Invited by George Szell to guest conduct The Cleveland Orchestra in 1958, Skrowaczewski last appeared with the Orchestra at Severance Hall in August, 2015. The New York Times obituary quotes from ClevelandClassical.com’s interview with the conductor in 2014 before he was scheduled to lead a Blossom Festival concert (he cancelled due to illness).
by Robert Rollin
On August 7th, the second concert in this season’s Summers@Severance series marked guest conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski’s return to Cleveland. Drinks on Severance Hall’s lovely Front Terrace in the waning afternoon sun provided an excellent prelude to a fine musical event, of which Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 was the centerpiece. Skrowaczewski, now 91 years old, knew the composer personally, and on Friday evening he shepherded the Orchestra through a stunning performance of the work.
by Daniel Hathaway
Except for special events like Oberlin’s Cooper Competitions, Severance Hall usually takes a summer break while The Cleveland Orchestra is off performing at Blossom Music Center. Last year, in response to burgeoning summer activity among other University Circle institutions, the Orchestra’s administration planned three Friday evening performances on its home turf. As chief marketing officer Ross Binnie said in an interview for this publication last July, “The change is so dramatic and the area is really buzzing with life now on a year-round basis. So it seemed an oversight not to have our doors opened as well to anyone wants to come to hear our concerts indoors in a relaxed atmosphere in the summer.”
This summer, Severance Hall will again resound with three concerts by The Cleveland Orchestra — on July 10, August 7, and August 21 at 7:00 pm — plus a bonus performance on August 28 at 8:00 pm by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Music director Franz Welser-Möst will lead the opening performance, which revisits two works the Orchestra played during that busy week in May when the League of American Orchestras was visiting Cleveland for its annual conference. On July 10, Olivier Messiaen’s Hymne and Richard Strauss’s Symphonia domestica will share the program with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, with Igor Levit as the featured soloist. [Read more…]
by Daniel Hathaway
Note: Last Sunday, July 20, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski was scheduled to conduct The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom. He cancelled due to illness late in the week and was replaced by the orchestra’s assistant conductor, Brett Mitchell. We spoke to Maestro Skrowaczewski on the Wednesday before his Blossom concert and are reprinting the concert preview as a feature.
In 1957, Polish conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski was one of the local hosts for The Cleveland Orchestra’s first European tour — an event which established the ensemble’s international reputation. It was also an important moment for Skrowaczewski, whose first meeting with George Szell in Warsaw launched his own career in the United States.
“It was just after I won first prize in Rome,” Skrowaczewski said in a telephone conversation from his home in the Minneapolis suburb of Wayzata. “That was important in Europe because it was the first international competition after the war, so it had a certain value. Szell knew it, and he knew a little of my composition, Symphony for Strings, which he thought was very well written. He asked if I would mind to play it with his orchestra in Cleveland next year. The arrangements were very simple.” [Read more…]