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Cleveland Orchestra voted “World’s Favorite” and more good news

Excuse us if we’re all walking a little taller and prouder these days.  Who wouldn’t, after being named the World’s Favorite Orchestra?

The honor came in a reader’s poll conducted by bachtrack, an international classical music publication. On nearly 12,000 ballots cast from 97 different countries, The Cleveland Orchestra finished first, garnering an impressive 20.3% of the vote.  That topped some serious competition, including the Berlin Philharmonic (3rd), London Symphony Orchestra (4th), Czech Philharmonic (8th), and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (9th).

Thanking Cleveland Orchestra fans for their support, Chief Marketing Officer Ross Binnie noted, “We have 60,000 social media followers whom we invited to vote, and they clearly were engaged.”

The quality of the Orchestra may have had something to do with it, too.

In a recent GQ article, writer Rob Tannenbaum proclaimed, “To the great people of Cleveland:  Look, you gave us Harvey Pekar, and apparently you’ve got a world-class orchestra.”

The Orchestra’s role in University Circle received an accolade in a recent New York Post story about Cleveland’s revival:  “this square-mile East Side ’hood where you’ll find many of Cleveland’s top cultural attractions, including Severance Hall (home to the esteemed Cleveland Orchestra).”

Thanks for noticing!

Men’s Journal also gave the Orchestra props:  “If you’re a fan of classical music, the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the original U.S. ‘Big Five’ and a permanent fixture on many best orchestras of the world lists, is not to be missed, especially considering home venue Severance Hall’s excellent acoustics.”

New Clevelander Beau Rutland, a 26-year-old Columbia University graduate who has been named new assistant curator of contemporary art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, praised the Orchestra in his Plain Dealer profile:  “Not only the museum but also the orchestra are among the best organizations of their kind in the world.  That to me is incredibly important.”

Thanks, Beau!  You’re always welcome at Severance Hall.


by Frank Kuznik

Frank Kuznik is a longtime journalist and culture writer covering Northeast Ohio's vibrant arts and entertainment scene.  Born and raised in Cleveland, Frank has worked extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, most recently in Prague as the editor-in-chief and culture editor of The Prague Post.  He also writes about music on