Making Waves

The Curtis Institute of Music produces top prizewinners of international competitions, soloists with major ensembles, and today’s most promising artists. Each year 175 students come to Curtis, drawn by a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture. In this intimate environment, they are nurtured by a celebrated faculty and inspired by the school’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach, offering more than 200 concerts each year in Philadelphia as well as performances around the world through Curtis on Tour. They go on to make waves throughout the music world, winning major competitions, appointments, and honors.

Jonathan Biss (Piano ’01), faculty member

Yuwon Kim, conducting fellow

Michael Casimir (Viola ’18)

Timothy Chooi (Violin ’17)

Aizuri Quartet (String Quartet in Residence, 2014-16)

Joseph Conyers (Double Bass ’04)

Jun-Ching Lin (Violin ’85)

Hae Sue Lee, viola student

Chang-Yong Shin (Piano ’16)


Stay up to date on the latest achievements by Curtis students and alumni:


December 2018: Musical America Worldwide, 30 Professionals of the Year

Joseph Conyers (Double Bass ’04)

Musical America Worldwide: The MA 30 Professionals of the Year: Innovators, Independent Thinkers, and Entrepreneurs


November 2018: IsangYun International Cello Competition, First Prize

Christine Jeong Hyoun Lee (Cello ’13) and Sang Eun Lee (Cello ’18)

The Violin Channel: Joint-1st Prize Awarded at Korea’s IsangYun International Cello Competition


October 2018: Avery Fisher Prize

Leila Josefowicz (Violin ’97)

New York Times: Listen to Leila Josefowicz, the Intrepid Violinist Who Just Won $100,000


October 2018: Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition, First Prize

Timothy Chooi (Violin ’17)

The Violin Channel: VC Young Artist Timothy Chooi Awarded 1st Prize at Hannover’s Joseph Joachim Competition


October 2018: Sphinx LEAD, Dean

Stanford Thompson (Trumpet ’09)

Sphinx Blog: Knight Foundation grants $1.5 million to Sphinx Organization for launch of arts leadership program


October 2018: Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Principal Cello

Abraham Feder (Cello ’08)

Detroit Jewish News: Cellist Abraham Feder joins the DSO


October 2018: Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Assistant Conductor

Junping Qian (Viola ’13)

The Violin Channel: Royal Scottish National Orchestra Announces New Assistant Conductor


September 2018: Sphinx Medal of Excellence

Joseph Conyers (Double Bass ’04)

The Strad: Double bassist to receive $50,000 award from Sphinx Organization


September 2018: International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Gold Medal

Richard Lin (Violin ’13)

Indianapolis StarRichard Lin wins gold medal at the 2018 Indianapolis violin competition


September 2018: Leeds International Piano Competition, First Prize

Eric Lu, piano student

The GuardianUS pianist Eric Lu wins top prize at Leeds competition


September 2018: Princess Astrid International Music Competition, First Prize

Yuwon Kim, conducting fellow

The Royal House of Norway: Princess Astrid International Music Competition


September 2018: Premio Rodolfo Lipizer International Violin Competition, First Prize

Matthew Hakkarainen, violin student

The Violin Channel: Prizes Awarded at Italy’s 2018 Lipizer International Violin Competition


September 2018: Heifetz Institute, Artistic Director

Nicholas Kitchen (Violin ’90) Heifetz Institute Names Nicholas Kitchen as New Artistic Director


September 2018: Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Section Viola

Michael Casimir (Viola ’18)


August 2018: Philadelphia Orchestra, Associate Principal Flute

Patrick Williams (Flute ’14)

Philadelphia Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra Appoints Two New Musicians to Flute Section for 2018-19 Season


August 2018: Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Concertmaster

Celeste Golden Boyer (Violin ’05)

The Violin Channel: Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra Announces New Concertmaster


August 2018: Boston Ballet, Music Director

Mischa Santora (Conducting ’97)

Boston GlobeBoston Ballet names Mischa Santora its new music director


August 2018: Oregon Symphony, Assistant Principal Bass

Braizahn Jones (Double Bass ’18)

