Board of Trustees Elects Nina Baroness von Maltzahn Next Chair of the Curtis Institute of Music
Reflecting a school national and international in reach, she brings further global connections to Curtis, succeeding H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest on June 1,2014
(December 12, 2013) The Curtis Institute of Music Board of Trustees announces the election of Nina Baroness von Maltzahn as its new Chair, following the extraordinary tenure of H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, who announced in September his intention to step down on May 31, 2014. Under Mr. Lenfest's leadership the school has re-imagined its Philadelphia campus; invested in curricular, faculty, and technology initiatives; and set a new strategic direction to maintain its position at the leading edge of conservatories worldwide.
"Nina von Maltzahn's commitment to artistic excellence and her uniquely global perspective will be invaluable to Curtis as it anticipates future opportunities and challenges well beyond those we have already imagined. She is a highly respected member of the Curtis community, and I look forward to working with her to ensure a smooth transition," said Mr. Lenfest, who will continue his involvement with Curtis as Chairman Emeritus and as a member of the Bok Foundation Board.
Curtis's Governance Committee, led by Sheldon Bonovitz, unanimously recommended Baroness von Maltzahn for the role of Chair after a thoughtful and thorough search process that included input from representatives of all Curtis constituencies. Mr. Bonovitz noted, "A Board Chair with a national and international reach is the perfect match for Curtis, whose students in recent years have come from 29 states and 22 countries, and whose alumni and faculty perform to great acclaim around the world. The breadth of her experience and leadership of a wide range of cultural organizations will serve Curtis's mission exceptionally well. The Committee agreed it had every confidence that Curtis will continue to be in extraordinarily capable hands."
Born in New York City, educated in Geneva, and now residing in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Baroness von Maltzahn maintains active ties to Europe and New York City. Founder and president of the Fundación Retoño (Sapling Foundation), a nonprofit organization that works to develop better opportunities for children at social risk in Uruguay, she also serves on the boards of several German organizations, including the American Academy in Berlin and the James Simon Foundation. She is an honorary member of the board of Spectrum Concerts Berlin and a member of the International Council of the Salzburg Easter Festival's Association of Patrons. She joined the Curtis Board of Overseers in 2008 and the Board of Trustees in 2010.
"I am delighted and honored to be named Chair of the Curtis Institute of Music, one of the world's finest conservatories, with legendary alumni from Leonard Bernstein to Samuel Barber to Juan Diego Flórez," said Baroness von Maltzahn. "Gerry Lenfest is leaving the school in a position of tremendous strength, and I am excited to deepen my involvement with Curtis as I work closely with the talented leadership team and trustees."
Baroness von Maltzahn has provided ground-breaking support for Curtis On Tour in Europe since 2009, making it possible for Curtis faculty, alumni, and students to perform in Italy, Spain, Denmark, England, France, and Germany, including concerts at the American Academy in Berlin. She has been instrumental in establishing two new programs at Curtis, the guitar department and the string quartet program, and has endowed two faculty chairs: the Nina von Maltzahn Chair in Violin Studies, held by Ida Kavafian; and the Fondation Charidu Chair in Guitar Studies, held by David Starobin.
The Board also announced that Edward A. "Ned" Montgomery Jr. will continue to serve as Vice-Chair and will be joined by Vice-Chair Robert H. "Bob" Mundheim beginning in June 2014. Ned Montgomery joined the Curtis Board in 2003 and was named Vice-Chair in 2006. Since retiring as Vice Chairman of Mellon Bank Corporation, he has worked for more than 20 years for United Way and is now Honorary Chair of its Endowment Campaign. Bob Mundheim, who has been a Curtis trustee since 2006, is Of Counsel to Shearman & Sterling in New York and was formerly Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc.
"Our plan is for our Board to increasingly mirror the national and international nature of the school as we continue to broaden and deepen our base of support, attract students from around the world, and bring music to people globally through live and online performances," said Curtis President Roberto Díaz. "We value our Philadelphia heritage and ties, and want to let people around the world know about what is happening in Rittenhouse Square."
Information about Curtis's international reach
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 provides its 168 students with full tuition scholarships and personalized attention from a celebrated faculty.
In addition to more than 200 performances in and around Philadelphia each year, students perform internationally with Curtis On Tour, which has traveled to twelve countries in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Summerfest, Curtis's series of summer programs launched in 2012, has brought students ranging in age from 12 to 88 from seven different countries and across the United States to Curtis.
Curtis alumni play in ensembles worldwide, holding principal and titled chairs in every major American orchestra. Each season they are featured as guest soloists with the world's leading orchestras and chamber music series, and they are on the rosters of the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden, the Vienna Staatsoper, and the San Francisco Opera, among others.
The school's digital initiatives bring Curtis into homes around the world. Curtis Performs (www.curtis.edu/CurtisPerforms), a website dedicated to exclusive HD video content from Curtis, has been viewed in 112 different countries since its May 2013 launch. Between September and December 2013, two courses taught by Curtis faculty and offered through Coursera (www.curtis.edu/Coursera), a leader in massive open online course (MOOC) education, saw more than 51,000 combined enrollments from students in 135 countries.
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