Curtis Institute of Music Announces Recipients of Second Annual Daniel W. Dietrich II Young Alumni Fund

PHILADELPHIA, PA—November 14, 2022—The Curtis Institute of Music is proud to announce its second annual Young Alumni Fund grantees. This impactful fund provides recent graduates of Curtis—those who completed their studies in the last ten years—with financial awards to remove barriers to their success as emerging performers and advance their personal artistic visions. The nearly two dozen grants—ranging from $1,000 to $8,000—are part of Curtis’s ongoing efforts to strengthen support for alumni in the years that follow graduation and help young alumni who may be experiencing obstacles of any kind in the pursuit of their musical careers. The Daniel W. Dietrich II Young Alumni Fund was designed with an intentional focus on the “musician lifecycle” and easing the transition from student to professional life.

These awards will support innovative projects, community and nonprofit organizations founded by alumni, the commissions of new works, and the production of new commercial films and audio recordings. The grants will also assist with general artistic or professional development, such as audition travel and support, marketing and promotional materials, financial hardship, and instrument purchases. One funded nonprofit is designed to expand arts audiences in Boulder, Colorado, to include minority and disadvantaged communities in mainstream cultural spaces across the city. Another endeavor features the creation of a composition that explores queer identity through solo cello and electronics, while another recipient’s work will give voice to works by people of color. Project summaries are included in the biographies below.

The 2022 grantees are:

These grantees were selected from 65 applicants through a competitive review process, and proposals were evaluated closely by an anonymous panel of Curtis alumni. Funding totaling $55,000 was distributed based on the overall strength of a proposal, expressed impact the funding might have on the recipient’s or project’s success, and the perceived potential for the applicant to meet milestones. Grantees will also have access to professional guidance and support in achieving the proposal’s goals.

“Our graduates are some of the most innovative and accomplished musicians in the world. Their leadership is an endless source of inspiration for the next generation of classical artists here at Curtis and beyond. We are proud to support and empower young alumni as they move into the next phase of their artistic journeys,” said Shea Scruggs (Oboe ’04), Curtis’s director of institutional research and musician experience and chief enrollment officer. “We understand the concerted effort required to put forward a thoughtful proposal, and we are thankful for everyone who applied during this cycle.

I want to thank the alumni who served on the evaluation panel for their meticulous and dedicated work in selecting the grantees. They devoted valuable time, expertise, and resources to Curtis, and this new initiative would not be possible without their contributions. I also want to express my immense gratitude to the Daniel W. Dietrich II Foundation for its transformative investment. With their support, countless future generations of Curtis graduates will be able to take more risks, overcome more obstacles, and progress more quickly toward their goals.”

As Curtis approaches its centenary in 2024, it is prioritizing the needs of the musician lifecycle: the shifting artistic and economic experiences of artists both as they prepare to enter Curtis and build their careers following graduation. Committed to fostering meaningful relationships with its musicians even after they matriculate, the school’s key initiatives have also included Curtis on Tour, which provides experience, income, and visibility for young artists through professional touring engagements across the globe; Emergency Relief for Curtis Alumni (ERCA), which funded over $500,000 in one-time direct transfers to alumni severely impacted by the cancellation of performances in the pandemic; and expert-led webinars to strengthen social media and financial planning skills among alumni.

Information about the Young Alumni Fund and future opportunities is available at



Project Support

    • Stas Chernyshev (Clarinet ’14, ArtistYear ’17), An “eloquent” clarinetist with “incredible artistry” Russian-born Stas Chernyshev has established a versatile career as an orchestral musician, soloist, chamber musician, and educator (Dallas Morning News, Theater Jones). Principal clarinetist of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Chernyshev has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as well as in Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Russia, South Korea, and Japan. A devoted chamber musician, Mr. Chernyshev has collaborated with Grammy-winning ensembles Eighth Blackbird and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra to commission new works for his instrument. He has been featured on WQXR -New York’s classical music station, and WHYY’s television program, On Stage at Curtis. He is the founder and artistic director of Fort Worth Performances for Autism and a cofounder of Opus Nova Chamber Music Series. Mr. Chernyshev holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Master’s degree from St. Petersburg Conservatory. Mr. Chernyshev’s funding will support Fort Worth Performances for Autism, a non-profit organization providing free, interactive chamber music concerts for children with autism.
