The Curtis Institute of Music’s all-school projects are interdepartmental, educational, and cultural extravaganzas characterized by an intensive and simultaneous examination of a specific composition, genre, or era by the academic curriculum, performance studies, and extracurriculum.
The projects provide a unique opportunity for all Curtis students:
- to deepen and broaden their artistry by studying and performing together a defined repertoire
- to practice critical listening and analysis of that repertoire, along with research, writing, and discussion in Musical Studies courses
- to explore the surrounding social history, literature, philosophy, psychology, visual art, politics, and general cultural ethos in Liberal Arts courses.
Extracurricular programs such as outside concerts, lectures, museum visits, and social activities expand the students’ learning experience beyond the walls of Curtis.
Love and War
For 2012–13, the music for the Curtis all-school project begins where Romeo and Juliet ends. Shakespeare's tale of youthful love, warring families, playful comedy, and epic tragedy has inspired legions of composers in works for orchestra, ballet, opera, chamber ensembles, and art song, among them Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Berlioz, Rorem, Bernstein, and Diamond. The Curtis performance calendar, academic curriculum, and extracurriculum will explore the themes of Romeo and Juliet from perspectives literal and immediate to those symbolic and peripheral.
Past All-School Projects
The projects, uniquely envisioned by Curtis President Roberto Díaz, began in 2007–08 with the Opus 95 Project, which focused on Beethoven’s string quartet masterwork. That first project received praise from the New York Times for its innovation and has inspired other institutions to stage their own similar projects.
A two-year exploration of the Second Viennese School followed. Its centerpiece was a full production in 2010 of Berg’s seminal opera Wozzeck.
The Curtis all-school project for 2010–11 was the Paris Project: Between the Wars. It featured the Curtis Symphony Orchestra performance of Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphonie as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.
The 2011–12 project embraced Curtis's season-long celebration, Appassionato. Performances, courses, lectures, and other events considered the place of the Curtis Institute of Music in the broader cultural landscape: how it has impacted and been influenced by Philadelphia, the nation, and the world.