PROMETHEUS PROJECT EDUCATION CONCERT FOR STUDENTS MARKS THE BEGINNING OF THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA’S 100TH SEASON AND SECOND CENTURY
Under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst, “Beethoven & Prometheus: A Hero’s Journey” Education Concert takes place September 22. The concert program incorporates the creative output of an interdisciplinary curriculum co-created by The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland School of the Arts, and Fifth House Ensemble. In May 2018 “The Prometheus Project” Festival concludes the Orchestra’s 2017-18 season, featuring all nine Beethoven symphonies
In September 2017, a collaborative education project with Cleveland Orchestra musicians and Cleveland School of the Arts (CSA) students centered around the music of Beethoven will culminate when the Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst perform a special Education Concert, “Beethoven & Prometheus: A Hero’s Journey” at Severance Hall. During the spring of 2017, Orchestra musicians and staff immersed themselves at CSA working with students and teachers to explore a unique intersection of mythology and music. The Prometheus Project for Students was inspired by Welser-Möst’s “The Prometheus Project,” a major focal point of the Orchestra’s 100th Season, which will examine Beethoven’s music through the metaphor of Prometheus, a daring Greek Titan who defied Zeus to bestow on humanity the gift of fire. According to Welser-Möst, for Beethoven, this gifting of fire represented the beginning of human civilization, the spark of creativity that has powered the imagination of generations, the warmth of justice and goodness, the fight for right, and individual freedoms – themes that resonated with Beethoven and which he incorporated into his music.
Through an interdisciplinary curriculum co-developed by The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland School of the Arts, and Fifth House Ensemble, CSA students engaged deeply with the stories, challenges, and accomplishments of Beethoven and Prometheus, and the way they served the greater good. Utilizing artistic mediums (Visual and Performing Arts), engaging core curriculum (English/Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies), and using American scholar Joseph Campbell’s classic “Hero’s Journey” framework, students were challenged to create work that connected these themes to personal narratives, illuminating stories of their personal heroes and the ways in which they envision using their own gifts to shape their future world.
Participating CSA classes included 8th Grade Social Studies, 8th Grade Science, 11th Grade English, Visual Arts, Interdisciplinary Arts, Orchestra, and Dance. Cleveland Orchestra musicians who led this work included violinists Kathleen Collins, Yun-Ting Lee, and Isabel Trautwein; violist Lisa Boyko; cellists David Alan Harrell and Brian Thornton; bassists Mark Atherton and Derek Zadinsky; flutist Marisela Sager; and violinist and pianist Carolyn Warner.
On September 22 at Severance Hall, in a concert performed exclusively for students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), select CSA student projects will be projected onto large screens surrounding the Orchestra, integrating them into “Beethoven & Prometheus: A Hero’s Journey.” The program will introduce middle and high school students from CMSD to an emotionally rich, multidisciplinary, multimedia concert experience that illuminates the hero’s journey, and its connections to composer Ludwig van Beethoven, the Greek Titan Prometheus, and the students of today. This program will be repeated for schools who attend Education Concerts at Severance Hall on November 8 and 10, 2017. In addition, schools in Lake County will have the opportunity to attend a Cleveland Orchestra performance of Beethoven and Prometheus: A Hero’s Journey, on November 9 at Lakeland Community College, as part of the Orchestra’s Second Century Around the Region celebration. The September 22 concert at Severance Hall will be featured as part of the opening week of events for the 2017-18 season.
Leading up to the September 22 Education Concert, Orchestra musicians will return to CSA for additional in-school work, and will also visit schools within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to prepare students for the concert.