Established as a dynamic concertizing ensemble since 1980, The Cleveland Duo combines with nationally-known saxophonist, James Umble, to form an exciting threesome who are virtual pioneers in the world of chamber music. Their unusual combination of violin(s), piano, and saxophone affords them a unique programming style, which features repertoire ranging from the traditional and familiar classical to folk, ethnic, avant-garde and even jazz for any of their six possible combinations. This built-in versatility renders this ensemble attractive to many types of venues and audiences, from the formal chamber music concert stage to schools, temples, churches, festivals featuring traditional and ethnic music and series devoted to new music. In addition, The Cleveland Duo is available for recitals, as well as concerto appearances with orchestra, chamber orchestra and wind ensemble.



Biographies (click to view)

the Cleveland Duo and James Umble

THE CLEVELAND DUO & JAMES UMBLE, classical saxophonist, have performed together to the major acclaim of audiences and critics alike since the 1993-94 season. “Clearly in love with their music”, this ensemble, which combines the talents of the charismatic husband-wife team known as The Cleveland Duo and James Umble, internationally-known saxophonist, has been heard throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico in major chamber music venues, festival sites, universities and conservatories of music, temples, in special informative presentations for school children, and over the airwaves of both National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The trio has also performed and lectured at important national and international conferences including the annual Chamber Music America Conference in New York City, the World Saxophone Congress in both Montreal and in Minneapolis, and the NASA (North American Saxophone Alliance) at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and at U of Georgia in Athens. Their recent (and upcoming) concert seasons have, and will have, taken them to California, Arkansas, Kansas, Oregon, North and South Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York City, throughout Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The trio also regularly performs in Canada and has appeared in concert and in residence in Mexico City. In April, 2003, they were the Heartland Arts Fund Artists in Education in their annual Rural Residency Program for a series of concerts for school children in Kansas. As educators, the trio has lectured and held clinics and workshops at such institutions as the Oberlin Conservatory, U. of Toronto and Western Ontario, Northwestern University and Chicago College of Performing Arts, Indiana University, the Manhattan School and Mannes College of Music in New York City, Miami University and Florida State, U. of Oregon, Lawrence University, Wisconsin, the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City and dozens more. They are on the Fee Support Roster for the Ohio Arts Council which subsidizes their appearances throughout Ohio.

Actively involved in the performance of new music, The Cleveland Duo & James Umble were the recipients of five new works by members of the Cleveland Composers’ Guild who sought, by way of competition, to write for the trio. This project culminated in a special concert in May of 2008 at Cleveland State University in which all five works were premiered. Their repertoire contains several such new works as well as other original repertoire for their unusual combination and transcriptions of music by Bach, Handel, Ravel, Piazzolla, Bartok, John Adams, Leonard Bernstein, Erik Satie, and many more, some of which the trio has been granted exclusive performance rights by major publishing houses.

Their collaborative CD, “Dejeuner sur l’Herbe” on the Dana Label was the recipient of a 1993 Grammy nomination citation in five categories, including best chamber music disc.

Stephen Warner

STEPHEN WARNER is a native of Philadelphia who began studying the violin at age six at the Settlement School. His advanced study included six summers at the Meadowmount School for Strings where he worked with Ivan Galamian and David Cerone. Mr. Warner studied for one year with renowned Baroque violinist, Eduard Melkus at the University of Georgia, with David Cerone and Bernhard Goldschmidt at the Cleveland Institute of Music and also attended the Blossom Festival School for two summers. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance at the Curtis Institute of Music in 1979 where he studied with David Cerone, Jascha Brodsky and Isidore Cohen, immediately after which he joined The Cleveland Orchestra.

Mr. Warner is a founding member of The Cleveland Duo with his wife, pianist and violinist, Carolyn Gadiel Warner, and The Cleveland Duo and James Umble, noted classical saxophonist. Both ensembles have been featured in numerous national and international publications such as Strad Magazine and The Saxophone Journal and tour actively throughout North America. In conjunction with The Cleveland Duo, Mr. Warner has performed as soloist with the Canton Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the Dayton Philharmonic, and the Ohio Chamber Orchestra as well as with the Wind Ensembles of Oberlin College Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Florida State University, Northwestern University School of Music, the University of North Texas and numerous others. In September of 2010, he traveled to Australia where, as part of The Cleveland Duo, he performed and lectured at the Sydney and Brisbane Conservatories of Music.

Carolyn Gadiel Warner

CAROLYN GADIEL WARNER is a native of Canada who began her musical studies at the piano at age three under the tutelage of her mother. At age five she made her debut over C.B.C. Radio, continuing an active child performer’s career thereafter. Later taking up the violin, she graduated with a Performer’s Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto in both piano and violin at the ages of twelve and sixteen, respectively. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Performance in both piano and violin from the University of Toronto, and a First Prize in chamber music and violin performance from the Paris Conservatory of Music where she studied on a three-year French Government scholarship and a Canada Council grant.

Ms. Warner has performed in the violin and keyboard sections (where she holds the Marc and Marjorie Swartzbaugh Endowed Assistant Keyboard chair) of The Cleveland Orchestra since 1979, prior to which she served in the same capacities with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. She is currently on the chamber music faculty at The Cleveland Institute of Music and holds annual concerts in collaboration with her students and colleagues entitled “Carolyn Warner and Friends” which are frequently heard over the local airwaves as well as streamed for international broadcast. Ms. Warner appeared at the Edinburgh Festival to a capacity audience at the Queens’ Hall in a concert that was simulcast over B.B.C. Radio. She has also performed numerous times as soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra and in duo concerti with her husband, violinist, Stephen Warner with chamber orchestras in Florida, Ohio and Western Canada. In September, 2010, together with Stephen Warner, she performed, coached and lectured at the Brisbane and Sydney Conservatories of Music in Australia.


James Umble

JAMES UMBLE is a native of Pennsylvania and holds the position of Professor of Saxophone Performance at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music. He has also been on the performance faculty of the Brevard Music Center Summer Program in North Carolina.

Dr. Umble holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Susquehanna University and a Master’s in Saxophone Performance from Bowling Green State University under the direction of Dr. John Sampen. He is also the recipient of a First Prize in Saxophone Performance from the National Conservatory of Music, Bordeaux, France where he studied with famed saxophonist, Jean-Marie Londeix. Dr. Umble’s book, “Jean-Marie Londeix, Master of the Modern Saxophone” profiling the life and pedagogy of this great musical figure was published in June 2000 in two languages by Roncorp Music Publishers.

Hailed by Donald Rosenberg of the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “ of the most elegant exponents of his instrument...”, Dr. Umble was the featured in the cover article of the September-October, 1997 issue of Saxophone Journal. Also active as a soloist with orchestra and wind ensemble, Dr. Umble performed in January of 1999 with the U.S. Navy Band at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, as well as numerous other ensembles. He has also performed as a saxophonist in select repertoire with The Cleveland Orchestra.

In August of 2005, he was invited to participate as a recitalist, lecturer and teacher at the International Single Reed Festival in Xi’an, China and has traveled throughout North America as a performer, clinician, teacher and lecturer in collaboration with his colleagues, Stephen and Carolyn Warner of the Cleveland Duo.