US Conservatoire cuts student numbers

US Conservatoire cuts student numbers


norman lebrecht

September 09, 2019

The Cleveland Institute of Music is cutting its head count from 430 students to 350.

Here’s why.




  • Bone says:

    Ah, diversity again. If those pesky Asians would just stop terrorizing the classical world and put down their silly high standards we could get on with changing the cultural landscape to make every orchestra look more like…what…Detroit? Dearborn? Seattle?

  • JPAULO says:

    In todays job market a cut down to about 20 graduates a year would probably be more than enough. Bleak to say the least.

    • Cubs Fan says:

      Exactly. Every year, American conservatories, music schools and universities give diplomas to tens of thousands of performance wanna-be’s, most of whom have no chance of ever getting a full-time, well-paid position. I hope CIM and other schools offer courses in being a barista, taxi driver, pizza delivery person, or massage therapist, because with so many graduates and so few positions, they’re gonna need it…

  • John Borstlap says:

    So, more blacks and latinos, cutting edge facilities and community cleansing work in the park, all in combination with higher selection procedures at the entrance of the trajectory. When selection is geared towards diversity representation, applicant numbers will drop automatically. It does look as mere window dressing.

  • Mike says:

    Diversity and inclusion are great, but the reality is that blind auditions are about who was the best player on a specific day. The moment you start making musical decisions based on these two criteria you might as well get ready to close the doors. Music, dance, and professional sports are wonderful for the fact that they are color, gender, race, and religion blind. How many really great musicians actually come out of the regular college system? Not many. Good luck CIM because you are going to need it. And if there are more Asian musicians in the world’s orchestras, it might just be that they worked just a little bit harder than everyone else.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    Become more like Curtis and Colburn.

    It sounds like a good idea to me.

  • Ludwig's Van says:

    The only way top music schools can truly & fairly have diversity is by investing in community music schools in underprivileged neighborhoods, so that African-American & Latino kids can have access to quality training beginning from childhood. Otherwise, conservatories desiring diversity would need to lower their admission standards for their minority population.

  • Mick the Knife says:

    When the audience is diversified, then I will give a blank about this mindless academic mantra: div-er-s-it-y-div-er-s-it-y…that is the number one priority rather than merit. Mer-it-Mer-it-Mer-it!

  • Caranome says:

    2 fundamental problems: 1) the desire to achieve–forcibly if needed–EQUALITY in results, the most damaging conceit in Western culture post the US/French revolutions. Millennia of history have shown that goal is rarely achieved, because 2) people and cultures have varying talents, worldview, ethics, life goals etc. that make them better/worse than others in what they do. Re: classical music, there is no/little classical tradition/interest among the minorities and dwindling interest among the Whites. The biggest reason why Asians–Chinese, Koreans and Japanese–are filling up the musical pipeline is that they deeply respect and admire classical music as the apotheosis of Western culture, and the parents want their kids to have that. It makes them all feel high class, educated and cultured. So they will sacrifice, hector and pay to achieve that. It’s all about motivation, sacrifice and hard work. That’s why you don’t see Indians in classical music, for example. They are equally smart, hard working and successful in other endeavors, but don’t care about classical music. Music administrators can make themselves feel good and get accolades for their diversity/ accessibility kick, but they won’t be successful.

  • Euphonium Al says:

    I’d encourage everyone to actually read the article linked to in full rather than weighing in with their pre-existing views on kulturkampf issues.

    Diversity isn’t the primary focus of the article at all; it gives an overview of lots of changes afoot, including the decision to reduce class size to make CIM a more selective institution. Overall an excellent piece on a venerable Cleveland Institution founded by a fine composer, Ernest Bloch (I’m a native Clevelander myself, although not a CIM alum).

  • 53% of Cleveland’s population is black.

  • muslit says:

    Less students to sexually abuse.

  • muslit says:

    If anyone has attended a Sphinx Competition, it would be obvious to anyone that Latinos and Blacks should qualify to be students at CIM. It would also be clear that each of those students would bring a unique personality to the school.