For the young musicians who apply, audition and earn coveted spots in Cleveland Institute of Music summer programs, it’s a time to learn, grow and let their talent shine.
Exceptionally talented young musicians begin to arrive at CIM in May, just as Conservatory students are graduating, to attend the Sergei Babayan International Piano Academy. These students participate in one-on-one lessons with master pianist Sergei Babayan, have access to Steinway pianos, air-conditioned practice spaces and opportunities to observe the coaching of other Academy participants. Their intensive studies culminate in a final marathon recital held in the school’s state-of-the-art Mixon Hall.
Summer Sonata is a two-week program directed by Dr. Sean Schulze (chair, Preparatory piano) and is offered at junior (ages 10–12) and senior levels (ages 13–18). The camp includes regular private lessons, master classes with renowned faculty and guest artists, as well as daily supervised practice sessions. What makes the program even more unique is that it provides young pianists with an opportunity to grow as musicians and develop their skills while learning some of the important nuances of performing for an audience.
This year, the Young Composers Program (YCP) was personally directed by Keith Fitch, head of the CIM composition department and a world-renowned composer who recently premiered a commissioned work in New York as part of a celebration by the American League of Composers. He was joined by CIM alumni Tim Mauthe and Jeremy Allen.
The program focuses on young composers ranging from 14 to 19 years old, and includes a private composition lesson, a course in the craft of composition, exposure to a wide array of contemporary classical music in listening sessions and workshops on the best ways to notate musical ideas.
Both of these programs wrapped up with concerts showcasing the students’ hard work. The YCP concerts, hosted in Kulas Hall, take place over two days (June 28 and 29). Artists performing the young composers’ works this year are members of Ars Futura (Maddi Lucas, flute; Shuai Wang, piano and Andris Koh, cello). The concerts were professionally recorded so each young composer received a CD of his or her work.
The Summer Sonata concert took place on Friday, June 28, in Mixon Hall—a state-of-the-art hall that was acoustically designed specifically for solo and chamber music performances.
To learn more about what CIM has to offer pre-college music students, visit cim.edu/preparatory.