A big Cleveland collaboration next spring called “Censored: Art & Power” is part of this New York Times story about increased efforts by arts organizations — especially museums and orchestras — to partner in pursuit of new audiences.
There’s even a local tie right at the beginning, as The Times notes, “Collaborations between United States museums and orchestras date to at least 1923, when the Cleveland Orchestra premiered a suite by Douglas Moore inspired by four works in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s collection.”
But such collaborations are picking up today in scope and ambition, according to The Times, which looks at efforts underway in big cities such as New York and Detroit, and smaller places including St. Louis, Omaha and St. Petersburg.
One of the most audacious plans, though, is in Cleveland.
Next spring, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Orchestra, along with the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, the Cleveland School of the Arts, the Cleveland Public Library, and Facing History and Ourselves, an educational nonprofit, will participate in “Censored: Art & Power,” a citywide festival.
From the article:
The centerpiece of the festival will be three performances in May by the orchestra of the 1935 opera “Lulu,” written by the Austrian composer Alban Berg during the Nazis’ rise to power. Also featuring a program in the museum’s German Expressionist gallery about works made by artists considered “degenerate” by the Nazis, a display of books on this art in the museum’s library, and related concerts and lectures, the festival will “look at the relationship of art and politics in Berg’s lifetime,” said Franz Welser-Möst, the orchestra’s music director.
“Just as the character of Lulu is abused and abusive in her own way, we will look into how music and art can be abused by a system and how a system can turn people on one another. These are important topics, not only from the past but in today’s world,” Mr. Welser-Möst said.
Jesse Rosen, president and chief executive of the League of American Orchestras, tells The Times, “On some level, collaborations between museums and orchestras are the most natural thing. After all, all human beings paint, sing, dance, sculpt, draw and make music. Everyone connects with light, color, sound, line, movement, rhythm, texture and so on. It’s our institutions that have compartmentalized and separated the different art forms.”