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TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF CLASSICAL MUSICIANS
World-class faculty, a stimulating, supportive atmosphere and outstanding facilities make the Cleveland Institute of Music an ideal environment for training the next generation of classical music performers.
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Abstract Painting, for String Quartet
Three CIM composition students derived original compositions from abstract paintings for the Massillon Museum’s Blind Spot: A Matter of Perception exhibition.
ABOVE Composition student Qingye Wu uses Shorelines by Julius Faysash for musical inspiration. (story page 12) ON THE COVER CIM student oboist Lauren Keating making her own reeds. (story page 8)
4 Noteworthy Robert Vernon Addresses 2017 Graduates Congratulations to CIM’s Alumni Award Recipients Judy Iwata Bundra Named CIM Dean/CAO CIM Children’s Choir Finishes First Year CIM Alum Has Documentary in Film Festival CIM Elects New Trustees
16 Events Guest Artists @ CIM Music-Filled Summer@CIM
The Hidden Craft Student musicians strengthen their art through craftsmanship as they repair cracks, make reeds and rehair bows.
12 Abstract Painting, for String Quartet CIM students translated art into sound for a recent exhibition designed for the blind and visually impaired.
18 Development Donor Profile: The Payne Fund CIM Partnership with The George Gund Foundation 20 Alumni Snapshot Jerod Tate 22 Listings Alumni Appointments Prizewinners Faculty Students In Memoriam S P R I N G 2 0 17
Noteworthy Commencement Speaker Robert Vernon Addresses the 2017 Graduating Class
This May, the 2017 graduating class heard from co-head of the CIM viola department and former principal violist of The Cleveland Orchestra, Robert Vernon, who provided a unique glimpse into the life and career as one of the top orchestral performers of our time. Vernon advised the graduates to be flexible and take every opportunity they encounter along their musical journeys, even if it doesn’t perfectly align with the career they envision. He encouraged them to understand that failure is part of the road to success but that adhering to the foundational pillars they built during their time at CIM will produce the technical and musical results needed to succeed. “These cornerstones of playing are hard to dismiss. Establishing these standards defines our goals. Reaching these goals through thoughtful, persistent and detailed practice builds confidence. It is this confidence that will sustain us...in our musical life.” Vernon has collaborated as a soloist with Valery Gergiev, Pierre Boulez, Georg Solti, Simon Rattle, Lorin Maazel, Franz Welser-Möst and Christoph von Dohnányi, among others. He has appeared as soloist in seventeen different works in over 120 concerts in Severance Hall, including three works commissioned for him by The Cleveland Orchestra. His solo recordings include Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, Strauss’s Don Quixote and Schoenfield’s Viola Concerto, as well as many chamber music recordings. More than just a performer, Vernon has served as a dedicated teacher at CIM for decades. His former students serve in nearly 50 orchestras in Europe, Canada, Asia and the US, from Boston, to Detroit, to Chicago to Los Angeles. The Cleveland Orchestra viola section alone consists of eight former Vernon students led by CIM alumnus Wesley Collins, who was appointed principal viola this past fall. Following the keynote address, Conservatory students stepped on stage and had their achievements recognized. CIM added Robert Vernon to its illustrious list of Honorary Doctorates to conclude its 92nd Commencement Ceremony.
2017 Top: Robert Vernon delivers CIM’s 92nd Commencement Address. Bottom Left: Conservatory students process in to Kulas Hall. Bottom Right: President Paul W. Hogle confers the degrees on the graduates of the Class of 2017.
Congrats to CIM’s 2017 Alumni Award Recipients
After nominations came from CIM alumni around the country, this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award went to CIM faculty and alumnus Jason Vieaux (BM ’95, Holmquist), and the Alumni Achievement Award was awarded to alumnus Mark Williams (BM ’01, King/Solis). Vieaux, who won a Grammy for his album Play in 2015 and was heralded by NPR as “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation,” currently serves as head of the guitar department at CIM and on faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music. “It is a great honor to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from one of the elite classical music conservatories in the United States, and also my alma mater,” says Vieaux. “I have been flying the CIM flag proudly in my travels for over 20 years, so this is really special for me.” Williams currently serves as the chief artistic officer of The Cleveland Orchestra, where he oversees all aspects of artistic planning and programming for the Orchestra. The diverse platforms he oversees include the subscription series in Cleveland; touring to Europe and Asia as well as residencies in Vienna, Miami and at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University; and management of orchestra personnel, choruses and the music library. “I am honored and humbled to have been chosen to receive CIM’s 2017 Alumni Achievement Award,” says Williams. “It is a special joy to exist in the world of music, and I am grateful to the committee and to the entire CIM family for this meaningful acknowledgement.”
CIM faculty and alumnus Jason Vieaux Photo: GMD Three
Williams accepted his award during the 2017 Honors Convocation Ceremony held on May 19. The Honors Convocation Address was given by Vieaux, who received his award at Commencement the following day. CIM alumnus Mark Williams
Judy Iwata Bundra Named Chief Academic Officer and Dean of the Conservatory
CIM is pleased to announce Judy Iwata Bundra, PhD, as the new chief academic officer and dean of the Conservatory following a national search. Dr. Bundra will begin her tenure July 17, 2017. “I am thrilled that Dr. Bundra has accepted the invitation to become CIM’s first-ever chief academic officer and Conservatory dean,” said CIM President and CEO Paul W. Hogle. “Dr. Bundra’s extensive firsthand experience with educational trends in a highly competitive school of music, her development and administration of curriculum and her proven track record leading instructional evaluation procedures were all key factors in her appointment. Throughout the interview process, Dr. Bundra demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the history, place and potential of CIM.” As a key member of the DePaul University School of Music administrative team, Dr. Bundra was most recently interim dean. During her nearly 30 years at the school, she also served as associate dean for academic affairs, chair of the Music Education Department and a member of the faculty since 1987. Dr. Bundra holds a PhD in Music Education from Northwestern University, where she also studied piano. Dr. Bundra has assumed leadership positions within the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and currently serves as chair of the nominating committee. For over 25 years, she collaborated closely with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s community and education outreach programs and is vice-chair of the orchestra’s Negaunee Music Institute.
