“Never mind that he’s been everywhere and accomplished more than most could hope to achieve in several lifetimes. John Williams is still excited to make his Severance Hall debut,” writes Zachary Lewis in Sunday’s (4/8) Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). “A longtime friend of the Cleveland Orchestra, the legendary film composer and laureate director of the Boston Pops Orchestra, 86, said his visit to Cleveland feels extra special…. Not long after they became available last year, tickets to the conductor’s appearance today with the Cleveland Orchestra sold out…. Asked how he feels about his music bridging the gap between film and the classical concert realm, he said, … ‘It’s enough for me that it succeeded in the film, and the film worked.… That’s the best I can ask for.’ Turns out, ‘the best I can ask for’ also accurately summarizes his opinion of the Cleveland Orchestra, a group Williams grew up admiring from afar through recordings… Where most ensembles require what he called a ‘get-to-know-you’ warm-up at the outset of rehearsals, [with] Cleveland … ‘That’s a step you don’t have to take,’ Williams said…. ‘It’s a very high-IQ orchestra. There’s a kind of instant comprehension.’ ”

Posted April 10, 2018