May 14, 2018

Cleveland Institute of Music Seats Most Competitive, Most Diverse Class in School History

new class

When 162 of the world’s most talented classical music students arrive at the Cleveland Institute of Music next fall, they will represent the most competitive and accomplished incoming class in CIM’s storied history. They will also be the most racially diverse: African American, Latinx and Native Hawaiian students will be an historic 17 percent of the incoming class.

“In the highly-competitive world of America’s top classical music conservatories, families put their trust in programs because of the faculty, the learning environment and the school’s collaborators,” said Paul W. Hogle, President and CEO.

“In CIM’s incoming class, we have matriculated a record number of top recruits and accept the mantle of being a national leader for the racial diversity filling our practice rooms, studios and concert halls. This achievement matches our vision to be the future of classical music.”

In 16 of 20 areas of study, students ranked in the top three chose CIM’s welcoming, collaborative approach to music-making over schools in New York, Boston and Los Angeles; four studios got all of their top three ranked recruits.

Among the ranks of committed students are:

  • Prizewinners in the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition, Thomas & Evon Cooper International Competition, Sphinx Competition, Astral Artists’ National Auditions and Irving M. Klein International String Competition, among many others. There are several From the Top alumni, 2018 and 2016 gold medalists in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and a multiple-winner of the NAfME Composer Contest.
  • Members of the New World Symphony, National Youth Orchestra, Sphinx Virtuosi and Atlanta Symphony Talent Development Program, as well as alumni of some of the country’s finest youth orchestras—including those of Cleveland, San Francisco, Saint Louis, Philadelphia and Baltimore—and the Interlochen Arts Academy.
  • Vocalists who have performed with professional companies including Tacoma Opera, Utah Lyric Opera and the Academy of Vocal Arts.
  • Instrumentalists with professional performance experience, playing in such orchestras as the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Toronto Symphony, Taiwan National Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, New Haven Symphony and Symphony in C, as well as other ensembles throughout the world.
  • In addition to being a musically gifted group, they are also bright and intellectually curious, and include four National Merit Scholarship Finalists. More than 60 percent of the incoming class has a GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • These students are also devoted to serving their communities, as demonstrated by their volunteer activities with food banks, disabled veterans associations, museums, schools, mentoring organizations, preschools and homeless shelters, as well as to organizations like the Boy Scouts and The First Tee.
  • Alumni of premier music festivals—Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, Heifetz International Music Institute, Meadowmount School of Music, Music@Menlo, National Repertory Orchestra, Perlman Music Program—will join their compatriots at CIM in the fall.

The newest members of the CIM community are leaving homes in Asia, North and South America, Europe and Israel to study, practice and perform in Cleveland – a geographic diversity that represents an international population of 26% from 12 different countries. Domestically, 32 states are represented, including 15 students from Ohio. 

Other compelling statistics include:

  • 10 percent of the class are first-generation college students
  • 13 of the 75 undergraduates are from the Interlochen Arts Academy
  • 6 students are enrolling in a dual degree program with Case Western Reserve University
  • 14 percent of the incoming class are CIM students returning for an additional degree
  • 12 students are transferring from other conservatories and schools of music

“I am eager to welcome this vibrant group to their new home in Cleveland, in the heart of University Circle,” added Hogle. “Seeing—and hearing—the ways in which they will enrich our lives is going to be a privilege and an honor. And I am delighted that they have accepted our invitation to fulfill their dreams and potential at CIM, and to become part of this incredibly special place.”