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Noteworthy CIM Children’s Choir Wraps Up First Successful Year
Rounding out the offerings in its Preparatory and Continuing Education Division, CIM added a new children’s choir this year, which took the stage during CIM’s Opera Theater production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica this past fall. Led by CIM faculty member Jennifer Call, the children’s choir is a non-auditioned group for children in grades 3–7. “Our new choir was formed to provide an opportunity for children to learn to sing with peers in a fun, energetic and musically excellent environment,” says Call, who is also the artistic director and Canterra Musica conductor for the Oberlin Choristers. “We focus on healthy tone production, pitch and tonal memory, music literacy and expression of text through high-quality, age-appropriate choral literature.” In addition to the repertoire for the CIM fall opera, the ensemble has learned diverse literature over two semesters including Copland’s “At the River”, Bach’s “Bist du bei Mir” and a Polish
goodbye song, “Dowidzenia”. These pieces as well as several others were performed at two year-end performances in April at Judson Manor and in May in Mixon Hall.
CIM Alumnus’s Documentary of Journey Through Spain to Premiere at Cleveland International Film Festival
In 2014, Cleveland Institute of Music alumnus and Cleveland Orchestra cellist Dane Johansen (BM ’05, Aaron) set out for northern Spain with a mission to record Bach’s six Suites for Solo Cello in historic churches along the famed 500-mile Camino de Santiago trail. Making the trek with filmmaker Tristan Cook, and with his cello strapped to his back, Johansen filmed the sometimes arduous journey, capturing not just his performances but conversations with locals, the sprawling vistas and the quiet moments in between. From the footage he created the documentary Strangers on the Earth, which aired in April at the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival. Johansen explained to Cleveland.com that the venture started as a recording project but changed into something bigger. “It was initially something I was going to do for myself. But then the experience changed and I had to just let it be what it was going to become. Once I made that shift, it was so much better,” he said. “It was a really great way to experience being a musician. All of a sudden, my music-making was totally on my terms.” Despite sometimes frozen fingers and sore muscles, Johansen finished the journey with the material for his album, which is still a work in progress.
CIM Elects New Members to Board of Trustees
The Cleveland Institute of Music is pleased to announce that Irad Carmi, Robert Geho, Tracy Vigh and Robert Wilson have been elected to the CIM Board of Trustees. The Board approved Mr. Geho’s and Mr. Wilson’s appointments during its regularly scheduled meeting held March 14, 2017. Mr. Vigh and Mr. Carmi joined the Board earlier this academic year. “These highly accomplished new members of the CIM Board of Trustees represent top entrepreneurs, business leaders and community advocates,” said CIM Board Chair Richard Hipple. “Each has a clear affinity for and shows great commitment to the institution and its mission. I’m eager to begin working with each of these individuals in shaping a successful future for CIM.” “From CIM graduates to marketing executives to financial professionals, these four new trustees embody the very best in their fields,” added CIM President and CEO Paul Hogle. “Each one is already actively engaged and bringing valuable new perspectives to the table. I am delighted they have chosen to share their time and talent with CIM as we embark on this exciting next phase of our great institution.” Please join us in welcoming these new trustees to CIM!
1: Robert Geho; 2: Irad Carmi; 3: Robert Wilson; 4: Tracy Vigh
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Many CIM students explore a connection with their instruments beyond the stage, diving into the world of blade widths, glue strength and horsehair.
On a Tuesday in February at 4:30 in the morning, CIM sophomore Maxwell Morgan awoke in his dorm room to a loud splitting sound. He flipped on the light to find a 13-inch crack running up the bottom of his double bass. Luckily for him, in addition to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in double bass performance at CIM, Morgan is also a fully trained luthier, with expertise in fixing cracks just like these. He spent the following day working on his instrument, aligning the cracked pieces so precisely, even before he could apply a new coat of varnish, that the crack was undetectable. Across campus, at a more reasonable time of morning, oboist Lauren Keating opens a small case displaying about a dozen homemade reeds secured neatly between velour loops. These thin, cream-colored pieces of bamboo can make or break Keating’s next performance, lesson or even practice session. They must be made perfectly for her to achieve the sound she needs. And who bends, gouges and shaves them to perfection? You guessed it: Keating herself. Like most oboe and bassoon players, Keating makes all her own reeds, a task she says sometimes occupies more of her time than practicing.
