David Cerone, Violinist and Teacher
2011 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR MUSIC AND DANCE
If anyone has earned some time on a golf course near a beautiful Florida home, it’s
David Cerone. He played a lot of golf while growing up in Syracuse, and
whenever his hectic schedule would allow, throughout his career as a
concert violinist and teacher.
and his wife Linda, also a concert violinist and teacher, fell in love
with Florida when they vacationed there, so it was a natural place to
relocate for retirement, especially after many years in Cleveland.
“It’s raining in Cleveland in the spring? No!” he jokes on the other
end of the phone in the Sunshine State.
though, I loved Cleveland, Oberlin and the Northeast Ohio community and
all the great musicians there and the audiences,” he says. “We have
many great friends there.”
his time here, Cerone had a significant impact on music and music
education in Northeast Ohio. He served as president of the Cleveland
Institute of Music (CIM) from 1985 to 2008.
Cerone began his violin studies with his
father, who also worked in radio electronics, but the latter quickly
realized that his extremely gifted son needed more advanced teachers.
At the age of nine, David auditioned for
the acclaimed concert master Mischa Mischakoff and went on to study at
the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music with the great
pedagogue, Ivan Galamian. In 1967, he made his New York recital debut
at Town Hall.
was Professor of Violin
at Oberlin Conservatory from 1962 until 1971, and served as chairman of
the string department and Kulas Professor at CIM from 1971 to 1981,
when he left to become head of the violin department at the
prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, on whose faculty
he had also served since 1975.
1985, however, he faced a difficult decision, when CIM contacted him
and offered him the chance to head the institute. “I could have easily
stayed on the faculty at Curtis, which is a great institution, and been
very comfortable there,” Cerone recalls. “But I chose to come back to
Cleveland to help a struggling organization of which I was extremely
fond, and it also occurred to me it would lead to more personal and
professional growth. It did all that, and more!”
his leadership, the Cleveland Institute of Music increased its
enrollment and broadened its international standing, while Cerone
spearheaded the extensive efforts to build a new concert hall for CIM.
An active chamber musician, Cerone toured extensively with the
Canterbury Trio from 1984 to 1989, under Columbia Artist Management,
and he and his wife Linda co-founded the Cleveland String Seminar and
the ENCORE School for Strings in Hudson, Ohio.
to retire in 2007, Cerone agreed to stay on as president for another
year so he could oversee the completion of the institute's
exciting new state-of-the-art Mixon Hall performance space. The
splendid opening ceremony featured performances by David and Linda—and
surpise appearances by several of their students who had gone on to
distinguished careers and played their hearts out in tribute to
their beloved teachers, the Cerones.
was an amazing day,” Cerone recalls. “And Mixon Hall is just an
incredible, gorgeous place with exceptional acoustics. So, it was a
fitting way to retire.”
stepping down he has served as a juror for many prominent national and
international violin competitions, performed in the St. Bart’s Music
Festival for three seasons, and given master classes around the world.
He is an auxiliary director of the International Board of the Suzuki
Association. His extremely popular recordings of the Suzuki Violin
Method Books I through IV have been reissued by Alfred Publishing. In
addition, Cerone presented a series of master classes, lectures and a
recital for the Talent Education Research Institute’s Teachers
Convention in Hamamatsu, Japan, becoming the first foreigner to address
this illustrious group.