    • Powerful and finely nuanced interpretations, sumptuous sonorities, and a compelling stage presence are a few of the hallmarks of internationally acclaimed violinist Timothy Chooi (Violin ’17). A popular soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, he is sought after for his wide-ranging and creative repertoire. Recent honors include 2nd Prize at the most prestigious violin competition in the world, Queen Elisabeth Competition, 1st prize at the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Germany, and Switzerland’s coveted Verbier Festival Paternot Prize. His recent engagements on the world stage include his debut at the Berlin Philharmonie, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, European tours with the Wiener Concert-Verein, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and collaboration with Anne-Sophie Mutter at Vienna’s Musikverein, and Paris’ Theatre Champs-Elysses to name a few. With his wide-ranging international experience, Chooi is passionate about developing violin pedagogy and is the Professor of Violin at the University of Ottawa. Mr. Chooi’s funding will support the commission of a modern violin.
    • TJ Cole (Composition ’16, ArtistYear ’17) (they/she) is a composer and synthesizer performer originally from the suburbs of Atlanta. They have been commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Nashville in Harmony, Intersection, Time for Three, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Music in the Vineyards, among others. They have won two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer awards (2014 and 2020), including the Leo Kaplan Award in 2020 for their string sextet ‘Playtime.’ TJ Cole is currently in a yearlong residency with the Louisville Orchestra, part of the inaugural year of the Louisville Orchestra Creators Corps, where they are writing new large-scale works for orchestra and organizing community engagement projects throughout Louisville. They have also been a singer-songwriter, producer, and engineer in the fully electronic synth-pop band, Twin Pixie, which focused on making music at the intersection of queerness, pop culture, and the supernatural. TJ Cole has also been involved with music-related community outreach projects. They collaborated with bassist Ranaan Meyer as an orchestrator on his project, The World We All Deserve Through Music and with First Person Arts by co-curating and performing in a musical story slam. During a year-long ArtistYear Fellowship (2016–17), they were able to co-run and collaborate in musical performances and songwriting workshops with residents of Project HOME, a Philadelphia-based organization fighting to end chronic homelessness. As part of the Louisville Orchestra Creator-Corps residency, they are curating and composing music to be paired with children’s stories that will be performed across Louisville Free Public Libraries. TJ Cole received their Bachelor’s degree in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music and studied at Interlochen Arts Academy. Other than music, they also enjoy cooking, sewing, video games, swing sets on playgrounds, and playing with their cat, Zucchini. TJ Cole’s funding will support the collaborative commissioning of a new work for solo cello and electronics that will explore queer identity.
    • Hailed by The New York Times as “invariably energetic and finely burnished,” the Grammy Award-winning Catalyst Quartet was founded by the Sphinx Organization in 2010. The ensemble—Karla Donehew Perez, violin; Abi Fayette (Violin ’17, Community Artist Fellow ’19); Paul Laraia, viola; and Karlos Rodriguez, cello—believes in the unity that can be achieved through music and imagines their projects with this in mind, reimagining the classical music experience. The Quartet has toured throughout the U.S. and abroad, including sold-out performances at The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall; engagements in Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Puerto Rico; and with the Sphinx Virtuosi on six national tours. The Quartet is principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Curtis Institute of Music. Upcoming collaborations include Encuentros, voices from the Cuban diaspora; (Im)migration: Music of Change with the Imani Winds; CQ Minute, a commissioning project celebrating the quartet’s 10th anniversary; and UNCOVERED, a multi-album project celebrating artists overlooked in classical music, out on Azica Records. The Catalyst Quartet’s debut album, The Bach/Gould Project, features the ensemble’s own arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations alongside Glenn Gould’s String Quartet Op. 1. The quartet can also be heard on Jessie Montgomery’s Strum (Azica), JP Jofre’s Bandoneón y cuerdas (Progressive Sounds), and Grammy-winning album Dreams and Daggers (Mack Avenue). Quartet members hold degrees from The Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School, and New England Conservatory and proudly endorse Pirastro strings. Learn more at Ms. Fayette’s funding will support the UNCOVERED project, an ongoing performance, research, and multi-volume anthology highlighting the complete works by historically important Black composers.
