Curtis Announces Updates for 2024–25 Historic 100th Anniversary Season: Great to Groundbreaking

Curtis’s highly anticipated season features world-class conductors, superstar alumni, newly commissioned works, and a tribute to Latin GRAMMY-nominated composer in residence Gabriela Ortiz

Subscription and single tickets on sale now at Curtis.edu/100

GRAMMY Award-winning Curtis faculty member Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in its first-ever appearance at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall  
Founder’s Weekend, October 11–13, 2024, kicks off Curtis’ centennial season with a diverse range of events: public recitals, Curtis New Music Ensemble’s tribute to Latin GRAMMY-nominated composer in residence Gabriela Ortiz, and more 
Curtis Opera Theatre soprano Kylie Kreucher to perform George Walker’s (’45) Pulitzer Prize-winning song cycle Lilacs, and mezzo-soprano Judy Zhou to perform Maurice Ravel’s sumptuous song cycle Shéhérazade with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra
Curtis welcomes two new Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellows, Mariana Corichi Gomez and Yoann Combémorel, for the 2024–25 season  
Programming for Curtis New Music Ensemble and Curtis Presents performances is now available 
In celebration of Curtis’s centennial, the school presents 100 for 100, the culmination of a multi-year project to commission 100 new works by
Curtis alumni, faculty, students, and friends, including original compositions by Alvin Singleton, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, and acclaimed faculty member Jonathan Bailey Holland (’92)
Press Contacts:
Patricia K. Johnson | patricia.johnson@curtis.edu | (215) 717-3190
Ryan Scott Lathan | ryan.lathan@curtis.edu | (215) 717-3145

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PHILADELPHIA, PA—May 30, 2024—As the Curtis Institute of Music prepares for its historic 100th anniversary season this October, additional information is now available for previously announced programming. On Sunday, November 24, 2024, at 2 p.m., the Curtis Symphony Orchestra will present an afternoon of groundbreaking works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, and Antonín Dvořák at Lincoln Center in the newly renovated, state-of-the-art David Geffen Hall. Under the baton of four-time GRAMMY Award-winning pianist, celebrated conductor, and Curtis’ head of conducting, Yannick Nézet-Séguin—music and artistic director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and music director of the Metropolitan Opera and Orchestre Métropolitain—this highly-anticipated concert marks the first appearance by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra at Lincoln Center.

The program opens with British composer, conductor, and political activist Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s lively Ballade for Orchestra, Op. 33, conducted by Benoit Gauthier, Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow, followed by Florence Price’s iconic Symphony No. 1, the first symphonic work by a Black female composer to be played by a major American orchestra. The exciting program concludes with Antonín Dvořák’s pastoral Symphony No. 8, evoking the rolling green hills of the Bohemian countryside, rustic peasant dances, and folk melodies of the composer’s native homeland. This special concert is part of Curtis on Tour’s 2024–25 season and tickets can be purchased directly through David Geffen Hall’s website.

The Curtis Institute of Music opened on October 13, 1924, fulfilling the fondest dream of Mary Louise Curtis Bok, the only child of Philadelphia-based Louisa Knapp and publishing magnate Cyrus H. K. Curtis, to establish a music conservatory with rigorous standards of teaching and performance to train the next generation of musical artists. To mark the school’s founding a century ago and to honor the legacy of Mrs. Bok, Curtis will launch its milestone season with Founder’s Weekend from October 11–13, 2024, as generations of alumni and supporters will be invited to campus to reminiscence with one another, interact with current students, attend various concerts and festivities, and celebrate the past, present, and future of the school.

On Friday, October 11, 2024, at 7:30 p.m., Curtis kicks off Founder’s Weekend with a public recital in Field Concert Hall, celebrating a century of world premieres at the school. The work of award-winning composer, Fulbright scholar, and Guggenheim fellow Alvin Singleton, who joined Curtis during the 2020–21 season as the school’s composer in residence, will be highlighted, including the world premiere of Argoru IX, for solo violin. Additional composers and repertoire will be announced at a later date.

On Saturday morning, October 12, there will be tours of Lenfest Hall and its historic home, the newly renovated 1726 Locust Street. Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. in Gould Rehearsal Hall, Curtis New Music Ensemble presents the first concert of its 2024–25 series with a “Portrait of Gabriela Ortiz,” a celebration of this year’s composer in residence featuring works by the Latin GRAMMY-nominated composer and educator. Renowned as one of Mexico’s foremost musical talents, Ortiz’s compositions blend traditional, popular, and avant-garde elements with multimedia artistry. Commissioned by prestigious orchestras like the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic, her work has earned international acclaim. On Sunday, October 13, students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends will gather in the Common Room for a special Founder’s Day Tea. Additional concerts and exciting events will be announced at a later date.

