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April 5, 2016

Jahja Ling Engages CIM Students and Faculty During Residency


Jahja Ling Engages CIM Students and Faculty During Residency

Over the course of the spring semester, renowned director of the San Diego Symphony and CIM’s Distinguished Principal Guest Artist, Jahja Ling, worked closely with students from the Cleveland Institute of Music orchestra, vocalists and piano performance majors. But he also engaged  CIM faculty by inviting members to sit within the CIM orchestra during rehearsal for the April 6 CIM@Home concert in Kulas Hall.

CIM faculty members and Cleveland Orchestra principals, Michael Sachs, Frank Rosenwein, Robert Vernon and Paul Yancich played with the students throughout the rehearsal, Ling leading the way. The rehearsal took on a collaborative atmosphere, as comments and feedback came from both the podium and within the stands from faculty listening to their surrounding players.

“It was no surprise when Mr. Vernon and several other principal players of The Orchestra showed up to our own rehearsal. Mr. Ling has been with them for many years and his lifelong friendship with and respect for our own mentors and role models has been apparent,” said student Mark Liu (viola, Jackobs), who participated in rehearsal. “Working with Mr. Vernon, who is the foremost expert on orchestral viola playing, was invaluable. His approach to this repertoire during our rehearsal delved into his thoughts on how to achieve cohesion and clarity in thick orchestral textures. It was definitely a rare and educational experience for all of us.”

Ling also coached students in a piano master class that focused on playing a concerto with an orchestra. He addressed phrasing, dynamics and tone as well as working with the orchestra. “It was an illuminating experience,” said Maria Parrini (piano, Pompa-Baldi/Schenly), who participated in the master class. “As young pianists, we're more often exposed to the perspective of our teachers and their work with conductors, but unless we win the opportunity to play with an orchestra, we're rarely lucky enough to get the perspective of the conductor themselves --and to receive such detailed coaching from Maestro Ling, who's conducted the world's best orchestras, is incredibly valuable at this stage in our learning.”

Ling, who announced his decision to retire from the San Diego Symphony after the 2016-17 season, is eager to dedicate more time to teaching the next generation of classical musicians. He’s no stranger to working with young artists, having founded the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in 1986. He said in an interview with the San Diego Union Tribune, “The most important thing is to give joy to people through the music.”

Photo by Roger Mastroianni