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Curtis Summerfest Transitions Flagship Program to Online Format for Summer 2020

The Young Artist Summer Program will present personalized virtual learning opportunities with celebrated faculty

PHILADELPHIA—April 27, 2020—Curtis Summerfest will transition the Young Artist Summer Program (YASP) to an online format for Summer 2020 in order to maintain recommended physical distancing related to the COVID-19 pandemic while preserving Curtis’s “learn by doing” philosophy. The program for advanced high school- and college-aged musicians ages 13 to 22 runs from July 11 to August 1, 2020 and will feature celebrated faculty and a reimagined curriculum that remains focused on the school’s core values of excellence, diversity, and musical leadership. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through June 15 at Curtis.edu/YASP.

“We’re committed to building an interactive and inclusive online community for our faculty and students, despite the physical distance,” says Curtis Summerfest Artistic Director David Serkin Ludwig. “It will be an intensive learning environment, but also one in which we can still keep the fun and social atmosphere that we’ve enjoyed with every previous YASP season.”

In a typical summer, YASP follows a highly structured, immersive schedule that combines classroom, studio, and ensemble learning to simulate a well-rounded conservatory education. This diverse curriculum leaves Curtis Summerfest uniquely positioned to continue many aspects of the program, with a shift away from large ensembles and chamber music. Individual instruction from YASP faculty, many of whom are Curtis alumni with thriving pedagogical or performance careers, will continue to be at the core of the festival’s structure.

Private lessons, studio and master classes, musical studies classes, individual performances, professional development sessions, and virtual hang-outs will be hosted and presented through online technologies with which Curtis Institute of Music faculty are already familiar. “We’re fortunate to be able to build upon what we learned from teaching remotely this spring,” says Dr. Ludwig. “Though we will gather online instead of on our Philadelphia campus, we can still offer a very complete festival experience for our participating young musicians.”

YASP’s updated curriculum will aim for maximum flexibility, allowing participants to access recorded and written content at their own pace, and in different time zones. To better reach more students in 2020, YASP will increase its maximum enrollment, reduce tuition costs, and support expanded student access to required technology.

Curtis benefits from robust information technology capabilities and was the first conservatory to offer a massive open online course (MOOC) on Coursera. The school’s alumni and faculty represent a large network of teaching musicians with years of experience in various online formats.

An online application, curriculum details, sample schedules, participant requirements, and answers to frequently asked questions are available at Curtis.edu/YASP. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through June 15.

The Curtis Summerfest Harp Colony (June 8–12) and the Sphinx Performance Academy at Curtis Summerfest (June 14–27) will also transition to an online format for this year. Two additional Summerfest programs, Chamber Music for Adults and the Mikael Eliasen Voice Program, have been cancelled for 2020.

Curtis Summerfest is a comprehensive summer program with five distinct tracks for young musicians and adult learners. Participants hone their musical talents under the guidance of distinguished Curtis faculty and alumni, explore classical music, and experience the school’s unique educational philosophy. Building since its inception in 2012, the Summerfest experience is now sought by some of the most talented young musicians in the country and the world. Learn more at Curtis.edu/Summerfest.


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