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Ida Mercer

Ida Mercer
CPAC: Who or what has influenced you locally and elsewhere?
Ida: Cleveland’s high standard of music making, not just at the Orchestra but across all the various musical groups and traditions, has been a great source of inspiration.

CPAC: How do you generate new ideas?
Ida: I’m always looking for musical connections both internally (i.e. between styles and periods of music) and externally (to completely other fields, such as dance or fashion or even astronomy). Those connections are my “ah-ha!” moments, which are the first step toward creating a program.

CPAC: What is the hardest part about creating?
Ida: Here in Cleveland it’s the far too many days of gray skies: the sun is such a boost for me.

CPAC: Why have you chosen Cuyahoga County as a place to live and work?
Ida: I moved to Cleveland three days after my wedding. I’d been teaching at a small liberal arts college in Iowa for two years, my husband’s first job was in Cleveland, and I was excited to be moving to such a great “Classical music city.” We thought we’d be in Cleveland just a few years, at which point work would deliver us somewhere else. Twenty-eight years later we’re still here. I’ve had a very exhilarating life as a cellist here and feel deeply ensconced in the musical life of this community. My husband and I live in an innerring suburb, we have raised 4 children here, and really appreciate how easy it is to get around and visit all the cultural offerings of this place. Ten minutes from University Circle, twenty minutes from downtown, no traffic jams, lively and stimulating colleagues - not a bad place to call home.

CPAC: What is your favorite place, event, or “hidden gem” in Cuyahoga County?
Ida: The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Parade the Circle—I love that day. Creativity brings together the whole community.