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Photo credit: Daniel McDougall

Curtis Symphony Orchestra in front of Frauenkirche, photo by Daniel McDougall
Curtis students have always thrived on a distinctive, highly personalized education. Visiting artists of the highest rank complement the teaching of the superb faculty. Curtis’s unique “learn by doing” philosophy offers a rare level of onstage experience; and its small size and keen mission focus allow for the creation of unique all-school projects that integrate performance and classroom studies. Curtis continues to strengthen these offerings.

The Rock Resource Center complements and supports all these programs, and must continually keep pace with new technology and resources. Likewise Curtis must continually examine, assess, and improve all program elements to ensure they anticipate and meet the needs of a 21st-century musician.

Among the strategic steps Curtis took in FY 2012 to improve its educational program while maintaining its distinctive, personal approach:

  • The celebratory Appassionato season featured composers and performers with strong connections to Curtis and Philadelphia; new works commissioned from faculty, alumni, and students for Curtis performances at home and on tour; and a free concert for 4,400 at the Mann Center, offered as a gift to the city of Philadelphia
  • Curtis On Tour, Curtis 20/21, and other student groups traveled to major venues across the U.S. and abroad; Curtis On Tour made its debut in Asia, performing to audiences in Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul; and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra was in residence at Germany's Dresden Music Festival
  • obtained funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to bring the Grammy Award-winning new music ensemble eighth blackbird to Curtis for a three-year residency beginning in 2012–13.