The 2011-12 season marks the tenth year of the Orchestra's partnership with Franz Welser-Möst. Together, they have earned The Cleveland Orchestra unprecedented residencies in the United States and in Europe, including one at the Musikverein in Vienna - the first of its kind by an American orchestra. Franz Welser-Möst and the Orchestra's 2010 tour of Japan and Korea was their tenth international tour together. The Orchestra regularly appears at European festivals, including an ongoing series of biennial residencies at the Lucerne Festival (featuring Roche Commissions, a project involving the Orchestra, the Festival, and Carnegie Hall). The Orchestra returns to Vienna in the autumn of 2011 for its fifth Musikverein Residency as part of a European tour.
In the United States, Mr. Welser-Möst and the Orchestra have toured from coast to coast, including regular appearances at Carnegie Hall, and in January 2007 began an unprecedented long-term residency project in Miami, Florida, where they perform annually at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and provide a wide array of community and educational activities. Summer 2011 marked the beginning of a biennial residency at New York's Lincoln Center Festival, starting with orchestral concerts featuring the music of Bruckner and Adams. The Orchestra has also begun a series of residencies at Indiana University, performing and interacting with students at the Jacobs School of Music.
The Cleveland Orchestra was founded in 1918 by a group of local citizens. It has been led by seven music directors (Nikolai Sokoloff 1918-33, Artur Rodzinski 1933-43, Erich Leinsdorf 1943-46, George Szell 1946-70, Lorin Maazel 1972-82, Christoph von Dohnányi 1984-2002, and Franz Welser-Möst 2002-present) and one musical advisor (Pierre Boulez 1970-72). Expansion to a year-round schedule was made possible in 1968 with the opening of Blossom Music Center, an outdoor facility in nearby Cuyahoga Falls that is home to the Orchestra's Blossom Festival. The Cleveland Orchestra's educational programs, a cornerstone of the Orchestra's original mission, have introduced more than four million Cleveland-area schoolchildren to symphonic music since 1921. Today, touring, residencies, radio broadcasts, and recordings available by internet download and on DVD and CD provide access to the Orchestra's music-making to a broad and loyal constituency around the world.