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Michael Nutter and Robert Levin Are Featured Speakers at Curtis Commencement on May 16

Honorary Degrees Awarded to Robert D. Levin, Curtis Dean Robert Fitzpatrick, and Faculty Member Bernard Garfield

Curtis Alumni Award Presented to Robert Fitzpatrick (Clarinet '68) and Laila Storch (Oboe '45)


The Curtis Institute of Music holds its seventy-sixth annual Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 16 in Field Concert Hall. The featured speakers include acclaimed pianist Robert D. Levin and the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter. Honorary degrees will be awarded to Mr. Levin, Robert Fitzpatrick, dean of Curtis for twenty-eight years, who retires at the end of this school year; and Bernard Garfield, a member of the Curtis bassoon faculty who also retires this year.

Forty-three students are expected to graduate. Twenty students will receive a Bachelor of Music degree, twelve students will receive a Diploma, nine students will receive a Master of Music degree, one student will receive a Certificate, and one student will receive a Professional Studies Certificate in Opera.

The Curtis Alumni Award will be presented to Robert Fitzpatrick and Laila Storch, the first woman oboist to graduate from Curtis and author of a recent biography of longtime Curtis faculty member Marcel Tabuteau. The Curtis Alumni Award is the highest honor the school confers on its alumni. Established in 2000, the award recognizes outstanding and long-term contribution to Curtis and exceptional contribution to the music world.

Robert D. Levin has performed with orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia on modern and period pianos. A noted Mozart scholar, he is renowned for his improvised cadenzas in Classical period repertoire and his completions of Mozart's Requiem, C minor Mass, and other unfinished works have been recorded and performed throughout the world. A passionate advocate of new music, he has commissioned and premiered a large number of works from composers including Joshua Fineberg (Veils, 2001), John Harbison (Second Sonata, 2003), Yehudi Wyner (Chiavi in mano, Pulitzer Prize 2006), Bernard Rands (Preludes, 2007) and Thomas Oboe Lee (Piano Concerto, 2007). Mr. Levin studied at Harvard University and joined the musical studies faculty of The Curtis Institute of Music, where he taught from 1968 to 1973. In 1993 he became a professor at Harvard University, where he is the Dwight P. Robinson Jr. Professor of the Humanities.

Michael Nutter is a lifetime Philadelphian, with an accomplished career of public service, business, and financial administration. Mr. Nutter served as a City Councilman for nearly fifteen years, representing Philadelphia's Fourth District--one of the city's largest. During his time in Council, he worked to lower taxes for Philadelphians, engineered groundbreaking ethics reform legislation, and led efforts to pass a citywide smoking ban. In July of 2006, he resigned his City Council seat to run in Philadelphia's mayoral election. On November 6, 2007, he was overwhelmingly elected Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. He was sworn in as the ninety-eighth Mayor of Philadelphia on January 7, 2008.

Bernard Garfield joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1957 as principal bassoon, a position from which he retired in 2000. He was a winner of the orchestra's C. Hartman Kuhn Award. Among Mr. Garfield's recordings are the Mozart's Bassoon Concerto, Weber's Hungarian Rondo, Vivaldi's "La notte" concerto, Hindemith's sonata, and much of the woodwind chamber music repertoire. Mr. Garfield's compositions include three quartets for bassoon and string trio, a string quartet, piano solos, bassoon pieces, and songs. In 1946 he organized the New York Woodwind Quintet, and he is a member of the Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet. Mr. Garfield was a member of The Curtis Institute of Music faculty from 1975 to 1980 and rejoined it in 1985. He retires in 2009 and will become faculty emeritus.

Robert Fitzpatrick was born in Philadelphia and attended The Curtis Institute of Music from 1966 to 1968; he studied clarinet with the late Anthony Gigliotti. Mr. Fitzpatrick received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Temple University. His posts have included those of music director and chairman of fine arts at St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia from 1969 to 1980; principal conductor, Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, 1980 to 1982; and music director, Garden State Philharmonic, 1976 to 1982. Mr. Fitzpatrick joined the staff of The Curtis Institute of Music in 1980.

Laila Storch was the first woman oboist to graduate from Curtis, where she studied with Marcel Tabuteau. She was principal oboe of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg and has played with the National Symphony, Kansas City Philharmonic, Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, and American Wind Ensemble of Vienna. She is the recipient of a Fulbright research grant and has written many articles about oboists and oboe history. Her definitive biography of her former teacher, Marcel Tabuteau: How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can't Peel a Mushroom?,was published by Indiana University Press in 2008. Ms. Storch is professor emeritus of oboe at the University of Washington.

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world's leading music schools, Curtis provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 162 students, ensuring that admissions are based solely on artistic promise. A Curtis education is tailored to the individual student, with personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and unusually frequent performance opportunities. This distinctive "learn by doing" approach to musical training has produced an impressive number of notable artists, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, Leila Josefowicz, Lang Lang, and Time for Three.


Press Contacts

Jennifer Kallend
Senior Director of Public Relations and Patron Engagement
(215) 717-3190
jennifer.kallend@curtis.edu

 

Elizabeth Racheva
Vice President of External Affairs and Patron Engagement
(215) 717-3187
elizabeth.racheva@curtis.edu
 


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