March 19, 2021

Barbara Robinson to Receive CIM Distinguished Service Award at Luminaries Benefit Concert

Barbara Robinson

A Cleveland Institute of Music Luminary is an ambassador, a leader and an advocate who has set an example of service to the Cleveland Institute of Music's mission through word and deed. Barbara Robinson is all this and more. In recognition of her leadership, she will receive the CIM Distinguished Service Award at a celebratory concert on April 10, 2021.

Robinson, who has long been at the forefront of efforts to promote and support arts and culture in Northeast Ohio and nationally, has a lifelong connection to CIM. A pianist who once performed with the Boston Pops, Robinson studied in CIM's Preparatory division as a child and was a teacher to young prep students in her early adult years. She also has studied flute and violin. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, the Harvard Radcliffe program in business administration. In 2006 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Musical Arts degree from CIM.

In her nearly five decades as a Trustee of CIM, including a term as chair, Barbara has worked tirelessly to ensure students have the resources they need to be the future of classical music. A current member of CIM's Century Circle, her work and passion have created a lasting impact at CIM, including the Robinson Music Library and the recent establishment of the Robinson Family Presidential Scholarship.

Her work as an advocate for the arts has taken her from classrooms to the Ohio Statehouse to the hallowed halls of Congress in Washington, DC. For her dedication to the arts and civic life, she has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2019 Cleveland Heritage Medal. Robinson is an Honorary Life Trustee of the Musical Arts Association, the founding and governing body of The Cleveland Orchestra, an Honorary Trustee of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and a Life Member of the Board of Trustees of the University Hospital's Case Medical Center. Barbara has served as a trustee for numerous other organizations, including Ohio Dance, Cleveland Children's Museum, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (formerly Young Audiences, Inc.) and Americans for the Arts. She served as chair of the Ohio Arts Council for 15 years, Arts Midwest and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.

“Barbara has given of her time, her talent and her treasure to ensure a vibrant, thriving, dynamic arts community that ranks Cleveland among the most cultured cities in the world,” said CIM President & CEO Paul W. Hogle. “Her unflagging enthusiasm for our work has contributed in countless ways to CIM’s success.”

Distinguished Service Award

Presented by the Partners for CIM and the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Distinguished Service Award honors exemplary contributions to CIM's mission to empower the world's most talented classical music students to fulfill their dreams and potential. Past award recipients include prominent champions of CIM Mal Mixon, Dick Pogue and Clara Rankin.

Barbara Robinson will be honored at a virtual celebration; the CIM Luminaries Benefit Concert April 10, 2021. Visit for details and tickets.