Guitar Quartet

Curtis Presents | Curtis100 | March 25, 2025 7:30 p.m.

Internationally renowned violist and Curtis president and CEO Roberto Díaz, GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist and Curtis faculty member Jason Vieaux, and Curtis students bring their spring Curtis on Tour guitar quartet concert to Philadelphia for one-night-only.

A vibrant collision of global sounds, cultures, and sonic textures, the program begins with Selections from Czech composer and celebrated 19th-century guitarist Wenzel Thomas Matiegka’s Notturno, Op. 21, for flute, viola, and guitar, arranged by Franz Schubert. This selection is followed by a fiery, crowd-pleasing set featuring Spanish composer and pianist Manuel de Falla’s Suite populaire espagnole and Argentinian legend Ástor Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango. The concert closes with Niccolò Paganini’s lively Guitar Quartet in A minor, No. 15, M.S. 42. 

  • March 25, 2025
  • 7:30 p.m.
  • Curtis Institute of Music, Field Concert Hall
Tickets

Individual tickets will be available in May.

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Artists

  • A violist of international reputation, Roberto Díaz is president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, following in the footsteps of renowned soloist/directors such as Josef Hofmann, Efrem Zimbalist, and Rudolf Serkin. As a teacher of viola at Curtis and former principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Díaz has already had a significant impact on American musical life and continues to do so in his dual roles as performer and educator.

    As a soloist, Mr. Díaz collaborates with leading conductors of our time on stages throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia.  He has also worked directly with important 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki—whose viola concerto he has performed many times with the composer on the podium and whose double concerto he premiered in the United States—as well as Edison Denisov, Jennifer Higdon, Ricardo Lorenz, and Roberto Sierra. His recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2018.

    As a frequent recitalist, Mr. Díaz enjoys collaborating with young pianists, bringing a fresh approach to the repertoire and providing invaluable opportunities to artists at the beginnings of their careers. In addition to performing with major string quartets and pianists in chamber music series and festivals worldwide, Mr. Díaz has toured Europe, Asia, and the Americas as a member of the Díaz Trio with violinist Andrés Cárdenes and cellist Andrés Díaz. The Díaz Trio has recorded for the Artek and Dorian labels.

    Mr. Díaz’s recordings on the Naxos label with pianist Robert Koenig include the complete works for viola and piano by Henri Vieuxtemps and a Grammy-nominated disc of viola transcriptions by William Primrose. Also on Naxos are Brahms sonatas with pianist Jeremy Denk and Jonathan Leshnoff’s Double Concerto with violinist Charles Wetherbee and the Iris Chamber Orchestra led by Michael Stern. Mr. Díaz’s live performance of Jacob Druckman’s Viola Concerto with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra is available on New World Records. He has also recorded the Walton Viola Concerto with William Boughton and the New Haven Symphony for Nimbus Records, and works for viola and orchestra by Peter Lieberson with Scott Yoo and the Odense Symphony Orchestra and for Bridge Records.

    Since founding Curtis on Tour in 2007, Mr. Díaz has taken this successful initiative to North and South America, Europe, and Asia, performing chamber music side-by-side with Curtis students and other faculty and alumni of the school. His tenure as president of Curtis has also seen the construction of a significant new building which doubled the size of the school’s campus; the introduction of a classical guitar department and new conducting and string quartet programs; and the launch of Curtis Summerfest, summer courses open to the public. In the fall of 2013 Curtis became the first classical music conservatory to offer free online classes through Coursera.

    Also under Mr. Díaz’s leadership, Curtis has developed lasting collaborations with other music and arts institutions in Philadelphia and throughout the world and established a dynamic social entrepreneurship curriculum, supported by a prestigious Advancement Grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Designed to develop the entrepreneurial and advocacy skills of young musicians, this curriculum includes the project-based Community Artist Program (CAP) and the post-graduate Community Artist Fellowship program, which gives recent Curtis graduates the opportunity to dedicate a year of arts-based service to the community.

    Mr. Díaz received an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin College and was awarded an honorary membership by the National Board of the American Viola Society. In 2013 he became a member of the prestigious American Philosophical Society founded by Benjamin Franklin. As a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he was selected by then-music director Christoph Eschenbach to receive the C. Hartman Kuhn Award, given annually to “the member of the Philadelphia Orchestra who has shown ability and enterprise of such character as to enhance the standards and the reputation of the Philadelphia Orchestra.” He received a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Burton Fine; and a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teacher was his predecessor at the Philadelphia Orchestra, Joseph de Pasquale. Mr. Díaz also holds a degree in industrial design.

    In addition to his decade-long tenure as principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he performed the entire standard viola concerto repertoire and gave a number of Philadelphia Orchestra premieres, Mr.  Díaz was principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. He plays the ex-Primrose Amati viola.

  • Grammy Award-winner Jason Vieaux is “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists” (Gramophone). Performance highlights from the 2019–20 season include debuts at the Domaine-Forget International and Carmel Bach festivals; and appearances with the Caramoor Festival as artist in residence, San Francisco Performances, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Ravinia Festival. Notable venues include the National Gallery of Art, Shanghai Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Buenos Aires’s Teatro Colón, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, and New York’s 92Y, .

    As a chamber musician, Mr. Vieaux appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music@Menlo, and the Strings and Eastern Music festivals. He has appeared as a soloist with over 100 orchestras and has performed premieres by Jonathan Leshnoff, Avner Dorman, Jeff Beal, Dan Visconti, David Ludwig, Vivian Fung, and Mark Mancina, among others.

    Mr. Vieaux’s extensive discography includes the 2015 Grammy Award-winning album for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, Play. In 2019 Mr. Vieaux released a premiere recording of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto with Nashville Symphony (Naxos) and the album Dance with the Escher Quartet (Azica). Other recent recordings include Infusion (Azica) with accordion/bandoneon virtuoso Julien Labro, Ginastera’s Guitar Sonata, on Ginastera: One Hundred (Oberlin Music), and Together (Azica) with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis. In 2009 he was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series.

    In 2012 the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., an interface that provides one-on-one online study to guitar students around the world. Mr. Vieaux is head of the guitar department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he has taught since 1997. Mr. Vieaux joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2011. He plays a 2013 Gernot Wagner guitar.

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.

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