The Finest Orchestra? (Surprise!) Cleveland

Under conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi, the Ohioans have risen to the forefront of American ensembles

When Christoph von Dohnanyi's appointment as the sixth music director in the history of the Cleveland Orchestra was announced in 1982, the reaction was nearly unanimous: Christoph von Who? The Berlin-born Dohnanyi, 53 -- grandson of the urbane composer Erno Dohnanyi, nephew of the martyred Nazi-era theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and husband of the glamorous dramatic soprano Anja Silja -- was nearly unknown in the U.S. Among the few who were aware of him, he was regarded as a workmanlike German kapellmeister with a suspicious fondness for 20th century music, and certainly an odd choice to command an orchestra whose past conductors...

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