    • Joshua Halpern (Cello ’05) has appeared on stages around the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral principal cellist. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists including Jonathan Biss, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Roberto Díaz, Viviane Hagner, Gary Hoffman, Kim Kashkashian, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Anthony McGill, Olli Mustonen, and Itzhak Perlman, and appeared at music festivals including the Ravinia Steans Institute, Music@Menlo, the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Taos School of Music, La Jolla Summerfest, Musikiwest, and Krzyzowa-Music, with whom he has also toured extensively. An eager advocate of contemporary music, he has worked personally with composers such as Richard Danielpour, Scott Ordway, Kevin Puts, and Kaija Saariaho. During the 2019 season, he served as guest principal cello of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, including on tours to Germany, Taiwan, and China, and in 2020 served as cellist with the Banff Competition-winning Rolston Quartet. Mr. Halpern completed his Post-Baccalaureate Diploma at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where he performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America with Curtis On Tour and served as principal cello of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra during the 2016–17 season. At Curtis, he studied with Carter Brey and Peter Wiley. As an undergraduate at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, he studied with Desmond Hoebig and won the school’s concerto competition. He is currently a member of the Karajan Akademie of the Berliner Philharmoniker, in which he plays as a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker and is mentored by Ludwig Quandt. In 2018, Mr. Halpern curated a solo tour across Colorado to bring classical music to unexpected places, including the state penitentiary, small-town saloons, bicycle shops, and more. Since then, he has continued bringing music to unique spaces, fostering connection and conversation with all types of people along the way. In 2021, he founded the Cultural Caravan, a Colorado-based 501(c)3 organization operating at the intersection of small businesses, social-service nonprofits, and local artists to empower, connect, and revitalize communities. The Cultural Caravan has since presented over 50 artists with backgrounds ranging from Zimbabwean Afropop to Venezuelan jazz to Classical Music in dozens of concerts in coordination with over 40 local businesses and community organizations, raising more than $90,000 in the past year and reinvesting it all into the community. As a teacher, Josh has presented master classes throughout the United States and South America, has taught at Curtis Summerfest and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and serves on faculty at the Brooklyn School of Music. He lives in Berlin. Mr. Halpern’s funding will support his work with Cultural Caravan.
    • Long Island Chamber Music (LICM) brings professional classical music to Long Island communities through concerts and educational programs year-round. LICM was founded in 2020 by husband-and-wife musicians Eric Huckins (Horn ’16) and Gergana Haralampieva (Violin ’16), alongside composer Nick DiBerardino (’18) with the belief that Long Island is deserving of its own year-round professional classical music organization. Concerts take place at local venues across Long Island, including concert halls, parks, libraries, churches, museums, and community centers. LICM works closely with its community partners to create concert programs that are relevant and compelling to audiences. Each concert showcases unique combinations of instruments and program selections. LICM is strongly committed to programming works and featuring musicians from historically underrepresented communities in the classical music field. LICM provides a variety of highly interactive educational concerts and residencies in schools, libraries, and community centers that focus on fostering a love and understanding of classical music for all ages. LICM musicians are all drawn from Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Astral Artists, and several other of the country’s most prominent musical institutions. In addition to being leaders in their art form, LICM musicians are teaching artists, entrepreneurs, and socially-minded advocates for classical music. All Long Island Chamber Music programs are made possible through the efforts of our community partners, support from local businesses, and the generosity of the Long Island community. Long Island Chamber Music is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Ms. Haralampieva’s funding will support her work with the Long Island Chamber Music organization.
