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Benjamin Schmid and Gabriel Kovach Lead Curtis Institute Chamber Ensemble in East Coast Tour and Philadelphia Recital November 16–21

Touring group of students led by notable alumni perform Beethoven and Penderecki works for woodwinds and strings

PHILADELPHIA—October 30, 2019—Alumni and student performers from the Curtis Institute of Music embark on an east coast tour to venues in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. from November 16 to 21. The performances for Curtis on Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music, feature chamber works for woodwinds and strings by Beethoven and Penderecki, and include a concert as part of the Curtis Presents series on Wednesday, November 20 at 8 p.m. at Field Concert Hall in Philadelphia.

Featured touring artists are Austrian violinist Benjamin Schmid (’91), recognized as one of today’s most versatile artists and a frequent collaborator with Curtis on Tour, and Gabriel Kovach (’99), principal horn of the Phoenix Symphony. Both are alumni of the Curtis Institute of Music. Other artists include current students Sara Han (Clarinet), Doron Laznow (Bassoon), Haeji Kim (Viola), John Lee (Cello), Marcus Elliott Gaved (Double Bass), and Benjamin Krasner (Piano).

The ensemble performs Krzysztof Penderecki’s Duo Concertante for violin and double bass and the composer’s Sextet, as well as the Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20 by Beethoven. Curtis musicians last performed Penderecki’s Sextet in March 2014 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall during the composer’s residency at Curtis for the 2013–14 school year.

The November 17 performance sees a return for Curtis on Tour to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The venue is a frequent stop for Curtis touring ensembles. Additionally, the ensemble appears at Curtis’s own Field Concert Hall on November 20 to open the Curtis Presents series, which features a diverse collection of artists whose musical foundations are rooted in the Curtis community. The 2019–20 Curtis Presents season also includes recitals with bass-baritone Eric Owens (Opera ’95), composer in residence Bright Sheng, and an alumni ensemble comprising Teddy Abrams (Conducting ’08), Nathan Farrington (Double Bass ’06), Gabriel Globus-Hoenich (Timpani and Percussion ’08), and Harrison Hollingsworth (Bassoon ’08).

4-concert subscriptions and single tickets to the Curtis Presents season ($80 and $25, respectively) are available from the Curtis Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/CurtisPresents. Ticket information for all other tour stops is specific to the venue. More information is available at Curtis.edu/CurtisOnTour.

Gabriel Kovach has been principal horn of the Phoenix Symphony since 2006. He is also principal horn of the Glimmerglass and Artosphere festival orchestras; and previously served as principal horn of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. He has toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, sharing duties as principal and second horn; and has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Kovach has participated in the Casals, Norfolk Chamber, Verbier, and Sarasota music festivals; the National Repertory Orchestra; and the Marlboro Music Festival and School, where he founded the Sonoro Winds with several colleagues. He has taught clinics and master classes for the Southwest Horn Conference; Interlochen Arts Academy; and Arizona, Arizona State, and New Mexico State universities.

In 2001 Mr. Kovach recorded the world premiere of Max Schubel’s Esquisses en désarroi with cellist Inbal Segev and the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has been a featured soloist with the Phoenix Symphony, performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 on two separate occasions.

Mr. Kovach holds a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Myron Bloom; and a master’s degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Julie Landsman and Jerome Ashby.

Benjamin Schmid was born in Vienna and grew up in Salzburg. In 1992 he won the Carl Flesch Competition in London, where he was also awarded the Mozart, Beethoven, and Audience prizes. Since then he has performed on the world’s major stages with renowned orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra (London), the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) under conductors such as Christoph von Dohnányi, Valery Gergiev, Ingo Metzmacher, Seiji Ozawa, and David Zinman.

In addition to the standard concerto literature, Mr. Schmid includes concertos by Hartmann, Gulda, Korngold, Lutoslawski, Muthspiel, Schoenberg, and Szymanowski in his repertoire, and is skilled in jazz improvisation. He has recorded about 40 CDs, receiving such awards as the German Record Prize, the Echo Klassik Prize, the Gramophone Editor’s Choice, and the Strad Selection. His June 2011 performance with the Vienna Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev was broadcast internationally and released on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon. Mr. Schmid is professor of violin at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and gives master classes in Berne, Switzerland. In the summer of 2006 he was awarded the International Prize for Art and Culture of the City of Salzburg. A 1991 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he plays the ex-Viotti 1718 Stradivarius violin.

Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music. Grounded in the school’s “learn by doing” philosophy, it offers students real-world, professional touring experience alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. In addition to performing, musicians offer master classes, interactive programs, and community engagement activities while on tour. Curtis on Tour also facilitates solo performances of Curtis students and alumni with professional orchestras and recital series. Since the program was established in 2008, students, faculty, and alumni have performed more than 300 concerts in over 100 cities in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

In the 2019–20 school year, the Curtis Institute of Music celebrates 95 years of educating and training exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. With a small student body of about 175, Curtis provides each young musician with an unparalleled education alongside musical peers, distinguished by personalized attention from celebrated faculty and a “learn by doing” philosophy. To ensure that admissions are based solely on artistic promise, Curtis makes an investment in each admitted student so that no tuition is charged for their studies. Curtis students hone their craft through more than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings each year in Philadelphia and around the world.




Sara Han, clarinet
Doron Laznow, bassoon
Gabriel Kovach, horn (’99)
Benjamin Schmid, violin (’91)
Haeji Kim, viola
John Lee, cello
Marcus Elliott Gaved, double bass
Benjamin Krasner, piano


Duo Concertante for violin and double bass
Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20

Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music.


Saturday, November 16 at 5 p.m.

Woodmere Art Museum

This event is a lecture performance on Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20. David Serkin Ludwig, chair of composition studies at Curtis, offers insights into the work and the composer, followed by the complete performance of the Septet.

Presented by the Woodmere Art Museum. For tickets and more information, visit woodmereartmuseum.tix.com.


Sunday, November 17 at 3:30 p.m.

National Gallery of Art, West Garden Court

Free, no tickets required.

Presented by the National Gallery of Art. For more information, visit nga.gov.


Monday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Carnegie Music Hall

Presented by Chamber Music Pittsburgh. For tickets and more information, visit app.arts-people.com.


Wednesday, November 20 at 8 p.m.

Curtis Institute of Music, Field Concert Hall

Presented as part of the Curtis Presents series. 4-concert subscriptions for $80 or single tickets for $25 are available from the Curtis Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/CurtisPresents.

The Curtis Presents season is sponsored by Blank Rome LLP.


Thursday, November 21 at 7 p.m.

Jewish Community Center MetroWest, Maurice Levin Theater

Presented by the Jewish Community Center MetroWest. For tickets and more information, visit app.arts-people.com.


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