by Daniel Hathaway
Following the unexpected passing at the beginning of the season of its longtime conductor Robert Cronquist (left) — only the second person in its history to lead the ensemble — the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra found itself scrambling for podium leadership. Guest conductor John Thomas Dodson has stepped into that role for the ensemble’s 84th annual concert at Severance Hall on Sunday, April 7 at 3:30 pm, and violinist Jinjoo Cho will be the featured soloist.
Founded in 1935 by Cleveland Orchestra violinist Hyman Schandler at a time when symphony orchestras were the exclusive province of male musicians, the Cleveland ensemble is the oldest women’s orchestra in the United States. After Schandler’s death in 1990, Cronquist took over the podium in addition to his posts as music director of the Mansfield Symphony and the summertime Lakeside Festival Orchestra. During his tenure, he established an endowment to sustain the ensemble as it moved into the 21st century. [Read more…]