On September 13, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra met at Kulas Hall for its first rehearsal of the academic year. But the orchestra didn’t play. Instead, a group of student musicians, dressed in blue, sat silently without their instruments. Many seats were empty.

The dozen or so string players who brought their instruments warmed up tentatively. When it came time to tune, the concertmaster stood and smiled sheepishly at the principal oboist. He only shook his head in response. None of the winds or brass had brought their instruments.

The student demonstration was organized and publicized a few days before to protest the return of conductor Carlos Kalmar, CIM’s director of orchestral studies. Just weeks earlier, Kalmar had been cleared in an independently commissioned Title IX investigation.

In April, the school’s Title IX coordinator, Vivian Scott, had announced she was investigating Kalmar in an email sent to the entire student body. Scott was subsequently suspended from her role, then laid off in July alongside four other colleagues due to administrative “restructuring,” according to sources and an internal email provided to VAN. Over the next three months, CIM retained law firm BakerHostetler to conduct an independent investigation into Kalmar’s conduct, interviewing “more than 30 CIM students, faculty, and staff,” per a CIM statement. 

According to CIM, that investigation did not reach the threshold of evidence necessary for the case to proceed to a hearing. On August 8, conservatory dean and vice president for academic and student affairs, Dean Southern, determined in his capacity as acting Title IX coordinator that Kalmar’s “alleged conduct could not constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment as prohibited by Title IX because the conduct did not have ‘the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a person’s participation in educational programs or activities,’” as Southern wrote in a statement circulated to CIM faculty, staff, and students.

“The conduct was not on the basis of sex, nor was it so severe or pervasive as to create an objectively offensive environment such that it denies anyone equal access to educational opportunities at CIM based on gender,” Southern continued. “Therefore, the Institute was obligated to dismiss the Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment in this matter.”

“An exhaustive investigation by an outside, independent counsel into Title IX allegations against Carlos Kalmar found that Mr. Kalmar’s behavior had not violated Title IX and the case was concluded,” a CIM spokesperson told VAN in response to a request for comment. 

Kalmar “has done nothing wrong,” his attorney, James Wooley, told Cleveland.com. “We have nothing more to say about the matter.” (Kalmar did not respond to requests for comment from VAN.) 

In a months-long investigation, VAN interviewed nearly 30 students, faculty, and staff at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Many spoke to VAN on condition of anonymity, citing fears of professional retaliation from CIM, and alleging ongoing legal threats by Kalmar. They overwhelmingly painted a picture of a podium bully whose behavior in rehearsal is at least ill-suited to the pedagogical goals of a conservatory, and who treats female students with disproportionate harshness.  

“We’re not going to comment in any detail about personnel issues or the individuals involved,” the CIM spokesperson said in response to a list of 28 questions submitted by VAN. “And we’re not going to respond to anonymous and in many cases vague accusations.”  

The latest from VAN, delivered straight to your inbox

Success! You're on the list.

According to several sources, CIM president Paul Hogle and provost Scott Harrison began fielding complaints about Kalmar’s behavior as early as fall 2018, during his first guest appearance with the CIM Orchestra. By the 2022–23 school year, Kalmar’s conduct and related issues with the orchestra program were a monthly topic of discussion on faculty and student committees which regularly met with CIM’s upper administration. Again and again, sources said, these complaints were brushed off or ignored.

“I know there were constant complaints going to the provost, and to Hogle, and they didn’t do anything,” said a source within CIM, speaking anonymously for fear of retaliation.

On September 13, protesters marched silently into Kulas Hall from a nearby dormitory, stopping on the way to tape a letter of protest, with 112 student and alumni signatories, to Hogle’s office door. The letter excoriated “the administration’s reluctant and inadequate response” to “copious allegations” against Kalmar’s conduct. “While it may be true that the investigation did not find sufficient evidence to warrant an official Title IX hearing, it is vital to distinguish between the lack of evidence that would prompt a hearing and Mr. Kalmar’s purported innocence,” the letter read. 

Before the protest, CIM’s academic administration sent an all-orchestra email citing CIM’s Code of Conduct: “Attending the rehearsal, but not participating in it or attending without an instrument, could be considered an unapproved absence. Other types of protest may incur consequences appropriate to the action as outlined in the Code of Conduct.” (The CIM spokesperson said this all-orchestra email was a response to students sharing “misinformation about the possible academic ramifications of such an action.”) 

