Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert with the Cleveland Orchestra

The Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst presented the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert at beautiful Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 14, 2018. For more than 35 years, this Cleveland tradition has remained a deeply moving and inspiring community celebration that honors the life and legacy of Dr. King.

Providing further significance, the 2018 concert also marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s death, and it took place during The Cleveland Orchestra’s 100th anniversary season. Music performed featured classical selections by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Verdi as well as traditional hymns and spirituals including “Down by the Riverside,” “Precious Lord,” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

The Cleveland Orchestra was joined for this stirring performance by concert host James Pickens, Jr., a Cleveland native who is best known for his portayal of Dr. Richard Webber on Grey’s Anatomy. The concert also featured guest soloist Ryan Speedo Green, called “a show stopper” by The New York Times, and The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Chorus — an all-Cleveland community volunteer chorus — directed by William Henry Caldwell.

For the first time, WVIZ/PBS ideastream, a long-time community partner with The Cleveland Orchestra, recorded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert and has made it available online and for broadcast on all TV stations in Ohio.

This entry represents a portion of the hour-long show.

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