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The Young Artist Summer Program at Curtis Summerfest completes its seventh season

On August 3, the Young Artist Summer Program's 2019 season came to a close. Over 100 students came to Philadelphia from around the world to study and perform together while experiencing Curtis's learn-by-doing philosophy. Explore photos and learn more about everything participants experienced during three weeks at Curtis.


While at Curtis, students participated in a wide range of musical activities, offering them a taste of conservatory life. For many of them, that taste represents an early step in their plans to pursue a career in music, and many participants will be attending or applying to conservatories soon! Each student studied privately with renowned instrumental teachers—many of them Curtis alumni—and took advantage of opportunities unique to their instruments. String, wind, and brass players performed in the YASP orchestra, which tackled some its most challenging repertoire ever this season, even performing one of Strauss's famously complex tone poems, Till Eulenspiegel.

Meanwhile, pianists honed their skills in a series of studio classes, where they perform for their peers and have the opportunity to discuss technique and artistry. YASP also hosts a number of composers each season, who compose works to be performed by professional musicians and receive feedback, as well as high quality recordings—a rare opportunity for aspiring composers. And each morning, all students participated in a program-wide choir. While many students were apprehensive about singing in public for the first time, choir rehearsal quickly became one of their favorite parts of the day, as director Patrick Kreeger helped them get comfortable with their voices and learn to enjoy and embrace singing as part of their musical training.

Of course, in addition to all their study, rehearsal, and lesson time, students also had ample opportunity to perform! Each week, a series of recitals offered participants a chance to showcase the chamber works they'd been learning over their time at Curtis. Many students also performed in master classes led by visiting teachers, including violin soloist Ray Chen, Curtis president and violist Roberto Díaz, and Imani Winds. With so much music to fill their days, students were very busy, but still found some time to relax, making visits to local Philadelphia landmarks, and hanging out in Curtis's student lounge getting to know their new friends. While Curtis Summerfest has wrapped up for the 2019 season, we're already looking forward to next year, when we'll welcome a new group of talented aspiring musicians to our campus!