The Cleveland Orchestra Announces Promotion of Vinay Parameswaran to Associate Conductor

By Chris Ruel

The Cleveland Orchestra announced the immediate promotion of Vinay Parameswaran to Associate Conductor, continuing his three-and-a-half-year tenure with the Orchestra through the 2021-22 season.

Parameswaran, who served as the Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor since 2017, will continue to hold the Elizabeth Ring and William Gwinn Mather Assistant Conductor Endowed Chair, despite his new title. Parameswaran will remain The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s (COYO) Music Director, also through the 2021-22 season.

“Vinay has a natural authority that comes from his knowledge of a piece, inside-out, and innate musicality,” said Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst in the Orchestra’s press release. “He is extremely easy to work with because he has made The Cleveland Orchestra’s priority his own: Music comes first. There have been many highlights during his tenure with the Orchestra, especially his performance with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in the Abbey of St. Florian in Austria. Vinay’s work ethic and discipline make him a marvelous role model for young people.”

Prior to joining The Cleveland Orchestra in August 2017, Parameswaran served as Associate Conductor of the Nashville Symphony for three seasons, leading over 150 performances. That same year, Parameswaran was a Conducting Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and in subsequent seasons, debuted at North Carolina Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Eugene Symphony, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.

“I’m honored by the invitation to stay in Cleveland for another season and continue my work with both The Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. Franz Welser-Möst has been an extraordinary mentor, and I’m continually inspired by him. He searches for meaning in everything he conducts. Working with The Cleveland Orchestra is the embodiment of making music at the highest level. It’s a tremendous privilege every time I step on the podium in front of these amazing artists and collaborators. Coming out of this pandemic, we have an important role to bring music and optimism to our community — and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Parameswaran stated in the release.

Parameswaran’s opera résumé includes acclaimed productions of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” and Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore” with Curtis Opera Theater. He also assisted in a production of Verdi’s “Nabucco” with Opera Philadelphia.

As Music Director of COYO, Parameswaran oversees all aspects of the ensemble, from artistic planning and member selection to rehearsals and performances of the middle- and high-school-aged musicians. Parameswaran joined COYO on its third international tour in June 2019, leading performances in Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.

“Since the beginning of his tenure, Vinay has shared his passion for symphonic music in a way that has inspired young musicians to achieve artistic accomplishments beyond their expectations,” Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Manager Lauren Generette said in the release. “Vinay has committed himself to developing good citizens and good musicians, and has guided his young charges through symphonic masterworks while also expanding their knowledge of contemporary music that is inclusive of women and people of color.”

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Parameswaran played as a student for six years in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Political Science from Brown University, where he graduated with honors. At Brown, he began his conducting studies with Paul Phillips. He received a diploma in conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller as the Albert M. Greenfield Fellow.