Robert Vernon and Lynne Ramsey, both viola faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, are principal and first assistant principal violists of The Cleveland Orchestra. They’ve been stand partners since 1989 and this past weekend, they treated Severance Hall audiences with a “deeply riveting” performance of the world premiere of Richard Sortomme’s Concerto for Two Violas.
Cleveland Institute of Music main campus is closed today due to a power outage. All other locations are following regular business hours. CIM’s main campus will re-open tomorrow, November 21, as scheduled.
The Library of Congress has announced five winners of the 2015 Koussevitzky Foundation Commission grant, listing composer and CIM alum Dan Visconti (BM ’04, MM ’05, Brouwer/Zhou) among them. The Koussevitzky commissioning program selects composers every year, who, according to its mission, “have demonstrated considerable merit through their works and for orchestras and chamber groups that have a record of excellence in the performance of contemporary music.”
The Spring 2016 Advanced Piano Trio Program will hold auditions on December 8 from 4-6pm. The sign-up sheet is located outside room 210.
Audition Requirements: Each pre-formed trio must play a movement of a Classical trio that has been carefully rehearsed. Only deeply committed trios need apply to this program, which encompasses weekly lessons, eight seminars, at least two community outreach concerts and the Gala Concert on April 21, 2016 in Mixon Hall.
Imagine you’re a classically trained pianist about to perform in front of a crowd that can’t wait to hear your first note. But instead of seats, your audience sits on the floor. Instead of a Steinway, you’re playing on a keyboard you’ve brought with you. And out of the corner of your eye, you can see a heard of water buffalo saunter by. This was reality for alumna Jennifer Heemstra, who has spent the last year performing classical music all over India. She and her colleagues have performed in everything from the slums and poverty-stricken villages to ballrooms and 1,500-seat theaters packed to the brim. The one thing that these concerts have in common? Her audiences can’t get enough.
If you are enrolled as an undergraduate student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, during your junior year you can apply for the 1-Year Master’s Program*, which means that in just 5 years, you could leave CIM with your Bachelor of Music AND Master of Music degrees.
Here’s how the program works:
You must be enrolled at CIM as an undergraduate student
As long as you are working toward your bachelor’s degree and CIM offers a master’s degree in your program of study, you can apply.
You need to be slightly ahead of the 4 year graduation track for your Bachelor’s Degree
You should have room in your schedule to begin graduate level course work your senior year.
You have to apply and be accepted
There is an application and audition process during your junior year.
Your undergraduate scholarship award from CIM will carry over
You may be eligible for an increase in federal aid if applicable.
Back to Admissions
*The 1-Year Master of Music Program is not available for the Collaborative Piano or Audio Recording programs. For all other programs, you must apply and be accepted.
Cellist Joshua Roman (BM’04/MM’05, Hoebig, Aaron) has made a career out of composing and performing around the globe and on October 17, he was soloist for the premiere of his self-composed cello concerto Awakening with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra for its opening night. The Chicago Tribune published two previews leading up to the premiere, interviewing Roman and calling the debut “extra special for the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra.”
Cleveland Institute of Music President Joel Smirnoff has announced his decision to retire from presidential and administrative duties as of December 31, 2015 and to continue his teaching until the end of the 2015-16 school year. President Smirnoff plans to concentrate on new and creative musical projects, while continuing to conduct, compose and teach. He made his announcement in October at CIM’s quarterly meeting of the Board of Trustees.
“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank President Smirnoff for his leadership of CIM and for sharing his creative musical vision with us. He leaves behind a legacy of musical excellence, energy and an increased presence of CIM locally and globally,” said Richard J. Hipple, Chair of CIM’s Board of Trustees.
President Smirnoff joined CIM in 2008 and has made many lasting contributions, including:
- Strategic planning that included a higher worldwide profile for CIM and increased performing opportunities for students, faculty and guest artists;
- The establishment of several new degree programs in composition and performance and a new Cultural Seminar;
- Collaborations, master classes for students and performances by celebrated artists such as Frederica von Stade, Yefim Bronfman, Midori and Emanuel Ax;
- Initiation of the biennial “Celebration of Community” with the Cleveland School of the Arts at Severance Hall;
- The commission and world premiere of the Daniil Trifonov Piano Concerto; and
- Honorary Doctorates awarded to Ms. von Stade, Tony Bennett, Van Cliburn, Itzhak and Toby Perlman.
Prior to joining CIM, President Smirnoff was a member of the Juilliard String Quartet for 23 years, winning a 2011 Lifetime Grammy Award with this ensemble. He made his American conducting debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 2000 and conducts orchestras throughout the world, including the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and the Basel Sinfonietta. As a jazz soloist, he has been featured on albums with Tony Bennett and in performance with Gunther Schuller and the American Jazz Orchestra, and the Billy Taylor Trio.
CIM has formed a Presidential Search Committee comprised of faculty, staff, trustees and alumni. Additional information regarding the search for President Smirnoff’s successor and the transition process will be provided in the near future.
CIM alum and violinist Suliman Tekalli (MM ’13, Smirnoff), was invited to perform as a soloist for South Korean President Park Geun-hye in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, October 14, during her visit with President Obama. Tekalli performed Vivaldi’s “Summer” with the world renowned ensemble International Sejong Soloists which also debuted Tekalli’s own arrangement of Ástor Piazzolla’s “Libertango,” with violist Richard O’Neill.
Pianist and CIM alum Daniil Trifonov (Babayan AC ’13, AD ’15) has taken the classical music world by storm or, as The New York Times put it in a review of his Carnegie Hall performance earlier this year, “he has become a phenomenon in the field.” Trifonov finished up his degree at CIM in 2015 and for his grand finale he performed a concerto that he wrote for CIM’s composer/virtuoso program. Trifonov performed this same piece to kick off the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s concert season to great acclaim.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette commented on both the greatness of the piece and his performance of it. “At 24, he is one of the hottest pianists in the world, and his dazzling technique is aurally and visually impressive,” the reviewer commented. “But he composes, too….The virtuosic, three-movement concerto, Mr. Trifonov’s first large-scale symphonic work, demonstrates his potential as a composer.”
Trifonov has been making headlines lately not just for his performances but for his newly released album Rachmaninov: Variations. The Guardian mentioned that the disc is “a joyous, exceptional collection,” also commenting that Trifonov is an “outstanding pianist who plays Rachmaninov because he is fascinated by the music and can bring genuine imagination and musical wit to it.”
Read the review of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert here and get The Guardian’s review of his latest album here.