    • ensemble132 is an American chamber music collective of today’s most distinguished young artists, including Maria Ioudenitch (Violin ’18). A new, versatile kind of ensemble, e132’s dynamic roster of 11 like-minded musicians unite through their mission to reimagine the chamber music experience. Flexible in size and formation, ensemble132 artists assemble in varying combinations to create a fresh energy and unique color in each performance. Claiming greater ownership over the interpretive process, ensemble132 stretches the boundaries of chamber music by arranging and performing the full gamut of the classic repertoire. Every e132 concert is crafted to spotlight original arrangements that deliver orchestral magnitude and a soloistic spark to the chamber music stage. At the same time, ensemble132’s musicians bring their artistry of the highest caliber to traditional masterworks as well as unearthed gems. The artists of ensemble132 have collaborated closely at music festivals such as Marlboro, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, and Verbier, and they appear regularly with ensembles such as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Catalyst Quartet, Borromeo String Quartet, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. They are prizewinners at major competitions such as the Paganini, Joseph Joachim, Tibor Varga, Sibelius, Primrose, Beethoven Vienna, Vendome Prize, and American Pianists Awards. Renowned musicians have praised ensemble132’s forward-thinking arrangements as “absolutely terrific … a delight [which] succeeds in opening up the sound of the piece in meaningful ways” (Robert McDonald), “truly fantastic” (Gary Louie), and “a fresh approach to music that is second to none” (Herbert Greenberg). Recent highlights include the premiere of Stravinsky’s groundbreaking ballet score, Petrouchka arranged for piano quintet, and the launch of e132@home, a pandemic-era online series featuring e132 musicians in duo and trio programs. ensemble132 continues the feature of duos as part of its touring initiative to bring the individual voices of e132’s artists to intimate community venues. Ensemble132’s new programs Beethoven’s Triple: Chamber Music or Concerto? and Death and Transfiguration: Strauss Reborn will be premiering in the coming season. Alongside its traditional concerts, ensemble132 takes a uniquely creative approach to community engagement. Through interactive workshops, e132 artists guide listeners in real-time through the arranging process and engage with audiences through the contagious joy of creation. ensemble132 also presents cross-disciplinary programs, such as their upcoming chamber ballet production of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka, generously funded in part by the Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Alumni Fund. Maria Ioudenitch will use her funding for ensemble132 to produce a modernized chamber version of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka.
    • Since returning to her roots in the artistically fertile Monadnock Region of New Hampshire, Jazimina MacNeil (Opera ’14) has conceived, directed, and performed in a number of interdisciplinary works which explore the intersection of music, storytelling, and the natural world: Danika the Rose is an interweaving of Dvorak’s sublime Moravian Duets with an original eco-fairytale written by Ms. MacNeil in collaboration with master storyteller Odds Bodkin; an orchestral version of this project, Love Like Water, was produced in collaboration with conductor Eric Jacobsen, and both premiered in 2019. In collaboration with the Harris Center for Conservation Education and Electric Earth Concerts, Ms. MacNeil created two site-specific musical hikes: The Singing Stream, which sets Schubert’s tender song cycle Die Schöne Müllerin alongside what was once a mill stream, and In Fine Feather, which invites walkers into a world of music and poetry inspired by birdsong, accompanied by the sights and sounds of the birds themselves. She has also collaborated with the DreamYard Project to create Frozen Tears, a concert of artwork and spoken word inspired by the alienation in Schubert’s Winterreise, and is currently developing an immersive theatrical retelling of former Guantanamo detainee Mansoor Adayfi’s harrowing, heartrending stories as he survived his imprisonment and searches for love. She is a company member of the award-winning Firelight Theatre Workshop, with whom she regularly performs, writes, and conceives new, immersive, and community-based works. Ms. MacNeil’s funding will go towards the commission of a new musical work.
