What makes Cleveland Institute of Music unique from other schools?
It starts with what happens at Severance Hall (where The Cleveland Orchestra performs).
It doesn’t matter if you are an organ major, a voice major, or a violin major…
Franz Welser-Most (The Cleveland Orchestra music director) calls The Cleveland Orchestra the world’s largest chamber ensemble…
There is a self-regulating discipline in The Cleveland Orchestra.
How this orchestra approaches its work is different from other orchestras with whom I have worked…
I suppose it is a product of our community, sure.
But it is also a product of their tradition, of their expectations of themselves, far before anyone steps onto the podium.
That is what permeates down the street to our building.
I have talked to my colleagues at other elite schools. Their relationship with their hometown orchestras is unpredictable…
Our relationship is lockstep.
This is not a few faculty from the orchestra participating in our school…
One-third of the orchestra teaches at our school!
And one-third of the orchestra itself attended CIM!
Yes, Cleveland Institute has its own personality. But the orchestra – The Cleveland Orchestra — is the source of all this from a training standpoint.
How can Cleveland make your students unique artists? Are you fostering more unique artists?
Every school ends up putting some version of unique out there.
Our version has always been focused on artistic identity, rhythmic discipline, precision, a deep understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of our music.
This is the Cleveland signature. We take music theory seriously.
We are the only conservatory requiring two years of eurhythmics.
We couple this not only with the orchestral and operatic experience, but from the chamber music side as well.
You are getting all of this identity and brand fed into you, then nurtured in a performance environment in which you have to represent your perspective on a piece of music.
I suppose every school makes this argument to a point…
But because we are so closely aligned with The Cleveland Orchestra, we have that sonic reference point all the time.
It is not a few members who occasionally stop by for a master class as may be the case elsewhere.
Here, this is a real living breathing organism working with our students.
What is the relationship faculty have with their students at CIM, both when a student is at the school as well as when that student has graduated school…
Extremely close. Lifelong.
If you are a student of Bob Vernon’s once, you are a student of Bob’s for life.
When Wesley Collins won the Principal Viola job at The Cleveland Orchestra, to succeed Bob, he came back and took lessons with Bob a full decade after he had graduated.
I know, because my daughter went here. When she comes home for Christmas, she takes lessons with her college teacher here!
Every holiday for the kids that can’t travel, faculty have them into their homes.
Maybe it is particularly unique to us, maybe it isn’t. But I can tell you it is incredibly rich here.
Once you are here, you are always a student of the Cleveland Institute of Music.
On the next page, we discuss a very, very special event happening at the Cleveland Institute of Music, as well as what Paul would like his legacy to be as president of CIM…