The Curtis Symphony Orchestra’s 2024–25 series highlights the extraordinary voices of two Curtis Opera Theatre students this season. On Friday, December 13, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. in the Marian Anderson Hall, Kimmel Center, vibrant soprano Kylie Kreucher, the Florence R. Laden Memorial Fellow at Curtis, will join the orchestra for a performance of George Walker’s (Piano and Composition ’45) landmark 1996 Pulitzer Prize-winning song cycle for vocal soloist and orchestra, Lilacs. This electrifying program is headlined by prizewinning violinist Ray Chen (’10), returning to his alma mater to perform Samuel Barber’s (’34) monumental Violin Concerto, and features composer and producer TJ Cole’s (’17) moving work Death of a Poet, conducted by Yoann Combémorel, Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow, and Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3, under the baton of acclaimed artist and Curtis alumnus Teddy Abrams (Conducting ’08). An encore performance of this concert will be held on Sunday, December 15, 2024, at 2:00 p.m., at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida—one of the premier performing arts centers in the Southeast. This special concert is part of Curtis on Tour’s 2024–25 season and tickets can be purchased directly through the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts website.

On Saturday, April 26, 2025, at 3:00 p.m., in Marian Anderson Hall, Kimmel Center, exciting mezzo-soprano Judy Zhou, the Horace W. Goldsmith Fellow at Curtis, will join the orchestra for a performance of Maurice Ravel’s sumptuous orchestral song cycle Shéhérazade. This delightful program is headlined by superstar pianist and Curtis alumna Yuja Wang (’08), who takes center stage to perform Leonard Bernstein’s (Conducting ’41) astonishing, jazz-influenced Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety under the baton of award-winning conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The concert also features Lili Boulanger’s joyful D’un matin de Printemps (“Of a Spring Morning”) led by Mariana Corichi Gomez, Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow, and Claude Debussy’s evocative childhood recollections of the sea, the atmospheric symphonic sketches, La mer.

Following “Portrait of Gabriela Ortiz” in October, the Curtis New Music Ensemble series returns on Saturday, February 15, 2025, at 7:00 p.m., with “Bold Experiment,” a concert featuring musical and academic explorations of the 20th century, including works by Curtis alumni, inspired by the “bold experiment” initiated by Mary Louise Curtis Bok in 1924 when she opened a conservatory in Philadelphia. The program opens with Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Choros No. 2 for flute and clarinet, inspired by the improvisatory music of Rio de Janeiro’s street musicians. This short, spiky, syncopated piece is followed by composer Ruth Crawford Seeger’s final work, her playful Suite for Wind Quintet, winner of the 1952 National Association for American Composers and Conductors’ composition. The concert continues with three piano works for two pianists—Obsolete Objects, Totentanz, and Folkdance—by award-winning composer, vocalist, director, choreographer, and filmmaker Meredith Monk; late pioneering avant-garde composer and Curtis alumnus Julius Eastman’s (’63) improvisatory, pop and jazz-flavored work Buddha; and “indie pop diva with an avant-garde edge” (New York Times) Du Yun’s The Ocean Within for solo harp. The program closes with late Pulitzer Prize-winning modern classical and avant-garde composer George Crumb’s foreboding “voyage of the soul,” Black Angels, for electric string quartet.

The 2024–25 Curtis Presents series opens on Friday, October 25, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. in Field Concert Hall with a “masterly nuanced performance” (Wall Street Journal) from the Dover Quartet, the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence, featuring violinists Joel Link (String Quartet ’14, Violin ’11), and Bryan Lee (String Quartet ’14, Violin ’11), violist Julianne Lee (Violin ’05), and Camden Shaw (String Quartet ’14, Cello ’11, ’10). Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the two-time GRAMMY-nominated ensemble is one of the world’s most in-demand chamber ensembles. The program includes Jessie Montgomery’s American folk and dance-inspired Strum, Pura Fé Crescioni’s (Tuscarora) Rattle Songs (originally written for the American Indian female vocal quartet Ulali and orchestrated for string quartet by Jerod Tate), a newly commissioned work by Curtis from Chickasaw composer and pianist Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, and Czech composer Antonín Dvořák’s popular Quartet in F major, Op. 96 (“American”)—an iconic work of folksy, rustic charm, gently inspired and influenced by the Native and African-American sounds of the late 19th century.

