Tickets for Cleveland Orchestra's Annual MLK Concert Will Be Available on Jan. 8


  • Photo by Roger Mastrioianni/Cleveland Orchestra
  • The free concert returns in January

Tickets for the Cleveland Orchestra's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert, which will be held at Severanace Hall on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m., will be made available to the public on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 10 a.m.

Clevelanders should know by now that tickets for the concert, which will be directed this year by Assoociate Conductor Vinay Parameswaran, are free but get scooped up super quick (usually within the first two hours).

You can grab them on Jan. 8 at the Severance Hall box office in person, by calling 216-231-1111, or online at There's a limit of four tickets per household. Attendees must show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test and wear masks.

The show will feature soprano Jacqueline Echols, the city's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Chorus and will feature the music of composers Dolores White, Mary D. Watkins, Carlos Simon, Brian Raphael Nabors, William Grant Still, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

A little history on the annual event, from the Orchestra itself:

The Cleveland Orchestra demonstrated early its commitment to honoring this country’s greatest civil rights leader. Four days after the April 4, 1968, assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell performed the “Allegretto” from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 as a memorial tribute to the life of Dr. King.

Toward the end of the next decade, the Orchestra played a key role in the evolution of a more formal and institutionalized recognition of Dr. King’s life. The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. concert first took place in January 1980. In the program book of that first concert, the Orchestra was applauded “for taking seriously the need for the whole community to recognize the vital role that the life and death of Dr. King continues to play in the struggle for racial justice and human dignity.”

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