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Violinist Philip Setzer Named New Artistic Director of CIM's String Chamber Music Program

A violinist in the Emerson Quartet, Setzer was already on the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music and will take up his new post immediately


A Cleveland native, Setzer spent many of his formative years in and around the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) studying with Rafael Druian, before departing for The Juilliard School for tertiary study.

A founding member of the Emerson Quartet, Setzer's appointment comes in the wake of the quartet's retirement announcement for 2023 — after a 47 year history and several personnel changes.

Setzer had already been associated with CIM in a Visiting Faculty capacity and has plenty of teaching experience elsewhere. He also serves as the Distinguished Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at SUNY Stony Brook, and has given masterclasses internationally.

Setzer's appointment brings with it a promotion for cellist Si-Yan Darren Li, who will now serve as CIM's Program Director of Chamber Music. The two will run the program collaboratively.

“I had the fortune of studying with great teachers throughout my student years, including Josef Gingold, Oscar Shumsky, Robert Mann, and Rafael Druian,” said Setzer. “Without the mentorship, coaching and collaboration of those musicians and many more, I would not be where I am today. I want to hand down that legacy to CIM’s students, and I look forward to working in partnership with Si-Yan to create unparalleled chamber music experiences at CIM.”

“CIM has a storied history as a center of chamber music excellence, and with the addition of Phil Setzer and the promotion of Si-Yan Darren Li, we will further leverage our strengths — our distinguished faculty, master classes with visiting artists and our conservatory students themselves — to raise the chamber music bar even higher for CIM students,” said CIM President & CEO Paul W. Hogle. “CIM is ensuring that our students are leaders as both individual musicians and in all ensemble settings.”


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