The Curtis Presents series resumes on Thursday, March 13, 2025, at 7:30 p.m. in Field Concert Hall with a performance from the internationally acclaimed Rosamunde String Quartet, who will join an ensemble of Curtis students for an unforgettable night of chamber music. This remarkable ensemble features young stars from three of the world’s greatest orchestras: Noah Bendix-Balgley, first concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic; Shanshan Yao (Violin ’08), concert violinist and former member of the Pittsburgh Symphony and New York Philharmonic; Teng Li (Viola ’05), principal violist of Chicago Symphony; and Nathan Vickery (Cello ’13), cellist in the New York Philharmonic. The concert features Ludwig van Beethoven’s late masterpiece, the elegant, rhythmically mischievous String Quartet in D major, Op. 18, No. 3; Béla Bartók’s transcendent String Quartet No. 3 Sz. 85, and Franz Schubert’s intensely soulful String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D. 810 (“Death and the Maiden”), written as the dying composer wrestled with his demons, despair, and mortality.

The Curtis Presents series continues on Tuesday, March 25, 2025, at 7:30 p.m. in Field Concert Hall with “Guitar Quartet,” as internationally renowned violist and Curtis president and CEO Roberto Díaz (Viola ’84), GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist and Curtis faculty member Jason Vieaux, and Curtis students bring their spring Curtis on Tour guitar quartet concert to Philadelphia for one night only. A vibrant collision of global sounds, cultures, and sonic textures, the program begins with Spanish composer and pianist Manuel de Falla’s Suite populaire espagnole, followed by a fiery, crowd-pleasing set featuring two selections by Argentinian legend Ástor Piazzolla, Histoire du Tango and an arrangement of Oblivion, by Piazzolla specialist and bandoneon virtuoso Julien Labro. The concert continues with acclaimed Curtis alumnus Zhou Tian’s (Composition ’05) 10-minute musical journey inspired by classical Chinese landscape paintings, Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs, and closes with Niccolò Paganini’s masterful Guitar Quartet in A minor, No. 15, M.S. 42, itself inspired by the expressive Romantic lyricism and jaw-dropping virtuosity of 18th century Italian opera.

The 2024–25 Curtis Presents series closes Wednesday, April 23, 2025, at 7:30 p.m. in Field Concert Hall with a must-see concert event featuring pianist Michelle Cann (Piano ’13), Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies at Curtis, and 2024 GRAMMY-winning ensemble and Curtis faculty members Imani Winds—flutist Brandon Patrick George; oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz; clarinetist Mark Dover; horn player Kevin Newton; and bassoonist Monica Ellis. Ms. Cann, American Pianists Association’s first Christel DeHaan Artistic Partner and recipient of the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence and the 2022 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award, joins forces with Imani Winds for GRAMMY-winning Latin Jazz artist Paquito D’Rivera’s A Little Cuban Jazz Waltz, the Philadelphia premiere of Curtis alumnus Viet Cuong’s (Composition ’19) Sextet for Wind Quintet and Piano. The set continues with Francis Poulenc’s whimsical Trio for oboe, bassoon, and piano and Valerie Coleman’s six-movement tour de force, Portraits of Langston for flute, clarinet, and piano. The evening concludes with another Poulenc work, the French composer’s ingenious, jazzy Sextet for Piano and Winds, Op. 100.

Throughout Curtis’ historic centennial season, the school will present the final works in its multi-year project to commission 100 works for the school’s centennial. Curtis has commissioned more than a hundred new works since 2008, and 100 for 100 celebrates the music of our time with a showcase of fresh perspectives featuring cutting-edge original works inspired by and crafted specifically for Curtis.

On May 8, 2025, Curtis will celebrate its annual gala at Philadelphia’s landmark archeological and anthropological institution, the Penn Museum. Curtis’ Centennial Gala will honor the school’s 100-year legacy of voice and opera, highlighting the music and influential artists that have shaped the culture of Curtis and the world’s classical music landscape. Guests will experience captivating performances by star alumnae J’Nai Bridges (Opera ’12), Amanda Majeski (Opera ’09), Karen Slack (Opera ’02), and other esteemed artists while savoring culinary delights and commemorating Curtis’ profound impact on the global music landscape. To learn more about this unforgettable evening of music honoring Curtis’ enduring impact, visit Curtis.edu/gala100.

