Afendi Yusuf, who completed his Master of Music in 2015 and Performance Studies Certificate in 2017 with Clarinet Professor and Music Director Yehuda Gilad, was appointed Principal Clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra and will start this month. In a statement released by the orchestra, Afendi said, “It is an honor and privilege to join The Cleveland Orchestra. As my first appointment, I cannot imagine a better environment for my personal and artistic growth. I am humbled by the Orchestra’s rich history and the profound influence of my predecessors, and I’m eager to collaborate with my future colleagues, who have been equally warm-hearted and inspiring. I am grateful for the support of my family and peers, and fortunate to receive the guidance of tremendously dedicated mentors over the years, including Yehuda Gilad, Joaquin Valdepeñas, and Ross Edwards.”
Nicholas Mendez, an alumnus of both the Community School and the Music Academy, was named the winner of this year’s Piano Concerto Competition at the Aspen Music Festival. He performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor with the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra on August 15. Nicholas will be a freshman at USC’s Thornton School of Music this fall.
Community School students Reina Cho, Mei Hotta, and Kevin Miura, and Music Academy student Sena Cho all performed with Pink Martini at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, September 27. The performance was coordinated by NPR’s From the Top.
Community School bassist and Richard D. Colburn Scholarship recipient Ethan Moffitt was invited to play with Kamasi Washington at the Hollywood Bowl on August 23. He performed on viola.
Music Academy pianist Tyler Kim won second prize in the Colburn Music Academy’s Piano Festival, where he performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
Music Academy pianist Ray Ushikubo performs with the San Diego Symphony this weekend as a featured soloist in their 1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular concert program.
Alumni of the Dance Academy have graduated and are pursuing professional careers and apprenticeships. Miranda Wattier, who studied in the Dance Academy from 2014–2017, signed with L.A. Dance Project. Jaya Dhand, 2015–2017, is training with the Professional Division of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Leah Upchurch, 2016–2017, is with the trainee program of the Joffrey Ballet. Anatalia Hordov, 2014–2016, signed as an apprentice with San Francisco Ballet. Jackson Bradshaw, 2014–2016, signed as an apprentice with the Nashville Ballet.