“Don’t be fooled by its relative brevity. The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2016 European Festivals Tour has the potential to be huge,” writes Zachary Lewis in Friday’s (8/12) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). “Though it consists of just five concerts in three cities, half the load of a typical European tour, the journey launching Aug. 18 entails visits to three of the most prestigious summer events on the continent, and contains programs certain to attract significant attention. ‘It’s short but it’s focused,’ said Mark Williams, director of artistic planning. ‘We’re only going to the very, very top.’” At the Salzburg Festival, “Music Director Franz Welser-Möst will preside over performances of Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, as well music by Thomas Ades, composer of a new opera for the festival, and Richard Strauss, a co-founder of the festival.” The orchestra performs the same works at Austria’s Grafenegg Festival, and then appears at “the great Lucerne Festival … with Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ Symphony No. 3 and the last of three consecutive performances of the Bartók. ‘The ensemble really comes together on tour,’ Williams said. ‘There’s something about that close physical association that makes things just keep getting better and better.’ ”

Posted August 17, 2016