Dorm Room Turned Repair Shop Is having this double set of skills unusual? Performer by day, luthier by night (or very early morning)? Spending more time gouging wood than making music? For string players, it’s rarer to find this type of artisan. But for Morgan, the craft comes naturally, helping him become more connected to his instrument and more attentive to his overall sound production. Morgan is a musician first, a luthier second. He fell in love with the craft in high school when he applied to work in a violin shop in his hometown of Atlanta. At first he was entrusted with taking out the trash, mowing the lawn and sweeping up. But soon he started working with the luthier in the shop and learned to do repairs, adjustments and bow rehairs. Today, many students at CIM take their instruments to Morgan when they have an issue. He mostly repairs open seams and rehairs bows. “Seams can come open fairly easily — which is a good thing because that prevents cracks,” he explains. “When the wood is drying and enlarging overtime, instead of making a crack, it will just pop open the seams.” He explains that luthiers purposely use a very weak glue, to let these natural expansions and contractions happen. For reharing bows, Morgan purchases the “highest-quality Mongolian, unbleached horsehair,” from which he can usually rehair about 50 or 60 bows. Morgan works out of his dorm room, charging students a minimal rate. “I don’t do it for the money; I do it for the passion,” he says. “I love to see someone’s face light up when they first try their instrument after I’ve worked on it.” Morgan admits to spending a lot of time on his double bass, always trying to get the sound just right. “Over the break I took my bass apart because I needed to re-graduate the top,” he says. “I took almost a pound of wood off because the top was very thick. And last Christmas I put on an extension. Next year, who knows?”
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CIM student Maxwell Morgan photographed in the violin shop in his hometown of Atlanta. Photo: Robert Stearn
A “Masochistic” Adventure Where Morgan works as a luthier out of his passion for repairs, oboists and bassoonists are almost required to have a knack for this work. Reed-making is an essential part of playing the oboe or the bassoon, and many learn directly from their teachers, who also have to be experts in the craft. The whole process is “kind of nuts,” admits Keating, who walks through each step. First, you start with a piece of bamboo (she usually orders it by the pound) and measure it out to make sure it’s not too wide, chopping it into sections. Then you use a guillotine — that’s what they call it — and chop it to the specific length needed for the gouging machine. But before you can make it to the gouging machine, you have to put it into a pre-gouger to gouge out the center so that it’s easier to gouge in the gouging machine. Phew! Once the cane is flat enough, you fold it in half and tie it up. That end product is just called the “blank” which then gets poked, prodded, shaved and whittled exactly to the performer’s liking. The process is very involved. Not to mention the different blades and gouging machines that have to be constantly sharpened to ensure the cleanest cuts. Keating has to send her gouging machine back to the manufacturer every time she needs it sharpened. This amount of time and effort goes into making one reed which, Keating says, “can last about one week for peak performance, two weeks if you’re really stretching it.” And at that rate, Keating admits she makes a reed almost every day to stay on top of it. All of this work is not done in vain. A good reed is essential to a good performance. “The older I get, the more time I spend fussing about reeds than I even do in the practice room,” she says. “The tone of your reed really affects the way the sound projects out of your oboe. You can be very good technically and you can know a lot about the oboe, but if you don’t start to master this as you get older, I think you get left behind in the process. It’s definitely not something I realized I would have to do when I started playing the oboe in fifth grade. It’s a little masochistic!” Keating also admits that most oboists have a reputation for being type A. But she says this is actually an asset to reed-making. “For better or worse, it helps with the reed-making process because you can do one little thing to the reed and totally change the sound,” she says. “It’s such a nuanced process that you never stop learning what improves your reeds or what makes this particular reed better. It’s an adventure!”
Tricky Travel Oboists and bassoonists who travel must always check a bag due to the many blades and knives they have on them at all times!
International Blades Some reed-making blades are made from Japanese sword steel
The Frog The black bottom part of the bow is called the frog
Hairy Situation Lauren Keating holds her oboe with her newly crafted reed. Photo: Robert Muller
A Sound Connection Both Morgan and Keating believe that having this extra control over how their instruments produce and project sound makes them better musicians. They both admit to getting a little “obsessed” with the process, but it can also bring about a reassurance that lends itself to more successful playing. “I know what my reed is going to do, which puts me at ease when I’m actually performing the music,” says Keating. “I know the limitations or the ways to push that reed to give me the sounds and the color that I want. You always know when you don’t trust your reed because you’re very tense when you’re playing. It gives you a sense of calm knowing that you can fix most problems that come at you.” And for Morgan, this ease, along with the pure joy he gets from working “on a single instrument for hours and not getting bored,” is enough to keep him working on holidays and late nights alike.
Each bow type — violin, viola, cello, bass — requires a different amount of horsehair, so luthiers use a hair gauge to measure the exact amount for each
Taking a Saw to an Axe Unlike a guitar, the violin was designed hundreds of years ago to be taken apart. If a guitar has a crack or needs a repair, luthiers have to go through the sound hole and in extreme cases saw off the top of the instrument
Below: before and after photos of Maxwell Morgan’s double bass.
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Can you hear a painting? Do colors vibrate? Can brushstrokes sing? CIM students worked with museum curators to answer those questions in new works they created for a recent exhibition designed for the blind and visually impaired.
Detail of Abstraction | Walter Quirt (1902â€“1968) | 1952 | Gift of Benjamin Weiss | Collection of the Massillon Museum (56.45)
Abstract Painting, for String Quartet 12
Writing music can be a mysterious process to those who don’t compose. Where does inspiration come from? Where do you start? How do you convey a feeling, a color, an emotion? Those are exactly the skills composition students at CIM are honing as they strive to create original, new repertoire. And it’s those skills that were so attractive to the Canton Symphony Orchestra when it was looking to commission original pieces for the Massillon Museum’s Blind Spot: A Matter of Perception. The exhibition, which aimed to bring abstract paintings to the blind, low vision and visually impaired through sounds, music, technology and tactile models. The curator for the exhibition, Heather Haden, knew when she set out on this project that she wanted original compositions to represent a few pieces in the show. “Sound became a huge element of this exploration,” says Haden. “When you use the iPad component in the exhibition, you have the ability to move your finger spontaneously across the composition and hear sounds in whatever order you want. It could become a painting piano, in effect. This spontaneous element versus listening to a composition that is sequential was very successful.” Haden worked with two museum co-curators, Barry Stirbens and Jan Stirbens, who have been blind since birth. Artist David McDowell created the aluminum tactile models to represent the tactile portion of the show. And of course, the CIM students added their own musical voices.