The protesters onstage were joined by about 100 additional student supporters in the audience, also wearing blue in support. Several CIM faculty members—including members of the Cleveland Orchestra—looked on, also in blue. 

At 3:45 p.m., Kalmar took the podium. He coolly provided historical context about the marquee work on the CIM Orchestra’s first scheduled performance of the year, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6. But clearly, little else would be accomplished that rehearsal. “Since many of you don’t have your instruments, I’ll see you next week,” he told the students. Within 10 minutes, the first orchestra rehearsal of the academic year was over. 

On September 15, Scott Harrison, the executive vice president and provost of CIM, sent an email to students announcing the postponement of the CIM Orchestra’s first performance, originally scheduled for September 26 at the Severance Music Center, home of the Cleveland Orchestra. (The orchestra rehearsed under Kalmar on September 19.) “This has been a difficult week at CIM,” Harrison wrote. “There are many strong feelings about the CIM Orchestra and the best path forward among the student body. I respect that many of you find yourselves in very different states of mind and with divergent opinions. Whether you were planning to rehearse on Wednesday or were part of the demonstration, your voice matters and your point of view deserves consideration.”

In the days since, the school has surveyed students to gauge how many orchestra members feel comfortable working with Kalmar. Those who do met with him to rehearse on September 19. At time of publication, it was unclear where that left the students who refuse to work with Kalmar. Harrison’s email pledged that CIM administration would meet with Kalmar and students “to discuss possible alternatives for orchestral performance learning.” 


The silent sit-in was students’ most pointed rebuke yet of Kalmar’s actions, whose CIM tenure has been plagued—and even preceded—by discontent. In their letter to Hogle, students accused CIM leadership of “disbanding the Orchestra Director search committee… empower[ing] its own execrable selection while silencing the concerned voices of the faculty”; several faculty and staff sources independently corroborated this account of Kalmar’s hiring process. Students also roundly complained about Kalmar’s first guest appearance with the CIM Orchestra in 2018, not only to their peers and instructors but directly to Hogle. Kalmar “made students cry, he was so harsh,” a former staff member said of the conductor’s first guest appearance at CIM. 

Nonetheless, in March 2021, Kalmar returned for a second, significantly smoother concert cycle and was hired later that year on a five-year contract—unusual for CIM faculty, who teach on one-year contracts.

On April 27, the controversy surrounding Kalmar bubbled over into the public arena when Vivian Scott, the former Title IX coordinator, took the unorthodox step of actively soliciting Title IX complaints against him. In an email sent to all students, Scott encouraged students to contact her if they “have experienced (or observed) behavior on Mr. Kalmar’s behalf that can be considered sexual harassment,” citing an anonymous course evaluation which alleged Title IX infractions by Kalmar. 

“It was with great horror that I read one of Carlos Kalmar’s course evaluations. This is not the first time that I have heard his name—detailing inappropriate behavior of varying degrees,” she wrote, without providing details. “I am conducting an investigation into Mr. Kalmar’s behavior, but I need your help.”

The charged accusations against Kalmar, and the highly public nature of Scott’s investigation, would have struck a nerve anywhere. But they especially smarted at CIM, rocked as recently as 2018 by sexual misconduct investigations that led to the resignations of former Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster William Preucil and principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa. Both were teaching at CIM at the time; subsequent reporting, as well as an independent investigation commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra, concluded that Preucil’s victims included former students in his CIM violin studio. (Raffaela Kalmar, Kalmar’s wife, was among them.) CIM initiated a Title IX investigation against La Rosa, but, like Preucil, he resigned before it was completed.

Title IX investigations are, by federal law, kept private between complainants and respondents, unless disclosing either party’s identity “is necessary to carry out the purposes of Title IX and its regulations, including to conduct a grievance process.” But by the end of the weekend, a redacted version of Scott’s email had been leaked to the classical music blog SlippedDisc, though her message provided little context as to how, exactly, Kalmar’s alleged behavior violated Title IX. Because the investigation unfolded during CIM’s summer session, while Kalmar was off-campus conducting the Grant Park Music Festival orchestra in Chicago, sources said he was never placed on leave—permissible under CIM’s Title IX policy, which requires a faculty respondent be put on leave only if their presence poses “an immediate physical threat to the health or safety of students or others arising from the alleged sexual harassment.”

