Curtis Presents

Where past and future meet

Unique, timeless, and ageless: Feel the rare energy of a diverse collection of artists—alumni, faculty, students, and friends—whose musical foundations are rooted in the Curtis community.

 

Noah Bendix-Balgley, Peter Wiley (Cello ’74), and Robert Levin 

Tuesday, October 17 at 8 p.m.

For twenty years, Peter Wiley has guided the young cellists and chamber musicians of Curtis with a steady hand and a generous spirit. This icon of chamber music, a longtime member of both the Guarneri Quartet and the Beaux Arts Trio, is joined by Berlin Philharmonic concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley and the eminent pianist and scholar Robert Levin in an unforgettable evening of music-making. These luminaries bring their decades of experience, insight, and mastery to Franz Schubert’s epic piano trios, No. 1 in B-flat major, D. 898 and No. 2 in E-flat major, D. 929, completed in the final year of the composer’s life.


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Aizuri Quartet (String Quartet ’16) with Jonathan Biss (Piano ’01)

Saturday, December 9 at 8 p.m.

The Aizuri Quartet derives its name from a Japanese style of woodblock printing that features intricate detail and vibrant color—which perfectly describes the group’s charismatic yet meticulous musicianship. The quartet's credits include first prize at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2017 and third prize at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in 2015. Formerly in residence at Curtis, the Aizuri Quartet opens its Curtis Presents program by exploring a theme of isolation as experienced by four composers from four different centuries. For the second half the quartet joins forces with the imaginative and expressive pianist Jonathan Biss of Curtis’s piano faculty for Antonín Dvořák's chamber masterwork, the Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81. Their dynamic collaboration is not to be missed.


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Leonard Bernstein (Conducting ’41) Centenary Celebration 

Saturday, February 10 at 8 p.m.

Curtis alumnus Leonard Bernstein left his mark on music around the world. This centenary tribute features the Zorá String Quartet, Curtis’s string quartet in residence; renowned alumni Dominic Armstrong, tenor and David Shifrin, clarinet; and the exciting young pianist Jiacheng Xiong. They offer chamber music and songs from a prodigiously gifted composer and conductor who traversed styles and genres with ease.



Sarah Shafer (Opera ’14) and Mikael Eliasen

Sunday, March 4 at 3 p.m.

A Philadelphia favorite, Curtis alumna Sarah Shafer collaborates with Mikael Eliasen, artistic director of the Curtis Opera Theatre, in an intimate song recital. Widely admired for her “intensely expressive interpretations” (New York Times) in venues from Glyndebourne to Marlboro to Carnegie Hall, this luminous lyric soprano is a sought-after artist in opera and chamber settings. Enter her special world of song and poetry—with some surprises on the side.



Marinus Ensemble with Michael Rusinek (Clarinet ’92)

Sunday, April 15 at 3 p.m.

The ever-changing, ever-engaging Marinus Ensemble is flexible in size and shape to accommodate a broad range of repertoire. Focused on a threefold mission of chamber concerts, audience interaction, and residencies, Marinus counts many Curtis alumni among its members. For this special recital, another Curtis alumnus joins Marinus as a guest: Michael Rusinek, principal clarinet of the Pittsburgh Symphony, noted for his “lavish, supple timbre” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).



Performances, artists, and venues are subject to change.