Ray Chen plays Barber

Curtis Symphony Orchestra | Curtis100 | December 13, 2024 3:00 p.m.

Teddy Abrams Leads All-American Program

Renowned violinist Ray Chen, celebrated for his “gorgeous tone” (Chicago Tribune) and “full-bodied lyricism” (New York Times), joins forces with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra for an electrifying rendition of Samuel Barber‘s Violin Concerto.

Conducted by acclaimed artist and Curtis alumnus Teddy Abrams, this performance pays homage to Barber’s early years post-graduation from Curtis. The concerto, a masterpiece of the 20th century, unfolds with unabashed romanticism, showcasing two lyrical movements that grow in depth and beauty. As the music accelerates to a break-neck speed, sparks fly, culminating in a blazing finale. Experience the thrilling fusion of virtuosity and passion in this monumental musical journey. 


Program
TJ COLE (’17) Death of the Poet
WALKER (’45) Lilacs for voice and orchestra
BARBER (’34) Violin Concerto, Op. 14
COPLAND Symphony No. 3
  • December 13, 2024
  • 3:00 p.m.
  • Marian Anderson Hall, Kimmel Center (formerly Verizon Hall)
Tickets

Individual tickets will be available in May.

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Artists

  • Teddy Abrams (Conducting ’08) is the music director of the Louisville Orchestra and music director and conductor of the Britt Festival Orchestra. A tireless advocate for the power of music, Abrams has fostered interdisciplinary collaborations with organizations including the Louisville Ballet, the Center for Interfaith Relations, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Speed Art Museum, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. His rap-opera, The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, premiered in 2017, celebrating Louisville’s hometown hero with an all-star cast that included Rhiannon Giddens and Jubilant Sykes. Abrams’ work with the Louisville Orchestra has been profiled on CBS News Sunday MorningNPR, and in The Wall Street Journal.

    An accomplished pianist and clarinetist, Abrams has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras—including play-conducting the Ravel Piano Concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony in 2017 and the Jacksonville Symphony in 2013—and has performed chamber music with the St. Petersburg String Quartet, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Time for Three, and John Adams, in addition to annual appearances at the Olympic Music Festival. Dedicated to exploring new and engaging ways to communicate with a diverse range of audiences, Abrams co-founded the Sixth Floor Trio in 2008. Together, they founded and direct GardenMusic, the music festival of the world-renowned Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami; they continue to tour regularly throughout the U.S.

    Abrams was a protégé of Michael Tilson Thomas from the age of eleven, and studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller and Ford Lallerstedt at the Curtis Institute of Music, and with David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival; he was the youngest conducting student ever accepted at both institutions. Abrams is also an award-winning composer and a passionate educator. His 2009 Education Concerts with the New World Symphony (featuring the world premiere of one of Abrams’ own orchestral works) were webcast to hundreds of schools throughout South Florida.

    Learn more about Teddy.

  • Violinist and online personality, Ray Chen redefines what it means to be a classical musician in the 21st century. Learn more

  • Acclaimed for its “otherworldly ensemble and professional level of sophistication” (New York Times), the Curtis Symphony Orchestra offers a dynamic showcase of tomorrow’s exceptional young talent. Each year the 100 extraordinary musicians of the orchestra work with internationally renowned conductors, including Osmo Vänskä, Vladimir Jurowski, Marin Alsop, Simon Rattle, Robert Spano, and Yannick Nézet Séguin, who also mentors the early-career conductors who hold Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellowships. This professional training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in America’s leading orchestras, as well as esteemed orchestral, opera, and chamber ensembles around the world.

2024–25 Season

Great to Groundbreaking

Step into the heart of our centennial celebration as Curtis Institute of Music unveils a season brimming with passion, energy, and greatness. You’ll experience music-making at its highest level—and the energy and excitement of extraordinary young talent. It will be an unforgettable season, where the young artists of Curtis ignite the stage alongside esteemed alums like Yuja Wang, Ray Chen, Teddy Abrams, Time For Three, and many more. 

Special Thanks

Curtis’ Centennial Season is made possible through the support of Derek and Sissela Bok, the Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation, Deborah M. Fretz, Charles C. Freyer and Judith Durkin Freyer, Lisa and Gie Liem, Mark and Robin Rubenstein, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Curtis Institute of Music received funding from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Guest conductor appearances for each Curtis Symphony Orchestra performance are made possible by the Rita E. and Gustave M. Hauser Chair in Conducting Studies. Orchestral concerts are supported by the Jack Wolgin Curtis Orchestral Concerts Endowment Fund and the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.  

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