Saturday, July 21st, 2018

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Opening Night Gala

Mikiko and Hiroyuki Fujita
(Opening Night Gala)

Albert and Audrey Ratner
(Opening Night Gala)

Beth Mooney and Norma Lerner
(Opening Night Gala)

Mayor Frank Jackson and Gary Hanson
(Opening Night Gala)

 The Cleveland Orchestra
 “Opening Night Gala”

        The Cleveland Orchestra’s Opening Night Gala, celebrating the tenth season of Franz Welser-Möst’s tenure as music director, was its most successful benefit in more than a decade.
    Norma Lerner served as gala chairman and Beth Mooney as corporate chairman of the evening at Severance Hall where 300 patrons enjoyed a reception prior to the concert.
    Executive Director Gary Hanson was joined on stage by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson who presented a proclamation and a key to the city to Franz. The concert was spectacular, of course, concluding with Ravel’s “Bolero” that had the audience up on its feet for the longest standing ovation of the night.
    Chef Zack Bruell prepared the superb dinner and DK Vanderbrook Florists created the fabulous table centerpieces.
    Gary said the event raised more than $650,000, the most money since the reopening of Severance Hall in 2000. In tribute to Franz, Musical Arts Association Board President Dennis LaBarre announced that a gift would be established in his name to support musical education and community endeavors. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY KATHRYN RIDDLE

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