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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. Bachelor of Music | Master of Music | Doctor of Musical Arts | Artist Certificate | Professional Studies | Artist Diploma


School’s Out, but the Music Continues

CIM students and faculty look forward to performancepacked summers at festivals around the globe.

ABOVE Faculty and students get ready to embark on a summer full of music festivals. (story page 12) ON THE COVER Faculty member Lisa Rainsong treks through nature’s concert halls as a naturalist and musician. (story page 8)



4 Noteworthy 2016 Commencement Weekend 2016 Alumni Dignitaries BSO Appoints CIM Graduates New CIM Video Series! Lunch and Listen Continues this Summer

8 Nature's Concert Halls Faculty member Lisa Rainsong uses the same ear training that resulted in a career in music to detect the nuances in bird, insect and amphibian sounds, leading to new discoveries in the field.

16 Events A Look Back at CIM’s 2015-16 Guest Artists 18 Development Donor Profile: Mary and William Beckenbach 20 Alumni Snapshot The Aeolus Quartet

12 School’s Out, but the Music Continues Think the lazy days of summer are ahead? Think again! Our students and faculty are traveling all around the world from the Swiss Alps to the Rocky Mountains to teach, perform and continue honing their craft.

22 Listings Alumni Appointments Faculty Students Preparatory In Memoriam

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Noteworthy Commencement Speaker Claire Chase Addresses the 2016 Graduating Class

This May, CIM added Claire Chase, founder and co-artistic director of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), to its illustrious list of Honorary Doctorates at its 91st Commencement Ceremony in Kulas Hall. During the ceremony Chase delivered the commencement address to the 2016 graduating class, providing a shining example of the possibilities a degree in music can bring. Chase addressed the missteps, the disappointments, the restarts that any career path can hold, but recognized that these are a necessary part of one’s growth as a musician. She challenged the graduates to explore, walk outside of comfort zones and learn from every experience. “Music dares to open a space that binds us,” she said in her address. “As musicians, as avid seekers of sound and listeners, we are collections of everything we’ve heard; we are walking vessels and sonic sponges of each other’s music, ideas and stories.” Chase has been heralded throughout the music community for her passion for and support of new and experimental music. She received her BM from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, and in 2001 she founded ICE, where she currently serves as the co-artistic director and performer with the ensemble. Since its founding, ICE has premiered more than 650 works, making new music and audience engagement one of its hallmarks. ICE was recognized with the Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center in 2010 and the Ensemble of the Year Award in 2014 from Musical America Worldwide. In 2012 Chase was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her work with ICE. As a performer Chase has garnered praise by The New York Times as having “extravagant technique, broad stylistic range and penetrating musicality,” and was dubbed “the young star of the modern flute” by The New Yorker. She has performed throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia and has released three solo albums, Aliento (2010), Terrestre (2012) and Density (2013). Following the address Conservatory students stepped on stage to be recognized for their achievements.


Be yourself, and use your own voice, dare to interpret the world through your experiences. – Chase

Distinguished Alumni Award: Jorja Fleezanis

As a professor of violin and orchestral studies at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Jorja Fleezanis makes it her job to sit in with the school’s five orchestras during rehearsals so she can teach from the inside; suggesting fingerings and bowings and working with the conductor. It’s a vantage point Fleezanis is accustomed to, having previously served 20 years as concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra. Prior to her tenure in Minnesota, Fleezanis was associate concertmaster with the San Francisco Symphony for eight years and a member of the Chicago Symphony. Alongside her many orchestra positions, Fleezanis also held various teaching roles. Fleezanis attended CIM from 1969 to 1972. “I would describe my years studying at CIM as my awakening, triggered by so many reasons,” says Fleezanis. “The lofty presence of Victor Babin strolling the halls with his awesome European grandeur and poise as artist and leader; learning from our brilliant young conductor, James Levine, who not only raised the bar in my musical intelligence but steeped me in both the major central repertoire and cutting-edge 20th-century composers of our day; and lastly my private studies with Donald Weilerstein and the Cleveland Quartet, deep in the throes of learning the Bartok quartets. When I look back and consider this collection of artists and teachers and the pedigree of their musical beginnings, I realize why my CIM education has been so rich and lasting.”

Alumni Achievement Award: Kathryn Brown

Kathryn Brown is head of the Piano Department and Keyboard Division at CIM where she introduces her students to the great stylistic traditions and strives to help them find their individual artistic voices. She has performed around the world as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. She gave her New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and has also appeared in concert at New York’s 92nd Street Y, on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. As winner of the United States Information Agency (USIA) Artistic Ambassador Program, Brown performed a tour of Sweden, Africa and Estonia. As a chamber musician, Brown has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival and has also performed at Carnegie Hall with The Cleveland Orchestra as orchestra keyboardist. Brown received her Artist Diploma in 1993 from CIM, where she studied with Paul Schenly. “When I first arrived at CIM as a student, I was profoundly influenced by my teachers’ devotion to the musical score and reverence for the great stylistic traditions,” says Brown. “As a faculty member I continue to be deeply inspired by my colleagues for their creative energy, pursuit of excellence and their genuine loyalty to this outstanding institution.” For Kathryn Brown’s complete bio, visit

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Noteworthy The Cleveland Contingent In Boston