On May 8, former Washington Post journalist Anne Midgette—whose 2018 reporting on sexual misconduct in classical music with Peggy McGlone inspired the Cleveland Orchestra to formally investigate Preucil and La Rosa—announced she was pulling out from CIM’s graduation ceremony, where she would have delivered the commencement address and received an honorary doctorate. In both a statement posted on her website and an interview with VAN, Midgette said she felt obligated to do so after speaking with about a dozen students and faculty members, many of whom contacted her “unbidden” to describe a pattern of student disenfranchisement by CIM administration. Midgette added she couldn’t justify appearing at the school under the banner of her #MeToo reporting—which she claimed CIM touted in its initial invitation—in the face of sources’ allegations that prior complaints about Kalmar’s harsh conduct, particularly toward women, had gone unaddressed.

“The stories were remarkably consistent. Having done a lot of work in this area, I know how much stories can dovetail without it even being malicious,” Midgette told VAN. “It was the way the school was handling the complaints that really bothered me. I felt the school had not been listening to their students, which has been borne out by subsequent events.” 

Ella Bondar, a cellist and recent CIM graduate, said, “CIM has a history of not taking students into account in terms of who they bring into their building.”

In the 2022–23 academic year, Cleveland Institute of Music introduced a program it called “Orchestra 2.0.” The conservatory described Orchestra 2.0 as “a new, more rigorous orchestral training program regimen that has rapidly emerged as the nation’s gold standard.” CIM leadership aimed to make the CIM Orchestra into a pre-professional ensemble, with alumni landing jobs in the most prestigious American orchestras.

“The Cleveland Institute of Music’s mission and vision is to empower the world’s most talented classical music students to fulfill their dreams and potential and to be the future of classical music,” the CIM spokesperson said. 

“They want to be Curtis,” a faculty member told VAN, referring to the famously selective (and tuition-free) conservatory in Philadelphia. 

Carlos Kalmar was hired to make this vision a reality. Kalmar, who was born in Uruguay to Austrian parents and later studied in Vienna, was the music director of the Oregon Symphony for 18 seasons and is now the group’s music director laureate. He is also the artistic director of the Grant Park Music Festival and has conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and other top-tier ensembles in the U.S. and Europe. CIM faculty and staff told VAN it was this professional sheen that impressed CIM leadership, especially Hogle. 

Discontent with Kalmar’s leadership has occasionally surfaced in his professional work. In 2005, he fired a veteran Oregon Symphony flutist named Dawn Weiss, reportedly because he was dissatisfied with her playing. (While new orchestra members are sometimes dismissed during the tenure process, a sort of trial period, full orchestra members are rarely fired.) In a 2009 profile of Kalmar, trumpet player Fred Sautter told Portland Monthly that the conductor had caused musicians “great trauma.” Kenneth Shirk, then the secretary and treasurer of AFM Local 99, a musicians’ union, added, “He’s an old-school aristocratic conductor. He kind of thinks of the musicians as parts of his body. They all need to respond to the synapses firing in his brain, and he prefers to work with younger musicians who follow his directions.” In 2011, an assessment of Kalmar’s Oregon Symphony tenure published in The Oregonian reported that “Kalmar’s ironhanded control of the orchestra made some players afraid to make mistakes that might bring the maestro’s wrath.”

According to CIM, Kalmar personally “developed and launched” the Orchestra 2.0 program. This program involved a more intensive rehearsal schedule and frequent performances at Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. The CIM orchestra gave seven performances there in the 2022–23 academic year, featuring works by Ravel, Haydn, Brahms, Messiaen, and Bruckner.  

Before Kalmar took up his post full-time in the 2022–23 academic year, sources said a committee of CIM faculty and staff, which included Kalmar, convened to design the Orchestra 2.0 program. The program was initially intended to have clearly delineated, predictable schedules, and to keep students playing with their chamber music cohorts. They would receive their schedules and assignments at the beginning of the semester. “I very excitedly told my students what the new program was going to be,” a faculty member recalled. 

In interviews with VAN, students, faculty, and administrators at CIM said none of that happened when the new school year began. “They completely ignored those recommendations,” said another faculty member.

