FAQs

Where can I read about the history of the Curtis Institute of Music?
Histories of the institute can be found in the following publications:

Additional historical overviews include the Philadelphia Inquirer's The Curtis Factor (2012), as well as our online archival exhibits and our blog, Notes from the Archives.

How can I consult finding aids to your collections?
Finding aids are published as collections are processed. View available finding aids here.

What information is available about Curtis alumni, faculty, and staff?
The Curtis Institute of Music maintains all student files dating from its founding in 1924. For restrictions please consult our access policy.

Student and faculty recital programs through 2014 can be browsed online. Additionally, students and faculty may appear in the school’s newsletter Overtones, published from 1929 to 1940. For lists of students, faculty, and staff through 1974 please consult the Overtones 50th anniversary edition.

The vertical files collection contains newspaper clippings and miscellaneous public information about faculty and alumni. For photographs and other available information, please contact the Archives.

Why does my relative not appear in Curtis’s online alumni database?
To be considered alumni, students must attend Curtis for at least one year and leave in good standing (view the alumni database).  To inquire about a student file, contact the archivist. For restrictions please consult our access policy.

Another way to verify attendance is to browse the school’s student recital programs. If a person does not appear in the programs, and no student file is available, this indicates (s)he was not a Curtis student.

It is possible that someone who is thought to have been a Curtis student studied privately with a Curtis faculty member or a Curtis student. These records are not in the Curtis Archives.

Do you have historical recordings of alumni and faculty in your collection?
Student recitals (1937-present) and commercial recordings featuring alumni and faculty are held by the Curtis Institute of Music library and searchable through its online catalog.  All private,  non-commercial recordings are available to students, faculty, alumni, and approved researchers only (contact the media librarian).

Do you have records of people who auditioned at Curtis but were rejected?
Applications of rejected students are not kept by Curtis administration. Please contact the archivist with any further questions.