    • Catherine Van Handel (Bassoon ’15) was appointed principal bassoon by conductor Edo de Waart with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, holding the Muriel C. and John D. Silbar Family Bassoon Chair, in 2017. Prior to her joining the Milwaukee Symphony, she won the associate principal bassoon position with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under conductor Peter Oundjian and worked for one and a half seasons. While Van Handel was studying at the Curtis Institute of Music, she held the principal bassoon position with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. Chen has performed with numerous orchestras across the country, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and Richmond Symphony. Catherine has worked under such world-renowned conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andris Nelsons, Fabio Luisi, Lorin Maazel, Stéphane Denève, and Osmo Vänskä, among many others. As a soloist, Van Handel appears regularly with the Milwaukee Symphony and is recognized for her “elegant, buttery tone” (The Shepherd Express).  Her Mozart concerto performances with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra were described as, “One rarely hears the Mozart bassoon concerto and, for that matter, rarely hears bassoonists performing concertos. [Van Handel’s] performance was a lovely reminder of the lyrical and technical possibilities of the instrument. She played with a polished, warm sound, full of color and nuance…the cadenzas, which she had written, revealed some technically pristine, wonderfully musical playing” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Van Handel has also had solo engagements with The Philadelphia Orchestra, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, and The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Orchestra, and has been hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as, “assured and startlingly lyrical, [her solo] signaled an orchestra-wide philosophy.” In addition, Van Handel is a member of the Fulton Chamber Players. She is also involved in performing new works. In 2015, she gave a world premiere of the Tanganera Astoriana, a tango written by Rui dos Reis for bassoon and piano, at Curtis Field Concert Hall. Catherine Van Handel is on the bassoon faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has given masterclasses in the United States and abroad. She has conducted masterclasses and coachings with New World Symphony, Bassoons Without Borders, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Oklahoma State University, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Escuela de Artes Musicales in San José, Costa Rica. She has also been a guest teaching artist at the 2022 Glickman-Popkin Bassoon Camp. Van Handel has previously served on the bassoon faculty at the University of Toronto and at Curtis Summerfest, teaching the Young Artist Summer Program. In addition, Van Handel has served on bassoon faculty at the National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI + F) and the Pacific Music Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii, where the program began an exciting new partnership with NOI + F. During her summers, Van Handel has participated at prestigious music festivals such as Marlboro Music School and Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Mainly Mozart Festival by invitation of violinist David Chan, Music from Angel Fire Festival by invitation of violinist Ida Kavafian, North Shore Chamber Music Festival by invitation of violinist Vadim Gluzman, Music Academy of the West, Castleton Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute + Festival, Britt Music & Arts Festival Orchestra and Lakes Area Music Festival. Van Handel has also performed at Carnegie Hall through the New York String Orchestra Seminar during Christmastime of 2010. In 2012, Van Handel was selected as one of three bassoonists to participate in an orchestral masterclass given by Stefan Schweigert, principal bassoon of the Berlin Philharmonic, in New York City at the Berlin Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall Workshop. Originally born in Taipei, Taiwan, Catherine Van Handel began her musical studies playing the piano at the age of four and the cello at the age of five. Van Handel moved with her mother and siblings to the United States when she was six years old. She continued playing both piano and cello until beginning to play the bassoon at age fourteen. She started her bassoon education under the tutelage of Joyce Kelley, former principal bassoon of the New York City Opera, and went on to study with Marc Goldberg, former associate principal Bassoon of the New York Philharmonic, at the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School. Catherine later received her Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Daniel Matsukawa, the principal bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Catherine Van Handel’s funding will support the completion of her debut album.
    • Alyssa Weinberg (Composition ’16) uses color, texture, and gesture to channel big emotions, creating music that is “quite literally stunning” (Chicago Tribune). She is fascinated with perception and loves to play with form, subverting expectations to create surreal scenarios, often in dreamy, multidisciplinary productions. Ms. Weinberg is the recipient of a 2022 OPERA America Discovery Grant to support the development of Drift, a new opera written in collaboration with librettist J. Mae Barizo. Recently, the pair created ISOLA, a prismatic monodrama about time, mental health, and isolation. Weinberg’s music has been performed by celebrated artists and ensembles around the world, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, as well as Eighth Blackbird, So Percussion, yMusic, and the Aizuri Quartet. She has received commissions and awards from organizations including Chamber Music America, FringeArts and the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Barnes Foundation, and the Curtis Institute of Music. Ms. Weinberg holds a Ph.D. in composition from Princeton University, as well as degrees from Vanderbilt University, Manhattan School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music. Her funding will support the completion of a recording project titled Pieces of Light with cellist Gabriel Cabezas (Cello ’13).
