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April 1, 2019

CIM Dominates 2019 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition Field with Five Invitations


Catharsis Winds
Catharsis Winds, invited to 2019 Fischoff Competition

The Cleveland Institute of Music, a legendary powerhouse of classical music training since its beginnings nearly a century ago, continues to impress chamber music judges across the country and around the world.

Five CIM string and wind chamber ensembles have been invited to the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, a dominant number among the nation’s music schools and a record for CIM in recent memory.

CIM’s Callisto Quartet won the grand prize and was first prize winner in the senior strings division at the Fischoff in 2018.

“The Fischoff is the crown jewel of chamber music competitions in America,” said Paul W. Hogle, CIM’s president and CEO. “The sheer volume and level of Institute competitors exemplifies the extraordinary quality of a CIM education and is a tribute to the students' dedication to becoming the world’s most talented classical musicians. Our students, faculty and chamber music coaches are superstars.”

CIM’s chamber music coaches include such distinguished faculty as Si-Yan Darren Li (cello), string chamber music coordinator and faculty; Todd Phillips (violin), visiting chamber music faculty; Sharon Robinson (cello), cello and chamber music faculty; Carolyn Warner (violin/piano), chamber music faculty and director of CIM’s Preparatory Pre-College Chamber Music Program; Kathryn Brown (piano), head of CIM’s Piano department and Keyboard division; Anita Pontremoli (piano), head of CIM’s Collaborative Piano department; Franklin Cohen (clarinet), head of CIM’s Clarinet department; and Jonathan Sherwin (bassoon), contrabassoon faculty.

Established in South Bend, IN, in 1973 and held each year at the University of Notre Dame, the Fischoff Competition is one of the most significant classical music prizes achievable today. Each year, an average of 125 ensembles, representing 22 nationalities, enter in either the wind or string categories of three to six performers. Since its founding, more than 6,800 musicians have participated, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music performance and education.

Winning the Fischoff has become a benchmark in the careers of emerging young ensembles. They come from America’s finest music schools, conservatories and preparatory schools.

The 2019 Fischoff invitations culminate a year of remarkable achievement and honor for CIM chamber music ensembles. Groups like the Callisto Quartet, Avanzare Quartet, Catharsis Winds, Corylus Quartet, the East Boulevard Quintet and Young Artist Program (YAP) ensembles Arcus Trio and Alendo Quartet have won or placed high in such major international and national events as the Melbourne (Australia), Wigmore Hall (London), Coltman, Plowman, St. Paul and Rembrandt chamber music competitions. The Callisto Quartet also made its debut at the Schneider Concert Series in New York City and Ravinia Festival, and is only one of six quartets in the world invited to the 2019 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in France.

The Institute’s invited ensembles into the 2019 Fischoff Competition include (their teachers are in parentheses):

Senior Division:

Avanzare Quartet: Rebecca Benjamin, violin (Laredo/Sloman); Yu-Ming (Andrew) Ma, violin (Laredo/Sloman); Serena Hsu, viola (Ramsey/Irvine); and Wei-An Hung, cello (Robinson). Coached by Si-Yan Darren Li and Todd Phillips.

Catharsis Winds: Jessica Chancey, flute (Fink); Willem Crone, French horn (King); Corbin Krebs, bassoon (Stees); M. Isaac Ripple, oboe (Rosenwein); and Shihao Hugh Zhu, clarinet (Cohen). Coached by Franklin Cohen and Jonathan Sherwin.

Trio Cleveland: Heejeon Ahn, violin (Laredo/Sloman); Tyler DeVigal, cello (Weiss); and Na Young Koo, piano (Pompa-Baldi). Coached by Sharon Robinson, Kathryn Brown and Anita Pontremoli.

Junior Division:

Alendo Quartet: Kai Bryngelson, violin (Kwuon); Wenlan Jackson, violin (Rose); Ayano Nakamura, viola (Irvine); and Katarina Davies, cello (Weiss). Coached by Si-Yan Darren Li.

Arcus Trio: Célina Béthoux, violin (Lee/Setzer); Kate Huang, cello (Robinson); and Leo Gevisser, piano (Brown). Coached by Si-Yan Darren Li and Carolyn Warner.

The 2019 Fischoff Competition will be held May 10-12.