Curtis Studio, the recording label of Curtis Institute of Music, brings the artistry and innovation of the school’s renowned and inspiring alumni, faculty, and students to audiences around the world. During its centennial year, Curtis Studio will debut A Century of New Sounds. This album celebrates famed alumni composers past and present, recorded from the school’s historic campus and performed by faculty, alumni, and students. The recording will feature chamber works of Samuel Barber (’34), Leonard Bernstein (Conducting ’41), Julius Eastman (’63), Jennifer Higdon (’88), Curtis composition faculty member Jonathan Bailey Holland (’96), David Serkin Ludwig (’01), Ned Rorem (’44), Gabriella Smith (’13), and George Walker (’45), and will be available in all major music stores October 2024.

Curtis’ 2024–25 season, Great to Groundbreaking, includes orchestra, opera, and chamber music concerts and recitals, totaling more than 150 performances in Philadelphia through May 2025. Throughout the season, Curtis students—some of the finest young musicians in the world—move from the classroom to the stage, sharing their extraordinary passion for classical music through thrilling performances alongside internationally renowned guest artists, faculty, and alumni. The centennial season combines beloved repertoire favorites—such as Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia; Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1; Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s masterpiece Le nozze di Figaro, and Leonard Berstein’s dazzling comic operetta, Candide—with breathtaking new works—including the East Coast premiere of The Comet / Poppea at Philadelphia’s 23rd Street Armory, featuring composer George Lewis’ setting of W.E.B. Du Bois’ proto-Afrofuturist science fiction short story, The Comet, juxtaposed with Claudio Monteverdi’s hot-blooded political thriller, L’incoronazione di Poppea. The season also features an array of new compositions, world premieres, and much more.

Single tickets and subscriptions are available now for Curtis’ 2024–25 season: Great to Groundbreaking. Single tickets start at $24 and subscriptions from $36.

Curtis on Tour’s 2024–25 season includes performances with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra at David Geffen Hall and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets to these performances can be purchased directly from the venues and are not part of Curtis’ regular season subscription package. For information and tickets for the Sunday, November 24, 2024, 2 p.m. performance at David Geffen Hall, visit here. For information and tickets for the Sunday, December 15, 2024, 2:00 p.m. performance at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, visit here.


2024–25 MEDIA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
For season highlights and the latest performance information, visit Curtis.edu/Calendar.

Curtis Recital Series
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings throughout the school year
Field Concert Hall, 1726 Locust Street Philadelphia

Curtis’ promise of learn-by-doing is on full display in the school’s acclaimed Curtis Recital Series. Starting in mid-October, more than 100 free chamber, ensemble, and solo recitals are held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings, in Field Concert Hall, with additional performances in the spring semester. From young student artists experiencing their first professional performance to faculty who’ve played on stages across the globe, this series showcases all that Curtis has to offer as musicians and educators. Recitals are free, but advance registration is required.

Highlights from the Student Recitals Series are featured year-round on YouTube and WHYY’s ongoing series, On Stage at Curtis.

OCTOBER 2024

Portrait of Gabriela Ortiz     Curtis New Music Ensemble
Saturday, October 12, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
Gould Rehearsal Hall, Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Gabriela Ortiz                           Works TBA

Discover the vibrant world of acclaimed composer Gabriela Ortiz with the Curtis New Music Ensemble. Renowned as one of Mexico’s foremost musical talents, Ortiz’s compositions blend traditional, popular, and avant-garde elements with multimedia artistry. Featuring pieces commissioned by prestigious orchestras like the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic, her work has earned international acclaim. Praised by Gustavo Dudamel, she holds numerous awards, including the Bellas Artes Gold Medal. Join us for an enchanting “Portrait of Gabriela Ortiz” as we celebrate her captivating musical works. Program details will be announced shortly.

Dover Quartet                       Curtis Presents
Friday, October 25, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Jessie Montgomery Strum
Pura Fé Crescioni (Tuscarora) Rattle Songs (orchestrated for string quartet by Jerod Tate)
Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate Woodland Songs (commissioned work)
Antonín Dvořák Quartet in F major, Op. 96 (“American”)

The 2024–25 Curtis Presents series opens with a “masterly nuanced performance” (Wall Street Journal) from the Dover Quartet, the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence, featuring violinists Joel Link (String Quartet ’14, Violin ’11), and Bryan Lee (String Quartet ’14, Violin ’11), violist Julianne Lee (Violin ’05), and Camden Shaw (String Quartet ’14, Cello ’11, ’10).

Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the two-time GRAMMY-nominated ensemble is one of the world’s most in-demand chamber ensembles. The prize-winning quartet was formed at Curtis in 2008, and its name pays tribute to the composition Dover Beach by fellow Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber.

Prokofiev & Time for Three             Curtis Symphony Orchestra
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts
Sunday, October 27, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.
Marian Anderson Hall at the Kimmel Center; Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Benoit Gauthier, conducting fellow
Time for Three, guest artists

Jean Sibelius Finlandia, Op. 26
Jennifer Higdon (’88) Concerto 4-3
Sergei Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 100

Experience a transcendent musical journey with renowned Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä, GRAMMY Award-winning ensemble Time for Three, and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. As we commence the historic centennial season, our program pays homage to the past while embracing the future. Jean Sibelius‘s Finlandia, a poignant tone poem featured in the inaugural Curtis Symphony Orchestra concert, sets the stage. Plus, a virtuosic performance of Jennifer Higdon’s bluegrass-tinged Concerto 4-3 with genre-defying ensemble Time for Three seamlessly blending classical precision with the energy of a garage band. Sergei Prokofiev‘s Symphony No. 5 follows, igniting the stage with optimism, tension, and passion.

NOVEMBER 2024

The Comet / Poppea             Curtis Opera Theatre
Friday, November 1, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 2, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 3, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.
23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd St., Philadelphia

George Lewis, music                              The Comet
Douglas Kearney, libretto
Adapted from the W.E.B. Dubois short story The Comet

Claudio Monteverdi, music                  L’incoronazione di Poppea
Francesco Busenello, libretto

Marc Lowenstein, conductor
Yuval Sharon, stage director
Curtis Symphony Orchestra

Curtis Opera Theatre launches the East Coast premiere of The Comet / Poppea, the MacArthur Award-winning composer George Lewis’ highly anticipated operatic setting of W.E.B. Du Bois’s proto-Afrofuturist science fiction short story, The Comet (1920), juxtaposed with Claudio Monteverdi’s hot-blooded political thriller, L’incoronazione di Poppea (1643). Presented on a turntable divided into two halves, these worlds unfold simultaneously, with the stage’s rotation creating a visual and sonic spiral for audiences—inviting associations, dissociations, collisions, and confluences. Directed and conceived by fellow MacArthur-winner Yuval Sharon, this innovative co-production features a stellar cast of Curtis singers led by conductor Marc Lowenstein.

The Comet will be performed in English with English supertitles.
L’incoronazione di Poppea will be performed in Italian with English supertitles.

Dvořák & Price with Yannick           Curtis Symphony Orchestra
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts
Saturday, November 23, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.
Marian Anderson Hall at the Kimmel Center; Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Sunday, November 24, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.
David Geffen Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Ballade for Orchestra, Op. 33
Florence Price Symphony No. 1
Antonín Dvořák Symphony No. 8

Embark on a musical odyssey with GRAMMY Award-winning conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. In this enchanting afternoon, delight in groundbreaking works by luminaries Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Florence Price, harmoniously paired with Antonín Dvořák‘s pastoral Symphony No. 8. Experience the emotional depths of Coleridge-Taylor’s rhapsodic, unabashedly Romantic work—a milestone for the prolific 22-year-old composer. Price’s Symphony No. 1 follows, a historic marvel seamlessly blending classical idioms with African American spirituals and blues. Conclude the performance with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8, a sun-dappled masterpiece radiating joyous optimism, evoking the Bohemian countryside’s rolling green hills and rustic folk melodies.

DECEMBER 2024

Ray Chen Plays Barber                    Curtis Symphony Orchestra
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts
Friday, December 13, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.
Marian Anderson Hall at the Kimmel Center; Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Sunday, December 15, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.
Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, Fla.