CIM alumnae Leah Ferguson (BM ’15, Vernon) and Rebekah Edewards (BM ’08, Jackobs), have won jobs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) starting in its 2016-17 season. Ferguson and Edewards will join fellow CIM alumni Wesley Collins (BM ’07, Vernon) and Rebecca Gitter (BM ’01, Vernon) in BSO’s viola section, making almost half of the section CIM graduates. While at CIM, Edewards studied primarily with CIM faculty member Mark Jackobs, violist with The Cleveland Orchestra. She graduated in 2008 and is currently a section violist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. But moving from one “BSO” to another has been a dream come true. “I dreamed of winning a job in the ‘Big Five.’ I can’t believe I can say that I got my dream job!” she says. Working with so many CIM alumni, Edewards says she couldn’t have asked for a better situation. “We will be joining Wes Collins and Daniel Getz, who both won their jobs not too long ago. It will be a young section and a very CIM-full section!” says Edewards. “I’ve noticed a definite difference when playing next to other CIM-trained musicians. There’s a sense of Cleveland Orchestra pride that never dies. We all feel it and strive for that high standard. I’m excited to work with so many others who share my dream and my passion for this great profession.” A student of both CIM faculty member Robert Vernon, principal violist of The Cleveland Orchestra, and Jackobs, Ferguson graduated in 2015 and went on to attend the Juilliard School. But Juilliard didn’t keep her from the audition circuit. Ferguson landed assistant principal viola with the Rochester Philharmonic and associate principal viola with the Montreal Symphony in addition to a section position with BSO. “I’m honored to be joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra,” says Ferguson. “It’s special to share a common background with many members of the viola section, having been so inspired by fantastic teachers at CIM and The Cleveland Orchestra. I look forward to joining the BSO this fall.” Vernon says the abundance of CIM graduates getting orchestra positions is no accident. “At CIM we provide an inordinate number of violists of the highest caliber to 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.”

From top to bottom: Leah Ferguson, Rebekah Edewards Photos courtesy of the artists


New Video Webpage on

Hear from CIM students, faculty and alumni on the advantages of attending CIM, teaching philosophies and goals and how a CIM education prepares students for successful careers in music on CIM’s recently launched video webpage at Junior Gabriel Novak (composition, Fitch) talks about seeing The Cleveland Orchestra every weekend and using the city’s many performance venues to test out his new works. Jeffrey Irvine, the co-head of the viola department and head of the string division, outlines the goals for his students, the relationship between technique and music and the family atmosphere at CIM. The head of the oboe department and principal oboe of The Cleveland Orchestra, Frank Rosenwein, discusses bringing his performing experiences back to the teaching studio and guiding students to find their own artistry. And alumna Diana Cohen (BM ’01, MM ’11, Staples / Weilerstein /Kantor/Smirnoff), concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic and co-founder of ChamberFest Cleveland, talks about being inspired by fellow classmates now turned colleagues, the world-class caliber of CIM faculty and hearing great concerts every night in Cleveland, plus much more! Check in often for new videos being added.

Frank Rosenwein works with a student in his studio

If It’s Summer, It’s Time For Lunch and Listen Join us again this summer for free noontime concerts featuring CIM alumni on Tuesdays in July.

Lunch and Listen concerts will begin at 12:30pm on Tuesdays July 5, 12, 19 and 26 in Mixon Hall. Guests are invited to enjoy their brown bag lunch on the terrace or in the lounge beginning at 11am. Beverages will be provided. This year’s concerts, which generally last about an hour, include a variety of performers: •

July 5 – Classical Revolution Cleveland, featuring alumni Ariel Clayton Karas, Andris Koh and Andrea Belding on violin, viola and cello.

July 12 – A string quartet of the U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” featuring CIM alumni SFC Marlisa del Cid Woods and SFC Ben Wensel, CIM Young Artist Program alumna SS Catherine Miller Gerhiser and guest artist SS Nick Hodges.

July 19 – Christmas in July, featuring alumni Marshall Griffith, Liz Huff, Linda White and Virginia Crabtree.

July 26 – CIM alumnus Ben Malkevitch, piano, playing all-American gems, including works by MacDowell, Barber, Bauer and Bernstein.

All concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, call CIM Office of Alumni Relations, 216-795-3169, or visit

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From cricket crescendos to frog ensembles to chirps in minor thirds, CIM faculty member Lisa Rainsong combines a background in music with an expertise in bird, insect and amphibian sounds. Photos | Robert Muller


Rainsong collecting recordings of bird songs for later study.

Holding a naturalist certificate from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History as well as a doctorate in composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Rainsong is no amateur in either discipline. In fact, as the only person extensively studying crickets and katydids in northern Ohio, some of her research has led to new discoveries about species including expanding ranges and distribution. And how did she make these discoveries? By listening.


Rainsong teaches theory to undergraduate and graduate students at both CIM and Case Western Reserve University. She also teaches nature sounds throughout the community in workshops and classes open to the general public. Naturally, her teaching must adapt. “Music students are right there with me,” Rainsong says. When she gives lectures at CIM about bird and insect songs she has the luxury of using technical musical jargon. And although she doesn’t make nature sounds a core part of the theory classes at CIM, she says they always find a way to sneak into her teaching. Professional musicians can have quick fingers, strong vocal chords and expansive lungs—all rooted in muscle memory from a lifetime of practice. But the ear can also be honed and refined, able to detect pitch, dynamics and rhythm and the nuances of color or texture of tone. It’s that musical ear training that Rainsong employs when discerning the variations between the sound of a four-spotted and a broadwinged tree cricket, or analyzing the different calls of the western chorus and the spring peeper frog. Rainsong’s ear can detect

whether a cricket is cold or warm, that a bird is staking its claim to a tree branch or whether a half-inch cricket is right under her nose or 30 feet away.


