The festival, the first since the departure of former Blossom Festival director Jahja Ling, was programmed by Cleveland Orchestra music director Franz Welser-M‹st, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, but Welser-M‹st will lead just two concerts, on August 25 and 26. The programs include Kaija Saariaho's Orion and Debussy's Le Mer.
Guest conductors include Miguel Harth Bedoya, who will lead Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Gershwin's An American in Paris and Piano Concerto in F, and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade; Ling, who returns for two concerts including the Mozart Requiem; Pinchas Steinberg, who leads the Symphonie Fantastique; and David Zimman.
Among the soloists on the schedule are violinist James Ehnes, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and pianist Arnaldo Cohen.
The festival will open July 1-5 with the Blossom Festival Band's annual Independence Day concerts, led by Loras John Schissel. The Festival Band will perform the score for The Wizard of Oz, accompanied by a screening of the film, and music from the Bugs Bunny cartoons and John Williams' film scores.
Visiting ensembles include the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and the Canadian Brass.