April 27, 2018

Robert Spano To Headline 2018-19 CIM Orchestra Season

Robert Spano
Photo by: Andrew Eccles

Northeast Ohio native Robert Spano—Grammy Award-winning music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Aspen Music Festival and School—joins seven internationally renowned guest conductors for Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra concerts during the 2018-19 school year, the school announced today.

“This conducting roster is the highest profile and most diverse in CIM’s distinguished 98-year history,” said President & CEO Paul W. Hogle. “We invited artists who will curate meaningful experiences for our incredibly talented current students and what is shaping up to be a breathtakingly accomplished incoming class next Fall. These men and women will bring to CIM’s podium a range of backgrounds, experiences and pedagogical approaches which will make for an engaging and exciting year of music-making.”


The eight esteemed conductors, in order of appearance, are:

  • CIM alumna Mélisse Brunet, Director of Orchestral Activities, Appalachian State University, Hayes School of Music, and Finalist of the 2018 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview
  • Thomas Wilkins, Music Director, Omaha Symphony; Principal Conductor, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra; and Henry A. Upper Chair of Orchestral Conducting, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
  • William Eddins, Music Director Emeritus, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
  • Carlos Kalmar, Music Director, Oregon Symphony, and Artistic Director, Grant Park Music Festival
  • Stefan Sanderling, Chief Conductor, Symphony Orchestra of the Principality of Liechtenstein
  • Carolyn Kuan, Music Director, Hartford Symphony Orchestra
  • Gerhardt Zimmermann, Director of Orchestral Activities, University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music, and Music Director and Conductor, Canton Symphony Orchestra
  • Robert Spano, Music Director, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School

“To have secured this level of talent – conductors who lead artistically significant orchestras and hold prestigious positions at institutions of higher learning – for the 2018-19 school year is a real testament to the Cleveland Institute of Music’s reputation as an extraordinary training ground for orchestral players,” said Chief Academic Officer & Dean of the Conservatory Dr. Judy Bundra.

“Following Carl Topilow’s retirement from CIM later this month after 37 distinguished years on the podium, we felt it was vital to offer our students the opportunity to work with some of today’s many other superb conducting talents. Each brings a fresh perspective and unique musical voice that will challenge and inspire our students to new heights.”

These eight guest conductors join a list of luminaries who have conducted and coached the CIM Orchestra in recent years, including JoAnn Falletta, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jahja Ling and Brett Mitchell.

Concert Schedule

All concerts are free and open to the public; some program and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

Fri, Sep 14, at 8pm in Kulas Hall with conductor Mélisse Brunet | Event Info
Wed, Sep 26, at 8pm in Severance Hall with conductor Thomas Wilkins | Event Info
Fri, Oct 12, at 8pm in Kulas Hall with conductor William Eddins | Event Info
Fri, Nov 30, at 8pm in Kulas Hall with conductor Carlos Kalmar | Event Info
Fri, Feb 1, 2019 at 8pm in Kulas Hall with conductor Stefan Sanderling | Event Info
Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 8pm in Kulas Hall with conductor Carolyn Kuan | Event Info
Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 8pm in Kulas Hall with conductor Gerhardt Zimmermann | Event Info
Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 8pm in Severance Hall with conductor Robert Spano | Event Info

Read the full press release here

Photo credits: Robert Spano by Andrew Eccles; Carolyn Kuan by Steven Laschever; Carlos Kalmar by Michael Jones; and Mélisse Brunet by Karen Almond.