The Cleveland Orchestra has announced a $15 million pledge from board president Richard K. Smucker and his wife, Emily.
Awarded in celebration of the orchestra's centennial season, the funds will support a variety of artistic and educational programs, with a focus on programs for young people, as well as the orchestra's endowment and a $3 million challenge grant. As it embarks on its second century, the orchestra hopes to attract and develop a younger audience; renew its focus on fully serving the communities in which it performs; maintain its legendary musical excellence; build on its tradition of community support and financial strength; and move forward with its commitment to diversified programming.
"From my own life experience, I know that music has the power to change lives," said Smucker, who stepped down as CEO of the J.M. Smucker Company in 2016. "It has transformed how I think about the world, and I revel in the experience of sharing a performance with family and friends, all of us together....Emily and I want to encourage everyone who loves music, who loves this orchestra, and who loves this great Cleveland community, to celebrate this one hundredth anniversary and to be part of the launch of the orchestra's second century. Music matters. Music makes life better."