Afendi Yusuf was appointed principal clarinet of The Cleveland Orchestra with the start of the 2017-18 season, where he holds the Robert Marcellus Endowed Chair. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he has appeared as guest principal with a number of North American ensembles, including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, under the batons of Fabio Luisi, Gustavo Dudamel, Edo de Waart and Esa-Pekka Salonen.


  • BA, Wilfrid Laurier University; studied with Ross Edwards
  • AD, The Glenn Gould School; studied with Joaquin Valdepeñas
  • MM, PSC, Colburn Conservatory of Music; studied with Yehuda Gilad

Teaching Experience

He joined the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2019.