    • Elizabeth Younan (Composition ’21) is quickly gaining a reputation as one of Australia’s finest young composers. She was a featured Australian composer of Musica Viva’s 2020 and 2018 International Concert Seasons, and her violin solo, “…your heart dreams of spring,” is featured on Jennifer Koh’s GRAMMY award-winning album, Alone Together. Ms. Younan is one of the commissioned composers of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s 50 Fanfares project and has been broadcast numerous times on ABC Classic FM and 102.5 Fine Music. She has also composed for principal players of the Philadelphia Orchestra and is the composer for the Lost Women of Science podcast, produced in partnership with PRX and Scientific American. She is a Composer-In-Residence with The Back to Bach Project, the 2022 Chamber Music Festival of Lexington (KY), and Santa Sabina College. Accolades include an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for her Woodwind Quintet No. 2, “Kismet” (2021), the Kendall National Violin Competition’s Watermark Composition Prize for her Microsonata No. II for Violin and Piano (2020), the 102.5 Fine Music and Willoughby Symphony Young Composer Award for her first orchestral work, Clarinet Concerto (2016), and the Jean Bogan Youth Prize for her piano solo, Five Persian Preludes (2014). Ms. Younan holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition with First Class Honours (2015) and a Master of Music (2018) from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she studied with Carl Vine AO. She was awarded the Ignaz Friedman Memorial Prize (2014) and the prestigious Australian Postgraduate Award (2016-2018). Upon graduation from Curtis, she received the Charles Miller “Alfredo Casella Award” for composition. She is the first Australian composer to be admitted to Curtis in its nearly 100-year history and studied with Dr. Jennifer Higdon, Dr. David Ludwig, Dr. Richard Danielpour, and Dr. Amy Beth Kirsten. Ms. Younan’s funding will support her work with the Back-to-Bach Project and establish a chapter in Australia.

Career Support

    • Canadian-American violinist Maia Cabeza (Violin ’12) enjoys a multi-faceted performing career as a chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral leader. She is currently concertmaster of Aurora Orchestra and Principal 2nd in Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Kammerakademie Potsdam. Maia is 1st prize winner of the 2013 Leopold Mozart Competition and 2nd prize winner of the 2018 J.S. Bach Competition and has performed as a soloist with several orchestras, including the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, and Munich Radio Orchestra, among others. An extremely passionate chamber musician, she is a member of Spunicunifait, a string quintet on period instruments, and has performed at festivals such as Marlboro and Lockenhaus, as well as being a regular at Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music. She has had the opportunity to collaborate with musicians such as Kristian Bezuidenhout, Vilde Frang, Nobuko Imai, Steven Isserlis, and Anna Prohaska, among others. Maia was born in Japan in 1992 and is of Argentinean heritage. She studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. Her teachers have included Ida Kavafian, Joseph Silverstein, Antje Weithaas, and Rainer Schmidt. Apart from music, she is a great lover of all things involving food, traveling, and spending time outside in the sun whenever it shows up (she lives in Berlin). Ms. Cabeza’s funding will go towards the purchase of a baroque violin.
    • Youna Choi (Cello ’16) has featured internationally throughout Korea and the United States. She has frequently been featured in Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Marine Biological Laboratory, and Nantucket Atheneum in Massachusetts as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Her accomplishments include prizes and scholarships from David Weiss Scholarship Competition, Rio Hondo Competition, and numerous national competitions in Korea. As a founding member of the Three Strings Ensemble, she performed numerous recital series sponsored by the city of Seoul, and the ensemble was nominated as a winner of the Manhattan International Music Competition. The ensemble debuted in Carnegie Hall for a winner’s concert in 2022. She also has been named a special prize winner of the Astor Piazzolla International Music Competition for a chamber division. She has debuted Walton Cello Concerto with Colburn Orchestra as a winner of the Concerto Competition at the Ambassador Auditorium with Maestro Courtney Lewis, Music Director of the Jacksonville Symphony. Ms. Choi has also performed under the baton of conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Rossen Milanov, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Robert Spano, Osmo Vänska, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Ms. Choi studied the cello with Peter Wiley and Carter Brey at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she earned a bachelor’s degree. And she subsequently studied with Clive Greensmith at Colburn Conservatory of Music, where she received an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music. Ms. Choi has been appointed as the principal cellist of the New West Symphony Orchestra as of 2019. In addition, recently she joined to Long Beach Symphony in 2022. Her funding will go towards audition expenses and competition preparation.