Rainsong does most of her work outdoors. Nature is her laboratory, where she makes most of her discoveries. She keeps a lean operation when she goes into the field, carrying her equipment on her back: a shotgun microphone occasionally enclosed in a blimp with a muff to protect her recordings from wind noise and a parabolic dish to further amplify the sounds. What some may call meadows, swamps and forests, Rainsong refers to as concert halls. Picking out one sound from the cacophony of the great outdoors is similar to listening for the second oboe in a full orchestra. Thankfully, Rainsong can do just that. Rainsong recently came across two species of cricket that looked identical in every way, but their songs were different. Her ears tipped her off; her technology confirmed the hunch. With the help of a sonogram image of the recording that she enlarged, she was able to count how many pulses per second occurred in each cricket’s song. “The sonograms are like seeing the musical score,” she says. Lo and behold: she found a difference. And a difference in song means a difference in species. The overlap in the two crickets’ habitats appeared to be around the Sandusky area, west of Cleveland, but she’s seen some of these crickets in areas as far as Lake County, east of Cleveland. “Some of the ones we think are one could be the other,” she says. “That’s the kind of stuff that nobody else in northern Ohio is looking at.” S P R I N G 2 0 16


Because the differences between the songs are so slight the only way to prove that the crickets are two different species is by counting these pulses, but that doesn’t keep Rainsong from practicing listening. “Am I going to be able to tell that this one has a slightly denser sound because it has more wing strokes within the course of a second? Am I going to be able to pick up on that? I’m making some headway with it.” Rainsong has also found species of crickets and katydids previously thought to occur no farther north than central or southern Ohio– or in Ohio at all. For example, the Cuban ground cricket, Rainsong discovered, was living in Ohio, when it was previously thought to be native to the east coast and parts of the south. “I discovered it in Ohio through some diligent and mostly patient field research based on some very detailed listening,” she says. Dr. Thomas Walker, Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida and creator of the national web resource, Singing Insects of North America, credits Rainsong with this incredible finding. “Lisa Rainsong is responsible for a major expansion of the ‘likely general distribution’ of this species,” says Walker. “She did so by firmly documenting its occurrence in northeast Ohio, including Lake, Geauga, Portage, Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark, Lorain, Medina and Erie counties.”



When Rainsong teaches nonmusicians in the community, she keeps it simple. “I’ll break it down to pitch, rhythm, phrasing and tone quality. Those are four elements that they can get. I’ll take a really simple song, like a black-capped chickadee, which is just two notes; it’s just a major second down. I’ll use that to demonstrate pitch. I’ll have them sing it,” she says. Then, she works on rhythm. She’ll use the example of a robin. Here, listening for pitch won’t help you; it’s the rhythmic pattern that will single out the robin’s call in a meadow. “Some birds have phrases that seem complex, but then they stop and go back and do it again, whereas finches just go and go and go, and if you look for phrases you’ll just start laughing because you can’t find any,” says Rainsong. Rainsong explains that birds have more than one song to listen for. “Some of our common birds are virtuosos; they have a whole repertoire,” she explains. She uses an example of two cardinals. “Cardinal A will sing a song and Cardinal B has to match that song. It’s as if to say, ‘oh yeah, well I can do that, too.’ Then Cardinal B is going to say ‘try this one, buddy.’ ” The two birds will answer back and forth, matching each other’s songs. And that’s their way of saying, “I’m just as good as you.” Slowly, song by song, Rainsong gets her audiences to pick out bird calls. “Teaching is important to me, and every time I learn something new I think, ‘how am I going to explain that to someone else?’”


Just as her musical background propelled Rainsong’s discovery of nature sounds, her interest in nature sounds enhanced her music creation. One can hear references to nature sounds in some of her compositions. “They’re not necessarily a literal quote, but if you know what to listen for, you know what I’m implying.” This blending of science and song seems like a natural fit—it’s all music in its own right. But Rainsong doesn’t know of anyone else blending the disciplines, or making some of the discoveries she’s made by ear. For now, she’s on a mission to educate the people eager to learn and to keep her outdoor “concert halls” open. “The more people recognize what they hear, the more they’ll cherish it, and the more they’ll protect it. If we don’t poison the musicians and bulldoze the stages, the concert goes on.”

Listening in Nature

Lisa Rainsong keeps a detailed blog with all of her findings at listeninginnature.blogspot .com. There you can find posts on birds, crickets and amphibians along with photos, sound clips, sonograms and maps—all in language that's accessible to readers who aren't musicians or naturalists. Listen to the chirps of the Cuban ground cricket paired with maps of its newly discovered territories, side-by-side recordings of different chickadees, frog frequencies and a lot more.

Rainsong teaches theory at CIM, but also hosts workshops on bird, insect and amphibian sounds throughout the community.

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School’s Out But the music


The Aspen Music Festival and School's Benedict Music Tent Photo: Alex Irvin


When the spring semester comes to a close at CIM, that doesn’t mean the lazy days of summer are ahead. Instead, most CIM students and faculty spend the summer months playing and performing at music festivals everywhere from the Swiss Alps to

An aptly named intersection at Brevard Music Center Photo: Pete Checchea

the Colorado Rockies. For some, the term “summer festival” might conjure up images of canoe rides or bunking in log cabins, but for musicians, this is anything but. In these often summer-long programs, students spend their days in intensive coaching sessions, master classes and rehearsals and their nights performing in outdoor amphitheaters or in centuries-old music halls around Europe.

with student composers. The word ‘student’ makes this part sound less important, but the intensive collaboration is really one of the main draws of the program!” Stock studies with both Jeffrey Irvine, head of the strings division at CIM, and Keith Fitch, head of the composition department.

The Cadillac of Summer Music Fests

Lynn Johnson, CIM’s director of admissions who previously worked at Brevard Music Center, notes the importance of taking advantage of expanding one’s professional circles at festivals. “Students have the opportunity to work with a different teacher who might lead them to a different graduate school, or to make a professional contact that might help them down the road,” says Johnson. “A lot of students decide where they want to apply based on who they’ve worked with at summer festivals.”

