Barbara Robinson

The Robinson Orchestral Career Fellowship (in memory of legendary CIM board member, advocate and supporter Barbara Robinson) is designed to remove all obstacles from the pursuit of an orchestral career of the highest distinction. Up to 2-3 Fellowships annually are exclusively available to CIM alumni and include a full-tuition scholarship for up to two years, free housing, travel grants and recording support. Fellows benefit from an audition focused curriculum, including mock auditions, professional development, networking, discussions with musicians from around the globe, and more. Upon completion of this course of study, Fellows will earn an Artist Diploma and be prepared for success in all aspects of an orchestral career.



Launched in 2021-22, three Robinson Fellows have already won positions:

Caleb Cox, viola, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Grace Roepke, harp, Louisville Orchestra
Zachary Litty, bass trombone, Toledo Symphony

Program & Curriculum Highlights

  • Faculty mentors and coaches, comprised of CIM strings, brass, winds and percussion faculty, including members of The Cleveland Orchestra 
  • Full-time enrollment at CIM
  • Twenty individual lessons per semester with faculty and mentors
  • Panel discussions with musicians from leading international orchestras 
  • Master class coaching sessions and professional development workshops
  • Mock auditions with conductor and faculty feedback
  • Opportunities to perform in and lead the CIM Orchestra
  • Audition coaching, recording and application support
  • Up to $3,500 in travel assistance for auditions (total per Robinson Fellow)
  • Performance psychology coaching
  • Lab Orchestra for general excerpts, upcoming audition repertoire and Trial Week repertoire
  • Legal assistance on contract negotiation, as applicable
  • Access to Cleveland Orchestra rehearsals
  • Recording sessions in CIM’s concert halls
  • 24-hour access to CIM’s practice rooms
  • Free housing in 1609 Hazel, CIM’s state-of-the-art student housing complex


CIM alumni* pursuing an orchestral instrument who possess the motivation and potential to achieve a high-level orchestral career are invited to apply. Fellows are chosen by audition with a panel consisting of CIM faculty, members of The Cleveland Orchestra, notable conductors and leaders in the field of professional orchestras. Find the required prescreening and audition repertoire.

*All graduates of CIM are eligible, including current students who have previously received a degree from the Institute.

Apply now!

Questions? Connect with the Admissions team to learn more!