Curtis presented the world premiere of Anansi and the Great Light, a children’s opera that Nick DiBerardino (Composition’18, Community Artist Fellow ’19) composed in collaboration with students from Girard College.
After decades leading the Curtis Opera Theatre, Mikael Eliasen retired as artistic director, with Curtis celebrating his career in a star-studded “farewell” recital.
Curtis on Tour travelled to Latin America, presenting performances (including the first-ever in Peru), working with local students in master classes, and visiting president Roberto Díaz’s home country, Chile.
The Curtis Opera Theatre presented a full slate of operas, including a fully-staged production of Empty the House, originally composed by alumna Rene Orth while she was a student at Curtis, and expanded in 2019.
Curtis mentor conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera, led the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in concerts in April and October.
Curtis on Tour reached new milestones in 2019, traveling to over 100 cities since its founding in 2008, and presenting three simultaneous tours during the month of November!
Christina and Michelle Naughton were awarded Avery Fisher Career Grants in 2019. They join over 40 Curtis alumni who have previously received this honor.
Three alumni were recognized as leaders and new artists to watch by Musical America, including Joseph Conyers (Double Bass ’04), who was honored among “30 Professionals of the Year”.
Four Curtis alumni won principal positions in top orchestras, including David Cooper (Horn ’04), new principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Three of four top prizes at both the Michael Hill and Queen Elisabeth international violin competitions were taken by Curtis students and alumni, including Michael Hill first prize-winner Do Gyung Anna Im.
Curtis was instrumental in launching the first-ever Philadelphia Music Week, celebrating the long history of music-making in Philadelphia and showcasing the wide range of musical styles and genres present in the city.
Curtis Summerfest welcomed participants—ranging from lifelong musicians to aspiring conservatory students and everyone in between—to experience life at Curtis.
Curtis students, alumni, and staff were a strong presence at the SphinxConnect conference, as part of the school’s ongoing efforts to ensure that Curtis—and classical music generally—are environments where musicians of color can thrive and excel.
In the 2019–20 season Curtis celebrates 95 years of artistry since its founding in 1924 by Mary Louise Curtis Bok.
Danielle Orlando (at far left) and Eric Owens (at far right) became the new leaders of the Curtis Opera Theatre, presenting their first production, The Barber of Seville, in November.
As always, Curtis celebrated a bittersweet moment as a new class of students graduated, many of them leaving Curtis to make their mark on the musical world.
The Student Recital Series presented 100 free recitals in 2019, showcasing the talent of Curtis students, and featuring appearances by faculty, guest artists, and alumni.
Curtis alumni came together to re-connect and celebrate Curtis's 95th anniversary at the 2019 Reunion.