Robert Vernon, Principal Viola of The Cleveland Orchestra
Meet the Artist: Robert Vernon, Principal Viola, The Cleveland Orchestra
Friday, April 15, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.
Westwood Country Club
22625 Detroit Road
Rocky River, OH 44116
Program moderated by Ilya Gidalevich, Artistic Administrator, The Cleveland Orchestra
The longest-tenured string principal in The Cleveland Orchestra’s history, Robert Vernon has served as principal viola since 1976. He has performed in more than 4,500 concerts with the Orchestra and has recorded more than 300 works — virtually the entire standard repertoire. As a soloist, Mr. Vernon has collaborated with many of the great conductors of our time, including Pierre Boulez, Christoph von Dohnányi, Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Simon Rattle, Georg Solti, and Franz Welser-Möst, among others. He has appeared as soloist in seventeen different works in more than 120 concerts at home in Severance Hall and on tour, including three works commissioned for him by The Cleveland Orchestra.
As a teacher, Mr. Vernon is a member of the faculty and co-chair of the viola department at the Cleveland Institute of Music. For the past seven years, he has also served as a viola faculty member at New York’s Juilliard School, from which he graduated with honors. He has also written a book on orchestral excerpts titled The Essential Orchestral Excerpts for Viola: Keys to a Successful Audition. The American Viola Society recently presented him with the Maurice W. Riley award for “Distinguished Contributions for the Viola through performance and teaching.”
Robert Vernon and his wife, Valerie, have been married for 34 years and have three grown children.
Ilya Gidalevich joined the staff of The Cleveland Orchestra as artistic administrator in January 2016. Since 2009, he worked at Opus 3 Artists, most recently as manager of artists and attractions. His experience includes comprehensive management of a diverse roster of conductors, instrumentalists, and touring ensembles. In his new role in Cleveland, he is responsible for the planning and execution of various Cleveland Orchestra concerts at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center, and for the Orchestra’s annual residency in Miami, among other projects. Mr. Gidalevich holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University with majors in music and political science. He was born in Odessa, Ukraine and raised in Atlanta, Georgia.