March 17, 2021

Marking its 100th Anniversary, CIM Looks to Future

President Paul W. Hogle

Paul W. Hogle Leads CIM Into Its Second Century as Board Renews His Contract Through 2028


Sending a strong signal that his leadership over the past five years has dramatically propelled the institution forward, the Cleveland Institute of Music Board of Trustees extended President & CEO Paul W. Hogle’s contract. This seven-year extension for CIM’s ninth president goes through June 30, 2028.

“The strength of CIM’s musical training is now underpinned by a clear, collective vision for the future; a highly accomplished executive team; a focus on fundraising to support student scholarships and success; a board engaged in fiduciary, strategic and generative work; and a palpable sense of forward momentum – qualities that Paul’s continued leadership will sustain and advance,” said Board Chair Susan A. Rothmann, PhD. “CIM enters its second century with incredible energy, and in extending President Hogle’s contract, the board has taken an important step to ensure the Institute’s future.”

Since coming to CIM in 2016, Hogle has overseen growth in nearly every corner of the institution, from student life to facilities to philanthropic support and student scholarships. In the coming years, CIM will expand its digital footprint, launch new programs focused on early-career success and reinvigorate its preparatory curriculum for K-12 students, all while relentlessly driving a lower cost of education for students.

“Birthdays and anniversaries have a way of focusing us, casting into sharp relief all that we’ve been and all that we hope to become,” Hogle said. “CIM’s first 100 years were marked by a rich ‘who’s who’ of classical music – names like Ernest Bloch, Victor Babin, Alice Chalifoux and John Mack – this is the proud legacy upon which we are built. As we look ahead, we are adding to that legacy by opening our doors wider to ensure a more representative, equitable student body; by fostering excellence on every stage, in the rehearsal rooms and in the classrooms; by growing our community of supporters and by serving as an engaged, responsive member of the community beyond CIM’s campus.”

Hogle and Rothmann are both quick to add that this has been a broad effort, shaped and carried out by every member of the CIM community and its community partners, who believe in and actualize CIM’s commitment to empower the world’s most talented classical music students to fulfill their dreams and potential.

CIM has celebrated dozens of milestones over the past five years, driven by the strategic priorities outlined in Blueprint:100, the strategic plan adopted in 2017. “President Hogle led a holistic planning process that mapped out CIM’s necessary investments in its future, including a gradual reduction in the size of the student body and a continued commitment to further reduce the cost of attendance so graduates can pursue fulfilling artistic careers without the constraints of crushing debt from student loans,” Rothmann explained.

Fundraising and Financial Success

  • Hogle has championed a fundraising culture that drove a 64% increase in Annual Fund giving that has broken records each year and added more than $16 million in new gifts to the scholarship endowment.
  • CIM reduced tuition in 2018 and has continued to hold tuition flat, while increasing scholarships by 11%.
  • The most recent fiscal year, ended June 30, 2020, marked the 25th straight balanced budget. Historic levels of philanthropy and careful financial management throughout the pandemic have preserved employment, programs and student services.

Diversity and Recruitment

  • Focused efforts have resulted in a remarkable 338% increase in Black and Latinx students, who now number 12% of the school’s approximately 325 students.
  • Over the next decade, the Institute will strategically reduce enrollment, further enhancing the student experience, while recruiting the most competitive incoming classes in a generation.
  • CIM became the Midwest home of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization’s Sphinx Performance Academy, an intensive two-week chamber music and solo performance program for Black and Latinx pre-college musicians.
  • In 2019, CIM was awarded a highly competitive Sphinx Venture Fund grant for its ambitious Future of Music Faculty Fellowship: a first-of-its-kind career development initiative for Black and Latinx music professionals considering and/or currently pursuing an academic career.

Student Life and Engagement

  • In partnership with NewBrook Partners, CIM opened its first-ever residence hall in 2020, with apartment-style suites and 22 state-of-the-art practice rooms.
  • Physical spaces that contribute to CIM’s legendary sense of community received investment, such as a refreshed student lounge, now known as Thomas Commons, and other student experience projects.
  • CIM added 11 Steinway grand pianos, including a 9-foot Hamburg selected by Artist-in-Residence Sergei Babayan; a satin ebony Model D known locally as the “Ashkenazy,” after Vladimir Ashkenazy personally selected it for Severance Hall; as well as nine additional newly refurbished pianos.

New Programs

  • In 2018, with seed funding from The Cleveland Foundation and the Gund Foundation, CIM launched the Musical Pathway Fellowship, for Black and Latinx pre-college musicians, providing tuition-free, comprehensive musical training designed to prepare Fellows for successful admission to music school or conservatory. Six of the current 12 Fellows will graduate high school this year, and they are all eagerly awaiting acceptance letters from conservatories and music schools around the country.
  • The Center for Innovative Musicianship, known as CIM², was developed, which nurtures students’ entrepreneurial and professional skills as they become leaders in a diverse and evolving musical world.
  • In 2019, the Institute launched a formal Pre-College program for students eager to explore a future in music in a structured, conservatory-infused curricular environment taught by CIM-statured faculty.

