Yo-Yo Ma, Harry Potter Returning to Blossom for Cleveland Orchestra's Summer Series


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The Cleveland Orchestra has announced the full lineup of concerts for its 2020 Blossom Music Festival. 

While they'd previously announced plans for an orchestra-scored screening of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the rest of the schedule is now here and includes performances from Yo-Yo Ma and his Goat Rodeo Sessions crew along with a Beatles tribute night, a showing of the first film in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and, of course, fireworks.

Here's the breakdown of the 2020 Blossom schedule:

‒ Salute to America, July 3-4
This evening includes Sousa marches and other pieces sure to make you feel pretty American. Fireworks are included in these performances, which includes the Blossom Festival Band.

‒ Gershwin and Bernstein, July 5
Songs from Porgy and Bess and On the Town are on the docket for the night, along with plenty of other tunes written by George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein.

‒ Appalachian Spring, July 11
The concert includes Bernstein's Symphony No. 2 along with Aaron Copland's Suite from Appalachian Spring and Suite from Billy the Kid.

The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, July 17-19
The Cleveland Orchestra is taking on Howard Shore's LOTR score for one entire weekend. The concerts include the Blossom Festival Chorus and Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus.

‒ Chopin and Tchaikovsky, July 25
This concert features soloist Benjamin Grosvenor playing Piano Concerto No.2 by Chopin.

‒ Broadway Legends, July 26
This is an evening full of American theater favorites that includes vocal soloists Debbie Gravitte, Christiane Noll and Hugh Panaro.

‒ Thibaudet and Tango, Aug. 1
One of the big highlights from this concert is soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performing the piano concerto Tango Manos, which was specifically written for him by Aaron Zigman. This show features the Kent Blossom Chamber Orchestra.

‒ Not Our First Goat Rodeo, Aug. 8
Yo-Yo Ma, who was last seen at Blossom in 2018, brings along his friends Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Edgar Meyer (bass) and Chris Thile (mandolin) this time around to perform tunes from the crew's soon-to-be released album. Vocalist Aoife O’Donovan also performs. The concert does not include the Cleveland Orchestra.

‒ Beethoven's Pastoral, Aug. 9
Berlioz' song cycle Les Nuits d’ete (Summer Nights), with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke soloing, is absolutely the reason to not miss this concert. 

‒ Dvorak's Eighth, Aug 15
This one's got a lineup of works from Mendelssohn, Grieg and Dvorak. Enough said.

‒ All Brahms, Aug. 22
Exactly as the name suggests, the evening only includes works by Brahms. Those include the composer's Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 2. Soloist Sayaka Shoji is on violin.

‒ Handel and Mozart, Aug. 23
Here, the music director of Music of the Baroque, Jane Glover, makes her Blossom debut. She'll conduct Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 along with various works by Handel.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film screening, Aug. 29-30
For the second year in a row, the Cleveland Orchestra is performing the score from a Harry Potter film. We're hoping this means they'll play through all eight films in subsequent summers. The show includes the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus.

‒ Classical Mystery Tour, A Beatles Tribute, Sept. 5-6
The Classical Mystery Tour tribute band is taking on the Fab Four for these concerts. Expect fireworks following both shows.

As in year's past, two children under 18 are allowed in to any Blossom concert for free when accompanied by a paying adult. Lawn ticket books are currently on sale. Find all ticket information at clevelandorchestra.com.

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