Students at Curtis have nearly unlimited opportunities to perform. Curtis presents nearly 200 performances each season, ranging from orchestra concerts and opera productions to solo and chamber recitals. Students also have access to world-class arts organizations, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Opera Philadelphia, and more, with these organizations frequently offering free or discounted tickets to Curtis students.
Outside of the practice room, Curtis takes pride in fostering a welcoming and supportive environment in which students can learn and perform to the best of their abilities. Frequent social and recreational activities are organized by Student Council and the residence life staff. Wellness activities are offered throughout the academic year in support of students’ physical and mental health. In addition, many traditions remain in practice that date back to the school’s founder, Mary Louise Curtis Bok, including Wednesday-afternoon tea and the annual holiday party. These unique events offer the entire Curtis community a break for refreshment, relaxation, and informal conversation.
“The music I’ve heard and the people I’ve met at Curtis have changed me. Everyone here loves music so deeply that it changes them as people. I go to school with artists—people who love what they do and who are so good at it—and I’m impressed every day by the level of music-making here, both by students and faculty. They all have motivated me and inspired me on such a high level.”
“Curtis is the most nurturing environment in which an artist can grow, and explore what works for them. Because of the size, because of the student-teacher ratio, and because of the huge range of performance opportunities and projects that students can pursue, [including] community engagement, support for entrepreneurial ideas. And the faculty … I think they’re amazing. The culture here is extremely nurturing in a way that’s really unique.”
“The school’s smallness allows you the mental space to grow and discover what you want to do. Find your love and home in on it. The percussion field is so full of possibilities, and here [students] can explore that.”
"Curtis is a family, not just a school. It’s full of beautiful learning resources and opportunities, but in a familial safe haven. Art cannot exist in a box, and I admire that the administration supports and cherishes every student’s path and individual needs. I wish the rest of the world was this welcoming and attentive to each and every human being!"
“There are so many reasons, starting with Mikael [Eliasen]: He’s always foraging for opportunities for singers, and he gets a lot of people from the opera world to come here and hear them, which can really help you make connections in your career. Apart from that, there’s the plethora of outstanding coaches, the high level of the Curtis Opera Theatre’s productions, and the chance to work closely and interact frequently with instrumentalists... In an atmosphere like this, there are so many different ways to learn.”