A Look into the Process Up to the daunting task of taking abstract paintings and deriving from them original compositions were CIM composition students Joseph Tolonen, Qingye Wu and
CIM Composition student Joseph Tolonen was inspired by the painting Abstraction by Walter Quirt.
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exhibition which inspired them the most. Their approaches to the project varied by composer, but each grappled with paying homage to the visual art while maintaining musical integrity and infusing personal perspectives. For Cooke, the challenge of using a painting as inspiration was making sure his work struck a balance —not too literal or too unrelated to the piece. “I think writing for a specific art piece is tricky because neither should be subservient to or derivative of the other, yet they need to exist in a related manner,” he explains. Faced with this, Cooke decided to sit with the painting for a while and then not revisit it for several weeks. “I stared at the painting for a while and sort of absorbed the atmosphere of it, and then I put the painting away for three or four weeks and wrote the piece,” he says. Cooke’s composition, “Glow,” was based on an impressionistic painting called Celebration by Richard Florsheim. He describes the painting as a view of “frenetic violent fireworks over calm water.” The painting’s energy is what stuck with him the most. “The music itself had flowing lines with these sporadic outbursts,” he says. “I thought that conveyed a good balance
CIM student Alex Cooke with painting Celebration by Richard Florsheim.
of not being too literal or too far metaphorical.” Tolonen’s process differed from Cooke’s. He likes to start
Detail of Celebration | Richard Florsheim (1916–1979) | 1969 | Collection of the Massillon Museum (69.42.2)
Alex Cooke. Each of them chose the painting from the
any piece he writes with a title or a general idea. For this project, he started the same way. Tolonen wrote his piece, “Paroxysm,” based on a work entitled Abstraction by
“The Spilled Palette,” illustrates that aspect of the work. “I
Walter Quirt. “I like to call my painting a biomorphic
tried to reflect these different colors and spaces through a
dance party,” he says. “I would look at it one way, and I’d
variety of harmonies and timbres in my composition.”
see this shape, and then I’d look at it another way, and I’d see this animal. I wanted to infuse that energy into the piece. I took a starting point, then added a little bit and then took away something here and there. The piece was constantly upsetting the beat and gaining energy.”
CIM composition department head, Keith Fitch, guided his students throughout the process, checking in on progress during their lessons. “When one is using an ‘extra-musical’ object as the foundation of a new piece, it is vitally important that the piece first work musically, and
The work resulted in a personal piece for Tolonen, which
then, in some manner, possibly reflect some aspects of
he dedicated to his dad. “Once I figured out the key parts
the original inspiration,” he says. “My advice to the
of the painting, and of those, what I wanted to represent,
students was to find that balance and make certain that
I just started composing. I continued to keep that general
the musical gestures could be aurally connected to visual
idea in mind as I would for any other piece,” he says.
gestures in the paintings themselves. In doing so, the works
Wu used Shoreline by Julius Faysash as inspiration for her work, being particularly struck by the use of color in the piece. “I was amazed by how many tightly connected colors there were in the painting. I also saw a broad and beautiful landscape covered by the paints of nature, as if a palette had been spilled,” she says. The title of Wu’s piece,
could be understood by both the visually challenged and seeing communities.”
The Performance Each composition was performed by a Canton Symphony Orchestra quartet at the opening of the exhibition and was met with great praise. “We’ve never, at least not during my time at the Massillon Museum, had the opportunity to
Detail of Shoreline | Julius Faysash (1904–1977) | 1970 | Collection of the Massillon Museum (70.74)
CIM student Qingye Wu stands beside the painting Shoreline by Julius Faysash that was the inspiration for her composition “The Spilled Palette”.
expose our patrons to contemporary compositions like
program. I trusted their collaboration and guidance from
the ones that they heard at the opening,” Haden. “The
Keith Fitch and the Symphony. When you have the luxury
reception of our audience was very favorable.”
of working with such esteemed partners, it gives you every
Haden felt each composition did proper justice to each artwork. As she listened to the pieces for the first time, she knew exactly which paintings they were meant for. “There’s something to be said for letting Alex, Joseph and Qingye’s perceptions speak,” says Haden, explaining that her role as a curator in the exhibition was more as a coordinator, allowing for a diversity of voices to contribute to an understanding of an art work. “I trusted them,” she adds. “The Cleveland Institute of Music is a top-notch
confidence in the outcome.”
An Experience that Sticks With this project, CIM students were given yet another opportunity to flex their compositional muscles, and take up a new challenge. And they agreed it was a memorable learning experience that will stick with them for future projects and collaborations. Fitch adds, “Any such project helps the students grow, as every opportunity provides challenges which can only help them to continue to refine their musical skills, challenge themselves to explore further, and add to their growing professional resumes and portfolios.” An encore performance of these original compositions will be held on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at the Zimmerman Center in Canton, Ohio.
Photo: Left to right: Joseph Tolonen, Qingye Wu and Alex Cooke
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Events Guest Artists @ CIM Guest artists from around the globe visit CIM each year, from musicians and composers to instructors and conductors. These renowned artists host master classes, seminars and private lessons and impart valuable advice on everything from dynamics and blending to intentionally playing out of tune. This season brought artists such as the Juilliard String Quartet, violist Kim Kashkashian, cellist Laurence Lesser, principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic Joseph Alessi and conductor and pianist Jahja Ling, among many others.
