End of road for Cleveland record holder

End of road for Cleveland record holder


norman lebrecht

March 01, 2015

Robert Vernon, the longest serving string pprincipal in the annals of the Cleveland Orchestra, will retire in mid-2016 after 40 years as principal viola. His record (below) is phenomenal. His departure is part of an accelerating veterans march out of the elite ensemble.

robert vernon

  • He has performed in more than 5,000 concerts with The Cleveland Orchestra.
  • As soloist, he has appeared in 17 different works in more than 120 concerts at home in Severance Hall.  He has appeared as soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra in Carnegie Hall on three separate occasions, as well as performing as soloist at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Boston’s Symphony Hall.  Additionally, he has appeared as soloist on two United States tours and one European tour.
  • He has recorded more than 300 works with The Cleveland Orchestra, virtually the entire standard repertoire, for five different record labels.
  • He has made numerous solo recordings, including Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, Strauss’s Don Quixote, and Schoenfield’s Viola Concerto, as well as numerous chamber music recordings.
  • photo: Roger Mastroianni


  • Freddy says:

    Actually, violist Frederick Funkhouser logged in 55 years with the Cleveland Orchestra from 1929 to 1984, and violinist Kurt Loebel served 50 years from 1947 to 1997.

  • Christopher Stager says:

    Wow, do I feel old. I was at his first concert.

  • harold braun says:

    Voluntarely,or like Franklin Cohen,with a little help from FWM?

  • David J Gill says:

    The recording of Berlioz, “Harold in Italy” with Mr Vernon as soloist is a wonderful performance of this rather rarely performed work!