Don’t just take it from us. In 2014, NPR’s Tom Huizenga published a list of 10 Can’t-Miss Classical Music Festivals. And although this was geared more toward the festival-goer than the festival participant, it offered a glimpse of what makes these festivals so great. The first one he listed was Aspen Music Festival, calling it the “Cadillac of summer classical music fests.” This year, the lineup at Aspen includes Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell, Robert Spano, Midori, CIM alumnus Daniil Trifonov and more. But it also includes several CIM students such as composition and viola double major Andrew Stock, a senior who won a fellowship as a violist in the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. “I applied specifically to take part in the festival’s Contemporary Ensemble, which is devoted to the performance of music by 20th- and 21st-century composers,” says Stock. “At the festival there will be a bit of everything—already-extant pieces by established figures, a few concertos and collaboration

A Summer GetAway for Performers

Another top-tier festival is Tanglewood. The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), Tanglewood opened as the Berkshire Music Center in the 1940s, when then-director Serge Koussevitzky gave a powerful speech about the importance of music during a time of war in Europe. Summer festivals are not a new concept; many have roots as deep as some of the country’s oldest conservatories and orchestras.

A top classical music festival in the United States, Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Photo: Steve Rosenthal



The city of Salzburg, Austria, where many CIM voice students and voice faulty attend the Frost School of Music Festival each year. Photo: ©Siemens

Because of Tanglewood’s relationship with BSO, the focus is on orchestral training. CIM first-year master’s student Paul Torrisi, studying with Michael Sachs, head of the trumpet department and principal trumpet of The Cleveland Orchestra, will be attending. “Tanglewood is one of the best programs out there for high-level students serious about an orchestral career,” says Sachs. “You have the history and tradition of the longtime summer home of the Boston Symphony along with all of the finest conductors and solo artists who have visited over the years.”

Bach and Birch Trees Tucked away in the Adirondack Mountains in New York is the chamber music-focused Meadowmount School of Music, where CIM violin faculty Ivan Zenaty and a handful of his students will be attending. “I am looking forward to Meadowmount again,” says Zenaty. “Part of my CIM studio is attending, along with other young musicians whom I will work with for seven weeks. Many of them could be the next CIM students!”

Festivals Across the Pond The concept of summer music festivals is not native to the United States. Europe has a long tradition of summer festivals dating back to the 19th century. The BBC Proms, “the Proms,” for short, an eight-week summer festival held in Royal Albert Hall in London, was founded in 1895 and will be celebrating its 121st year this summer. One of the most prestigious festivals in Europe is the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. The founder, Martin T. Son Engström created the festival in 1994 in an attempt to create an intimate space for music creation away from the distractions and noise of city life. Today, it showcases some of the top artists in the world every summer. This year, Michael Harper, a second-year master’s student also studying with Sachs, will be attending. “I get to spend a summer in the Swiss Alps playing in an orchestra with incredible, fun, inspiring colleagues at a ridiculously high level of musicianship with some of the best conductors in the world,” says Harper, who’s excited for the opportunity. No two festivals are alike. Some focus on chamber music; others focus on honing skills for solo performing. The Utrecht Early Music Festival in the Netherlands focuses on early music. “The festival presents several prestigious international groups and also holds exhibitions made up of instrument makers and dealers, music publishers and music organizations that help keep the early music world at large supplied and informed of old and new trends,” says Julie Andrijeski, violin faculty at CIM who will be attending.

The Salle des Combins, the Verbier Festival’s main concert hall

Not only is Meadowmount a top festival, significant in the classical music world, it’s also an important cultural event for the community. Many summer music festivals held annually, decade after decade, have become fixtures in their communities, bringing in tourists and music buffs alike. The visitor website for the area highlights Meadownmount and its history, mentioning the iconic birch trees and the “melodies and music they’ve witnessed for the past 70-some years.” 14

In Salzburg, Austria, head of CIM’s voice department Mary Schiller and voice faculty Clifford Billions, along with several CIM students, will be attending the University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg. There, students get the opportunity to perform in cathedrals, palaces and historical sites throughout the European city where Mozart was born. Students also take German language classes and can participate in weekly master classes hosted by guest artists from around the world.

Many CIM faculty members are chairs and directors of their own festivals. Antonio Pompa-Baldi, piano faculty at CIM, founded his own summer festival in Todi, Italy. “Being the founder and artistic director gives me a lot of responsibility to make sure all the elements that constitute a great festival are present and come together,” says Pompa-Baldi. “I spent a lot of time thinking about the faculty, and I’m very proud of the group that I have assembled. One of the criteria was true excellence in both the performing arena as well as the pedagogical one. Another was the human quality and genuine interest in the artistic growth and general well-being of young aspiring musicians.”

Celebrating 300 Years

Summer festivals are an incredibly valuable piece of a young musician’s educational journey. “There’s a certain level of musicianship that’s expected of the students,” says Johnson. “Six weeks immersed completely in music, spending two hours a day in a rehearsal, two to three hours a day in a practice room and then at a concert in the evening; it might be more of a musical experience than someone has ever experienced.”

the world. The venue rotates each summer

Armchair Travelers Rejoice! This is just a small portion of where our students and faculty will be this summer. If you want to follow their summer travels via social media, check out #CIMSummer2016 on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see videos, photos and updates on our students, and faculty’s experiences around the world.

The Three Choirs Festival is a weeklong festival in England that, in 2015, celebrated its 300th anniversary. Founded in 1719 (the 300th meeting was celebrated in 2015 because the festival was not held during WWI and WWII), the series of concerts, recitals, talks, master classes and exhibitions is considered the oldest-running classical music festival in between the cities of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester.

