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Osmo Vänskä leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra May 6 in Allentown and May 7 in Philadelphia

Featuring pianist Peter Serkin (’64), the concert previews the program Osmo Vänskä and the orchestra will bring on a nine-city European tour May 17—June 2 May 7 Preconcert Gala Celebrates Curtis’s Philadelphia Roots and Global Reach

PHILADELPHIA, PA – May 4, 2017 – Osmo Vänskä, the charismatic music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, conducts the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown, Pa. and Sunday, May 7 at 8 p.m. in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center. The concerts feature celebrated American pianist and Curtis alumnus Peter Serkin (’64). 

In homage to another master nurtured at Curtis, this memorable evening opens with Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, led by conducting fellow Conner Gray Covington. Then Osmo Vänskä joins forces with the formidable Peter Serkin in the monumental Piano Concerto No. 1 by Brahms. Continuing the theme of heroic struggle leading to ultimate triumph is Ein HeldenlebenStrauss’s autobiographical epic.

Tickets for the Allentown performance are available from the Miller Symphony Hall Box office, MillerSymphonyHall.org or (610) 432-6715. Free student tickets are available via phone. Tickets for the Philadelphia performance start at $5 and can be purchased at the Kimmel Center Box Office, KimmelCenter.org or (215) 893-1999. 

This concert is a preview of the program the orchestra will perform on an ambitious tour of Europe May 17 through June 2, visiting nine cities — Helsinki, Bremen, Berlin, Dresden, London, Vienna, Salzburg, Wrocław, and Lusławice — in eighteen days. Part of Curtis on Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative, these performances are an embodiment of the school’s “learn by doing” philosophy, offering students real-world, professional touring experience alongside celebrated alumni and faculty, and including master classes, interactive programs, and community engagement activities. Since Curtis on Tour was established in 2008, Curtis students, faculty, and alumni have performed in nearly 100 cities across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Immediately preceding the concert on May 7, the Curtis Institute of Music will hold its Annual Gala at the Kimmel Center. On the eve of a momentous European tour, this year’s gala celebrates Curtis’s remarkable students, shaped in Philadelphia and heard around the world as part of the school’s rising global presence. Guests will enjoy cocktails at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m., followed by the concert. For more information, visit Curtis.edu/Gala.

Praised for its “otherworldly ensemble and professional level of sophistication” (New York Times), the Curtis Symphony Orchestra embodies the sheer joy of music-making. Honing their craft under celebrated conductors, 100 young musicians from the Curtis Institute of Music perform with a fresh exuberance that makes each work new. Recent visiting conductors include Vladimir Jurowski, Marin Alsop, Simon Rattle, Robert Spano, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, mentor conductor for the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellowship Program at the Curtis Institute of Music. This professional training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in orchestras around the world.



The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts

Osmo Vänskä, conductor 
Conner Gray Covington, conducting fellow
Peter Serkin, piano (’64)

BARBER       Adagio for Strings 
BRAHMS      Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor
STRAUSS     Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life)

Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. 6th Street, Allentown, Pa.
Tickets $25–$35, sold by the Miller Symphony Hall Box Office, MillerSymphonyHall.org or (610) 432-6715. Free student tickets are available via phone.

Sunday, May 7 at 8 p.m. 

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia
Tickets $5–$50, sold by the Kimmel Center Box Office, Kimmelcenter.org or (215) 893-1999.


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