Franz Welser-Möst Renews Contract With Cleveland Orchestra Through 2022

Franz Welser-Möst (PHOTO CREDIT: Don Snyder)
Franz Welser-Möst (PHOTO CREDIT: Don Snyder)
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Franz Welser-Möst sent shudders through the European classical music world when he quit his job as music director of the Vienna State Opera over artistic differences, one month ago. But, Cleveland Orchestra Executive Director Gary Hanson says that any questions about the conductor's commitment to Cleveland have been set aside with the announcement of a contract extension that will keep Welser-Möst in town through 2022.

Hanson insists the events in Vienna had no bearing on the new contract.

GARY HANSON: In fact, his discussions with us about extending in Cleveland stretch way back into 2013. The coincidental timing is simply that.

If Welser-Möst stays for the duration of this new agreement, he will have logged 20 years in Cleveland --- second only to the 24-year tenure of George Szell.

GARY HANSON: It did not used to be unusual for a music director to remain for a decade or two with a symphony orchestra, but it is increasingly rare.

Hanson declined to say how much Welser-Most will be paid, but says the Orchestra now feels secure in having stable musical leadership that will carry through its centennial year of 2018 and beyond.

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