Here’s a list of where you can find some of our students and faculty this summer! Aspen Music Festival The Baroque Performance Institute The Berkeley Festival and Exhibition Blossom Music Festival Bowdoin International Music Festival Brevard Music Center Chautauqua Institute CIM Young Composers Program ENCORE Chamber Music Festival fresh, inc. festival Grafenegg Music Festival Heifetz International Music Institute Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle Interlochen Viola Workshop Meadowmount School of Music Montecito Music Festival National Repertory Orchestra National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute Pacific Music Festival Prague Spring Festival Prague Summer Academy Rocky Ridge Music Center Strings Music Festival Tanglewood Tannery Pond Todi International Music Masters Festival Utrecht Early Music Festival

Meadowmount summer festival, nestled in the Adirondack Mountains attracts string players and pianists looking to hone chamber music skills. The area is known for its scenic birch trees. Photo: Mary McGowan

Verbier Festival




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 color and blending to finding the fun in Mozart. This season brought artists such as the Jupiter String Quartet, clarinetist Marie Ross, pianist Warren Jones, violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, cellist Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, conductor Jahja Ling and the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble, among many others.

To receive such detailed coaching from Maestro Ling, who’s conducted the world’s best orchestras, is incredibly valuable. – Maria Parrini (piano, pictured)

Top: Maria Parrini (piano, Pompa-Baldi/Schenly) discusses phrasing and texture with conductor Jahja Ling in a master class focused on playing piano concertos with an orchestra. Bottom left: Conductor Jahja Ling prepares for his master class. Bottom right: Violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti coaches the Belka Quartet, encouraging the group to send its sound to the back of the hall. Photos: Roger Mastroianni


You have to admire the sheer imaginative chutzpah these young performers bring to their envelopepushing enterprise. – Chicago Tribune on Fifth House Ensemble

Top: The Chicago-based Fifth House ensemble leads several workshops on refining professional skills prior to embarking on a career. Bottom: Cellist Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir works with student quartet on blending sounds. Photos: Roger Mastroianni

Ms. Thorsteinsdottir is one of those people that makes you feel at ease and excited at the same time.

Here’s a full list of the guests CIM has hosted this year: David Kim, violin Thomas Hampson, voice Renee Fleming, voice Fifth House Ensemble Harri Maki, clarinet Gail Williams, horn Raphael Wallfisch, cello Marie Ross, clarinet Cuarteto Casals Cicilia Yuddha, piano Lara Downes, piano Tim Burdick, woodwind repair Joel Braun, double bass Vincent Dubois, organ Lawrence Wheeler, viola Jupiter String Quartet Elizabeth Freivogel, viola Rebecca Albers, viola Julie Albers, cello Laurie Smukler, violin Ning An, piano Owen Lee, double bass Jinjoo Cho, violin Warren Jones, voice Matti Hirvonen, voice Claudio Mehner, piano Steven Hough, piano Marcia Ferritto, viola Paul Ellison, double bass Amy Schwartz Moretti, violin Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello Jahja Ling, piano Elizabeth Oakes, viola She-e Wu, marimba Christian Lane, organ Arnaldo Cohen, piano Ani Kavafian, violin Craig Knox, tuba Peter Evans, trumpet Jennifer Montone, horn Eric Wong, viola

– Susan Bengtson (viola, pictured) S P R I N G 2 0 16



Mary and William Beckenbach Support in More Ways than One

Mary Beckenbach has been an integral member of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Women’s Committee board for more than 20 years, serving as president from 2011 to 2013, vice president in 2010 and chairman of several committees. She’s assisted in ways varying from chairing biennial benefit concerts that welcomed Clevelanders to celebrate music with world renowned performers, to helping serve lunch to prospective students during their CIM auditions, to publishing the Women’s Committee Musical Musings quarterly newsletter that is distributed to the CIM community. Her husband, William (Bill) Beckenbach, has been by her side at every concert, recital and event. Last year, the Beckenbachs took their support to a new level, establishing the William and Mary Beckenbach Endowed Scholarship for a woodwind or brass student. “As we’ve gotten older, we’ve realized that we wanted to leave a remembrance of our lives,” says Bill. “We thought the best way to do it would be by helping a CIM student. We both believe strongly in education and through our experiences with CIM, we’ve gotten to see a lot of talented students. We wanted to see if we could, in some small way, help perpetuate that for the future.” Both Mary and Bill have strong relationships with many of the staff at CIM. But beyond that, they have forged lasting connections with a handful of students whose recitals they attend regularly. “I think it helps them to know that there’s someone listening who cares,” says Bill. Mary has been known to call up students she’s close with to jokingly chastise them when they’ve had concerts she didn’t know about. “We love the students; they’re just fabulous,” she says. “They treat you like a friend and they want you to be a part of their life. That’s what it’s about.” It comes as no surprise that for the Beckenbachs, the real joy of establishing this scholarship was being able to connect with the recipient, clarinetist Hanlin Chen who just wrapped up his sophomore year at CIM studying with Franklin Cohen. After learning he was the recipient, Chen wrote the Beckenbachs a moving letter expressing his gratitude. He says in the note that without their help, he would not be studying in the United States, explaining that his family sold their home in China to be able to send him to college. He added, “Today you gave me a drop of water that saved my life. In the future, I will return to you a fountain of water.” The Beckenbachs couldn’t be happier to have this new relationship with a student. They’ve already been to a few of Chen’s recitals and plan to attend more in the future. “I look forward to following him for the next two years and maybe beyond,” says Bill. “In a way he becomes extended family.” The feeling is mutual. Before Chen left to go back to China for the summer he asked the Beckenbachs for a photo of the couple for his parents. In return he gave the Beckenbachs a photo of his family.

