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UK Music Festivals Can No Longer Afford the Cleveland Orchestra

By Sara Schabas on April 29, 2024

Cleveland Orchestra
Cleveland Orchestra (courtesy photo)

The Cleveland Orchestra was reportedly scheduled to appear at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh Festival as part of its upcoming European tour. Yet it seems the orchestra can’t afford to make the stops in the UK, which is currently suffering from arts funding cuts.

What’s up: This week, the BBC Proms announced this season’s programming. With a number of concerts commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Arnold Schoenberg, the festival promises an array of concerts featuring world class musicians and orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and the Orchestre de Paris among others. One notable absence from the season announcement were American orchestras, normally fixtures at the festival.

Digging deeper: Franz Welser-Möst’s Cleveland Orchestra, called America’s “most brilliant orchestra” by the New York Times, has performed frequently at the BBC Proms since its first appearance there in 1975. The orchestra will go on a European tour this summer, which was to include its first return to the Proms in ten years as well as a stop at the Edinburgh Festival. Yet both festivals were unable to compensate the orchestra for the funding losses it would suffer by appearing.

Sara Schabas
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