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Curtis Institute of Music Offers New Evening Seminars to Deepen Concertgoing Experience

Taught by Curtis faculty chair, seminars are first in-person courses offered to the community

Jonathan CoopersmithPHILADELPHIA—December 10, 2019—The Curtis Institute of Music announces new community education opportunities to take place in January and April 2020. These evening seminars, the first of their kind at the conservatory, are flexible, in-person courses designed to offer the academic expertise of Curtis to the public. Curtis faculty lead an exploration of repertoire presented by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra: the first session with seminars on January 21, 23, and 28 focuses on works by Beethoven, Sibelius, and alumna Gabriella Smith; the second session with seminars on April 14, 16, and 21 focuses on works by Barber, Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff. All seminars take place from 6 to approximately 8 p.m. in Locks Board Room at 1616 Locust Street.

Curtis’s evening seminars will deepen participants’ experience of concertgoing through an exploration of the repertoire presented on each of two Curtis Symphony Orchestra concerts in the 2019–20 season. Taught by the chair of Curtis’s musical studies department, Jonathan Coopersmith, the seminars provide an expert dive into each composer’s life and the historical context of the programming, offer insight into the role of the performers, and introduce a discussion topic related to classical music.

Participants are encouraged to attend all three seminars within a session for the most complete view of the repertoire; however each seminar may be attended as a stand-alone event. Registrants, equipped with an intimate knowledge of the repertoire and performers, are invited to attend the subsequent Curtis Symphony Orchestra concert to enjoy a greater listening experience.

Seminar registration includes a prime seating ticket to the corresponding Curtis Symphony Orchestra concert: January 31 at the Merriam Theater and April 26 at Verizon Hall, respectively. One seminar for $175, two seminars for $300, or three seminars for $400 can be purchased through Curtis Patron Services at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/EveningSeminar.

January seminars focus on the repertoire performed by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on January 31 at the Merriam Theater and on tour through February 8 at destinations along the east coast, in which esteemed Curtis piano faculty Jonathan Biss and conductor Osmo Vänskä offer Beethoven’s masterful and monumental “Emperor” Concerto. Also featured: a new work by Curtis alumna Gabriella Smith, and Sibelius’s majestic Symphony No. 2.

April seminars center on the repertoire performed by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on April 26 at Verizon Hall, in which Curtis celebrates the centenary of the renowned Isaac Stern. Conductor Michael Stern, son of the late violinist, and violin faculty Pamela Frank—both Curtis alumni—pay homage to the virtuosic giant who helped to shape the musical landscape for a generation.

These in-person seminars follow the success of several online courses offered through Coursera, including one taught by Mr. Coopersmith. Curtis was the first conservatory to offer a massive open online course (MOOC) on Coursera. Since launching in 2013, Curtis’s courses have reached a global music community of more than 150,000 people in 185 countries.

Jonathan Coopersmith is the chair of musical studies at the Curtis Institute of Music where he teaches core studies, music history, and advanced conducting. He is a sought-after conductor and lecturer in the Philadelphia area, with recent lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and recent engagements as guest chorus director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Ballet.

Mr. Coopersmith holds a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with George Crumb; and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Mannes College of Music. He has also studied at the Pierre Monteux School. Mr. Coopersmith has been a member of the Curtis faculty since 2005.

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.

 


 

Evening Seminars at Curtis

 

EVENING SEMINARS: BISS PLAYS BEETHOVEN
Locks Board Room, Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia


Tuesday, January 21 at 6 p.m.

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 (“Emperor”)

Thursday, January 23 at 6 p.m.
Gabriella Smith’s f(x) = sin²x –1/x

Tuesday, January 28 at 6 p.m.
Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43


Jonathan Coopersmith, presenter

Tickets:


One seminar for $175
Two seminars for $300
Three seminars for $400

Tickets can be purchased through Curtis Patron Services at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/JanuarySeminar. Each seminar participant receives a prime seating ticket to the Curtis Symphony Orchestra concert on January 31 at 8 p.m.

 

EVENING SEMINARS: REMEMBERING ISAAC STERN
Locks Board Room, Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia


Tuesday, April 14 at 6 p.m.

Barber’s Music for a Scene from Shelley, Op. 7

Thursday, April 16 at 6 p.m.
Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances

Tuesday, April 21 at 6 p.m.
Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61


Jonathan Coopersmith, presenter

Tickets:


One seminar for $175
Two seminars for $300
Three seminars for $400

Tickets can be purchased through Curtis Patron Services at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/AprilSeminar. Each seminar participant receives a prime seating ticket to the Curtis Symphony Orchestra concert on April 26 at 3 p.m.

 

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