CIM has many different ways to provide support for programs in the Conservatory and the Preparatory and Continuing Education Divisions. For more information, visit



Time is Running Out! Help CIM’s talented young musicians share their passion and talent with music lovers in Northeast Ohio and beyond.



You can partner with CIM to provide excellent music education for the next generation of musicians and access to wonderful performances for our community through your gift to the 2015-2016 Annual Fund. Time is short to join the chorus of support—our fiscal year ends June 30. Please donate today! To donate by phone, please call 216.795.3160. Or, mail your donation to: Cleveland Institute of Music Attn: Development Office 11021 East Boulevard Cleveland, OH 44106

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Alumni Snapshot

Members of one of the top quartets in the country, the

Aeolus Quartet — named for the Greek god of the

four winds—found their direction, and one another, at CIM. The 2013-2015 Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School, the Aeolus Quartet, has won prizes at just about every major US competition. This includes a silver medal at the 2011 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, grand prize at both the 2011 Plowman Chamber Music Competition and the 2011 Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition and First Prize for Strings at the 2009 Coleman International Chamber Music Competition, just to name a few. They’ve performed across the United States, Europe and Asia. And it all started in 2005, when two freshmen from Virginia were placed in the same room in CIM's Cutter dorm.

Finding CIM

The Aeolus Quartet includes violinists Nicholas Tavani and Rachel Shapiro, violist Gregory Luce and cellist Alan Richardson. They all found one another at CIM. Richardson grew up watching the young cellists he idolized in youth orchestras go on to study at CIM. The school was always on his radar. But when the time came to audition at CIM, he definitely got an extra 20

nudge from his soon-to-be-teacher, former CIM faculty member Richard Aaron. “During the audition, or right after, he asked me to come back and meet him, and basically told me that I need to come to CIM in a very convincing manner, to which it felt like there was really no other option. I was very glad that I followed through with that advice,” says Richardson with a laugh. Shapiro found CIM through the Encore summer music festival, which she began attending when she was 15 and continued to return summer after summer. There, she studied with Linda Cerone, former violin faculty at CIM. “It was such an important and pivotal experience for me as a musician just figuring out what a career in music might look like,” says Shapiro. “I studied with Linda Cerone, so when it became time for me to audition for music school it ended up being the clearest choice for me because I knew I wanted to study with her at CIM.” For Tavani too, Encore was where he got his first glimpses of what life at CIM would be like. That’s also where he met Shapiro. “Encore was also a big part of what introduced me to the culture at CIM,” says Tavani. At

Encore Tavani studied with William Preucil, CIM violin faculty and concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra, and former violin faculty David Updegraff. “Just having lessons with them and seeing what that would be like was so fantastic and made me really want to study there. I also remember the audition day being the nicest audition day of all of them. The atmosphere was really pretty chill and supportive.” Luce came to CIM to earn a master’s degree, having already earned his bachelor’s at the Peabody Conservatory. His teacher there, Stephen Wyrczynski, encouraged Luce to apply to CIM. “He was all about playing big and bombastic and bigger than the room,” says Luce of his former teacher. “He wanted me to study with someone of contrast like Mark Jackobs from The Cleveland Orchestra, who has extreme clarity of sound and intent—just really sparkly, tidy playing. So it made sense for me to apply.”

outreach program that the Cavani helped us develop that we still use to this day for elementary school kids. It’s based on the name of our quartet and goes through Greek mythology.”

Some Advice to Young Artists

Grateful for their time at CIM, the quartet members stress the importance of experiencing everything the school, and Cleveland, has to offer. “It’s easy to go to school and think of yourself as a customer who gets to pick and choose what you want to do, but really these are the people with whom, for the rest of you musical life, you will be working,” says Luce. “All sorts of serendipitous things will come forth by just having been the person who said ‘yes’ a long time ago.”

Once the four members of the quartet were at CIM, the rest was left up to fate—or Residence Life—which placed Tavani and Richardson together in the same dorm room in Cutter. Tavani remembers well the day he got the email telling him his room assignment. “CIM is a pretty international place, I was expecting that maybe I would be getting someone from another country,” he explains. “I’m from Haymarket, Virginia, and the email said your roommate is Alan Richardson from Mechanicsville, Virginia. I was like, ‘oh cool!’” Richardson and Tavani started playing together as freshmen in a chamber group. By their sophomore year, they added Shapiro to the group with another violist. And in their junior year, Luce, then a firstyear master's student, came on board. By that point Tavani and Luce were roommates. “I was basically just adding all my roommates to the quartet,” jokes Tavani. In reality, they auditioned some violists, and enjoyed playing with Luce. So, now 2008, the Aeolus Quartet was formed. “The first thing we did was whisk Greg off to Germany where we went to a 10-day festival. We rehearsed so hard there; I think we were maxing out at like seven or eight hours a day. And Greg was like, what have I signed up for?” jokes Shapiro.