TJ Cole (’17) Death of the Poet
George Walker (’45) Lilacs for voice and orchestra*
Samuel Barber (’34) Violin Concerto, Op. 14
Aaron Copland Symphony No. 3

Teddy Abrams (’08), conductor
Yoann Combémorel, conducting fellow
Ray Chen (’10), violin
Kylie Kreucher, soprano
Curtis Symphony Orchestra

*Marian Anderson Hall, Kimmel Center program only

Renowned violinist Ray Chen, celebrated for his “gorgeous tone” (Chicago Tribune) and “full-bodied lyricism” (New York Times), joins forces with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra for an electrifying rendition of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto. Conducted by acclaimed artist and Curtis alumnus Teddy Abrams, this performance pays homage to Barber’s early years post-graduation from Curtis. The concerto, a masterpiece of the 20th century, unfolds with unabashed romanticism, showcasing two lyrical movements that grow in depth and beauty. The program opens with Curtis alum, composer, and producer TJ Cole’s (’17) Death of a Poet, a deeply poignant work depicting the tragic demise of a 30-year-old poet. The concert continues with legendary composer and Curtis alumnus George Walker’s (Piano and Composition ’45) landmark, 1996 Pulitzer Prize-winning song cycle for vocal soloist and orchestra, Lilacs, and concludes with Aaron Copland’s patriotic Symphony No. 3.

FEBRUARY 2025

Bold Experiment                   Curtis New Music Ensemble
Saturday, February 15, 2025 at 7:00 p.m.
Gould Rehearsal Hall, Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Heitor Villa-Lobos Choros No. 2
Ruth Crawford Seeger Suite for wind quintet
Meredith Monk Obsolete Objects, Totentanz, and Folkdance
Julius Eastman (’63) Buddha
Du Yun The Ocean Within
George Crumb Black Angels 

This exciting concert features musical and academic explorations of the 20th century, including works by Curtis alumni inspired by the “Bold Experiment” initiated by Mary Louise Curtis Bok in 1924 when she opened a conservatory in Philadelphia. This eclectic program highlights some of the most innovative works and creative minds of the past, including Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Choros No.2 and Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Suite for wind quintet, a trio of piano works by Meredith Monk, alumnus Julius Eastman’s (’63) improvisatory Buddha, and Du Yun’s stunning work for harp, The Ocean Within. The concert also features late Pulitzer Prize-winning modern classical and avant-garde composer George Crumb’s foreboding “voyage of the soul,” Black Angels, for electric string quartet. Subtitled “Thirteen Images from the Dark Land,” this gripping piece, written during the Vietnam War, captures the horrors, anguish, and upheaval of the era and was conceived as a parable for a troubled contemporary world, as poignant then as it is now.

Le nozze di Figaro                Curtis Opera Theatre
Thursday and Friday, February 27–28, 2025 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, March 1–2, 2025 at 2:00 p.m.
Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, Philadelphia

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, music
Lorenzo Da Ponte, libretto

Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Marcus Shields, director
Curtis Symphony Orchestra

Revel in Mozart and Da Ponte’s comic masterpiece, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), where love, intrigue, and politics hilariously collide on the eve of Figaro and Susanna’s wedding. Join the quick-witted barber Figaro and his bride-to-be Susanna as they navigate a whirlwind 24 hours filled with mishaps and mischief. As the philandering Count Almaviva disrupts the festivities, Susanna, Figaro, and the Countess Rosina join forces to outsmart him, proving that true love conquers all. Born from Beaumarchais’ play, this timeless opera blends razor-sharp satire with delightful arias and clever storytelling. Don’t miss this enchanting journey into the world of Figaro and his unforgettable wedding day.

Le nozze di Figaro will be performed in Italian with English supertitles.

MARCH 2025

Rosamunde Quartet                         Curtis Presents
Thursday, March 13, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18, No. 3
Béla Bartók String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85
Franz Schubert String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D. 810 (“Death and the Maiden”)

The internationally acclaimed Rosamunde String Quartet joins an ensemble of Curtis students for an unforgettable night of chamber music. This remarkable ensemble features young stars from three of the world’s greatest orchestras: Noah Bendix-Balgley, first concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic; Shanshan Yao (Violin ’08), concert violinist and former member of the Pittsburgh Symphony and New York Philharmonic; Teng Li (Viola ’05), principal violist of Chicago Symphony; and Nathan Vickery (Cello ’13), cellist in the New York Philharmonic. This phenomenal “Dream Quartet” continues to excite audiences with their distinctive sound and unanimity of expression.

