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Vinay Parameswaran appointed Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra

Parameswaran will hear Youth Orchestra Auditions for the 2017-18 season next month

Release: April 3, 2017

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Orchestra announced today the appointment of Vinay Parameswaran as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.  The appointment is for a two-year term, beginning with the 2017-18 season.  Appointed by Franz Welser-Möst, Mr. Parameswaran joins the Orchestra’s conducting staff in August when he begins work with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and in September at the start of the 2017-18 season at Severance Hall. 

As Assistant Conductor, Mr. Parameswaran will serve as cover conductor for Severance Hall and Blossom Music Festival subscription concerts, and provide assistance to Music Director Franz Welser-Möst.  He will also be actively involved with the Orchestra’s many education programs and community performances, including his work leading the Youth Orchestra.  He will hold the Elizabeth Ring and William Gwinn Mather Assistant Conductor Endowed Chair.  Mr. Parameswaran succeeds current Associate Conductor Brett Mitchell, who completes the final year of his four-year term at the end of the 2016-17 season; Mr. Mitchell becomes Music Director of the Colorado Symphony with the 2017-18 season.

As Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, Vinay Parameswaran will oversee the ensemble’s artistic planning, select personnel for the ensemble, and lead rehearsals and performances of the Youth Orchestra.  The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, which begins its 32nd season in 2017-18, is a full symphony orchestra comprised of middle- and high-school-aged musicians from northern and central Ohio and western Pennsylvania who are coached by musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra.  Founded in 1986, the Youth Orchestra provides talented young musicians with a pre-professional orchestra training experience of the highest artistic standard.  The Youth Orchestra performs three concerts in Severance Hall each season, as well as three orchestra concerts in the community and several performances by chamber groups drawn from the ensemble throughout the region.

“We are pleased to welcome Vinay Parameswaran to the conducting staff of The Cleveland Orchestra,” said Mark Williams, the Orchestra’s Chief Artistic Officer.  “Selected through a competitive audition, Mr. Parameswaran offers the kind of excellence, musical understanding, enthusiasm, and collaborative spirit that exemplifies The Cleveland Orchestra as an institution.  His commitment to young people and fostering their interest in music is exceptional.  We have high expectations for Vinay, and I believe he will make a significant impact on our audiences, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the aspiring musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.”

“I am thrilled and humbled to have been chosen for this incredible opportunity with The Cleveland Orchestra,” said Mr. Parameswaran.  “In many ways, my musical path has led me to this point.  From the six years I spent as a young musician in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra – which, like the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, was founded by Jahja Ling – through my years at college and conservatory, through all my work as an assistant conductor with the Nashville Symphony’s education and public concerts, I feel ready to join the inestimable and storied ranks of The Cleveland Orchestra.  There is so much more I can learn, working with the Orchestra’s musicians – and so much that I want to share through music, with the members of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and with everyone in Cleveland!  I would like to express my thanks to Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra.  I’m looking forward to embarking on the next chapter of my career.”


About Vinay Parameswaran

Vinay Parameswaran begins his tenure as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra as well as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in the 2017-18 season. Mr. Parameswaran comes to Cleveland following three seasons as Associate Conductor of the Nashville Symphony from 2014-2017, where he led over 150 performances.

In the summer of 2017, Mr. Parameswaran will be a Conducting Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. During the 2016-17 season, he made his guest conducting debuts with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Tucson Symphony. He also made an acclaimed subscription debut with the Nashville Symphony conducting works by Gabriella Smith, Grieg, and Prokofiev. Recent engagements have included his debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Eugene Symphony, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.

Equally at home conducting opera, Mr. Parameswaran has led acclaimed productions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore with Curtis Opera Theater. He also assisted on a production of Verdi’s Nabucco with Opera Philadelphia.

Mr. Parameswaran is the conductor on the album Two x Four featuring the Curtis 20/21 ensemble as well as violinists Jaime Laredo and Jennifer Koh. Along with works by Bach, David Ludwig, and Philip Glass, the recording included Anna Clyne’s Prince of Clouds, which received a 2014 GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. He has participated in conducting masterclasses with David Zinman at the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada, as well as with Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Parameswaran played as a student for six years in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Political Science from Brown University, where he graduated with honors. At Brown, he began his conducting studies with Paul Phillips. He received a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller as the Albert M. Greenfield Fellow. 

About the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, currently in its thirty-first season, is a full, 100-member symphony orchestra of young musicians from 45 communities in 14 counties of Ohio. The ensemble was one of five youth orchestras chosen to participate in the National Youth Orchestra Festival at Michigan’s Interlochen Center for the Arts in June 1998. In March 2001, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra made its debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall, as part of the Carnegie Hall Family Concert Series, and at Penn State University’s Eisenhower Auditorium.  In June 2009, the Youth Orchestra traveled on a six-day, four-concert tour to Boston, Massachusetts and its surroundings.  In June 2012, the Youth Orchestra made its first international appearances with a tour that included concerts in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. In June of 2015, the Youth Orchestra made its second international tour, to China.

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is supported by a generous grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation and by gifts from many other donors from across Northeast Ohio. Endowment support is provided by The George Gund Foundation and the Estate of Jules and Ruth Vinney.

For more information, including information about the final Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra concert of the 2016-17 season, please visit:

Photo by Harry Butler

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