    • Canadian-Armenian bass-baritone Vartan Gabrielian (Voice ’17, Opera ’19) is a recent graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s ensemble program and the Santa Fe Apprentice program. While still a student, he made his professional debut with the Opéra de Montréal performing the role of Sparafucile (Rigoletto). Highlights in his upcoming 2022–23 season include his role and house debut as Nourabad (Les pêcheurs de perles) at Vancouver Opera. At the Canadian Opera Company, Gabrielian returns to perform Jailer (Tosca) and Dottore (Macbeth) in addition to covering Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Banquo (Macbeth), and First Nazarene (Salome). A sought-after concert performer, Gabrielian will also be performing Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of Francis Choinière. Recent appearances include performing the title role in Le nozze di Figaro at the Trentino Music Festival, Betto (Gianni Schicchi), Armed Guard (Die Zauberflöte), and Dottore Grenvil (La traviata) at the Canadian Opera Company, the title role of Sweeney Todd at Curtis Opera Theatre, and Leporello and Commendatore (Don Giovanni) at Opera Philadelphia. In prior seasons, he has performed the following roles at the Chautauqua Institute: King (Ariodante), Colline (La Bohème), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Masetto (Don Giovanni), and Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte). Gabrielian was a finalist at the 2022 Belvedere Competition and has been a recipient of awards from numerous organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Career Bridges Schuyler Foundation, Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation, Sylva Gelber Foundation, Gerda Lissner Foundation, and the George London Foundation. Mr. Gabrielian is a graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, having earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Marlena Malas and Armen Boyajian. His funding will support overall career development activities.
    • A musician first and foremost, Ethan Jodziewicz (Double Bass ’15) fully embodies the notion that anything is possible on the bass. His zeal, musical omnivorousness, and technical ability allow him to not only thrive in jazz, bluegrass, rock, funk, old-time, symphonic, and chamber music but also to push the boundaries of bass playing beyond its traditional roles. An in-demand touring musician, Mr. Jodziewicz spends much of his time traveling the world, and has played the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kennedy Center, Live From Here, A Prairie Home Companion, NPR Tiny Desk Concerts, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, PBS’ Bluegrass Underground, and hundreds of others. Equally in-demand as a session musician, he has contributed to over 75 albums and soundtracks, including GRAMMY-nominated projects Weighted Mind (Sierra Hull), Portraits In Fiddles (Mike Barnett), and Symphony Sessions (Cody Fry). Mr. Jodziewicz also engineers and produces from his home studio, The Secret Woods. Currently (2022), Mr. Jodziewicz can be seen on the road playing electric bass with Aoife O’Donovan. He has also toured with Sierra Hull, The Milk Carton Kids, Molly Tuttle, Lindsay Lou, Maya de Vitry, Jeremy Kittel, Time for Three, Mark O’Connor, John Mailander’s Forecast, Darol Anger, Tony Trischka, and many others, including appearances with Béla Fleck, Bruce Hornsby, Kacey Musgraves, Cody Fry, Turtle Island Quartet, Punch Brothers, Vasilis Kostas, David Grisman, Hayes Carll, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Nashville Ballet, Seattle Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, and more. In addition, he leads The Ethan Jodziewicz Group, which explores his original fusion jazz compositions and free improvisation. Mr. Jodziewicz holds a B.M. from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied bass with Hal Robinson and Edgar Meyer. He also studied at Ithaca College with Nicholas Walker and Shawn Conley. He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where, aside from being active as a musician, he enjoys gardening, woodworking, fixing cars, disappearing into the Cumberland Mountains, and exploring the concept of urban homesteading. Mr. Jodziewicz uses ISI Aceto-Violect pickups, Aguilar amplifiers, Grace Design preamps, Hipshot drop tuners, and Reunion Blues gig bags. His funding will go towards the purchase of an instrument.