Guitar Quartet                       Curtis Presents
Tuesday, March 25, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Manuel de Falla Suite Populaire Espagnole
Astor Piazzolla Histoire du Tango
Astor Piazzolla Oblivion, transcr. Julien Labro
Zhou Tian Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs
Niccolò Paganini Quartet in A minor, M.S. 42

Internationally renowned violist and Curtis president and CEO Roberto Díaz, GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist and Curtis faculty member Jason Vieaux, and Curtis students bring their spring Curtis on Tour guitar quartet concert to Philadelphia for one night only. A vibrant collision of global sounds, cultures, and sonic textures, the program begins with Spanish composer and pianist Manuel de Falla’s Suite populaire espagnole, followed by a fiery, crowd-pleasing set featuring two selections by Argentinian legend Ástor Piazzolla, Histoire du Tango and Oblivion. The concert continues with Curtis alumnus Zhou Tian’s (Composition ’05) Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs, and closes with Niccolò Paganini’s masterful Guitar Quartet in A minor, No. 15, M.S. 42, itself inspired by the expressive Romantic lyricism and jaw-dropping virtuosity of 18th century Italian opera.

APRIL 2025

Candide                                  Curtis Opera Theatre
Friday, April 11, 2025 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 13, 2025 at 2:00 p.m.
The Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St., Philadelphia

Leonard Bernstein (Conducting ’41), music

Richard Wilbur, John Latouche, Dorthy Parker, Lillian Hellman, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Bernstein, lyrics
Lillian Hellman and Hugh Wheeler, book

David Charles Abell, conductor
Emma Griffin, stage director
Curtis Symphony Orchestra

Curtis Opera Theatre presents Leonard Bernstein’s timeless masterpiece, Candide. Filled with sparkling wit, soaring melodies, and globe-trotting grandeur, this bitingly clever adaptation of Voltaire’s philosophical French novella is an absurdist romp across “the best of all possible worlds.” Featuring iconic songs like “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow,” Candide’s satirical exploration of innocence and folly resonates deeply today. Don’t miss this unforgettable production as Curtis Opera Theatre celebrates Bernstein’s enduring legacy.

Candide will be performed in English with English supertitles.

Michelle Cann & Imani Winds                        Curtis Presents
Wednesday, April 23, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Paquito D’Rivera A Little Cuban Waltz*
Viet Cuong (’19) Sextet for Wind Quintet and Piano**
Francis Poulenc Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano
Valerie Coleman Portraits of Langston for flute, clarinet, piano & narrator
Francis Poulenc Sextet for Piano and Winds

*Written for Imani Winds and commissioned by the Imani Winds Foundation. Premiered on June 16, 2023, New York City.

**Philadelphia premiere

Lauded as “exquisite” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and “a pianist of sterling artistry” by Gramophone, Michelle Cann, Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies at Curtis, has become one of the most sought-after pianists of her generation. In this Curtis Presents concert, Cann joins forces with renowned faculty members, the 2024 GRAMMY-winning ensemble Imani Winds—Brandon Patrick George, flute; Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe; Mark Dover, clarinet; Kevin Newton, horn; and Monica Ellis, bassoon—for a night of breathtaking performances and unparalleled artistry.

Yuja Wang Plays Bernstein                    Curtis Symphony Orchestra
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts
Saturday, April 26, 2025 at 3:00 p.m.
Marian Anderson Hall at the Kimmel Center; Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Lili Boulanger D’un matin de printemps
Leonard Bernstein Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety
Maurice Ravel Shéhérazade, Three Poems of Tristan Klingsor for Voice and Orchestra
Claude Debussy La mer, trois esquisses symphoniques pour orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Mariana Corichi Gomez, conducting fellow
Yuja Wang (’08), piano
Judy Zhou, soprano
Curtis Symphony Orchestra

Witness the breathtaking culmination of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra’s 2024–25 series as acclaimed pianist and Curtis alumna Yuja Wang takes center stage. Celebrated for her “exceptional power, depth, and dazzle” (Los Angeles Times), Yuja collaborates with award-winning conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin to deliver Leonard Bernstein’s (Conducting ’41) astonishing, jazz-influenced Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety. This delightful program also features three French masterpieces, including Lili Boulanger’s joyful D’un matin de Printemps (“Of a Spring Morning”), Maurice Ravel’s sumptuous orchestral song cycle Shéhérazade, and Claude Debussy’s evocative childhood recollections of the sea, the atmospheric symphonic sketches, La mer.