In rehearsal, both students and faculty found Kalmar inordinately harsh considering the youth and inexperience of the orchestral musicians. He seemed unwilling to modulate his tone to accommodate the difference between professionals and students. One faculty member described Kalmar as a “cruel taskmaster” in rehearsal. A former staff member said Kalmar treated the young musicians “like idiots.” “You can’t berate [the students], because they’re there to learn,” the staff member added.

”I felt really discouraged because I was trying really hard to gain his approval, and it was almost impossible to please him at all playing-wise,” a student string player said. “I felt very unwanted as a player. Every time in orchestra I would make a bowing mistake… he would point it out to everybody.” 

“Conductors can be mean or demanding in a way that pushes musicians to do their best, and you’re willing to put up with a lot of things,” said a faculty member. “But Carlos is just nasty. He’s scolding, he tells people they’re not good, he doesn’t offer instruction… There are very few redeeming factors there.”

Since Kalmar’s hiring, the time commitment required to play in the CIM Orchestra has increased dramatically. Rehearsals were often scheduled at short notice and ran long, leaving little time for other academic commitments. Some students were double-booked with orchestra projects, meaning they occasionally had six rehearsals in a week—excessive even for professional ensembles. 

Nine students and faculty members described an increase in prevalence of performance-related injuries, such as tendinitis, among CIM Orchestra musicians beginning at the end of the 2021–22 academic year. ”We’re seeing record high levels of mental and physical injuries among students,” a faculty member said. “It’s bringing academic progress to a halt.” The professor added that this was prevalent exclusively in the orchestra program: “Piano, voice, and composition [majors] are sad for their friends, but are having a perfectly fine experience.” A different faculty member noted that increased orchestra rehearsals interfered with his students’ practice schedules, heightening their risk of injury. 

Another nine sources told VAN they perceived Kalmar as treating female students differently from male students. A professor recalled a female student staying after class to complain of “severe gender bias” in Kalmar’s treatment of women, saying he frequently singled female students out for harsher criticism than their male peers. 

“He would be extra critical to the female students and very joking to the male students” in orchestra rehearsals, a student said. She continued, “I know there’s an extra level of social anxiety for the female students.” A male student told VAN that Kalmar “can tend to direct his anger and frustration more towards female students.” 

“I certainly feel that he treats the female players differently, whether intentionally or subconsciously,” said a recent CIM graduate who played in orchestra under Kalmar. “I absolutely feel that the way he speaks to me or some of my friends is completely different than the way he would speak to a male player.”

At the Oregon Symphony, Kalmar’s rehearsal style was credited with improving the sound of the ensemble tremendously. With the CIM Orchestra, his approach seemed to have the opposite effect. “They don’t sound good,” one faculty member told VAN. “The kids seemed beaten down,” another said. “The music-making is not good. The experience is unpleasant.”

But CIM students who play an orchestral instrument can’t simply immerse themselves in solo or chamber work, either. All undergraduate and master’s students are required to play in the CIM Orchestra every semester. Even so, Bondar, the cellist and recent CIM graduate, said she was so put off by her experience working with Kalmar that she went to drastic lengths to circumvent the orchestra requirement.

“I was in one orchestra cycle, then I told [the ensembles manager] that I wasn’t available for all Carlos’s concert dates,” she said. 

“This is a school trying to be the best orchestra school in the world,” said a faculty member, “and in two years, you have students who won’t go to class.” 

Ironically, the working conditions reported by CIM students and faculty are common—though growing rarer—in the professional orchestra world. In that sense, Kalmar’s tenure as conductor of the CIM Orchestra is preparing students for the harsh realities of the business. But Kalmar’s reputation as an established professional conductor also makes it more complicated for students to report problems. “Because Kalmar is someone that is so connected to the orchestra world,” a recent CIM graduate told VAN, “the students were saying, ‘[making complaints] could jeopardize my auditions and my professional networks.’” 

Strategically, there are many sound arguments for a program resembling Orchestra 2.0. In the American conservatory system, prestige accrues around institutions whose alumni feature prominently in the ranks of major American orchestras. An excellent student orchestra can be a valuable way of attracting prospective students. (The Curtis Orchestra frequently tours European capitals.) And orchestra jobs are among the few remaining in American classical music to guarantee financial security; following general academic trends, much music teaching work has become increasingly precarious

But professional orchestras have characteristics that make them more resistant to harsh behavior from conductors. In a given orchestra, many musicians have been playing together for decades, instilling a solidarity difficult to maintain in a conservatory, where students graduate every year. Musicians have unions which advocate for their interests, inform them of their rights, and help mediate labor disputes. Professionals are also less susceptible to overwork, leaning on their knowledge of the repertoire and previously developed strategies for handling marathon practice hours; less experienced young musicians simply haven’t cultivated those skills, making something like Orchestra 2.0 feel like a plunge into the deep end. And, of course, students aren’t getting paid to play.

