August 30, 2023

2023 incoming class further illustrates 'The CIM Advantage'

A corner of CIM surrounded by trees in fall colors

The power of a CIM education isn’t evident only in the number and caliber of jobs alumni earn. It’s also visible at the other end of the spectrum, in the enrollment process. 

Case in point: CIM’s 2023 incoming class.  

Incredibly accomplished, geographically and racially diverse, and uniquely well-rounded, the class headed to CIM is another sterling example of “The CIM Advantage,” the school's unparalleled ability to attract, train, and produce the world’s top talent.  

"My fellow violin faculty and I, along with colleagues in other departments, are deeply impressed by the talent and character of our incoming students," said Jessica Lee, head of the violin department at CIM and assistant concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra, one of the world’s finest ensembles.  

"We can't wait to start working with our new students this fall and empower them to make their mark as musicians." 

That the 2023 class is special is evident from its distinctly international makeup. Out of almost 1,200 applicants, CIM enrolled 138 students, a record 53 of whom hail from eight countries as far away as Australia and New Zealand. The remainder represent every region of the U.S.  

Among their ranks are two medalists in the prestigious Fischoff Competition, a grand prize winner of the Elite Piano Competition, and a finalist in the ASCAP Foundation competition for composers. Others have performed at Carnegie Hall and with major orchestras, often in a professional capacity. 

The new class is also robustly diverse, in keeping with ongoing school-wide efforts to change the face of classical music. Nine percent of incoming students identify as Black or Latinx, consistent with the rates of diversity among those who applied and auditioned. Three students are graduates of Chicago’s Musical Pathway Fellowship program.  

The degree breakdown across the incoming class is as follows: 56 for Bachelor of Music; 48 for Master of Music; 26 for Professional Studies; 6 for Doctor of Musical Arts; 2 for Artist Diploma. Twenty-four of these students are returning to CIM for an additional degree, and 15 are on full-tuition scholarships endowed by generous donors. Two students are graduates of CIM’s Young Artist Program. 


  • Number of Students: 138 

  • Countries Represented: 8 

  • International Students: 54 

  • Percent Who Identify as Black or Latinx: 9 

  • Students on Full-Tuition Scholarships: 15 

But these figures tell only part of the story. More than data points, the students now headed to CIM are highly accomplished individuals, bringing with them an array of special abilities and interests, some of which they are likely to pursue through CIM’s close relationship with nearby Case Western Reserve University.  

For instance: The 2023 incoming class is uncommonly athletic, boasting skills in Tae Kwon Do, marathon running, and tennis. The group also includes an Eagle Scout, a member of the JROTC, and scholars in mathematics, physics, and history. 

Scott Harrison, Executive Vice President & Provost of CIM, said the 2023 incoming class is certain to make the most of the “CIM Advantage” they are about to experience.  

“I'm confident this class will do amazing things at CIM as they begin pursuing their dreams and potential,” he said. “We invited each and every one of these students to CIM for a reason, and we look forward to witnessing the creative impact they are destined to make on Cleveland and the world.”