Lesser worked with student Rebecca Shasberger on bringing out the dancing quality in Gasbar Cassadó’s Suite for Solo Cello, encouraging her to “cast a magical spell” and to “imagine something really romantic, with perfume in the air.” He equated one section to a call dance, advising her to “play it like an old-fashioned oboe that doesn’t work very well, calling everyone to the dance. If you play it out of tune, it’s right!” adding with a laugh. “Well, I’m an anarchist.”
Alessi worked with student Anthony Cosio-Marron and the trombone studio offering advice on projection, advising students to play with their horn bells elevated, to the back of the room. Photos: Roger Mastroianni
Lesser worked with student Hari Khalsa on dynamics in Chopin’s Cello Sonata, Op. 65. “Try to play it so the whole room shakes,” said Lesser. Photos: Roger Mastroianni
A Sphinx Organization quartet is all smiles after a performance. Left to right: Mystique, Sidney, Francisco and Caleb.
Music-Filled Summer @CIM!
CIM is launching its busiest summer to date with six intensive summer programs including Summer Sonata and Young Composers Program. The Encore Chamber Music Academy will hold one of its two sessions at CIM and we’re also pleased to host the nationally renowned Sphinx Performance Academy (SPA), a cornerstone program of the Sphinx Organization’s mission to build diversity in the classical music world. For two weeks of inspired music making, CIM will host 32 aspiring young SPA musicians from around the country. Many of these programs culminate in a unique concert experience–each a compelling preview of the next generation of classical musicians. In addition, we present our annual Lunch and Listen Series in July, which will showcase the talents of CIM’s local alumni. CIM will once again be the venue for several of the ChamberFest Cleveland concerts featuring many CIM faculty and alumni performers. Showcasing the talents of our classical guitar faculty Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux and Colin Davin, the Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival will also be presented in June.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! • Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival June 9 –11 • ChamberFest Cleveland June 15– July 1 • Encore Chamber Music Academy July 3–22 • Sphinx Performance Academy July 23–August 6
For more information and a complete listing of concerts and events, please visit cim.edu/calendar S P R I N G 2 0 17
Development DONOR PROFILE: PAYNE FUND
CIM Student Isabelle Durrenberger Named 2017 Payne Fund Prizewinner
Cleveland Institute of Music sophomore Isabelle Durrenberger dazzled the CIM faculty judges with her flawless performance of Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto in CIM’s Fall Concerto Competition. Her exquisite presentation earned Ms. Durrenberger one of the coveted concerto performances with the CIM Orchestra, as well as the prestigious 2017 Payne Fund Prize, which provides a CIM student or recent alum the opportunity to perform a concerto with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. The Payne Fund was created in 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio by the late Frances Payne Bolton and Chester Castle Bolton. Mrs. Bolton was the first woman elected to Congress from Ohio when she assumed the congressional seat held by her husband after his death in 1939. Mr. and Mrs. Bolton utilized the Payne Fund to support causes which were important to them, and in so doing, they greatly enriched the lives of those living in Northeast Ohio and beyond.
Ms. Durrenberger, studies with CIM faculty Jaime Laredo and Jinjoo Cho. In high school, she was a preparatory student of Mr. Laredo and Joan Kwuon. In 2015, Ms. Durrenberger attended the New York String Orchestra Seminar, which culminated in a performance at Carnegie Hall. As a member of the Verita Quartet, Ms. Durrenberger competed in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and in 2015, this ensemble won the silver medal in the 2015 Saint Paul String Quartet Competition. She has performed as a soloist with several orchestras including the Columbus Symphony, New Albany Symphony and the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2014, Ms. Durrenberger was featured on NPR’s, From The Top as a soloist and chamber musician. Her Asheville Symphony Orchestra debut will take place on New Year’s Eve under its very capable conductor, Daniel Meyer.
The good work of the Payne Fund continues today through the Bolton family descendants, some of whom still call Cleveland their home. CIM has received generous grants from the Payne Fund for over 25 years in support of scholarships, concerts and events and for CIM’s last capital campaign, “The Campaign for CIM.” In furtherance of their commitment to support CIM’s outstanding students, the Bolton family created the “Payne Fund Prize” in 1998. Each year this prize is presented to a CIM student of remarkable talent, who in many cases has also been named a winner of CIM’s annual concerto competition. The Payne Fund Prize includes a monetary stipend and also entitles the student to perform a concerto with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. “The Bolton family’s extraordinary and ongoing support of CIM students enhances the professional training of our young artists. Each year, the Bolton family’s generous contribution provides one of our emerging young artists with a professional performance as the concerto soloist with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra; this is a remarkable experience for the student, and CIM is extremely grateful for the Bolton family’s commitment to our students,” says Interim Dean Joyce Griggs. Ms. Durrenberger is the 18th CIM student so honored with this prize.
Photo: Marianne Martinoli
CIM has many different ways to provide support for programs in the Conservatory and the Preparatory and Continuing Education divisions. For more information, visit cim.edu/donatenow.
CIM Announces Exciting Partnership with The George Gund Foundation Piloting Minority Artist Fellowship Program Thanks to a three-year, $150,000 grant from The George Gund Foundation, CIM will pilot its new Minority Artist Fellowship Program, which aims to address the low number of African American musicians in US conservatories and symphony orchestras. With this substantial support from the Foundation, CIM is on its way to securing the dedicated funding necessary to take this important journey.
The Minority Fellowship Program at CIM envisions an innovative program, designed to create a sustainable pipeline of talented and diverse musicians who win admittance to conservatories, graduate and win auditions. “Cleveland has a long history of both musical excellence and pioneering action toward racial inclusion,” stated David T. Abbott, executive director of The George Gund Foundation. “We’re excited to support CIM’s commitment to diversifying America’s conservatories and orchestras as another important step along those paths.”
intentionally build support structures that provide these students with the encouragement, the resiliency and the resources to pursue their artistry at the highest possible level.