Moreover, many students and faculty members were skeptical of CIM’s focus on pre-professional orchestral training at the expense of other career paths in classical music, an approach they described as single-minded and outmoded. Though a clear metric of prestige, full-time, well-paid orchestra jobs remain rare, and they are only getting rarer. Hybrid professionals and entrepreneurship skills are increasingly in demand in classical music. Many wonder if the conservatory is putting all its eggs in one basket, no matter the cost to student wellbeing. 

“They’re putting these kids at a disservice by leading them to believe there’s only the orchestra world,” Bondar said. “No one ever taught them they can do something else.”

In its race to become the leading orchestra program in the U.S., CIM set itself another ambitious goal: to be tuition-free by the end of the decade. Hogle unveiled those plans publicly last September in a letter to Crain’s Cleveland Business, asserting that “there is no future pathway for a tuition-centric, elite-level conservatory.” 

“Excellence and access are incompatible with expensive… We feel strongly that to achieve at the highest level, to take their place as the future of classical music, our students can’t be distracted, working extra jobs to pay off loans,” Hogle wrote. “In CIM’s case, a tuition-based model intensifies the competition over a declining number of students, some of whom are not prepared for conservatory training and not likely to become professional musicians.”

To achieve that goal, sources within CIM said the school plans to cut enrollment nearly in half, from about 450—a recent high—to 250, roughly the size of the Curtis Institute of Music. According to CIM’s website, enrollment currently floats around 350 but will gradually decrease “to make sure our students and alumni have the greatest opportunity to achieve their dreams and reach their potential.”

In the interim, Hogle’s administration pursued other access initiatives to ease the financial burden of attendance. In 2022, the school announced the CIM Tuition Promise, which guaranteed tuition freezes for all students matriculating during the 2022–23 academic year or later. In 2018, CIM had taken the unusual step of lowering tuition by 15 percent, bucking trends in higher education.

But, as skeptics noted, CIM is not Curtis. Curtis has been tuition-free since 1928, nearly its entire history; its prestige and geographic proximity to New York City have cultivated a broad, international donor pool. CIM hopes to do the same with a philanthropic base largely anchored in the Cleveland metro area. “As we seek to attract the world’s most talented classical music students to Cleveland over the next 100 years, we’ll need to invite all of Northeast Ohio to consider playing a part,” Hogle wrote in his Crain’s column. 

CIM’s path towards full scholarships has been, by many accounts, rocky. In an all-staff email sent in April, Hogle said that CIM would close the 2023 fiscal year with a projected $600,000 deficit—the institution’s first in 30 years. While Hogle was lauded as a strong fundraiser at the beginning of his CIM tenure, former employees with significant experience in Cleveland’s nonprofit sphere said some philanthropists have cooled to CIM after rumors of internal dysfunction. CIM’s development team in particular has seen notable turnover, cycling through six development chiefs and at least 16 staffers since the beginning of Hogle’s tenure in 2016. 

“The nonprofit community in Cleveland does not think highly of CIM,” said one former staffer. “From a nonprofit perspective, that place is a hot mess.”

David Brown, the former chair of eurythmics at CIM, shares that skepticism. “They do lots of splashy PR, but it doesn’t add up… about the students but also the fundraising and money,” he said.

Faculty, staff, and student sources alike commented on CIM’s unusually high staff turnover rate. Firings were common, worrying faculty members on precarious one-year contracts, and voluntary departures even more so. The revolving door frequently sowed confusion among students. Bondar, the cello alum, recalled going back-and-forth with a staff member to reschedule a practice room reservation. “He was emailing me at 9:40 in the morning, then, at 11, I got another email that [he’d] just quit. It was literally within hours,” she said. 

“It felt like as soon as we had somebody that knew how to do their job, they’d get snapped up by some other school,” said Joey Breslau, a voice student and recent CIM graduate.  

