Cleveland Orchestra voted “favorite orchestra in world”

…but don’t confuse it with the “best”

Katy Witkowski, Arts & Entertainment Editor

On Oct. 8, online classical concert finder announced that the Cleveland Orchestra is the world’s favorite orchestra, based on an international online poll. For an orchestra that also calls University Circle home (and is currently celebrating Student Appreciation Week), Case Western Reserve University has reason to celebrate alongside its neighbor.’s month-long poll recorded over 11,000 votes from 97 countries. Many fans also rooted for their favorite or hometown orchestras over Facebook and Twitter, encouraging the friendly competition. On Oct. 1, Cleveland Orchestra’s Twitter called out to fans to “vote [them] to no. 1!”

“We’re lucky to have fans not only here in Northeast Ohio but also around the world,” said Ana Papakhian, director of communications at the Cleveland Orchestra. In November, the orchestra will begin a three-week tour of Europe, performing mostly Beethoven and Shostakovich.

However, is not well known for its polls; rather, it boasts the Internet’s largest number of classical concert listings. The results may have been skewed to favor orchestras who appear on the website more frequently, and from the small sample of music lovers, it may be too soon to be too proud of the title.

Despite the international attention, the Cleveland Orchestra continually appeals to younger audiences in Northeast Ohio. Papakhian noted that regularly, one in four patrons at Severance Hall is a student.

The Division of Student Affairs’ Sanford Record Library endowment encourages these statistics. Every week, 15 pairs of tickets to Thursday performances are raffled off to all students who submit their contact information. According to Doreen Thibodeau, executive aide to the vice president of student affairs, sometimes raffle tickets are left unclaimed and are available to all students on a first-come, first-served basis on Thursday afternoons.

These free tickets, according to Thibodeau, have only become more popular with time. However, she noticed that more graduate and professional students take advantage of this service than undergraduate students. Any student who is not on CWRU staff can win a pair of tickets.

Tickets to the Oct. 12 and 13 performances of Franck Symphony are only $5 when purchased before 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. More information about Student Advantage Cards and about future performances can be found at Cleveland Orchestra’s web site.