Another orchestra for Lincoln Center

In ICSOM/AFM/Local 802 circles, the New York Philharmonic, Met Opera orchestra, NYC Opera orchestra, and NYC Ballet orchestra are known collectively as the “Lincoln Center orchestras” for obvious reasons. It appears that they’re about to have some company:

Call it Cleveland on the Hudson: The Cleveland Orchestra is setting up a multiyear residency at the Lincoln Center Festival starting in 2011.

Officials say the residency begins in July 2011 with Cleveland music director Franz (FRAHNZ) Welser-Moest (VEL’-sehr mehrst) spotlighting works by Bruckner and John Adams.

In 2013 and 2015, the orchestra will perform in the pit for fully staged productions from the Vienna State Opera. Welser-Moest becomes general director of the Vienna opera company next year. His contract in Cleveland runs through 2018, the orchestra’s centennial year.

Obviously the Cleveland/Welser-Möst/Vienna connection is key to this project. But, given the acrimonious debate within the community of orchestra musicians about the role that Cleveland’s Miami residency might have played in the demise of the Florida Philharmonic, I wonder what the reaction of the Lincoln Center orchestra musicians will be to this news.

(Coverage from the Cleveland Plain Dealer is here.)

About the author

Robert Levine
Robert Levine

Robert Levine has been the Principal Violist of the Milwaukee Symphony since September 1987. Before coming to Milwaukee Mr. Levine had been a member of the Orford String Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Toronto, with whom he toured extensively throughout Canada, the United States, and South America. Prior to joining the Orford Quartet, Mr. Levine had served as Principal Violist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for six years. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, and the Oklahoma City Symphony, as well as serving as guest principal with the orchestras of Indianapolis and Hong Kong.

He has performed as soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, the Midsummer Mozart Festival (San Francisco), and numerous community orchestras in Northern California and Minnesota. He has also been featured on American Public Radio's nationally broadcast show "St. Paul Sunday Morning" on several occasions.

Mr. Levine has been an active chamber musician, having performed at the Festival Rolandseck in Germany, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Palm Beach Festival, the "Strings in the Mountains" Festival in Colorado, and numerous concerts in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee. He has also been active in the field of new music, having commissioned and premiered works for viola and orchestra from Minnesota composers Janika Vandervelde and Libby Larsen.

Mr. Levine was chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians from 1996 to 2002 and currently serves as President of the Milwaukee Musicians Association, Local 8 of the American Federation of Musicians, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras. He has written extensively about issues concerning orchestra musicians for publications of ICSOM, the AFM, the Symphony Orchestra Institute, and the League of American Orchestras.

Mr. Levine attended Stanford University and the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Switzerland. His primary teachers were Aaron Sten and Pamela Goldsmith. He also studied with Paul Doctor, Walter Trampler, Bruno Giuranna, and David Abel.

He lives with his wife Emily and his son Sam in Glendale.

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