“We could not be more thrilled that The George Gund Foundation has joined CIM in launching this bold new initiative,” says CIM President and CEO Paul Hogle. “Their generous support will enable CIM to help change the makeup of America’s conservatories and orchestras, beginning with our community’s youngest aspiring musicians.” CIM has a history of selecting and nurturing the stand-out talent of future orchestras. Through the Minority Artist Fellowship Program, CIM seeks to bring the talent and potential of more Cleveland-born musicians to its studios, classrooms, concert halls and beyond.
The initiative is built on the belief that increased diversity in major orchestras can occur with significant commitments from teaching institutions to train students at a young musical age, and to
Time Is Running Out!
Help CIM’s talented young musicians share their passion and talent with music lovers in Northeast Ohio and beyond. To donate by phone, please call 216.795.3165 or mail your donation to: Cleveland Institute of Music Attn: Development Office 11021 East Boulevard Cleveland, OH 44106
Donate now at cim.edu/donatenow S P R I N G 2 0 17
Infused with a strong connection to his heritage, alumnus
Jerod Tate brings
American Indian sounds to the classical music world. CIM alumnus Jerod Tate (MM ’00, Pastor/Erb) was one of five composers selected earlier this year to participate in the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA’s national composerorchestra residency program, Music Alive. An accomplished composer, Tate has had several commissioned works performed by major orchestras around the country including Washington, DC, San Francisco, Detroit and Minneapolis and is a three-time commission recipient from the American Composers Forum. In 2011 he won an Emmy Award for his work on the documentary, The Science of Composing, where he taught composition to research scientists. As part of the Music Alive residency Tate and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra will partner for the next three years to create music heavily influenced by their largely American Indian community — an already well-established passion of Tate’s, which was nurtured at CIM by way of a reluctant teacher and an impassioned student.
Tate grew up in Oklahoma in a musical household with two strong cultures guiding his upbringing: his father is Chickasaw Indian and his mother is Irish. His father, who was a pianist and classically trained baritone, taught him his first piano lessons, and his mother was a dancer and choreographer. “Stravinsky was everyday music to me when I was a little kid, with all the major ballets” says Tate. “I grew up with the huge ballet scores.” Tate’s love for music grew and he came to realize he wanted to study piano. He attended Northwestern where he studied piano performance, graduating with a bachelor’s degree. However it wasn’t until just before he was accepted to the Cleveland Institute of Music that he started thinking more about his Indian heritage playing a role in his music. “I never saw my Indian identity and classical music mixing until I was 23, when my mother commissioned a score from me for her new ballet called Winter Moons,” says Tate. “It was based on legends from the Northern Plains and Rockies. She looked at me and said, ‘You’re Indian and a classical musician; will you do this?’ 20
And I said ‘NO!’” Eventually, however, Tate agreed, and this project sparked a new passion for the young musician that would shape the rest of his musical career.
When Tate finally arrived in Cleveland as a piano performance major, he knew composing with his Indian heritage as a focus was something he needed to do. “I went straight to Don Erb and told him, ‘I just wrote a ballet, I’d like to be in your composition program,’ ” he says. Donald Erb, then head of the composition department at CIM, was hesitant, knowing the time commitment a double major takes. But Tate was persistent. “I told him, we can do this one of two ways: you can either accept me as a student and I can do this right, or I can compose anyway,” says Tate with a laugh. And of course, Erb agreed to take him on. “Don Erb helped me really unplug my full expression of what I was doing. He’s the one who coached my first works that incorporated Chickasaw music.”
From that moment, Tate began incorporating the sounds, concepts and motifs of his American Indian heritage into his compositions. “Something so obvious that isn’t really talked about in great detail is, historically, every classical composer brings their national identity to their music,” he explains. “You couldn’t get any more Russian than Tchaikovsky. You couldn’t get more French than Debussy or more German than Beethoven. And of course, American composers have this huge paint brush stroke of different things that are truly American. Bartók was a great model to me because he transcribed his own folk music from his own people, and used that as a springboard for his works. So that’s exactly what I started doing: I started transcribing our traditional music and using that as material.”
While composing became an exciting new focus, Tate continued to study piano at CIM with then faculty member Elizabeth Pastor. He attributes much of his musical success to her impeccable instruction. “Liz Pastor taught me how to play the piano with the most beautiful tone. Her tone was incredible,” he says. “I needed that so much in that part of my development because it affected all of my music.” He also forged friendships at CIM that would last until today. Since graduating, Tate has worked with alumnus Alan Bise, who has produced many of Tate’s albums on his label, Azica Records, along with alumnus and head of CIM’s guitar department, Jason Vieaux, for whom he wrote a concerto in 2007. “The network I gained out of Cleveland is really incredible,” he says. “We’re all friends. We played in the orchestra together with Carl Topilow. Alan and I met for the first time because he was in the violin section and I
was playing the piano for Prokofiev Five, and we were right next to each other and started talking to each other. The connections alone are priceless.” Great instruction, longstanding relationships; together these aspects created an unforgettable CIM experience for Tate, one he still appreciates today. “Very quickly after I got out of CIM it became very evident how fortunate I was,” he says. “It’s just an unbelievable school, and I got more out of it than I ever could have imagined. It’s a good feeling; it really feels good to say that.”
