August 4, 2020

CIM Recruits Artistically Celebrated, Academically Accomplished, Racially Diverse Incoming Class

CIM's full-ride scholarship recipients. (Photo of Shannon Lee by Justin Aranha; others courtesy of the students.)

With an eye on the return to in-person classes August 10, the Cleveland Institute of Music has attracted to its storied halls and to Cleveland an incoming class rich in artistic achievement, academic distinction and racial diversity. CIM exceeded its incoming class goal by 10% and has seated 131 of the world’s most talented classical music students for fall 2020 – 12% of whom identify as Black or Latinx – including the school’s top recruits in trumpet, bassoon, percussion, horn, collaborative piano, double bass, violin and viola.  

Announced in early June, the fall 2020 semester will begin, in person, on Monday, August 10, and on-campus instruction will conclude on Friday, November 20.  

Recognizing elite ability and skillfulness, CIM awarded a record five full-ride packages to members of the incoming class, the result of incredible generosity by CIM’s donors and a decade-long partnership with Cleveland-based Judson Senior Living. Practically speaking, every member of the incoming class received a philanthropy-supported scholarship. 

The award packages include tuition, room, board and fees, and allow recipients to focus exclusively on learning and performing while they are students – without the pressure of accumulating major debt after graduating. The five newest scholars are: 

  • Percussionist Jeremy Sreejayan (BM ’20, Damoulakis/Yancich) of Sydney, Australia, returns to CIM for graduate studies as the second Mary Hamlin Memorial Presidential Scholar, the Institute’s first endowed full-ride scholarship established in 2018 by Dr. Clive Hamlin in honor of his late wife. Sreejayan will continue to study with percussion co-heads Marc Damoulakis, principal percussion of The Cleveland Orchestra, and Paul Yancich, the Orchestra’s principal timpanist. 
  • Graduate trumpet student Austin Cruz of The Woodlands, TX, is the inaugural recipient of the Jean and Richard Hipple Director’s Award. CIM Board of Trustees Chair Richard J. Hipple and his wife Jean Hipple will, over time, grow this award to become a full-tuition Dean’s Scholarship – the first in school history. Cruz will study with Michael Sachs, head of CIM’s trumpet department and principal trumpet of The Cleveland Orchestra.  
  • Graduate double bass student Thiago Silva-Correia comes to CIM after studying at Azusa Pacific University in California as recipient of the first-ever Iris and Tom Harvie Director’s Award from Trustee C. Thomas Harvie and his wife Iris Harvie, a member of Partners for CIM (formerly the CIM Women’s Committee). Silva-Correia will study with faculty Derek Zadinsky, a member of The Cleveland Orchestra double bass section. 
  • Violinist Shannon Lee (MM ’20, Laredo/Sloman) of Plano, TX, who will work toward a professional studies diploma, and violist Maia Hoffman (BM ’20, Konopka/Vernon), who hails from Portland, OR, and is pursuing a master’s degree, were named Judson Senior Living Artists-in-Residence. Established in 2010, the innovative Judson program provides furnished apartments in exchange for student musicians offering performances and cultural programs for residents at all three Northeast Ohio Judson properties. Artists-in-Residence are typically graduate students, earn full-tuition scholarships, and have a special interest in creating intergenerational connections.  

Since 2016, scholarships awarded to incoming CIM students have increased by 11% and, over the next decade, CIM has committed to adding $40 million in support of this affordability initiative. 

“A century ago, when the women of the Fortnightly Musical Club pooled their wealth and conceived CIM, it was a bold, courageous and heroic choice,” said CIM President and CEO Paul W. Hogle. “They set out into the unknown, and it was impossible for them to know their enduring legacy in creating a top-tier music conservatory and the preparatory programs which quickly followed. Today, we compete fiercely for the world’s most advanced student musicians and, with our newest full-ride scholarships, we’re enabling five outstanding student artists to pursue their dreams. We are working tirelessly to ensure that a coveted Cleveland education remains affordable so that students can study with our venerable faculty as they prepare to be the future of classical music.” 

About the class: 

The incoming class is one of artistic distinction, academic ability, racial diversity and geographic reach. They include competition prizewinners, alumni of premier music festivals and the country’s finest youth orchestras and possess an entrepreneurial spirit as founders or co-founders of their own organizations and businesses. Musical accomplishments of the class include: 

  • Prizewinners from such prestigious events as the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Queen Elisabeth Competition, Haydn Prize, Singapore International Piano Competition, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Competition, Classical Singer Music Competition of Chicago, Hong Kong International Operatic Singing Competition, Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition, Metropolitan Opera Guild, William Kapell International Piano Competition & Festival and Sendai International Violin Competition 
  • Professional members of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Symphoria, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Akron Symphony and Canton Symphony; extras and substitutes for the Chicago Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic and New World Symphony; and members of major youth orchestras in Atlanta, Austin (TX), Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Louisville, New York City, Philadelphia and St. Louis, as well as National Youth Orchestra 2  
  • Alumni of such elite music festivals and institutes as the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Eastern Music Festival, Heifetz International Music Institute, Interlochen Arts Camp, Music@Menlo, La Musica Lirica, Brevard Music Center, Chautauqua Institute, Sphinx Performance Academy, National Repertory Orchestra and the National Orchestral Institute  

Other compelling statistics:  

  • International students from 11 different countries comprise 20% of the class; domestically, students hail from 27 states  
  • Five of the 61 undergraduates are from Interlochen Arts Academy 
  • Sixteen incoming students identify as Black or Latinx, joining a cohort of returning students of color representing 12% of CIM’s approximately 360 students; since 2016, the diversity in CIM’s student body has increased 338%, as a result of both focused recruiting and the intentional reduction in the size of the student body
  • Twenty-six students from the incoming class are returning to CIM for additional study, two of whom are alumni of CIM’s Young Artist Program 
  • Three students are National Merit Scholars and four are members of the National Honor Society 
  • Two recent Grammy nominees  

“I am eager to welcome this impressive group to their new home in Cleveland, in the heart of University Circle,” Hogle said. “Seeing – and hearing – the ways in which they will enrich our lives is going to be a privilege and an honor. I’m delighted they have accepted the faculty’s invitation to fulfill their dreams and potential at CIM, and to become part of this very special place.”