Conductor, violinist, and eminent pedagogue Joel Smirnoff, a native of New York City, was appointed President of the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2008 and retired from that position in 2016.
A long-time member of the Juilliard String Quartet (JSQ), he joined the Juilliard String Quartet as second violin in 1986 and in 1997 replaced Robert Mann as first violinist. In addition to his Grammy-nominated SONY disks with the Juilliard Quartet, Mr. Smirnoff also has an extensive catalog of solo recordings. As a music educator, Mr. Smirnoff served on the chamber music faculty of The Juilliard School since 1986 and on the violin faculty since 1989. Mr. Smirnoff was Chair of the Violin Faculty from 1992 until 2008 and served as conducting assistant to Maestro Seiji Ozawa and Head of String Studies at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts, US, from 1995-2000. Mr. Smirnoff made his conducting debut with the San Francisco Symphony, conducting an all-Tchaikovsky program. Since then he has led the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Chicago Philharmonic, the New
World Symphony and internationally, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, the Basel Sinfonietta and at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. He will be on campus the last three weeks of the season.