Friday, May 10, 2013

The Cleveland Orchestra at Home in Gordon Square

Cleveland Orchestra Musicians Miho Hashizume and Shachar Israel at Sweet Moses in Gordon Square. Photo by Roger Mastroianni.
For two years, Cleveland Orchestra musicians have been stepping out of Severance Hall and into the Happy Dog for intimate, informal concerts — and audiences love it. Now, the Cleveland Orchestra is settling into the Gordon Square Arts District for a week packed with free events, the orchestra's first neighborhood residency in Northeast Ohio.

From May 11 to 17, audiences can attend pop-up concerts, educational programs for students and chamber ensemble performances in locations where you never thought you’d see a violin.

“It’s an exciting time for artistic revival in Cleveland,” says Ana Papakhian, communications director for the Cleveland Orchestra. Musical entertainment is not the only benefit, though. “Events like this increase foot traffic,” she says.

The At Home series kicks off Saturday with an oboe duet at Gypsy Beans & Baking Co. It culminates Thursday, May 16, when the Cleveland Orchestra performs at St. Colman Catholic Church. The full orchestra concert marks the first time in more than 30 years that the Orchestra has performed on Cleveland's West Side. Tickets are available now at multiple locations.

The events encourage untraditional interactions between orchestra musicians and the public. The musicians, who are consistently eager to get involved in neighborhood benefits, offered an overwhelming number of suggestions for the Gordon Square events.

“They are very passionate about growing their art form,” says Papahkian. 

Other events include numerous appearances by the Cleveland Orchestra chamber ensemble, a musical collaboration with Cleveland Public Theatre, a screening at the Capitol Theater of the "Orchestra’s Bruckner Symphony No. 4" performance in Austria, and a panel discussion held by the City Club of Cleveland on the impact of arts and culture on neighborhood development.

Papakhian hopes people will make plans to go, and that others will be surprised.

“Some people will walk in to get coffee or shop and encounter the musicians by accident,” she says. “That’s the magic of it.”

For a full schedule of events, visit

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