Keith Fitch named Composer-in-Residence for Summer Festival

Cleveland Institute of Music Composition Department Head Keith Fitch has been named Composer-in-Residence for 2015 summer festival at Rocky Ridge Music Center. Continue reading

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Application and Audition Tips

Application and Audition Tips

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Student Soloist and Guest Conductor Interviewed on Severance Hall Performance

Once conductor Kimbo Ishii arrived in Cleveland, he and Cleveland Institute of Music student Leah Ferguson got to work, preparing for their November concert at Severance Hall, home of The Cleveland Orchestra.  Ishii was to conduct the CIM Orchestra while Ferguson would be the soloist on Bartók’s Viola Concerto. In the rehearsals, Ishii made sure he had an understanding of what Ferguson wanted to achieve, musically “I’ve done this piece various times with different soloists,” says Ishii.  “I am really fortunate to have someone like this to work with.” Hear more about their collaboration on WCLV 104.9 FM.

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A Cultural & Musical Exchange with the Liszt Academy at CIM

Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary (Courtesy of Thaler/Wikipedia)
The Cleveland Institute of Music is honored to welcome a delegation from the historic and prestigious Franz Liszt Academy of Music (Budapest, Hungary) to Cleveland this week for a special collaborative series focused on a sharing of musical cultural, including master classes and two free concerts. Continue reading

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Composer/Orchestra Matchup Winners Include CIM Alumni

The League of American Orchestras and New Music USA recently announced the winners of the Music Alive: New Partnerships Residencies which include Cleveland Institute of Music alumni Dan Visconti and Rick Robinson. The twelve composers chosen (out of a pool of 219 applicants) will receive a $7,500 grant and will be matched with an orchestra of the committee’s choosing to work on an original piece from the composer. The piece will be performed by the orchestra at the end of the week-long residency.

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Tips to Tackle Your Application Essay with Confidence

Admission counselors and faculty read hundreds, often thousands, of student essays during the application review process. Make yours stand out for all the right reasons — show us why YOU are a perfect match for CIM.


The CIM application essay question requires a response that is 500-750 words long. Here are some tips for making every word count!

  • To get started — get started! Sometimes getting your creative juices flowing is the hardest part. Begin by brainstorming a list of highlights, then put them in order from the most important to the least. Just like that you have a writing plan.
  • Be an original. Your essay needs to be a reflection of you. Skip clichés and avoid restating basic facts that are easily included elsewhere in the application.
  • Put yourself in OUR shoes. Imagine you’re an admission counselor or teacher reading your essay. What does it tell you about the student? Does it say enough about the person and musician?
  • One size DOES NOT fit all. It may be tempting to write one essay and change a few details or the school’s name, but the point is to tell us why CIM is a good fit for you and vice versa.
  • Eradicate errors. Proofread, then ask someone you trust to proofread your essay AGAIN before you hit submit.

    Here are a few bonus proofreading tricks:

    1. Produce your essay in a word processing program with spelling and grammar checking features rather than typing directly into an application form. Not only can it catch blatant typos, it will help you keep track of word count. That said, don’t rely solely on software for finding typing, spelling or grammar errors.
    2. Print a version to read on paper. For whatever reason, it is often easy to miss simple mistakes when you’re proofing something on screen only. Walk away for a while, then…
    3. Read it aloud. Going the extra step of reading your essay out loud will help you find any awkward sentences of transitions.
    4. Work your way UPStarting at the end and “reading” backwards helps you find typos that are real words but not the ones you meant to use(note: spellcheck won’t flag correctly spelled words).

One final tip — do yourself a favor and START TODAY.  Waiting till the last minute just adds unnecessary pressure. Rushing also makes you less likely to write an essay that genuinely represents you as an individual and artist and more likely to miss typos or grammar mistakes.

Of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at or call to speak with an admission counselor at 216.795.3107.

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Handel’s Alcina to be Performed by the CIM Opera

The CIM Opera Theater, directed by David Bamberger, is pleased to announce this fall’s production of Handel’s Alcina, November 5-8, 2014 in Kulas Hall.

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Students featured on CBS’s “On the Road with Steve Hartman”

On Friday, October 10 CBS Evening News with Scott Pelly aired it’s popular segment, “On the Road with Steve Hartman,” featuring Cleveland Institute of Music students Daniel Parvin and Marissa Plank, the artists-in-residence at Judson Manor, a senior living community.

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CIM student performs with Joshua Bell and is featured on HBO show

Cleveland Institute of Music student Leah Ferguson was awarded a coveted spot in a National YoungArts Foundation program where she was given the opportunity to perform with world-renowned violinist and Grammy winner, Joshua Bell. HBO’s three-time Emmy® nominated documentary series Young Arts Master Class  featured Ferguson and eight other young string players on the show, which premiered on in October.

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CIM’s own Jinjoo Cho wins the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

The Cleveland Institute of Music congratulates CIM student and violinist Jinjoo Cho for earning the gold medal in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI). The winners were announced late Saturday night following the final concert of the competition.

As the winner of the competition, Cho will be awarded a $30,000 cash prize, international concert engagements including a Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium recital debut, career management for the next four years and the four-year loan of the 1683 ‘ex-Gingold’ Stradivarius.

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