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Curtis Performance Faculty Move Into Endowed Chairs Beginning in 2019–20

Distinguished faculty members Midori and Danielle Orlando are latest to hold named chairs

headshot of faculty member Midoriheadshot of faculty member Danielle OrlandoPHILADELPHIA—October 29, 2019—The Curtis Institute of Music announces new appointments for two of the school’s named faculty chairs, effective immediately. International performer Midori will hold the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin Studies and renowned vocal pedagogue Danielle Orlando will hold the Hirsig Family Chair in Vocal Studies.

“We are pleased to recognize these outstanding artists and dedicated teachers in this way,” said Curtis president and CEO Roberto Díaz. “The prestigious named chairs at Curtis honor the school’s significant legacy while demonstrating our continued commitment as leaders and innovators in training excellence in violin and vocal studies.”

A revered soloist and recent addition to the violin and career studies faculty at Curtis, Midori will hold the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin Studies, which was held by Aaron Rosand until his retirement in May 2019. Midori joined the faculty in 2018.

Danielle Orlando, a longtime vocal coach and the newly-appointed co-director of vocal studies and the Curtis Opera Theatre, will hold the Hirsig Family Chair in Vocal Studies. The chair was held by her predecessor Mikael Eliasen until his retirement in May 2019. Ms. Orlando joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1986 and assumes her new leadership role in the 2019–20 season. She is also master coach at the Academy of Vocal Arts.

Since her illustrious debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 11, violinist Midori has forged a distinguished career in classical music.

Her recent global engagements include tours through Europe with the Munich Chamber Orchestra and Japan with the Estonian Festival Orchestra and Paavo Järvi, and a tour of Asia with Festival Strings Lucerne in the 2019–20 season. Also in 2019–20 she undertakes a worldwide recital tour with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and makes guest appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Kammerakademie Potsdam in Berlin, Orchestra del Teatro Massimo, and NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester.

Among many honors Midori has received in recent years, she was named a Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and received the prestigious Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In 1992 Midori founded Midori & Friends, a non-profit organization in New York City that brings music education programs to underserved schoolchildren. Two other organizations, Music Sharing, based in Japan, and Partners in Performance, based in the U.S., also bring music closer to the lives of people who otherwise may not be involved with the arts. Midori’s commitment to collaboration and community engagement is further realized in her Orchestra Residencies Program, which involves week-long residencies with American youth orchestras.

Danielle Orlando is an accompanist to international opera singers and a vocal coach and artistic consultant to prestigious musical organizations throughout the world. She has appeared with esteemed singers in such venues as the Phillips Collection, Théatre du Châtelet, and Carnegie Hall; and for the United States Supreme Court, the Schubert Club, Vocal Arts D.C., Music at the Morgan Library, Good Morning AmericaLive with Regis and Kathie LeeThe Rosie O’Donnell Show, and many more. She also appears in the documentary The Audition. Ms. Orlando has performed recitals for the Harriman-Jewell Series and has appeared at the Florida Opera and Astoria Music festivals, Festival Castell de Peralada (Spain), and Festival International Hautes-Laurentides (Canada).

Ms. Orlando served as accompanist, judge, and artistic coordinator for the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competitions and worked with Gian Carlo Menotti at the Festival dei Due Mondi for nine seasons. She was the artistic administrator and head of music staff for the Opera Company of Philadelphia and has served on the music staffs of the Metropolitan, Washington National, and San Francisco operas; Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; Dresden Semperoper; and Savonlinna Opera Festival.

Ms. Orlando is a guest judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and presents master classes and coachings for young artist programs around the world. Recent residencies include Curtis Summerfest, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Peking University Academy of Opera in Beijing, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and the Domingo-Cafritz and Palm Beach young artist programs. She has served as faculty for Bel Canto in Tuscany, as a judge for the 2019 Bologna International Vocal Competition, and with Oberlin in Italy for over a decade.

Ms. Orlando holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Temple University, where she studied with Harvey Wedeen and Lambert Orkis. She also studied at the Eastman School of Music with David Burge.

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.


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