CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Institute of Music has announced that Grammy Award-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta, celebrated as one of the first women to lead a major American orchestra, has been appointed as artistic advisor to the CIM Orchestra. In this role, she will provide expert guidance and artistic continuity as the school continues its search in 2020-21 for a permanent conductor. Falletta will also conduct five CIM Orchestra concerts over three years.

In addition, Vinay Parameswaran, assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, joins CIM as conducting faculty, where he will work directly with master’s level conducting students. He will teach those who already possess solid fundamental training and work to develop advanced skills and musicianship in their chosen area of concentration. Parameswaran has worked with the CIM Orchestra several times over the past two years, as well as served on the jury for the school’s semi-annual concerto competition. He also serves as music director of The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO).

“We are delighted to welcome internationally renowned conductor JoAnn Falletta as artistic advisor to the CIM Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra’s Vinay Parameswaran to the CIM conducting faculty,” said Judy A. Bundra, PhD, chief academic officer and dean of the Conservatory. “Celebrated worldwide as a vibrant ambassador for music and an inspiring artistic leader, JoAnn is a strong advocate and mentor for young professional and student musicians. She has been honored with several awards for her outstanding work with young artists. She will be an incredible influence on all our students. Through the years, Vinay also has been a valuable collaborator with CIM and the Northeast Ohio music community. As the leader of COYO, he has been responsible for developing the talents of young musicians for many years and will continue to do so with CIM’s advanced orchestral conducting students.”

Their appointments are for one year and begin in fall 2020.

A two-time Grammy Award winner, Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Connie and Marc Jacobson Music Director Laureate of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center and Artistic Adviser of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. She is hailed for her work as a conductor, recording artist, audience builder and champion of American composers. Celebrating her 20th anniversary with the Buffalo Philharmonic this past season, she is credited with bringing the orchestra to a new level of national and international prominence. Her recent and upcoming North American guest conducting includes appearances with the National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and Milwaukee Symphony; and further north, the Toronto Symphony and Orchestre Metropolitain.  Internationally, she has conducted many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia and South America.

Falletta has led seminars for women conductors for the League of American Orchestras and established a unique collaboration between the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Mannes College of Music to give up-and-coming conductors professional experience with a leading American orchestra. She has had great success working with young musicians, guest conducting orchestras at top conservatories – including CIM – and summer programs at the National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, Interlochen and Brevard Music Center. She most recently conducted the CIM Orchestra in February 2020.

With a discography of almost 120 titles, Falletta is a leading recording artist for Naxos. In 2019, she won her first individual Grammy Award as conductor of the London Symphony in the Best Classical Compendium category for Spiritualist, her fifth world premiere recording of the music of Kenneth Fuchs. Her Naxos recording of Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan received two Grammys in 2008.

Falletta is a member of the esteemed American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has served by presidential appointment on the National Council on the Arts during the Bush and Obama administrations. She is a recipient of many of the classical music industry’s most prestigious awards, including Performance Today’s 2019 Classical Woman of the Year.

After earning her bachelor’s degree at Mannes, Falletta received master’s and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School.

Parameswaran is in his fourth season as assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, leading the world-class orchestra in several dozen concerts each season at Severance Hall, Blossom Music Festival and on tour. He came to Cleveland prior to the Orchestra’s 2017-18 season following three years as associate conductor of the Nashville Symphony, where he led more than 150 performances including his subscription debut conducting works by Gabriella Smith, Grieg and Prokofiev.

In summer 2017 he was conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. More recent seasons have included Parameswaran making his guest conducting debuts with the Rochester Philharmonic and Tucson Symphony, as well as engagements with the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Milwaukee, Jacksonville (FL) and Eugene (OR) symphonies.

He also has led performances of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love with Curtis Opera Theater. He also assisted with Opera Philadelphia’s presentation of Verdi’s Nabucco.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Parameswaran performed as a student for six years in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music and political science from Brown University, where he studied with Paul Phillips. He also earned a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Otto-Werner Mueller as the Albert M. Greenfield Fellow.


The Cleveland Institute of Music empowers the world’s most talented classical music students to fulfill their dreams and potential. Its graduates command the most celebrated and revered stages in the world as soloists, chamber musicians and ensemble members; compose meaningful, award-winning new repertoire; and are highly sought-after teaching artists, administrators and thought leaders. A testament to the excellence of a CIM education, more than half of the members of The Cleveland Orchestra are connected to CIM as members of the faculty, alumni or both. All students benefit from access to world-renowned visiting artists and conductors, intensive study with CIM’s stellar faculty and the rich curriculum offered by CIM’s partner Case Western Reserve University. In fall 2019, the diversity of CIM’s student body increased by a remarkable 235 percent to an historic high: 15 percent of the 375 students. CIM is an integral part of Cleveland’s arts community, presenting nearly 600 free performances and master classes on campus each year, and hundreds more at locations throughout the region, including Severance Hall.  Explore to learn more.