CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Orchestra will honor its principal keyboardist Joela Jones with the Orchestra’s Distinguished Service Award on Thursday, the orchestra said. 

What You Need To Know

  • Joela Jones will be honored with the Cleveland Orchestra's Distinguished Service Award

  • Jones has been with the Cleveland Orchestra for 54 seasons

  • She is giving her final performances as the orchestra’s principal keyboardist Oct. 14 and 17

  • The Cleveland Orchestra noted her versatility, performing anything from Baroque to Modern, Mozart to MacDowell, Beethoven to Boulez, and Tchaikovsky

Jones, a member of the orchestra for 54 seasons, is giving her final performances as the principal keyboard on Oct. 14 and 17. She has performed more than 250 concertos, the Cleveland Orchestra said. 

“Joela always has the interest of the Orchestra at her heart, the center of her heart,” said Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. “It doesn’t matter if she is on stage or off stage, she really thrives on quality. The artistic quality is priority number one for her, period. And everything else doesn’t matter. The spirit Joela has carried for this orchestra for over 50 years is extraordinary.

“She is always one of the first musicians going to the library asking for what’s coming up, not in two weeks, but in two months or next year, next season. She never shies away from anything difficult or challenging. And she does it at the highest possible level.”

The Cleveland Orchestra's Distinguished Service Award recognizes “ her extraordinary artistic achievements and dedicated service to music and to the Greater Cleveland community.”

The Cleveland Orchestra has released a playlist of her top performances on its website.