/ News /

Update on COVID-19, the “coronavirus”

While there is no known threat at this time, we are exercising caution to ensure the safety of our community and hope to reduce the school community’s exposure by modifying our operations as follows.

March 10, 2020

Dear Curtis community,

The Curtis Institute of Music continues to respond to the developing situation regarding COVID-19, known as the coronavirus. As we reported to you yesterday, multiple staff across Curtis are working together under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Pennsylvania Student Health Service (Penn SHS) to ensure the health and safety of our community.

There are no known cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the Curtis community at this time. We are continually monitoring the situation, however, and have developed plans to respond if that changes. The health and well-being of our community are our highest priority, and we are carefully considering all options, including the possible suspension of operations.

While there is no known threat at this time, we are exercising caution to ensure the safety of our community and hope to reduce the school community’s exposure by modifying our operations as follows.

Extension of Curtis spring break to Sunday, March 22
We have made the decision to extend our current spring vacation through Sunday, March 22. During this period, no school-sponsored activities—lessons, coachings, rehearsals, classes, etc.—will be scheduled. Dining services will continue to be closed.

Students currently at home for spring vacation are urged to stay there, and students in Philadelphia—particularly those residing in Lenfest Hall—are encouraged to take this opportunity to return home if possible. The current understanding of COVID-19 suggests that less dense residential environments may prevent the spread of the virus. Students needing travel assistance from Curtis should contact Dean Bryan. We will continue to support Lenfest Hall residents who are unable to leave Philadelphia; those students will receive a separate message with more details. Please check your curtis.edu e-mail frequently.

For those in our community remaining in Philadelphia during the extended break, access to Curtis’s campus facilities, such as practice rooms and rehearsal spaces, will remain open to Curtis students, faculty, and staff. We kindly ask that alumni who access Curtis facilities for personal use refrain from doing so until further notice.

Modification of remaining auditions
In an effort to minimize our community’s exposure to the coronavirus, we have made the difficult decision to cancel or alter the remaining departmental auditions. Voice/opera auditions scheduled for March 12–15 have been canceled as have those in violin (March 20–21) and cello (March 25–26). Composition interviews will be conducted by Skype. Should updated information on COVID-19 permit a discussion of rescheduling any of these auditions, affected applicants will be contacted. While this is no doubt extremely disappointing, Curtis will be in contact with the applicants about options to audition next year.

Modification of public events and performances
Due to the extension of spring break at Curtis, all performances and master classes that were to take place from March 16 to 22 will be rescheduled for a later date. From March 23 to 31, in-person audiences for on-campus Curtis performances will be limited only to Curtis students, staff, and faculty, but performances will be streamed live via YouTube and Facebook for the enjoyment of our regular attendees in Philadelphia and around the world. Master classes will not be open to the general public during the March 22–31 period and will not be streamed live. In the days ahead, we will be updating the Curtis performance calendar accordingly.

Curtis on Tour performances in the Detroit area (March 13–15), Chicago (March 18), and Washington, D.C. (March 22) have been cancelled.

All Curtis performances from April 1 through the end of the semester will proceed as scheduled with live audiences, but are subject to change as we monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our operations. For questions about performances, please contact tickets@curtis.edu.

Please stay tuned
We will continue to keep you apprised of additional changes as the situation develops. Updates will be posted on our website and social media channels and will be e-mailed to Curtis community members via curtis.edu e-mail addresses.

Thank you for your participation in these measures to help ensure the continued health and well-being of our entire community.


Roberto Diaz signature 



Roberto Díaz
President and CEO