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Curtis Appoints Nick DiBerardino Director of Composition Studies and Ensemble 20/21

Alumnus will oversee curriculum, activities, and collaborations for the school’s five composition majors

Nick DiBerardinoPHILADELPHIA—July 27, 2021—The Curtis Institute of Music has appointed Nick DiBerardino as Director of Composition Studies and Ensemble 20/21. In this role Mr. DiBerardino will provide oversight for all composition activities and collaborations at the conservatory. He will work individually with and mentor Curtis’s composition students, lead composition seminars, design and implement curriculum, and assist in recruiting a diverse applicant pool and cultivating relationships beneficial to Curtis and its community. As the director of Ensemble 20/21, Curtis’s contemporary music ensemble, he will create a long-term vision for the group and oversee programming and production.

Mr. DiBerardino entered Curtis as a composition student in 2015. He graduated with post-baccalaureate diplomas in composition (2018) and the Community Artist Fellowship (2019) and has served as member of the music studies faculty since 2018. He has led musical studies and coordinated composition activities for Curtis’s summer programs, including the Sphinx Performance Academy. Mr. DiBerardino was previously a teaching fellow and assistant at Princeton University, Yale University, the Yale School of Music, and four of the colleges at the University of Oxford.

“We are thrilled to have Nick join us in this expanded role,” says Paul Bryan, dean of Curtis. “He has deep and multi-faceted ties to the Curtis community, a dynamic compositional career, and the administrative abilities to bring vision to fruition—all of which will greatly benefit our students and our school.”

Mr. DiBerardino is a Rhodes Scholar whose music has been commissioned by many artists and institutions, including the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the New College Choir, arx duo, Sandbox Percussion, The Brass Project, Matthew Levy, Gretna Music, Vesper Concerts, the Rhodes Trust, soundSCAPE Festival, Bennington Chamber Music Conference, Ensemble Dance, the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, and Music From Angel Fire. Residencies include those for the Intimacy of Creativity Festival at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, and Luzerne Music Center. Mr. DiBerardino has spoken as a guest composer at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School for the Arts, Florida State University, and SUNY Fredonia. He serves as president of the board of Long Island Chamber Music and The Brass Project.

Mr. DiBerardino’s works have been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, Aizuri Quartet, Contemporaneous, So Percussion, and the Israeli Chamber Project; and artists Tony Arnold, Tara O’Connor, Danny Phillips, Steven Copes, Sonora Slocum, and Priscilla Lee, among many others. In addition to his diplomas from Curtis, he holds composition degrees from the University of Oxford, the Yale School of Music, and Princeton University, where he is a PhD candidate.

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Flexible in size and scope, Ensemble 20/21 performs a wide range of music from the 20th and 21st centuries, including works by Curtis students and alumni. The ensemble has appeared at major U.S. venues such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Miller Theatre, as well as international venues, including the Intimacy of Creativity festival in Hong Kong. The ensemble has presented concert portraits of iconic composers in residence Unsuk Chin, John Corigliano, George Crumb, Krzysztof Penderecki, Augusta Read Thomas, and Chen Yi, among many others. Of the ensemble’s Joan Tower portrait program, the New York Times wrote, “Ms. Tower could hardly have hoped for more passionate performances.”

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. For nearly a century Curtis has provided each member of its small student body with an unparalleled education alongside musical peers, distinguished by a “learn by doing” philosophy and personalized attention from a faculty that includes a high proportion of actively performing musicians. 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. In a typical year, Curtis students hone their craft through more than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings in Philadelphia and around the world.


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