Just in: Cleveland names Ethiopian principal clarinet

August 10, 2017 by norman lebrecht


The Cleveland Orchestra has just published the name of Franklin Cohen’s successor as principal clarinet.

His name is Afendi Yusuf and this is his first principal position.

From his bio: Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, clarinetist Afendi Yusuf has appeared as guest principal with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, and the Toronto and Cincinnati symphony orchestras.  He is an alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival and School, Brott Music Festival, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the National Arts Centre’s Young Artists Program. Since the summer of 2016, he has been a participant of the Marlboro Music Festival.

Comments (5)

  1. herrera says:

    Hmmm. On paper, his resume doesn’t betray anything extraordinary… no prizes, no tenured position… His single youtube video is like his resume…

    Well, I’m sure Cleveland and FWM picked the best.

    1. Jerome Hoberman says:

      Good thing such appointments aren’t decided by what’s on paper, then.

    2. Bruce says:


      “Where many artists work their way up the orchestral ladder, Yusuf landed his seat in Cleveland while still a student at the Conservatory of Music at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where he earned a professional studies certificate.”

      Their principal flute didn’t have much on his resume when he got the job, either, FWIW.

    3. Wai kit leung says:

      In the USA, one can fail to progress past the first round of auditions and still be given the job. Anything is possible!

  2. Anthony Kershaw says:

    Just named a Classical hotshot under 30 or something or other up here on the CBC. Grad of Sir Walfrid Laurier University!

    That’s two Canucks in the section.

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