Sugiyama has been performing with the orchestra as a substitute since September 2005, and was named principal in January. A native of Japan, he played with the Vienna Philharmonic from 2003 to 2005 and with the New Japan Philharmonic under Seiji Ozawa from 1997 to 2003. He is also a member of Ozawa's Saito Kinen Orchestra.
Sugiyama replaces Ronald Bishop, the Cleveland Orchestra's principal tuba from 1967 until his retirement last year.
The orchestra also appointed Jesse McCormick, currently the fourth hornist of the Colorado Symphony as its second hornist, and Michael J. Miller, currently the principal trumpeter of the Charlotte Symphony, as its fourth trumpeter. McCormick and Miller will join the Cleveland Orchestra this summer for the Blossom Festival.