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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND GRAND ORCHESTRA

CLEVELAND GRAND ORCHESTRA

The CLEVELAND GRAND ORCHESTRA was a forerunner of the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA. CONRAD MIZER, a local impresario, decided after the demise of the CLEVELAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA in 1902 to try a series of winter concerts. With the financial support of some prominent citizens, Mizer formed a new symphony, known alternately as the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Grand Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. The first program was held at GRAYS ARMORY on 4 Jan. 1903 under the musical direction of both JOHANN BECK and EMIL RING. A successful Sunday concert series was started in the summer in HALTNORTH'S GARDENS. Mizer died suddenly in 1904, but its continued work was assured by ADELLA PRENTISS HUGHES who was associated with the orchestra at that time in the capacity of concert manager. Besides playing the standard literature, the orchestra played the works of local composers and songwriters, including JAS. H. ROGERS, CHAS. V. RYCHLIK, Isabelle Beaton, Carl Groenwald, Fanny Snow Knowlton, and Albert Gehring. Soloists who appeared included Sol Marcosson, Wm. Becker, Grace Probert, and Francis Sadlier. The Cleveland Grand Orchestra was the name adopted through 1909, when the group played citizens' pop concerts. The series then became the People's Symphony Orchestra, still conducted by Ring and Beck. The final program was given in Mar. 1912. The dissolution occurred, according to Adella Prentiss Hughes, because "the pops had begun to be monotonous."