Though employees left CIM for myriad other reasons, Hogle’s administration resisted pandemic-related salary reductions and layoffs until recently. In July, however, Hogle emailed employees to announce a pay freeze for the 2023–24 academic year and a spate of layoffs, a decision the CIM spokesperson called “painful.”

”CIM’s emphasis on lowering tuition and increasing scholarships has resulted in record alumni achievement and a notably competitive incoming class,” the spokesperson continued. “The decision to restructure was made to preserve the exceptional training environment at CIM which our students have come to expect, while safeguarding our goal of cost not being a barrier for any student.”

Scott, the former Title IX coordinator, was among the five employees terminated. So were CIM’s dean of enrollment and aid and its summer programs manager. The way the layoffs fell down perplexed staff and faculty. Dean-level appointments, especially in a department as crucial as admissions, would rarely be affected by a financial layoff. And the summer program director had been dismissed in the middle of the term, leaving that program rudderless. 

In his all-staff email, Hogle cited fiscal challenges related to the “return of normal operations” as reasons for the freeze and layoffs. He also noted that, after its latest budget was approved, CIM did not receive “two major grants on which [it was] counting.” (Hogle did not provide the reasons CIM might have been passed up for such grants.) A recently released list of grant recipients by the Ohio Arts Council does not include CIM among its list of FY2024 grantees. CIM received nearly $70,000 from the Ohio Arts Council for FY2022; its logo, once embedded at the bottom of CIM’s website, has since been removed. 

The bleak financial picture presented by Hogle’s email felt still more dissonant after recently released 990s show that Hogle’s base salary increased by more than $85,000 to $464,122 in FY2022—not counting other compensation, which likewise increased from $44,113 to $70,059. CIM’s board of trustees would have had to approve the raise, a move which baffled faculty members. 

“The decision [to hire Kalmar] has had ramifications over the past year that are incredibly damaging to the school. I put all of those right in Paul Hogle’s lap, because it’s all an outgrowth of hiring Carlos,” an internal source told VAN. “I can only guess how many millions this will end up costing us in the long run, between investigations, lost funding, and whatever lawsuits are going to be out there.”

Even those less critical of Hogle and Kalmar nonetheless view CIM’s woes as an outgrowth of the lack of educational experience among current leadership. Prior to his appointment at CIM, Hogle was the executive vice president of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and also held administrative positions at the Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, and Indianapolis symphonies. Scott Harrison, CIM’s provost, likewise worked in high-level administration at the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony. Kalmar, too, came to his post largely from the orchestra world, though he has held residencies at the Yale School of Music, Juilliard, New England Conservatory, and other conservatories. None had worked in higher education full-time before arriving at CIM.

“That’s really the bottom line: This isn’t being run as an educationally sound place,” said one faculty member.

Some CIM faculty members said students in their studios have told their peers not to apply to CIM, at times even cornering prospective students during campus visits. Interviews with recent graduates, however, offered a somewhat more nuanced assessment. Shortly after graduating, Bondar said she was among those who would have discouraged students from applying, citing extreme frustration with CIM leadership. But after starting graduate school, she better appreciated the merits of her CIM experience.

“The classes and curriculum were intense and great… I would recommend it to people who wanted to pursue a more ‘classical’ career,” she said. “The main thing is really how the administration is run.” 

Breslau, the voice student and recent CIM graduate, agreed. “There are admin who are wonderful people, who regularly make time to talk with students and ask about the problems. But it always comes back to, ‘Well, we would really like to make these changes, but we simply don’t have the power—that’s the upper administration.’”

“There are so many great things about the school and the environment that it attempts to foster,” he went on. “If some key problems were worked out, I would happily become a donating alum.” ¶

Subscribers keep VAN running!

VAN is proud to be an independent classical music magazine thanks to our subscribers. For just over 10 cents a day, you can enjoy unlimited access to over 800 articles in our archives—and get new ones delivered straight to your inbox each week.

Not ready to commit to a full year?
You can test-drive VAN for one month for the price of a coffee.

… is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago, with work in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Musical America, Opera America, and the New York Times, among other publications.

… has been an editor at VAN since 2015. He’s the author of The Life and Music of Gérard Grisey: Delirium and Form (Boydell & Brewer), and his journalism has appeared in The Baffler, the New York...