September 15, 2016

Robert Vernon to Teach Students at CIM Exclusively

Robert Vernon head shot

When Robert Vernon announced he was retiring from The Cleveland Orchestra after 40 years serving as principal viola, he made one thing clear: he would continue to teach. For the 2016-17 year, his first year not with The Orchestra, Vernon will maintain a teaching studio exclusively at CIM—remaining co-chair of the viola department. Vernon has had an exceptional track record of getting his students placed into the world’s top orchestras. His successor, taking over as principal viola in The Orchestra is Wesley Collins, who was once his student at CIM.

Vernon says the abundance of CIM graduates securing orchestra positions is no accident. “At CIM we provide an inordinate number of violists of the highest caliber in the very best orchestras in the country. And we’ve been doing it a long time,” he says. “CIM is a school that provides practical training for musicians. Our students are getting jobs once we finish with them.” Nearly half of the members in the viola section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra are former CIM students.

For as long as Vernon has been a member of The Orchestra, he has been a part of the viola faculty at CIM.  Studying with Vernon is beneficial even beyond graduation. “As all my students know, I have a policy that any student who has studied with me at CIM can come back any time they want to and play for me,” he says. “That’s a fringe benefit.”