New Cleveland Orchestra Conductor Debuts

CLEVELAND (AP) - Franz Welser-MJost received an enthusiastic reception in his debut as music conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Before an encore, he told Saturday night's gala concert crowd that he was "overwhelmed by the warm and generous welcome you all have given me and my wife."

The program included Edgard Varese's "Tuning Up," Glinka's overture to "Russlan and Ludmilla," Haydn's Symphony No. 60, Marc-Andre Dalbavie's "Rocks Under the Water" and Respighi's "The Pines of Rome."

The Austrian-born Welser-MJost first conducted the Cleveland Orchestra in 1993. As guest conductor, he has led the orchestra in more than 70 concerts.

Welser-MJost made his American debut with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 1989 and has appeared with the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.

Welser-MJost also serves as music director of the Zurich Opera.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)