Life After CIM

The group members decided together that they wanted to continue playing together after graduation as a serious quartet. “The culture at CIM really made that option a possibility because chamber music was so much an integral part of our education at CIM,” says Shapiro. “The way the Cavani Quartet and Peter Salaff have created chamber music at CIM, was really, for us as string players, what we wanted to spend our time doing when we had extra time. The intensive quartet seminar was a fantastic place to hone those skills with our colleagues and hear other amazing groups play and get real attention and care from the faculty at CIM. We came out of that experience thinking chamber music as a career is actually an option.” The Aeolus Quartet ended up getting a residency at the University of Texas at Austin. They went on to participate in more competitions and win more accolades. But one thing they continue to pursue from the time they were at CIM is community outreach. The quartet works in elementary schools and with young children in communities throughout the country. “It’s such an important part of being a string quartet,” says Shapiro. “It goes hand in hand with presenting music on the stage.You want to make music available for the community and thank goodness for CIM, we have the skill set to do that.” Shapiro explains that almost every time the quartet is booked for a chamber music series, it goes along with an educational program of some kind. “There is actually an

Photo page 20: Nathan Russell | Photo above: Christian Steiner



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Alumni Chris Auerbach-Brown (MM ’95, Erb) received a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship grant for $15,000 from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. The CWF grant provides artists of all genres with funds to pursue creative projects and promote their artistic careers in a variety of ways. Bookended by two works by composer Lou Harrison, Karen Gottlieb’s (MM ’80, Chalifoux) Music for Harp is a tribute to four mid-20th-century new music composers of the San Francisco Bay Area. Gottlieb has performed and recorded Harrison’s orchestral, chamber and choral works, including Music for Harp for a 1994 documentary, Building A Dream, about the design and construction of a home by Gottlieb’s architect mother, Lois Davidson Gottlieb. The music was subsequently used in the film by Eva Soltes entitled Lou Harrison: A World of Music. Gottlieb has performed with the San Francisco Symphony for more than two decades as second harpist and also serves as the principal harpist for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. She performs regularly with other Northern California new music groups. Gottlieb has recorded with the Skywalker Recording Symphony and substituted with the San Francisco Opera and Ballet orchestras. American pianist, ethnomusicologist, music author and presenter of concerts Timothy Kalil (BM ’74, MM ’76) was recognized for his 25 years of volunteer service to arts and culture to the City of Ashtabula by an Official Proclamation from Ashtabula City Council in December. He was recognized for “enhancing the quality of life for those who live and visit Ashtabula.” In 2013, he and the St. Peter’s Fine Arts Concert Committee of Ashtabula were given an Official Commendation by State Representative John Patterson for their outstanding achievements and for being the only existing classical concert series in Ashtabula County.


Millie T. Martin (BM ’89, Angel) was the string bass teacher at Humboldt State University in California where she also performed in the area from 2012 to 2014. In October 2015, she moved to Los Angeles. Martin recently performed an all-Bach concert in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area with the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia and with the Nintendo Zelda’s Orchestra Tour in San Jose, California.

Jonathan Ryan (BM ’04, Wilson) released a new solo recording on the independent, boutique label Acis. Entitled Influences, the album was recorded on the 1912 Stahlhuth/2002 Jann organ at St. Martin’s Church in Dudelange, Luxembourg. It includes major works by Dupré and Willan and two recording premieres: Ride in a High Speed Train by contemporary Dutch composer Ad Wammes, and a commissioned piece, Pastorale, by English composer Philip Moore.

Brian James Myer (MM ’14, Southern) made his debut at Florida Grand Opera as Figaro in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville to great acclaim this past November. Gaining momentum as a performer of the classical and Bel Canto repertoire, he is described by Palm Beach ArtsPaper as “an excellent Figaro, [who] has a young, clarion voice that carried beautifully.” Myer is also becoming recognized for his interpretation of the lovable Papageno from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, having performed the role at both Sin City Opera and Opera San Jose since singing it at CIM in 2013. The Las Vegas Review Journal described his Papageno as “laugh-out-loud funny” with “rich baritone vocal performance.” Opera San Jose’s production of composer Mark Lanz Weiser’s Where Angels Fear to Tread (based on the E.M. Forster novel) featured Myer stepping in to the leading role of Gino Carella. Myer is currently a member of the Florida Grand Opera Young Artist Program. He will return for his third summer at Chautauqua Opera in 2016, where he will be an Apprentice Artist singing and covering the mainstage productions of La traviata and The Mikado.

Ryan also completed a recital tour of England last summer with performances at London’s Southwark Cathedral, Ripon Cathedral, Truro Cathedral and Christchurch Priory. Ryan serves as associate director of music and organist at Christ Church in Greenwich, Connecticut. Ryan performed at The Arts at Holy Trinity as part of its 2016 music series in March.

Marta Ptaszynska (AD ’74, Duff), CIM’s 2014 Distinguished Alumna, had two world premieres this spring. Poznan Spring, commissioned by the International Festival of Contemporary Music in Poznan, Poland, is a symphony for 104 percussionists. It premiered at the festival’s inaugural concert in March under the baton of Slawek Wroblewski. Later that March Ptaszynska’s piece Missa Solemnis made its world premiere at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland, under the baton of Ryszard Zimak. The work is written for two mixed choirs, three soloists (soprano, mezzo and baritone) and a large orchestra. This Road, an album by Red Brick Rhoades, which includes Becca Rhoades (MM ’12, Preucil) and her husband, Red Chrosniak, was named one of the top 30 Cleveland Albums of 2015 by Cleveland Music City.

Helen Wyatt (BM ’11 Schiller) will sing Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and will understudy renowned soprano Patricia Racette in Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine at Chicago Opera Theater. During her two-year residency with Chicago Opera Theater, she was seen onstage as the lead soprano in the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s A Flourish of Green, Lady Valerie in the Chicago premiere of Amy Beach’s Cabildo, the Second Witch in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth and Jessie in Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel. Other roles include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Marguerite in Faust, Christine Storch in Intermezzo and Die Marschallin in Die Rosenkavalier. She was praised for her portrayal of Mimì in La Bohème and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the Tuscia Operafestival in Viterbo, Italy. She will be featured on a concert celebrating Richard Strauss’ music, singing his Vier Letzte Lieder and traveling with the production to Chicago, Istanbul and Paris. Jung-Yeon Yim (MM ’15, Shapiro), Won first place at the 2016 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Conference in San Antonio.

