Miami residents seem enthusiastic about the visiting orchestra thus far: the first concerts, on January 19 and 20, are sold out.
For that first program, music director Franz Welser-M‹st leads the orchestra in Bernstein's Jeremiah Symphony (No. 1), with mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with O'Connor, soprano Measha Brueggergosman, tenor Frank Lopardo, bass Ren_ Pape, the Master Chorale of South Florida and the University of Miami Frost Chorale.
The orchestra's second concert program, on offer January 26-27, includes Ginastera's Variaciones concertantes, Golijov's Last Round and Mahler's Symphony No. 1, conducted by Welser-M‹st.
The first season in the Cleveland Orchestra's 10-year residency at the Carnival Center (which opened last October) also includes collaborations with the Miami community, such as training and master classes for New World Symphony members and students at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. Orchestra musicians will also participate in new-music reading sessions, which will allow Frost composition students the opportunity to hear their works played.
Welser-M‹st is expanding the orchestra's long-standing relationship with the New World Symphony: members of both orchestras will rehearse alongside each other during four rehearsals at Carnival Center and at the Lincoln Theatre in Miami Beach (current home of the NWS) from January 19 to 23. Cleveland principal musicians will also give a series of instrumental master classes and will provide one-on-one musical coaching for NWS musicians.
The orchestra will also offer family concerts and perform in local schools and collaborate with the New World School of the Arts, a magnet arts high school. During the two-week stay, assistant conductor Andrew Grams and several musicians will provide sectional and ensemble coaching to high school orchestral and string ensemble musicians.
The Miami residency is part of a broad plan by the Cleveland Orchestra to build financial bases of support outside northeastern Ohio, where it has had trouble fundraising and selling tickets. Miami now has its own separate board of directors to raise money for Cleveland Orchestra activities.
Each of the orchestra's concert programs will be broadcast on radio stations in both Miami and Cleveland. The January 20 concert will be broadcast live on Miami radio station 91.3 WLRN and on Cleveland radio station WCLV 104.9 FM at 8:00 p.m. The January 27 concert program will be broadcast live on WCLV 104.9 FM at 7:00 p.m. 91.3 WLRN will broadcast this concert program with a one-hour delay, beginning at 8:00 p.m.
Justin Macdonnell, artistic director of the Carnival Center, told the Akron Beacon Journal that "the residency of the Cleveland Orchestra establishes the standard here ... It's one thing to have orchestras come and visit, but another to enable the audience to see a great orchestra on a regular basis.'"