European Tour

Curtis on Tour presents an all-alumni string sextet tour across Europe, with stops in Greece, Germany, and Spain. Acclaimed alumni Maria Ioudentich (Violin ’18), Emma Meinrenken (Violin ’22), violists Haesue Lee (’21) and Grace Takeda (’21), and cellists Jean Kim (’18) and Joshua Halpern (’19) come together for rousing performances of celebrated works by Richard Strauss, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Johannes Brahms, and Camille Saint-Saëns. The ensemble also includes the World Premiere performances of alumnus Michael Djupstrom‘s (Composition ’11) string trio “Two Fantasies,” commissioned especially for this tour.

Pianist Pallavi Mahidhara (’10) and baritone Dennis Chmelensky (Opera ’19) open the tour’s three-night residency in Athens at the Gennadius Library’s Cotsen Hall with a solo piano and vocal/piano recital featuring beloved works from Johann Sebastian Bach to Max Bruch.


Friday, September 29 at 8 p.m.
Athens, Greece
Nights of Classical Music at the Gennadius Library
Cotsen Hall, American School of Classical Studies at Athens,
Presented by the Schwarz Foundation and the Gennadius Library at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Saturday, September 30 at 8 p.m.
Athens, Greece
Nights of Classical Music at the Gennadius Library
Cotsen Hall, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Presented by the Schwarz Foundation and the Gennadius Library at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Sunday, October 1 at 8 p.m.
Athens, Greece
Nights of Classical Music at the Gennadius Library
Cotsen Hall, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Presented by the Schwarz Foundation and the Gennadius Library at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Thursday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Berlin, Germany
Presented in collaboration with Bard College Berlin

Sunday, October 8 at 12:00 p.m.
Madrid, Spain
Fundación Juan March
Presented by Fundación Juan March

Monday, October 9 at 12:00 p.m.
Madrid, Spain
Fundación Juan March
Presented by Fundación Juan March


  • Dennis Chmelensky, baritone

    Praised for his “strikingly individual timbre” (Philadelphia Magazine), German-American baritone Dennis Chmelensky was a member of the Washington National Opera’s Cafritz Young Artist program at the Kennedy Center. He is an alum of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Marlena Malas and Mikael Eliasen. This season, he will debut as Marquis de Corcy in Le Postillon de Lonjumeau at the Tiroler Festspiele in Erl under the baton of Beomseok Yi and directed by Hans Walter Richter.

    Recent highlights include his debut at the Verbier Festival as Peter in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel conducted by Stanislav Kochanovsky, as well as Tom in Un ballo in maschera under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda. He also performed Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte at the Philips Collection and workshopped Sensor in Jeanine Tesori’s new opera Grounded, which was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. Further highlights include appearances with Opera for Peace in Sochi, Russia, and his debut as Don Giovanni in a Curtis / Opera Philadelphia co-production under the baton of Karina Canellakis.

    An avid recitalist, Dennis has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe to perform works such as Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch. He made his Konzerthaus Berlin debut with Curtis on Tour, performing Ned Rorem’s Aftermath and works by Franz Schubert in 2019 on a tour through Greece, France, Spain, and Germany.

    Dennis was a National Semifinalist of the Metropolitan Opera’s Laffont Competition. He is a 2018 Opera Awards career grant recipient and an alum of the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie in Neumarkt, the Chautauqua Music Festival, and the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien. His debut album DENNIS was released by Sony Music.

  • Maria Ioudenitch, violin

    Born in Russia, violinist Maria Ioudenitch immigrated with her musical family to the U.S. at the age of two and grew up in Kansas City. In 2021, she received first prizes in the Ysaÿe International Music
    Competition, the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition, and the Joseph Joachim International
    Competition. She also received numerous special prizes at these competitions, including Joachim’s
    Chamber Music Award, the prize for Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work, the Henle Urtext
    Prize, and a recording deal with Warner Classics.

    Recognized for her innovative programs, her first album on Warner – Songbird with pianist Kenny Broberg, released on 24 March 2023 – spans from Franz Schubert, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Clara Schumann to Nikolai Medtner, Richard Strauss, and Nadia Boulanger. In upcoming concerts, she performs the Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, and Barber concertos as well as Haydn’s G-Major and Mozart’s D Major concertos, while this season’s recital programs include works by George Gershwin, William Grant Still, Dolores White and Fazil Say, alongside standard violin repertoire.

    In recent months, Maria Ioudenitch has made her debuts with Deutsches Symphonie-OrchesterBerlin (at Berlin’s Philharmonie), MDR-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and Münchner Symphoniker and returned to her home-town Kansas City Symphony. Other recent engagements have taken her to the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Lithuania Chamber Orchestra, and Utah Symphony, while her growing list of conductors includes names like Andrey Boreyko, Alpesh Chauhan, Kevin John Edusei, Stanislav Kochanovsky, Andrew Manze, Ruth Reinhardt and Hugh Wolff. She is also an active chamber musician and has taken part in multiple chamber music tours with Ravinia Steans Music Institute and Marlboro Music Festival. An upcoming Marlboro tour will take place in November 2023.

