Community | Fall 2018

Cleveland Institute of Music provides free classical music throughout Cleveland

Cleveland Institute of Music’s sole focus is on classical training for the modern musician

The Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) is one of only seven independent private conservatories in the U.S. And as one of just three devoted exclusively to classical music performance, it strives to both educate students and expose the community to classical music.

CIM is one of the largest providers of free classical music in the country, says Paul Hogle, president and CEO of the Cleveland Institute of Music.

“We hold 600 performances at CIM each year, plus an additional 200 out in the community,” he says.

CIM, located in Cleveland’s University Circle arts and culture district, is highly competitive. It has 400 students enrolled, and each year, about 1,200 prospective students vie for 130 spots in the freshman class. Those who are accepted learn to hone their instrumental music craft and also to share it with others.

“It’s our vision to prepare students to be the future of classical music, and if they’re out sharing their craft, getting feedback and serving the community, then we’re doing our job,” Hogle says.

What CIM does

CIM was founded in 1920 by female civic leaders who believed that Cleveland needed a school dedicated to training the country’s most competitive classical musicians. Today, CIM graduates can be found at classical music organizations across the country.

How its people help

In University Circle, CIM works in tandem with institutions including the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Case Western Reserve University. Beyond providing free performances, CIM faculty and students teach music at Cleveland School of the Arts and volunteer elsewhere.

“We believe highly in our obligation to pay our civic rent – each year we hold a Day of Service, with about 100 students and staff volunteering around the community,” says Hogle.

Over time, CIM has used strategic financing to further growth and development, with Huntington by its side, providing assistance with debt structuring that helped build the concert hall and studios. Huntington has also been generous with sponsorships and scholarship donations.

“Huntington is an excellent example of both financial philanthropy and community outreach,” says Hogle.

About the organization

Name: Cleveland Institute of Music
City: Cleveland
Phone: (216) 791-5000
Mission: To empower the world’s most talented classical music students to fulfill their dreams and potential

How you can help

Donations for scholarship funds are always welcome. But Hogle suggests instead of just sending a check that you come to a performance and get to know the students and the institution. Visit for the full calendar.