LSM Newswire

Saturday, July 2, 2011

2011 Blossom Festival Begins with Benefit Concert and Announcement of $6 Million in Corporate Support for Audience Development

The Center for Future Audiences’ flagship program “Under 18 Free” will be launched July 3

CLEVELAND - Five corporations have pledged a total of $6 million to fund the launch of audience development programs which are part of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Center for Future Audiences.

Baker Hostetler, Eaton Corporation, Forest City Enterprises, KeyBank, and NACCO Industries have each pledged gifts of $1 million or more. The five corporations all have a lengthy and committed history of supporting The Cleveland Orchestra and a broad range of cultural and community philanthropy.

The Center for Future Audiences is endowed by the Maltz Family Foundation. The Center is a multi-faceted and long-term audience development initiative announced in 2010 with a $20 million lead gift from the Foundation. The Center’s ambitious goals include developing the youngest audience anywhere for a symphony orchestra by the time of The Cleveland Orchestra’s centennial in 2018. One of the Center’s flagship programs toward that goal is “Under 18 Free,” designed to make Blossom Festival concerts accessible and inexpensive for families to attend. The program begins with the Orchestra’s July 3 Blossom performance.

Announcing the new corporate support, Cleveland Orchestra Executive Director Gary Hanson said, “We are profoundly grateful for the philanthropic leadership demonstrated by these new sponsorship commitments. We thank these five generous companies for embracing the vision of the Maltz Family Foundation. Together they will help transform the Orchestra’s audiences.”

The gifts in support of the Center and the sponsored programs will be publicly recognized at the July 2 opening night of the 2011 Blossom Festival, a benefit concert featuring The Cleveland Orchestra with guest artist Idina Menzel, under the direction of conductor Steven Reineke. The benefit event, sponsored by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, will raise an additional $500,000 for the Center for Future Audiences.

The corporate funding announced today sponsors the launch of a number of programs of the Center. The sponsored programs include “Under 18 Free” at Blossom; Severance Hall’s popular Fridays@7 and Celebrity Series; and a new online discount program for adults 18 to 36 that will begin with the 2011-12 season.


Starting on July 3, 2011, young people under age 18 are welcome to attend all the remaining Blossom Festival concerts with free tickets. Patrons wishing to participate in this program will be eligible for two Under 18 Free lawn tickets with every paid lawn adult admission. To order, patrons should contact the box office directly at (216) 231-1111 or 800-686-1141, or order online at



The Cleveland Orchestra under the leadership of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst has become Ohio’s most visible ambassador and one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world. The Orchestra participates in unprecedented residencies in the United States and Europe, including residencies in Miami and at the Musikverein concert hall in Vienna, as well as its newest residency at New York’s Lincoln Center Festival. It performs at home in two of the world’s finest concert venues: Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center. Broadening its artistic scope, the Orchestra incorporates opera, ballet, jazz, world music, film, and popular music into its innovative programs.



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