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1985: George Vassos

with Elly Ameling,

legendary interpreter of art song

2017: George Vassos with Eric Owens,

Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone 


Cleveland's Art Song Festival was founded in 1985 at the Cleveland Institute of Music by George Vassos (1927–2020), who taught at CIM for fifty years and was Head of the Voice Department for twenty-seven years! 

The Festival's mission is to promote the rich and enticing art song repertoire and to cultivate its performance through recitals by major guest artists and master classes. Many of the world's foremost performers and scholars have participated in the Festival since its inception.


After ten years at neighboring Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Art Song Festival returned to CIM in 2017 with a recital by Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone Eric Owens.

Read more about Art Song Festival's history in an article published in Classical Singer magazine in 2016.

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