The Cleveland Orchestra Story

By Rosenberg, Donald

Publishers Summary:
They are, simply, the best at what they do. The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the three greatest orchestras in the world--by the near-unanimous acclaim of audiences, critics, and musicians around the globe. What's more, they achieved this extraordinary success in a small Midwestern city, far from the traditional cultural centers of Europe and the U.S. east and west coasts. And they've stayed at the very top now for almost four decades. This book tells how the Cleveland Orchestra rose amid the gritty surroundings of Big Industry to become a titan in the world of Big Art. It's a story of indomitable founders like iron-willed impresario Adella Prentiss Hughes (the first woman to manage a symphony orchestra) and shrewd, wealthy patrons like industrialist John L. Severance. Of dedicated musicians and driven conductors--like colorful Artur Rodzinski (who packed a loaded pistol during every performance) and authoritarian genius George Szell, who drilled into his orchestra the awesome precision for which it is still renowned (and who even told his players how to dress and the cleaning ladies at Severance Hall what brand of toilet paper to stock). It's also a story of many battles, for the orchestra has fought relentlessly to maintain its reputation for near-perfect performance. How these musicians and maestros, managers and patrons rose repeatedly to meet the challenges--and in doing so set a standard for excellence rarely matched by any other arts organization--is the story of a true virtuoso performance. In this book, the first about the Cleveland Orchestra in 30 years, and the first-ever independently published history of the subject, Donald Rosenberg recounts a complex, sweeping success story in very human terms, with a feel for its true drama and an eye for its telling details.

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ISBN
978-1-88622-824-5
Publisher
Gray & Company Publishers


REVIEWS

Library Journal

Reviewed on November 15, 2000

This is much more than a history of one of the finest U.S. orchestras from its 1918 birth to the January 2000 reopening of its home, Severance Hall. Rosenberg, classical music critic at the Plain Dealer (Cleveland) and vice president of the Music Critics Association of North America, has written a fascinating account of music, musicians, politics,...Log In or Sign Up to Read More

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