About Us

Be the future of classical music.

The Cleveland Institute of Music, founded in 1920 with composer Ernest Bloch as the founding director, is one of just seven independent conservatories of music in the United States, one of three devoted exclusively to classical music performance and the only one nestled in America’s heartland. CIM’s campus – in the world-class center of innovation in healthcare, education and arts & culture known as University Circle – offers an incomparable environment for learning, study and artistic development.

CIM’s graduates command the most celebrated and revered stages in the world as soloists, chamber musicians and ensemble members; compose meaningful, award-winning new repertoire; and are highly sought-after teaching artists, administrators and thought leaders. More than half of the members of The Cleveland Orchestra are connected to CIM as members of the faculty, alumni or both. The Institute’s diverse talent tapestry uniquely positions CIM as the future of classical music.

All CIM students benefit from access to world-renowned visiting artists and conductors, intensive study with CIM’s stellar faculty and the rich curriculum offered by CIM’s partner Case Western Reserve University. CIM’s Center for Innovative Musicianship (known as CIM²) embraces the school’s mission to empower the world’s most talented classical music students to fulfill their dreams and potential by offering extensive experiential opportunities for students to foster the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition into a professional career.

CIM is an integral part of Cleveland’s arts community, presenting nearly 600 free performances and master classes on campus each year, and hundreds more at locations throughout the region, including Severance Hall, which is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest concert halls. Students and faculty engage with partners including The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Institute of Art and other cultural, educational and community organizations to create classical music that is as vibrant and varied as the city of Cleveland.

Mission & Commitments

The CIM mission is to empower the world’s most talented classical music students to fulfill their dreams and potential. In support of this mission, CIM is committed to the following:

  • CIM is committed to the education of the complete musician who has a firm mastery of the classics, as well as the opportunity to experience the creation and performance of new and recent repertoire.
  • CIM is committed to attracting highly-talented individuals from around the globe and guiding them to reach their musical and artistic potential.
  • CIM is committed to being a resource for the community, with training for individuals of all ages and abilities.
  • CIM is committed to incorporating new technologies to complement and enhance the lives and education of its students.
  • CIM is committed to providing access to rich and diverse coursework at CIM and CWRU in order to build its students' ability to situate their work in the context of the world of knowledge, and to have the ability to communicate those connections.
  • CIM believes the act of collaboration is a necessary and vital component of every musician’s development. Its distinguished faculty is committed to developing the full artistic potential of all students and encouraging the valuable exchange of musical ideas and approaches.

CIM is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).