Very quickly after I got out of CIM it became very evident how fortunate I was,” he says. “It’s just an unbelievable school, and I got more out of it than I ever could have imagined. Life After CIM
Since graduating from CIM, in addition to composing and recording, Tate has been helping young American Indians discover their talent in music. He’s released three albums of music created by the children in American Indian communities; the only albums to feature classical music by American Indian children. He also served as an instructor for the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy and has taught composition to American Indian high school students in both Minneapolis and Toronto. In response to a performance of his piece, “Iholba (The Vision), for Solo Flute, Orchestra and Chorus,” which was commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Washington Post said that “Tate’s connection to nature and the human experience was quite apparent in this piece…rarer still is his ability to effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism.”
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Alumni Matthew S. Ablan (MM ’98, Holmquist/ Vieaux) was a guest clinician at the 2016 North Carolina Music Educators state conference in Winston-Salem, NC. The clinic was titled “Ukulele in the General Music Classroom.” Ablan has also been a guest clinician for the Guitar Foundation of America Annual Festival and Competition, the New Jersey Music Educators Association, Music & Arts stores as well as the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system. matthewablan.com Christine Bailey Davis (BM ’97, Khaner/ Smith/Aarons/Fink), principal flutist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Darcy Hamlin (MM ’94, Epstein), third horn of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, have collaborated to create The No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming a Professional Flutist. The book seeks to help aspiring flutists to reach the professional world and thrive in it once they get there. The book is available on Amazon.com. Evan Fein’s (BM ’07, Brouwer) chamber opera City of Ashes was given its Asian premiere this October by the troupe of Opéra de Poche at the Beijing Comic Opera Festival in the Dongcheng Cultural Center. This opera tells the story of the Russian occupation of Berlin in the spring of 1945 from the perspective of German women, who at that time were practically the city’s only remaining occupants. Fein’s work was also featured on the recently released CD Songs for My Son, CIM alumna Catherine Clyatt Schroth’s (BM ’06; MM ’07, Wells) debut album. Samantha Farmilant (MM ’14, Schiller) and Daniel Grambow (MM ’13, Billions) were married in September in Mequon, WI. Farmilant is a freelance vocalist in Chicago and Grambow is the founder and artistic director of The Floating Opera Company.
Peter Kogan (BM ’68, MM ’72, Duff) retired from the Minnesota Orchestra in November 2015 after 29 years as principal timpani. Kogan is now devoting himself primarily to jazz composing and drumming. Occasionally, Kogan still performs as timpanist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and with other local groups. He has released two CDs of original jazz compositions: Cornucopia in 2013 and Some Monsterful Wonderthing in 2015, which was listed among the top 10 jazz albums in the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s 2015 critic’s poll. Theodore Kuchar (MM ’82, Vernon), an annual visitor to CIM as conductor of the CIM Orchestra and guest faculty in the graduate conducting program, is one of the most recorded conductors of his generation, appearing on over 100 CDs on the Naxos, Marco Polo and Brilliant Classics labels. He served as artistic director and principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine from 1994–2004 and today holds the lifetime designation as conductor laureate. This year, he completed a North American concert tour with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, where he conducted 28 of the 44 concerts on the circuit. In 1991, after studying acting in Los Angeles and while continuing a busy and productive career as a performing pianist and teacher, which included heading three college piano departments and acting in LA and Europe, Marc Taslit (BM ’66, MM ’68, Loesser/ Pressler) created ACTING OPERAsm, an acting training program primarily for singer-actors. Now in its 26th year, AO has worked with thousands of performers and presenters in 25 states in the USA and in London, England. It continues to present cutting-edge training in workshops in New York City and elsewhere. actingopera.com Anna Vasilyeva (AD ’13, Pontremoli) was recently featured in a faculty recital at the Manhattan School of Music, New York, where she performed a two-hour program consisting of duo sonatas, a trio and a quintet. That evening, Vasilyeva collaborated with Roger Nye (bassoon), Robert Langevin (flute) and Liang Wang (oboe) of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as with saxophonist Paul Cohen. She is currently holding a staff accompanist position at Mason Gross School for the Arts at Rutgers University. Misha Vayman (BM ’15, Kwuon) performed the Bruch G Minor Violin Concerto with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra with conductor Bohuslav Rattay in November. During the
engagement Vayman also worked with the Tocando Community Music Project, an El Sistema program based in El Paso, and held a master class at the University of Texas, El Paso. Pianist and composer Dolores White (MM ’74) had several performances of her compositions throughout the 2016-17 season. Performances included the “Fugue Odyssey” for Solo Marimba at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland as part of a program by the Cleveland Composer’s Guild, “Blues Dialogues” for Solo Violin in Four Movements for the Chicago Music Association’s Fantasie Negre Benefit, Four Negro Spirituals at the Emanuel Baptist Church in Chicago for its Women Composers Concert and at the Six Degrees Women Composers Concert at the Sherwood Music School of Columbia College, Chicago, two of her art songs were performed, among many other performances. White’s works were also performed this year on WCLV FM 104.9. Perry Wolfman, (BM ’16, Egre), produced and mixed a new EP called The Black Pharaoh, which features CIM alumni and students infusing classical and jazz elements into creative hip-hop raps composed and performed by Archie Green. CIM performers included Linda Wallenthin (percussion, Weiner), Ophir Paz (audio recording, Egre), Kynan Horton-Thomas (double bass, Dixon/Zadinsky), Kiarra Saito-Beckman (violin, Laredo/Sloman) and Kyle Anderson (cello, Robinson). Comprised of seven songs, The Black Pharaoh is available on AppleMusic, Spotify and TIDAL, and can be purchased on Amazon and iTunes. Kimberly Zaleski (MM ’13, Smith) and Trevor Kazarian (PS ’13, Geber), together as the newly formed duo, In2ativ, were commissioned to write music for a concert collaborating with Dancing Wheels. Their original music was paired with live dance in concert in January at the Rainey Institute. Their music and interview was featured on WCLV FM 104.9 classical radio in January.
