10 Incredible Faculty Hires in Music Schools for 2017-2018

Cleveland Institute of Music – Ilya & Olga Kaler

Ilya Kaler rose to prominence in the 1980s, having won the top prize at three of the most prestigious classical music competitions, the International Tchaikovsky Competition, the International Jean Sibelius Competition, and the Paganini Competition.

Although Ilya and Olga are on the faculty of the DePaul University School of Music, starting in 2018, the two will be on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Olga Kaler is a sought-after teacher who has previously performed with the Chicago & Boston Symphony orchestras. She is the author of An Effective Method for Teaching and Studying Violin Technique, a widely-used text in the field of violin pedagogy.

Cleveland Institute is already known for its incredible strings program; on the strings faculty are some of classical music’s most renowned legends, including Jaime Laredo, William Preucil (concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra), and Mark Kosower (principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra).

Curtis Institute of Music – Midori Goto

Here we have a true legend finding herself appointed to the world’s most selective music school.

Midori Goto has been a professional violinist since the age of 15; in 1986, she actually left the Juilliard Pre-College to dedicate her life to only playing music.

My favorite story of Midori was actually when she was 14 years old, she was performing at Tanglewood under the leadership of Leonard Bernstein. In the performance, she first broke the E string on her own instrument, then she borrowed the violin from the concertmaster Malcolm Lowe and broke his E string too, nevermind on a Stradivarius. She then finished the piece on the associate concertmaster’s instrument.

Bernstein kneeled in awe of her.

Fast forward to today; Curtis is not Midori’s first faculty appointment. Rather, the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music is where Midori is at this current moment. In 2018, she will start at the Curtis Institute of Music.

As you may know, Curtis is, at this time, one of the three free schools of music in the US, alongside Colburn in California and Yale School of Music (graduate only) at Yale University

Berklee – Omar Hakim

omar hakim photo
Drummer Omar Hakim – Photo by josenieto8

Omar Hakim, percussionist extraordinaire who has been a drummer of choice for the likes of Madonna, Miles Davis, and even Celine Dion, was noted by David Bowie, another collaborator, as a “fascinating drummer.”

His appointment to the Berklee College of Music’s percussion program highlights yet another accomplishment in a school that has dominated the academic world of contemporary popular music and business.

Some call Berklee a “microcosm of the music industry” – a consortium of accomplished teachers, students, alumni representing fields of contemporary performance, music technology, business & industry, and education.

Berklee’s hiring of Omar serves as further evidence of their commitment to the pursuit of their ideal, serving tomorrow’s students with the best that today’s foremost people can possibly offer. This hiring is sure to attract even more applicants to the world’s most popular music school.


  1. Peggy Kirkpatrick January 26, 2018
  2. frank mcgrath January 26, 2018
  3. Jojo Tabraham January 26, 2018
  4. gene reee October 18, 2018

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