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Old 05-10-2015, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Montreal
708 posts, read 764,403 times
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Among the big cities in the Northeast and Midwest (which have historically had more people than the South or the West), I could understand New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston being the home to Big Five symphony orchestras and/or art museums. But among the somewhat smaller cities in those same regions, what has made a city like Cleveland really shine in that area, and not also a similar city such as Detroit or Pittsburgh? I mean, especially with regard to Pittsburgh, its symphony orchestra has also been top flight and its art museums have been at least almost as good as Cleveland's. So why Cleveland and not also Pittsburgh - because the former has had a bigger population (and thus even more old money and more support) than the latter?
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:35 PM
 
8,199 posts, read 4,401,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yofie View Post
Among the big cities in the Northeast and Midwest (which have historically had more people than the South or the West), I could understand New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston being the home to Big Five symphony orchestras and/or art museums. But among the somewhat smaller cities in those same regions, what has made a city like Cleveland really shine in that area, and not also a similar city such as Detroit or Pittsburgh? I mean, especially with regard to Pittsburgh, its symphony orchestra has also been top flight and its art museums have been at least almost as good as Cleveland's. So why Cleveland and not also Pittsburgh - because the former has had a bigger population (and thus even more old money and more support) than the latter?
The Cleveland Orchestra has had the great good fortune to have employed a series of fantastically talented and charismatic music directors. That is, IMO, a principal reason it's gained, and maintained, the stature it has.

From Erich Leinsdorf, to George Szell(the orchestra really built it reputation through his leadership), to Pierre Boulez, to Lorin Maazel, to Dohnanyi, to, finally, Franz Welser-Most.

With these great directors in tow it's only logical that great musicians would follow and want to be a part of such a wonderful ensemble.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
5,789 posts, read 6,345,713 times
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I don't know a lot about the history - it's something you could easily research on the internet to read through a wealth of info I'm sure - but I will make two points in answer to your question.

-There are excellent orchestras, both in reality and reputation, in the other regional cities like Pittsburgh, Detroit, St Louis, Minneapolis AND St Paul.
-The Big Five was literally in reference to the five largest orchestral budgets in ths US. They correlated rather well to the five most reputable internationally, but it was a very objective qualification. Nowadays most observers consider the Big Five to be outdated.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR -> Rocky River, OH
703 posts, read 892,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
I don't know a lot about the history - it's something you could easily research on the internet to read through a wealth of info I'm sure - but I will make two points in answer to your question.

-There are excellent orchestras, both in reality and reputation, in the other regional cities like Pittsburgh, Detroit, St Louis, Minneapolis AND St Paul.
-The Big Five was literally in reference to the five largest orchestral budgets in ths US. They correlated rather well to the five most reputable internationally, but it was a very objective qualification. Nowadays most observers consider the Big Five to be outdated.
Although the Cleveland Orchestra has remained towards top of the lists for world rankings:

World's Best Symphony Orchestras (Top 20 List)

Recently, their famous conductor Franz Welser-Möst has maintained Cleveland's reputation into at least another decade or two. I understand Cleveland has held consecutive world-renowned conductors...which may be a much larger reason for its "Big Five" reputation than the old city money. It's like Cleveland having a Lebron James on its team every decade.

Cleveland Museum of Art is definitely old money. Endowment hovers at $750 million...even after a recently completed $300 million expansion. The museum doesn't even charge admission. Cleveland Museum of Art - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-11-2015, 05:40 AM
 
8,199 posts, read 4,401,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
I don't know a lot about the history - it's something you could easily research on the internet to read through a wealth of info I'm sure - but I will make two points in answer to your question.

-There are excellent orchestras, both in reality and reputation, in the other regional cities like Pittsburgh, Detroit, St Louis, Minneapolis AND St Paul.
-The Big Five was literally in reference to the five largest orchestral budgets in ths US. They correlated rather well to the five most reputable internationally, but it was a very objective qualification. Nowadays most observers consider the Big Five to be outdated.
That's definitely true. The LA Philarmonic, for instance, is every bit as good as the so-called Big Five.
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Old 05-11-2015, 05:56 AM
 
8,199 posts, read 4,401,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usaf_1832 View Post
Although the Cleveland Orchestra has remained towards top of the lists for world rankings:

World's Best Symphony Orchestras (Top 20 List)

Recently, their famous conductor Franz Welser-Möst has maintained Cleveland's reputation into at least another decade or two. I understand Cleveland has held consecutive world-renowned conductors...which may be a much larger reason for its "Big Five" reputation than the old city money. It's like Cleveland having a Lebron James on its team every decade.

Cleveland Museum of Art is definitely old money. Endowment hovers at $750 million...even after a recently completed $300 million expansion. The museum doesn't even charge admission. Cleveland Museum of Art - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
That ranking is 7 years old.

The Philadelphia Orchestra went through a bankruptcy phase (that it came out of a bit more than a year ago), retained a magnificent young new music director, with Yannick Nezet-Seguin, and are the Fabulous Philadelphians once again. Nezet-Seguin recently signed a new 5 year contract before his current contract was completed. His energy on the podium, obvious gifts at musical interpretations, overall musicality, charm and upbeat attitude has lead to sell out concerts and cheering audiences.

But, I'm hijacking the thread. The Cleveland is one of THE great orchestras and one of my favorites.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
3,844 posts, read 7,806,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yofie View Post
Among the big cities in the Northeast and Midwest (which have historically had more people than the South or the West), I could understand New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston being the home to Big Five symphony orchestras and/or art museums. But among the somewhat smaller cities in those same regions, what has made a city like Cleveland really shine in that area, and not also a similar city such as Detroit or Pittsburgh? I mean, especially with regard to Pittsburgh, its symphony orchestra has also been top flight and its art museums have been at least almost as good as Cleveland's. So why Cleveland and not also Pittsburgh - because the former has had a bigger population (and thus even more old money and more support) than the latter?
Good question. And I don't feel like most people in Northeast Ohio appreciate having such top assets in Cleveland compared to many other midsize cities.

Like stated above, I don't now how many other cities outside of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC etc have art museum endowments pushing $1 Billion.

I was in Austria over Christmas, and people had heard of Cleveland only because of our Orchestra. (I bet those same people wouldn't know the name Lebron James).

Also ripple effects from its heyday, Cleveland's theater district punches way above its weight compared to other similar sized cities.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:01 AM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
7,797 posts, read 11,731,309 times
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No disrespect to the cities on this list, but the "Big Five" metric is antiquated.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Terramaria
663 posts, read 724,131 times
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Much in the way the Ivy League are the "Elite Eight colleges" being all from the NE.

San Francisco, DC, LA, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis should be the other five that are in that same top tier.

Then you have solid second-tier orchestras such as Minneapolis, Detroit, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Seattle, Atlanta, New Jersey, Baltimore, Buffalo, San Diego, Denver, and Dallas. Much like many groups there is a perceived hiearchy.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Boston
7,338 posts, read 15,309,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
No disrespect to the cities on this list, but the "Big Five" metric is antiquated.
I think that's the general consensus among anyone who pays attention to such things.
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