emily Fons, mezzo-soprano - Cleveland Orchestra debut

BIZET Suite from Carmen

SAINT-SAËNS Violin Concerto No. 3

FALLA The Three-Cornered Hat

July 20, at 7 p.m.

Mozart and Shostakovich

The Cleveland Orchestra

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, conductor

Francesco Piemontesi, piano - Cleveland Orchestra debut

WEBER Overture to Der Freischütz

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 27

SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No.5

July 26, at 8 p.m.

Beethoven and Liszt

The Cleveland Orchestra

John Storgårds, conductor - Cleveland Orchestra debut

Stephen Hough, piano

with the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra

Brett Mitchell, conductor - Blossom Music Festival debut

BEETHOVEN Overture to Fidelio

LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1

SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2

* Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra performs selections by Ravel and Wagner at 7 p.m. The Cleveland Orchestra's concert (program listed above) begins at 8 p.m.

July 27, at 7 p.m.

Broadway Standing Ovations

The Cleveland Orchestra

Jack Everly, conductor

Christina Bianco, vocalist - Cleveland Orchestra debut

Ted Keegan, vocalist

Ben Crawford, vocalist

Come to Blossom for a concert of Broadway showstoppers including highlights from "The Phantom of the Opera" (featuring Broadway's "Phantom," Ted Keegan), "Wicked," "Rent," "Les Misérables," and more. Plus, as seen on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the charismatic and comedic Christina Bianco presents excerpts from her Diva Moments solo show, sure to bring down the house with her celebrity impressions of Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, and others.

Aug. 2, at 8 p.m.

Romantic Rachmaninoff

The Cleveland Orchestra

Johannes Debus, conductor

Benjamin Grosvenor, piano - Blossom Music Festival debut

RAMEAU Selections from Les Indes Galantes

RAVEL Piano Concerto in G major

RAVEL Pavane for a Dead Princess

RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances

Aug. 3, at 7 p.m.

Hollywood under the Stars

The Cleveland Orchestra

Richard Kaufman, conductor

Michael Sachs, trumpet

Hollywood maestro Richard Kaufman leads a blockbuster tribute to the most memorable music of the movies. Enjoy selections from films including Forrest Gump, The Godfather, Gone with the Wind, The Magnificent Seven, Lincoln, Lawrence of Arabia, The Right Stuff, and more.

Aug. 9, at 8 p.m.

The Magic of Mozart

The Cleveland Orchestra

Matthew Halls, conductor - Cleveland Orchestra debut

MOZART Overture to Idomeneo

TCHAIKOVSKY Suite No. 4 ("Mozartiana")

MOZART Eine kleine Nachtmusik

MOZART Symphony No. 36 ("Linz")

Aug. 10, at 7 p.m.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

The Cleveland Orchestra

Jeffrey Kahane, conductor - Cleveland Orchestra conducting debut

Peter Otto, violin

STRAVINSKY Suite from Pulcinella

HAYDN Violin Concerto No. 1 in C major

MENDELSSOHN Music from A Midsummer Night's Dream

MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 4 ("Italian")

Aug. 16, at 8 p.m.

Yo-Yo Ma

The Cleveland Orchestra

Jahja Ling, conductor

Yo-Yo Ma, cello

Program includes:

ELGAR Cello Concerto

DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 6

Aug. 23, at 8 p.m.

Carmina Burana

The Cleveland Orchestra

Andrew Grams, conductor

Nadine Sierra, soprano - Cleveland Orchestra debut

Christopher Pfund, tenor - Blossom Music Festival debut

Brian Mulligan, baritone - Cleveland Orchestra debut

Blossom Festival Chorus

Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus

BACH Toccata and Fugue in D minor

LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

ORFF Carmina Burana

Aug. 24, at 7 p.m.

A Beatles Tribute:

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Their U.S. Arrival

The Cleveland Orchestra

Michael Krajewski, conductor

Classical Mystery Tour - Cleveland Orchestra debut

From the early hits through the solo years, relive the greatest hits of the Beatles when hit tribute band Classical Mystery Tour joins The Cleveland Orchestra in performing the original orchestrations to all of your favorites - including "Penny Lane," "Yesterday," "Eleanor Rigby," "With a Little Help From My Friends," and so much more. Don't miss this one-night-only event!

Aug. 30, at 7 p.m.*

Family Funfest at Blossom

Blossom Festival Orchestra

Richard Kaufman, conductor

Whitney Claire Kaufman, vocalist

Pat Sajak, narrator - Blossom Music Festival debut

Bring the kids and share in the magical experience of Blossom with a fun-filled concert - featuring tunes from The Little Mermaid, The Wizard of Oz, Spiderman, 2013's hit movie Frozen, and more -- as well as Wheel of Fortune's very own Pat Sajak. Featuring great family-friendly activities and a spectacular fireworks show!

* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.

Aug. 31, at 7 p.m.

Cleveland Orchestra European Festivals Tour Send-off

The Cleveland Orchestra

Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

WIDMANN Con brio: Concert Overture for Orchestra

BRAHMS Symphony No. 3

BRAHMS Symphony No. 4

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

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