    Maria began playing violin with Gregory Sandomirsky at age three and continued her studies with Ben Sayevich at the International Center for Music in Kansas City and Pamela Frank and Shmuel Ashkenasi at the Curtis Institute of Music. She completed her master’s degree and Artist Diploma at the New England Conservatory, where she studied with Miriam Fried. This past year, Maria has been mentored by Sonia Simmenauer as part of Simmenauer’s new initiative, She is currently in the Professional Studies program at the Kronberg Academy, working with Christian Tetzlaff.

  • Emma Meinrenken, violin

    Canadian-German violinist Emma Meinrenken is a musician praised for her effortless virtuosity and her skill in interpreting contemporary music. She is pursuing her Master of Music Degree at the Yale School of Music, under the tutelage of Augustin Hadelich. She is the 2023 recipient of Yale’s Presser Foundation Graduate Music Award. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Ida Kavafian and was awarded the Milka Violin Artist Prize.

    Meinrenken has won many awards internationally, including 1st place at the Stradivarius International Violin Competition. She was the 2019 winner of the Prix Ravel at the Ecole d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau and was also awarded the best interpretation of a new composition. She has participated in many music festivals, including the NUME Festival in Italy, Norfolk Music Festival, Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Verbier Festival Academy, and the Four Seasons Winter Workshop. Meinrenken is often a featured performer at the Music Niagara Festival and is a faculty member for the festival’s performance academy. She also recently founded her own Toronto-based chamber music series, Music Around the Corner.

    Meinrenken debuted with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the age of ten and has since performed as a soloist with many other orchestras across North America and Europe. As a section player, she is on the roster of substitute players for the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has played for WHYY Radio, CBC Radio, and 96.3ClassicalFM. She is passionate about collaborating with composers and has been the dedicatee of many new works for the violin. She made her Carnegie Hall debut playing the New York premiere of a duet for violin and guitar by Fred Lerdahl. Meinrenken plays on the 1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivarius violin, generously on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts and receives support from the Sylva Gelber Foundation.

  • Haesue Lee, viola

    Violist Haesue Lee is the first prize and audience prize winner of the 2018 Primrose International Viola Competition. Haesue’s accomplishments as a solo violist include the 2015 Johansen International Competition, the 2014 Albert M. Greenfield Competition, 2013 Great Mountains Music Festival Concerto Competition, the New York International Music Competition, and the 2010 Alex & Buono International String Competition.

    Following her Carnegie Hall debut at age twelve, she has performed as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Prince George’s Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Ensemble 212. Haesue has also given solo recitals at the Brigham Young University, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Kumho Prodigy Solo Concert, and the Korean Culture Center in Paris, France. Haesue’s greatest inspiration comes from music-making with other musicians. As a passionate chamber musician, Haesue was invited to the Korean Presidential “BlueHouse,” Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, and the Bridgehampton Music Festival. During the 22/23 season, Haesue was on tour in prestigious venues in Europe, representing the Curtis Institute of Music. She has shared the stage with many distinguished artists such as Tabea Zimmermann, Nobuko Imai, Peter Wiley, Gary Hoffman, Lynn Harrell, Marcy Rosen, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, and Marina Piccinini.

    Haesue graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Hsin-Yun Huang and Roberto Díaz. Today, she is pursuing her master’s degree at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik with Tabea Zimmermann.

  • Grace Takeda, viola

    Grace’s musical endeavors have taken her into various music genres, including Western classical music, jazz, baroque, contemporary, and free improvisation. Currently based in Philadelphia, PA, she sustains a multifaceted career as a performer, educator, and arts advocate. Grace is the violist in the Vera Quartet and also plays with many different ensembles, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Princeton Symphony, and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. She participated in the Community Artist Program and Fellowship ‘20–22 at the Curtis Institute and developed her passion project, MUSEical Tales, a program combining music and literacy education. She also served as the ‘22–23 Director of Partnerships for a music education organization, Practice.Party, where she built and maintained relationships with partner organizations nationwide.

    Grace joined the Vera Quartet as their violist in 2021. Two works were commissioned in her time with the quartet: It Takes a Village by Alexis Lamb, a piece for string quartet and community members, and Milk Tooth by Elise Arancio for string quartet and toy percussion. Their mentors have been Peter Oundijian, Danish Quartet, Harumi Rhodes, and the Brentano Quartet. They have held residencies at the Colorado Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Music for Autism, and the Harpa International Music Academy USA.