Oregon Symphony: Braizahn Jones


August 2018: Co-Artistic Director, Marlboro Music School and Festival 

Jonathan Biss (Piano ’01), faculty member

Philadelphia InquirerPopular Philadelphian Jonathan Biss is new co-artistic director of prestigious Marlboro Music


Kansas City Symphony, Associate Principal Viola

Matthew Sinno (Viola ‘18)


August 2018: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Principal Viola

Teng Li (Viola ’05)

The Violin Channel: Los Angeles Philharmonic Announce New Principal Violist


August 2018: Verbier Festival Paternot Award

Timothy Chooi (Violin ’17)

The Strad: Timothy Chooi awarded Verbier Festival Academy’s highest honour


July 2018: Kalamazoo Symphony, Concertmaster

Jun-Ching Lin (Violin ’85)

The Violin Channel: Michigan’s Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Announces New Concertmaster


July 2018: Tokyo International Viola Competition, First Prize

Luosha Fang (Violin ’14)

The Violin Channel: Prize Winners Announced at Japan’s Tokyo International Viola Competition


July 2018: Gina Bachauer International Artists Competition, Gold Medal

Chang-Yong Shin (Piano ’16)

Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation: 2018 International Artists Competition


June 2018: Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Fellowship

David Ludwig (Composition ’01), Chair of Composition Studies, and Diane Monroe (Violin ’80)

The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage: 2018 Grantees


June 2018: Cleveland International Piano Competition, First Prize

Xiaoxuan Li, piano student CIPC Announces 2018 Prizes in Young Artists Competition


June 2018: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Principal Oboe 

William Welter (Oboe ’16)

Chicago TribuneCSO hires new principal oboe, William Welter, one of its youngest first chairs ever


June 2018: Primrose International Viola Competition, First and Second Prizes

Hae Sue Lee, viola student; Zoe Martin-Doike (Violin ’13)

The Violin Channel: 18-Year-Old Hae-Sue Lee Awarded 1st Prize at LA’s Primrose Viola Competition


June 2018: Géza Anda Competition, First Prize

Claire Huangci (Piano ’07)

Swiss Radio and Television: Claire Huangci wins the Concours Géza Anda


June 2018: Astral National Auditions, Winner

Vera Quartet, string quartet in residence, and Eric Huckins (Horn ’16)

Astral Blog: 2018 National Auditions Winners


May 2018: M-Prize Chamber Music Competition, Grand Prize

Aizuri Quartet (String Quartet in Residence, 2014-16)

Strings Magazine: Aizuri Quartet Wins M-Prize Chamber Music Competition


May 2018: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Section Bass

Edward Francis-Smith (Double Bass ’18)

The Violin Channel: New York’s Met Opera Orchestra Announces New Double Bassist


May 2018: Washington National Opera, Debut

Emily Pogorelc, vocal studies student as Cunegonde in Candide

D.C. Metro Theater ArtsRising Stars: Emily Pogorelc in the Washington National Opera’s ‘Candide’


May 2018: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Chief Conductor

Karina Canellakis (Violin ’04)

New York TimesAfter a Last-Minute Conducting Triumph, Her Own Orchestra


May 2018: Empire State Youth Orchestra, Music Director

Carlos Ágreda (Conducting ’18)

Times Union: ESYO appoints new music director


April 2018: Music Critics Association of North America, Best New Opera of 2017

David Hertzberg (Composition ’15) for Wake World

Philadelphia InquirerOpera Philadelphia and David Hertzberg win 'best new opera' for 017 commission


March 2018: Avery Fisher Career Grant

Xavier Foley (Double Bass ’16)

Young Concert Artists, Inc.: Xavier Foley Wins 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant


March 2018: Staatskapelle Berlin, Associate Principal Second Violin

Lifan Zhu (Violin ’14)

The Violin Channel: Staatskapelle Berlin Announces New Associate Principal Second Violin


January 2018: Grammy Awards, Best Contemporary Classical Composition

Jennifer Higdon (Composition ’88) for her Viola Concerto performed by Roberto Díaz (Viola ’84)

New York TimesGrammy 2018 Winners: Full List


Photograph: Andrea Baldeck