Appointments Ann Marie Brink (BM ’96, Castleman) has been appointed adjunct associate professor of viola at Southern Methodist University. Michael Jarrett (BM ’13, Weiner/Yancich) was appointed section percussionist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
The Vermont Youth Orchestra Association (VYOA) has named Benjamin Klemme (MM ’07, Topilow) to the position of music director, effective July 2017. Over 300 students in grades 1–12 from across Vermont participate in the VYOA’s three orchestras, two choruses, beginning string ensemble, community engagement programs and summer camps, making the organization its region’s premier music education program. Klemme currently holds conducting positions at the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and Augsburg College.
Jeong Hoon Kim (PS ’11, Kwuon) won first prize in the International Music Competition Premio Vittoria Caffa Righetti in Italy.
Linda Kline (MM ’95, Castleman/Connolly) is serving as interim chair for the Department of Music at Boise State University, where she is also professor of viola.
Ralitsa Georgieva-Smith (collaborative piano) received the Steinway and Sons Top Teacher Award for 2016 for her achievements as a teacher, performer and educator, sharing her music and helping children in need through her concert series, Music For Our Children, which benefits UNICEF Children’s Emergency and Relief Organization.
Robert Klieger (Weiner) was appointed principal percussion of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, after previously serving in the MSO as assistant principal percussion. Ann Quinn (BM ’86, Johnson/Cohen) was recently appointed to the clarinet section of the Columbia Orchestra. Quinn is an awardwinning poet, founder and director of the Howard County Clarinet Camp, now in its 20th year, and owner of Ann & Steve’s Music in Catonsville, MD. annquinn.net Andrew Voelker (MM ’16, Pontremoli) was appointed to the faculty of Illinois Wesleyan University as adjunct lecturer of accompanying as well as the vocal coach for the opera program. A recent graduate of CIM, Voelker was also a student of Elizabeth DeMio and Linda Jones.
Prizewinners Jenifer Heemstra (MM ’02, Brown) received the 2016 Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad from Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom on behalf of John Kerry during a special ceremony in November in Washington, DC. Heemstra joins a class of six current winners and 104 since 1990, whose volunteer contributions have affected lives of people around the globe. This year, Heemstra organized several benefit concerts for her organization, the Kolkata Classics, a nonprofit concert series in India with a social cause. Andrea Hughes (BM ’14, Kantor/Zenaty) won second prize in the MTNA National Young Artist String Division Competition in Baltimore, MD, in March.
Bernadette Mondok (MM ’16, Schiller) won the National Association of Teachers of Singing, for which she sang Donizetti’s “Chacun le sait,” Mahler’s “Frühlingsmorgen,” Duke’s “Morning in Paris,” Handel’s “Let the Bright Seraphim,” and Debussy’s “En sourdine.”
Cavani String Quartet violinist Annie Fullard, alumna and piano faculty Shuai Wang (BM ’03, MM ’05, AD ’07, DMA ’11, Schenly) and Cleveland Orchestra cellist and alumna Tanya Ell (MM ’03, Aaron) combined forces in a powerful performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with The Heights Chamber Orchestra conducted by alumnus Domenico Boyagian (MM ’09, Topilow) in April. The orchestra is made up of some CIM graduates as well as many nonprofessional community musicians, providing a very special artistic experience for all who participate. Lucia Markovich (piano) served as the 2017 guest artist and adjudicator at the 6th Annual “An Afternoon Concert of Piano Concerts” at Guzzeta Recital Hall at the University of Akron’s School of Music in March. Brian Thornton (cello), cellist of The Cleveland Orchestra, conductor at CIM and former student of Stephen Geber, will release a CD of both Brahms cello sonatas June 16, 2017, through the Steinway label. Todd Wilson (organ, head) was guest soloist in “At the Royal Majestic,” a major new organ concerto by Terry Riley with the Nashville Symphony under conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. They performed the concerto on the orchestra’s subscription concert series in February and recorded it for release on the Naxos label.
Students Aaron Chan (violin, Cho/Rose) received an orchestral fellowship at Aspen Music Festival. Isabelle Durrenberger (violin, Laredo/Cho) received an American Conducting Academy Fellowship at Aspen Music Festival and was a semifinalist at International Stulberg Strings Competition. Andrew Ma (violin, Cho/Zenaty) received an American Conducting Academy Fellowship at Aspen Music Festival.
In Memoriam Dr. Michael Allen (BM ’77, Harris) was posthumously inducted into the Florida Music Education Association Hall of Fame in January in Tampa, FL. Dr. Allen was a master teacher whose service to the FMEA lives on in music programs throughout the state and nation. He is perhaps best known for co-authoring Essential Elements for Strings and was widely published and also well-known as one of the major authors of Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra. Dr. Allen conducted orchestras throughout the United States and presented string workshops, both nationally and internationally. Pattison S. Kuntz (voice, ’47) died on December 25, 2016, at the age of 91. She graduated from CIM with a degree in vocal performance in 1947 and married Clarence “Doc” Kuntz in 1946. She was an accomplished singer, homemaker, seamstress and volunteer. In her twenties, she was a paid soloist at major churches in Cleveland and in New Jersey and later served as a choir director in New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. She also directed and performed in plays in various community theater groups. She served as a mentor at the Cobbs-Gauger School in Newark, DE, and in the ’70 was instrumental in the founding of the Senior Citizen Center in North East, MD, and the Cecil County, MD hospice program.
S P R I N G 2 0 17
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