    A native of North Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Grace began her studies on the violin at the age of four after being awed and inspired by Sailor Neptune, a character from her favorite tv show as a child, Sailor Moon, playing Boccherini’s Minuet on the violin. At age six, she started taking piano lessons, following in her older sister’s footsteps, performing in provincial and national festivals on both instruments.

    She seized an opportunity in the midst of her undergraduate degree as a violin major to delve into viola playing while preparing W.A. Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with her best friend. Immediately, she realized her love of lower frequencies and has not turned back since.

    She has played in several viola masterclasses with Tabea Zimmerman, Nobuko Imai, Kim Kashkashian, and Atar Arad. Her primary viola mentors have been Misha Amory, Roberto Diaz, Edward Gazouleas, Hsin-Yun Huang, Andre Roy, and Steve Tenenbom.

  • Jean Kim, cello

    Jean Kim has performed extensively throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician, and principal orchestral cellist. She has been invited to perform in prestigious venues such as Berliner Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Wiener Konzerthaus, and Royal Festival Hall. She has won prizes at the 2013 Johansen International Competition and the 2018 Irving M. Klein International Competition and was named a 2013 YoungArts Finalist.

    As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with renowned artists, including Pamela Frank, Jason Vieaux, Michael Rusinek, Leon McCawley, and Roberto Dìaz, among others. As a part of the Curtis on Tour initiative, Jean performed throughout Athens, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Shanghai in 2016. She has participated in festivals such as Banff Centre, MusicAlp, Centre d’Arts Orford, Great Mountains Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Fondazione Accademia Chigiana, and Weimar Meisturkurse, where she performed in masterclasses with Lawrence Lesser, Gary Hoffman, David Geringas, Jens Peter Maintz, Jian Wang, David Finckel, Philippe Muller, Sung-Won Yang, Antonio Meneses, and Aldo Parisot

    As an orchestral player, she has served as guest principal cellist for the London Philharmonic Orchestra and went on tour with them throughout Germany and Spain during the 2019/20 season. She has performed with the New York Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and served as principal cellist of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra during the 2017/18 season.

    A native of Sleepy Hollow, NY, she began playing the cello at age 5 with Vladimir Morgovsky. She entered the Juilliard Pre-College Division three years later to study with Minhye Clara Kim. As the Mark E. Rubenstein Annual Fellow, she graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music with a bachelor’s degree, where she studied with Carter Brey and Peter Wiley.

  • Joshua Halpern, cello

    Joshua Halpern has appeared on stages around the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral principal cellist. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists including Jonathan Biss, Gary Hoffman, Kim Kashkashian, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Anthony McGill, Itzhak Perlman, and many others, and has appeared at music festivals including the Ravinia Steans Institute, Music@Menlo, the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, La Jolla Summerfest, and Krzyzowa-Music. He has worked personally with composers such as Richard Danielpour, Kevin Puts, and the late Kaija Saariaho. In 2023, he appeared numerous times as guest principal cello with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, as well as guest with the Varian Fry Quartet.

    Josh is the founder and artistic director of the Cultural Caravan, a Colorado-based organization operating at the intersection of small businesses, social-service nonprofits, municipal organizations, and local artists. The Cultural Caravan has since presented over 50 artists with backgrounds ranging from Zimbabwean Afropop to Venezuelan jazz to Classical Music in coordination with over 40 local businesses and community organizations, reinvesting over $200,000 into the community since 2021.

    Josh completed his Artist Diploma at The Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where he studied with Carter Brey and Peter Wiley. As an undergraduate at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, he studied with Desmond Hoebig and was a winner of the school’s concerto competition. He is currently a member of the Karajan Akademie of the Berliner Philharmoniker, in which he plays as a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker and is mentored by Ludwig Quandt.

  • Pallavi Mahidhara, Piano

    Indian American pianist Pallavi Mahidhara made her orchestral debut at age 10, performing at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. She is the Second Prize winner and Young Audience Award winner of the 69th Geneva International Piano Competition and the VI International Prokofiev Competition in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

    She has appeared in solo and orchestral concerts across five continents and has performed at important festivals such as the Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Marlboro Music, and Verbier Festival. She regularly performs chamber music with renowned artists such as Gary Hoffman, Diemut Poppen, István Várdai, Pablo Ferrández, Josef Spacek, and Theo Fouchennert. Pallavi was selected by Sir András Schiff for his concert series, Building Bridges, a platform to support and promote young pianists. The Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Essen released a live performance recording of her recital from October 2021, available on Spotify.

    She received her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and her master’s degree From the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler. She studied for several years with Dimitri Bashkirov at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía. Aside from her private studio, Pallavi is the Artistic Advisor and a Piano Professor for the Young Artists Program at the Reina Sofia School in Madrid, Spain. She is regularly invited to teach for Curtis’s Mentor Alumni Program. She is the Executive Producer, Writer, and Host of “The Conscious Artist,” a new podcast designed to promote Mental Health Awareness for musicians, artists, and all human beings.