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Curtis Alumni Win 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grants

Recent graduates Oliver Herbert and Eric Lu win the prestigious award, designed for young musicians with the potential for major careers

The Curtis Institute of Music congratulates its alumni winners of the 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grants. Two of the five recipients are Curtis graduates: cellist Oliver Herbert (’19) and pianist Eric Lu (’20). These awards highlight young musicians on the road to having major performance careers, and each winner receives $25,000 to help further that goal.

The grants were announced on March 11 in a ceremony from WQXR in New York. Learn more about the recipients and watch the full ceremony online.

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Oliver Herbert, credit Todd RosenbergOliver Herbert was a student of Carter Brey and Peter Wiley at Curtis, and in 2018 won at top prize at the Witold Lutoslawski International Cello Competition. At 23 years old, he has performed as a soloist and recitalist with the San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Dame Myra Hess Recital Series in Chicago, among others.

Eric LuPianist Eric Lu is among the most recent class of graduates from Curtis, where he studied with Robert McDonald and Jonathan Biss. The 23-year-old pianist won first prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2018 and made his BBC Proms debut with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in Summer 2019. He has recorded two albums for Warner Classics.

Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Artist Program was established in 1974 to give outstanding U.S. instrumentalists significant recognition on which to continue to build their careers. Up to five career grants, awarded by nomination only, are given each year to young soloists and chamber ensembles. To date over 130 artists have received the Avery Fisher Career Grant, including Curtis alumni Yuja Wang, Jonathan Biss, Hilary Hahn, Anthony McGill, Jennifer Koh; recent recipients Christina and Michelle Naughton, Xavier Foley, Stephen Waarts, and Haochen Zhang; and numerous others.



Curtis students, alumni, and faculty, are making remarkable accomplishments in the music world and beyond. Learn more about 
Curtis in the News.