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Curtis Announces New Faculty Appointments

Appointments to take effect with 2010-11 school year

Curtis welcomes respected musicians and scholars to new responsibilities with the 2010-11 school year, and announces the creation of an endowed faculty chair in Liberal Arts.


David Ludwig, Ph.D., currently of the Composition and Musical Studies faculties, adds new responsibilities as the artistic chair of Performance Studies. Jonathan Coopersmith, a member of the Musical Studies faculty since 2005, has been named the chair of musical studies after a national search. Clarinetist Ricardo Morales joins the major performance faculty after coaching woodwind chamber music since 2008. And Jeanne M. McGinn, Ph.D., chair of Liberal Arts since 2001, now holds the newly endowed Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams, Jr. Chair of Liberal Arts.

David Ludwig assumes a new position, artistic chair of Performance Studies. In this capacity, he will oversee the programming and management of more than 150 public and private performances by Curtis students each year. "David Ludwig has been a valuable artistic and educational asset to Curtis in many capacities," said Curtis President Roberto Díaz. "He is well positioned to oversee our school's distinctive 'learn by doing' approach."

Dr. Ludwig joined the composition faculty in 2009. A member of the Musical Studies faculty since 2002, he served as acting chair of Musical Studies for the past two years and is artistic director of Curtis 20/21, the school's contemporary music ensemble. He recently curated Curtis's celebration of the Samuel Barber centenary. Dr. Ludwig is an active and much-performed composer, whose music has been performed internationally by leading musicians. For the 2008-09 season of Curtis On Tour, he wrote From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, which the Philadelphia Inquirer praised as "well-crafted … wonderfully satisfying" and the Orange County Register called "both accessible and sophisticated." Dr. Ludwig has received awards from Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, American Composers Forum, and the Theodore Presser and Independence foundations.

He holds residencies with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, New York Summer Music Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, where he is a Meet the Composer/League of American Orchestras "Music Alive!" resident composer. He has also held residencies with the Yaddo and MacDowell colonies and the Marlboro Music School. Dr. Ludwig holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Jonathan Coopersmith's appointment as chair of Musical Studies follows a two-year national search. "Every student at Curtis moves through a challenging musical studies curriculum," said Curtis Dean John Mangan. "With his wide-ranging knowledge and creative approach to complicated material, Jonathan will be a superb steward of this process."

Mr. Coopersmith has taught harmony, counterpoint, music history, and solfège for singers at Curtis since 2005. He also moderates the Conductor's Forum, a career development course for conductors. A native of Princeton, N.J., Mr. Coopersmith is the artistic director of Nashirah, the associate conductor of the Philadelphia Singers, and a guest chorus director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Ballet. He has served as associate conductor of the Delaware County Youth Orchestra and has conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra Society, Westminster Conservatory Orchestra, Wilmington Orchestra, University of Pennsylvania Wind Ensemble, and Penn's Landing Orchestra. He has also served as music director for Philadelphia's Opera on the Square, Rittenhouse Row Festival, and Festival of the Arts. Mr. Coopersmith holds a master's degree in orchestral conducting from the Mannes College of Music, where he studied with David Hayes, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied music theory and composition with George Crumb, Jay Reise, and Richard Wernick. He also studied at the Pierre Monteux School of Conducting with Michael Jinbo.

Ricardo Morales joins the major performance faculty after coaching woodwind chamber music since 2008. "We're delighted that Ricardo will spend more time teaching our students," said President Díaz. "He is one of the greatest clarinetists of our time and a tremendous artist, and our students will benefit greatly from him."

Mr. Morales joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2003 as principal clarinet. Prior to that, he was principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a position he assumed at the age of twenty-one under the direction of James Levine, and principal of the Florida Symphony. He has performed as guest principal several times with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and, at the invitation of Simon Rattle, with the Berlin Philharmonic. He has been a featured soloist with many orchestras, performing numerous times with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati Symphony. His performances have been met with critical acclaim, and the Philadelphia Inquirer hailed his appointment to the Philadelphia Orchestra, stating it "may represent the most salutary personnel event of the orchestra's last decade."

A native of San Juan, P.R., Mr. Morales began his studies at the Escuela Libre de Música, along with his five siblings, all of whom are now distinguished musicians. He continued his studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory and Indiana University, where he received his Artist Diploma. An active chamber musician, Mr. Morales has performed in the MET Chamber Ensemble series at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall with James Levine at the piano, at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Mr. Morales's recent recordings include performances with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and the Pacifica Quartet, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award. Mr. Morales also serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School and Temple University.

Jeanne McGinn, head of the Liberal Arts department at Curtis, holds the newly created Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams, Jr. Chair of Liberal Arts. "This generous gift underlines the importance we place on educating our young Curtis musicians as broadly as possible," said Dean John Mangan. "At Curtis we believe the finest musicians are widely informed, with inquisitive minds. Our Liberal Arts curriculum supports this conviction."

The chair was endowed by a gift from Ruth and Morris Williams, keen supporters of many Philadelphia-area nonprofits. Ruth Williams chairs the boards of Vox Ama Deus and Project Forward Leap, is a board member of the Children's Literacy Initiative, and is a former member of the board of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Morris Williams chairs the Philadelphia Scholars Fund Advisory Committee and is a former member of the Board of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. He is a former board member of CARE and is a trustee emeritus of Duke University. Both Mr. and Mrs. Williams are enthusiastic supporters of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Their endowment gift will be matched by board chairman H. F. "Gerry" Lenfest as part of the Lenfest Faculty Chair Challenge. Under the terms of the challenge, Mr. Lenfest provides matching funds, up to a total of $17 million. This challenge will ensure that Curtis's longstanding tradition of faculty excellence continues.

Liberal Arts chair since 2001, Jeanne McGinn received her B.A. from Bucknell University; her M.A. as a Rotary International Fellow from University College Cork, Ireland; and her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College. Her awards include the grand prize in the University of Galway Poetry Competition, the Seymour Adelman Prize in Poetry, and a Whiting Foundation Grant. Dr. McGinn has read her award-winning poems at venues at home and abroad, and she has published most recently in The Potomac Review. Composer Jennifer Higdon set six of her poems in a work for violin, orchestra, and chorus; the Philadelphia Orchestra premiered The Singing Rooms in January 2008, and the Atlanta Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra premiered the work in 2009. In 2008 Curtis awarded Dr. McGinn the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for distinguished teaching. This year she was named one of the top one hundred Irish-American Educators by Irish America Magazine. Prior to being appointed Liberal Arts chair, Dr. McGinn was a member of the Curtis faculty from 1994 to 1999.

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 conservatories, Curtis is highly selective and provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 160 students. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach. This philosophy has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school's founding in 1924, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, Lang Lang, John Relyea, and Time for Three.


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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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