MAY 2025

Centennial Gala
Thursday, May 8, 2025 at 6:00 p.m.
Penn Museum, 3260 South St., Philadelphia

Curtis alumni, friends, and patrons are invited to experience captivating performances by star alumnae J’Nai Bridges (Opera ’12), Amanda Majeski (Opera ’09), and Karen Slack (Opera ’02) along with other world-renowned guest artists as they illustrate the legacy of singing, vocal music, and opera at Curtis—a history with an outsized influence on the landscape of performance not only in the United States but across the globe. The evening begins with a festive opening reception and the performances will be followed by a lush dinner party. Proceeds from the gala support Curtis’ exceptionally gifted young musicians as they hone their impressive artistic talents. Tickets for the Centennial Gala are sold separately from the 2024–25 season package. To learn more, visit Curtis.edu/gala100.

 

Infernal Angel & Savior                   Curtis New Music Ensemble
Saturday, May 10, 2025 at 7:00 p.m.
Gould Rehearsal Hall, Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Amy Beth Kirsten Infernal Angel**
Savior

Artists TBA
**world premiere

Immerse yourself in the captivating series finale, featuring the world premiere of Amy Beth Kirsten‘s Infernal Angel. Renowned as an innovative composer and multi-talented artist, Kirsten’s work has earned accolades from BBC Music Magazine and prestigious organizations like the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Infernal Angel delves into the life of medieval knight turned serial killer Gilles de Rais, paired with Kirsten’s theatrical piece Savior, inspired by Joan of Arc. Don’t miss this thrilling fusion of music and theater.

Philanthropic Support for Curtis’ 2024–25 Season

Curtis’ centennial season is made possible through the support of Derek and Sissela Bok, the Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation, Deborah M. Fretz, Charles C. Freyer and Judith Durkin Freyer, Rita E. Hauser, Lisa and Gie Liem, Mark and Robin Rubenstein, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Guest conductor appearances for each Curtis Symphony Orchestra performance are made possible by the Rita E. and Gustave M. Hauser Chair in Conducting Studies. Orchestral concerts are supported by the Jack Wolgin Curtis Orchestral Concerts Endowment Fund and the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.

These performances were financed in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community  & Economic Development.

Guest conductor appearances for each Curtis Symphony Orchestra performance are made possible by the Rita E. and Gustave M. Hauser Chair in Conducting Studies. Orchestral concerts are supported by the Jack Wolgin Curtis Orchestral Concerts Endowment Fund and the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.

Curtis Opera Theatre is generously supported by the Ernestine Bacon Cairns Trust, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation.

Generous support for Curtis New Music Ensemble is provided by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Foundation.

Curtis on Tour is part of The Nina von Maltzahn Global Touring Initiative.

Curtis Institute of Music received funding from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts,  a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Curtis Institute of Music
At Curtis, the world’s most talented young musicians develop into exceptional artists, creators, and innovators. With a tuition-free foundation, Curtis is a unique environment for teaching and learning. A small school by design, students realize their artistic potential through intensive, individualized study with the most renowned, sought-after faculty. Animated by a learn-by-doing philosophy, Curtis students share their music with audiences through more than 100 performances each year, including solo and chamber recitals, orchestral concerts, and opera—all free or at an affordable cost—offering audiences unique opportunities to participate in pivotal moments in these young musicians’ careers. Curtis students experience a close connection to the greatest artists and organizations in classical music, as well as innovative initiatives that integrate new technologies and encourage entrepreneurship—all within a historic campus in the heart of culturally rich Philadelphia. In this diverse, collaborative community, Curtis’s extraordinary artists challenge, support, and inspire one another—continuing an unparalleled 100-year legacy of musicians who have led, and will lead, classical music into a thriving, equitable, and multidimensional future. Learn more at Curtis.edu.

Photo credits: 1.) Banner image (Micah Gleason); 2.) Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra (David DeBalko); 3.) Mary Louise Curtis Bok (Curtis Archives); 4.) Gabriela Ortiz (courtesy of OAcademy Music Conservatory); 5.) Ray Chen (John Mac); 6.) Yuja Wang (Norbert Kniat); 7.) Julius Eastman (George Oliver); 8.) Dover Quartet (Roy Cox); 9.) Rosamunde String Quartet (Rob Davidson); 10.) Jason Vieux (Tyler Boye); 11.) Michelle Cann (Titilayo Ayangade); 12.) Imani Winds (Shervin Lainez; Arts Management Group); 13.) J’Nai Bridges (Dario Acosta); 14.) Jonathan Bailey Holland (Courtesy of artist); 15.) Leonard Bernstein conducts the Curtis Symphony Orchestra with soloist Susan Starr (Piano ’61) in a performance of the composer’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety” (Curtis Archives).

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