Beryl Rubinstein died in December 1952, bringing an era to a close. The Press said, "Many people appreciated Beryl Rubenstein's musical gifts and achievements; but his closer associates best understood his acute sense of honor of responsibility, his artistic idealism and perfectionism, and his capacity for friendship." A $100,000 drive in his honor was announced by Frank Taplin, head of the board of trustees, for scholarships.
Ward Davenny became the new director in April 1954, with subsequent recitals and duo-piano appearances with Arthur Loesser. Throughout the 1950s, audiences were treated to performances by George Vassos, new voice faculty member; pianists Anton Kuerti, Marianne Matousek Mastics and Elizabeth Pastor; and operas directed by Sam Morgenstern, such as Puccini's La Rondine.
As the decade came to a close, Ernest Bloch died in July 1959, but his vision for a school of excellence was taking form in plans for a new building in University Circle. William C. Treuhaft was president of the board of trustees, and Martha Joseph was president of the Women's Committee.
University Circle was still in its infancy when the Cleveland Institute of Music joined its few neighbors in the 1960s. Construction of the $2,165,000 building rated as one of the first under the University Circle Master Plan.
Schafer, Flynn & Williams, architects, designed the school to include 30 soundproof studios, 11 classrooms and 20 practice rooms. Plans called for a library, lockers and an administrative area. Performances in the 525-seat concert hall with acoustics by Dr. Heinrich Keilholz would prevail after its opening on September 29, 1961.
William C. Treuhaft, president of the Board of Trustees, served as master of ceremonies at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11021 East Boulevard with Victor Babin, new director of the Institute, already in Cleveland with his two-piano partner and wife, Vitya Vronsky. The duo opened the concert series of 1961-62 and enlivened Cleveland's cultural life for the decade to come, with their own performances and the visits of musical dignitaries including Gerard Souzay, Nadia Boulanger, Darius Milhaud and Eleanor Steber.