Faculty and Academic Success

  • CIM received a successful affirmation of accreditation in 2018 after being put on notice in 2014, and embraced a commitment to continuous improvement in processes and a culture that embraces sustained systematic changes.
  • The 50th anniversary of the Joint Music Program – a collaboration that enhances both CIM and Case Western Reserve University – was celebrated in 2019.
  • Top teaching artists and pedagogues have joined the faculty, including Ilya Kaler, the only violinist to win the gold medal at three of the world’s most prestigious international violin competitions, the Tchaikovsky Competition, Sibelius Competition and Paganini Competition; Olga Dubossarskaya Kaler, DMA, accomplished violinist and author of Scale System for Reluctant Scale Enthusiasts and An Effective Method for Teaching and Studying Violin Technique; Wesley Collins (BM ’07, Vernon), principal viola of The Cleveland Orchestra; Afendi Yusuf, principal clarinet of The Cleveland Orchestra; Peter Sullivan, principal trombone of the Pittsburgh Symphony; Randall Hawes, bass trombone emeritus of the Detroit Symphony; prize-winning string chamber music coach Si-Yan Darren Li; Russian-American soprano Dina Kuznetsova; and Noa Kagayama, PhD, the performance psychologist behind The Bulletproof Musician; as well as Cleveland Orchestra percussionist Thomas Sherwood, flutist Jessica Sindell and Associate Conductor Vinay Parameswaran; music theorists Sam Bivens, PhD, Alan Reese, PhD and Alex Cooke, DMA; and vocal coach François Germain.
  • Esteemed faculty members are regularly recognized for their accomplishments as well, including co-head of viola Jeffrey Irvine, the 2020 ASTA Artist Teacher of the Year; head of harp Yolanda Kondonassis, co-head of guitar Jason Vieaux and audio recording faculty Alan Bise, who have received multiple GRAMMY Award nominations and several wins in recent years; artist-in-residence Sergei Babayan, exclusive recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon; and many others.


  • All technology has been upgraded in CIM’s flagship Mixon Hall, offering significantly improved lighting controls, multiple high-definition cameras for livestreaming and recording and a new projector, setting the Institute on a path to an immersive virtual concert experience.
  • Enterprise-class software and hardware has been installed for classrooms and business functions, enabling the school’s successful shift to remote work and instruction in spring 2020.

Student and Alumni Success

  • Julián Fueyo (BM ’20, Fitch) won the 68th Annual BMI Student Composer Award, as well as a 2020 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award – two of the highest honors young composers can receive.
  • The Callisto Quartet, comprised of violinists Paul Aguilar (BM ’19, Laredo/Sloman) and Rachel Stenzel-Aguilar (BM ’18, MM ’19, Rose/Sloman), violist Eva Kennedy (BM ’17, MM ’19, Ramsey/Irvine) and cellist Hannah Moses (YAP ’13, BM/MM ’18, AD ’19, Kraut) won the gold medal in the 2018 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, as well as prizes in the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, Manhattan International Music Competition and Banff International String Quartet Competition.
  • Current Artist Diploma student Shannon Lee (MM ’20, Laredo/Sloman) made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York String Orchestra in December 2019, following prize-winning performances in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Queen Elisabeth Competition and Naumberg International Competition.
  • Current undergraduate Arseny Gusev (Babayan/Fitch), won first prize in the 2021 Singapore International Piano Competition and second prize in the Virtu(al)oso Global Piano Competition in 2020.
  • The ILO Quartet, comprised of violinists Hannah Duncan (Kwuon) and Charlotte Loukola (I. Kaler), violist August DuBeau (Jackobs) and cellist Myeonggyun Noh (Geber), won first prize in the 2021 Coltman Chamber Music Competition.
  • CIM composers Maxwell Lowery (BM ’20, Fitch/Irvine), Arseny Gusev, Daniel DiMarino, Yoav Sadeh, Sami Seif and Gabriel Stossel (all of whom study with head of composition Keith Fitch) made a “clean sweep” of the prizes in the Cleveland Composer’s Guild Student Composer Competition in 2020 and 2021.
  • Violinist Rubén Rengel (BM ’16, Laredo) won the 2018 Sphinx Competition for Black and Latinx string players.
  • Stephen Tavani (AD ’18, Preucil) won a position as Assistant Concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra, and Stephen Hawkey (MM ’20, Kraut) won a section cello position in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; both successfully auditioned while they were still students at CIM.

“After many years of teaching at three distinguished education institutions in the United States, I joined the CIM faculty with high expectations of the quality standards and work ethic,” said violin faculty member Ilya Kaler. “I quickly realized that under Paul’s leadership, CIM belongs in a class of its own. His unique vision for the school, uncompromising standards, tireless attention to every detail and pursuit of excellence make him a leader like no other. Working with him has been both a pleasure and a great honor.”  

Led by President Hogle’s deep personal commitment to community service and engagement, the entire CIM community regularly provides meaningful experiences to the Cleveland community, from nearly 600 free performances a year on campus and in community locations, to annually participating in a Day of Service, joyfully giving time and talent to serve others with Cleveland-based organizations including the Cleveland Sight Center, Famicos Foundation and Cleveland Metroparks.

Chris Ronayne, president and CEO of University Circle, Inc., added: “During Paul’s tenure, he’s transformed the Institute from classrooms to a campus with new residences, and he’s taken CIM to the next level by catalyzing it as a community asset. He’s added so much to the vibrancy of University Circle through his focus on interinstitutional collaboration and community access. Leaders make others feel a part of success and that’s President Paul Hogle.”

Hogle came to CIM in 2016 after serving as Executive Vice President of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. One of the architects of the orchestra’s highly publicized turnaround, Hogle also oversaw unprecedented growth in annual fund and endowment contributions, as well as concert attendance, in addition to spearheading significant investment in live concert webcasts for global audiences.

He has served on the boards of University Circle, Inc., and Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education, and, in 2019, was elected to the prestigious 50 Club of Cleveland, which is comprised of top business executives, corporate lawyers and other well-known Cleveland figures who meet to hear prominent speakers and engage in strictly off-the-record, frank discussion. He is also a member of the Union Club and the 2018 class of Leadership Cleveland.

Photo by Robert Muller.