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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

CLEVELAND PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

The CLEVELAND PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA became a source of fine music for Clevelanders while fulfilling its primary purpose as a means by which area musicians gained valuable concert experience. The orchestra was founded in 1938 by 3 Cleveland musicians: bass clarinetist Alfred Zetzer, oboist Robt. Zupnik, and cellist Irving Klein. They approached Dr. F. KARL GROSSMAN, a professor at Western Reserve Univ., with a proposal to conduct an orchestra in which they could acquire concert experience that would better prepare them for professional careers. After hearing just one rehearsal, Grossman accepted their offer and became the orchestra's first conductor and director, a position he filled through the Cleveland Philharmonic's first 25 seasons. Other directors included Robt. Marcellus, Jose Serebrier, Zoltan Rozsnyai, Geo. Cleve, and Wm. Slocum. The orchestra's 65 musicians perform on a voluntary basis, the only salaried members being the director and concertmaster. Financial support comes from private and corporate donations, including grants from the Ohio Arts Council, AMERICAN GREETINGS, and A. G. Edwards. In the past the orchestra has been active in presenting concerts for specific ethnic groups in the Cleveland area, including celebrations of Czechoslovakian Independence Day and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. In 1973 the orchestra began sponsoring the Frieda Schumacher Young Artists Competition, in which the winners were invited to appear as soloists with the orchestra. As orchestra in residence at CUYAHOGA COMMUNITY COLLEGE since the 1970s, the Cleveland Philharmonic has performed on the school's Metro and Western campuses as well as at other locales in the community. The orchestra's regular season includes 5 concerts, plus the annual Martin Luther King performance.


Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra Records, WRHS.