Appointments Dror Biran (DMA ’06, Schenly) has been appointed to the piano faculty as an associate professor of music in the Division of Keyboard Studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, effective August 2016. He is serving as visiting adjunct professor of piano during the 2015-16 academic year.

Tegen Davidge (BM ’12, Irvine), won a section viola position in the Vancouver Symphony starting in the fall of 2016. Davidge has also been appointed to the faculty of the Yellow Barn Young Artist Program for the summer of 2016. Michael Edwards (BM ’74, MM ’76) was elected the 33rd President of the National Federation of Music Clubs. NFMC boasts 135,000 members promoting music in communities throughout the country. Students of CIM are members of the Student/Collegiate Division. Jake Fridkis (BM ’12, Smith) won the principal flute position in the Fort Worth Symphony and started in January 2016, leaving his position as principal flute of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as guest principal of Symphony Song (Korea) and the Princeton Symphony, and played with the St. Louis and New Haven symphonies. He recently published an article and interview on orchestral playing in Flute Talk magazine. Jason Seber (MM ’05, Topilow) has been appointed assistant conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, starting in the 2016-17 season. As assistant conductor he will lead a wide variety of series, including Classics Uncorked, Pops, Family, Holiday, Screenland at the Symphony, Young People’s Concerts, KinderKonzerts and other community concerts, as well as serving as cover conductor for Music Director Michael Stern and other guest conductors on the Classical Series. Seber is currently in his third season as education and outreach conductor with the Louisville Youth Orchestra and his eleventh as music director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra



Sergei Babayan (piano) recently performed on the Mariinsky label’s latest release Prokofiev Symphonies 4, 6 & 7, Piano Concertos 4 & 5. Valery Gergiev conducts the Mariinsky Orchestra with piano concertos performed by Babayan and pianist Alexei Volodin. In April Jeffrey Irvine (viola, co-head) appeared at the 2016 Chicago Viola Festival sponsored by Midwest Young Artists. He gave a master class and then a talk (with Professor Susan Dubois of University of North Texas) on Karen Tuttle’s Coordination Principles. Both Irvine and Dubois were students of Karen Tuttle. Ralitsa Georgieva-Smith (piano) and her husband, Jason Smith (MM ’07, Witser), have continued their work with Music for Our Children, a benefit concert series they founded

to raise proceeds for UNICEF. Music for Our Children started small but has made a major impact on the lives of children all across the world. The most recent performance in March was held at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Hudson, Ohio, and featured CIM piano faculty Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanuela Friscioni performing works for four hands. CIM violin preparatory faculty Jiah Chung Chapdelaine performed several selections, followed by a young string quartet from the CIM Preparatory Department, the Scoiattoli Pazzi coached by Annie Fullard of the Cavani String Quartet. In November Richard Weiner (percussion) performed with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. He also performed with the Percussion Arts Society Emeritus Section and was a panelist discussing the duties of a principal percussionist at the Percussive Arts International Convention held in San Antonio. Ivan Zenaty (violin) and Sandra Shapiro (piano) had two European tours as well as performances and master classes in the United States this fall. US highlights include the Idyllwild Arts Academy, University of North Carolina School of the Arts and CSUN. The first European tour included eight cities in Moravia. The second European tour included Czech Republic and was capped off with a visit to the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary, where they worked with students on solo and chamber music repertoire. They performed a recital in the beautiful newly renovated hall in which they were honored to have the Israeli Ambassador to Hungary, and representatives from the American and Czech embassies in Budapest, in attendance. Spring semester highlights include tours in Thailand and Spain, concerts in Brussels and Austria and debuts as a duo at Carnegie Hall in April and the Prague Spring Festival in May.


Preparatory Kevin Du, 17, (violin, Poustyreva) performed Sibelius Concerto with the Solon Philharmonic as a concerto competition winner in May. Moonhee Kim, 11, (violin, Poustyreva) won second place at the Sigma Alpha Iota String Competition, performing Wieniawski Polonaise Brillante in D major and Shostakovich Romance in C. Taejun Kim, 16, (violin, Poustyreva) won first place in the American Fine Arts International Concerto Competition and performed in a winners’ recital at Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall. As a first-place winner, Kim was awarded a recital with the Kostroma Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pavel Gershtein during the course of the American Fine Arts Festival Summer Music Courses in Europe in July 2016 (Russia Tour) as well as a chance to participate in a master class with a member of the Moscow Conservatory faculty. Seth Lim, 13, (guitar, Mann) performed Napoleon Coste’s La Chasse to open for Grammy-winning lutenist Paul O’Dette in January to a sold-out crowd of close to 200 people. The concert was presented as part of the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s International Series.

In Memorium Evelyn S. Boyd (MM ’70, Erb/West) died in December at age 98. Boyd taught elementary music in the Cleveland Public Schools and taught piano classes at the Metro Campus of Cuyahoga Community College, where she was also head of the Performing Arts Department. In 2006, she received the prestigious Humanitarian Award for Volunteer Work from the Cleveland Clinic.

Tim Beattie (guitar, Vieaux) took first prize, and Yeram Yoon (guitar, Vieaux) took third prize in the James Stroud All-Ohio Guitar Competition, which was held at the Oberlin Conservatory in March. Julian Fueyo (composition, Fitch) was awarded first prize in the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival Composition Competition for his work “Zafiro” for violin and piano. The work will be performed and recorded at the festival this summer. S P R I N G 2 0 16


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CIM Notes | Spring 2016  
CIM Notes | Spring 2016