    • Addison Maye-Saxon (Trombone ’19) graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2019 with a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma. While enrolled, he was named principal trombone in Symphony in C, a position he still holds. He was also honored to be MPR Performance Today’s Young Artist in Residence, where he performed as a broadcasted segment soloist. After Curtis, Addison enrolled at The Juilliard School, where he received a master’s degree and is continuing his education at the Yale School of Music. Mr. Maye-Saxon’s funding will support overall career development activities.
    • Calvin Mayman (Flute ’22) from Ann Arbor, Michigan, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2018 and studied flute with Jeffrey Khaner. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Mayman was a Curtis Institute of Music Fellow. Mr. Mayman is currently studying at Rice University with Professor Leone Buys, and this season, he is performing with the New World Symphony as a substitute flutist. From 2021–22, he was a substitute player with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Symphony in C. In 2019 Mr. Mayman appeared as a soloist alongside Nadine Asin and Paul Huang in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He has also been a soloist with the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, and Huron Symphony Orchestra. He won first prize in the 2021 Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia Young Artist Competition, the 2017 Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra’s Concerto Competition, and the 2017 Michigan Youth Arts Festival’s Outstanding Soloist Concerto Competition. Mr. Mayman served as principal flute of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Huron High School Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Band for several years. He has attended the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival and School, Interlochen Arts Camp Flute Institute, Marrowstone Music Festival, MPulse Flute Institute, and Orford Music Academy. Mr. Mayman began playing the flute at age eight and previously studied with Jaimie Wagner and Jeffery Zook. His funding will go towards the purchase of a new instrument.
    • Kenshi Miyatani (Horn ’21) Kenshi Miyatani, from Tokyo, graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2021 and studied horn with Jeffrey Lang and Jennifer Montone. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Miyatani was the Jeanette S. Epstein Memorial Fellow. Mr. Miyatani has performed with Major orchestras in Japan. He began his musical studies at age three on the piano. He has attended Rikkyo University and Temple University and has studied horn with Tsutomu Maruyama. Currently, he is a member of The Orchestra Now. Mr. Miyatani’s funding will support overall career development activities.
    • Since 2020, Andrea Obiso (Violin ’19) has been the Concertmaster at the “Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia” in Rome. Born in 1994 and soon considered by the critics an “enfant prodige”, he began studying the violin and the piano with his parents at age six, and he is one of the youngest violinists in the world that have received his first major degree at 14 years old. After eleven national competitions, he was the top prize winner at the “66th ARD International Violin Competition” in Munich, where he also received the prize for the best performance of the contemporary work “For Solo Violin” by Avner Dorman commissioned by the competition. He has been awarded at the “Prix Ravel 2017”, the “A. Khachaturian International Violin Competition 2015”, the Sendai International Music Competition, and others. In 2019 he graduated from the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia under the guidance of Aaron Rosand and Midori. At Curtis, he specialized in conducting, improvisation, and aesthetics of music with his mentors, Dr. Jonathan Coopersmith and Dr. Noam Sivan. Before his time in America, he graduated from the Maastricht Conservatorium with Boris Belkin, his former teacher, with whom he also studied at the prestigious “Accademia Musicale Chigiana” in Siena for twelve years. Currently, He is mentored by Gérard Poulet and Kimiko Nakazawa, respectively, in Paris and Tokyo. His participation in many concert seasons and at international events gave him the opportunity to appear as soloist with several important orchestras, to play chamber music, and start teaching around the world. He made his debuts as soloist at the Berlin Philarmonie with the Deutches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, at the Herculessall and at the Gasteig Philarmonie in München with Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Bruxelles, at the Cremlin with Moscow Virtuosi, in China at the Shanghai Symphony Hall and in most important theaters in Latin America (Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Santiago de Chile). Andrea Obiso currently plays a Joseph Guarneri del Gesù 1741 violin, gracefully loaned by NPO “Yellow Angel,” and uses a bow made by E. Pajeot loaned by “Nippon Violin Co. Ltd.”.
    • Alize Rozsnyai (Voice ’13, Opera ’15, ArtistYear ’17) is a coloratura soprano “displaying profound imagination and control” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), building a diverse and exciting performance career as a classical soprano with a “superb voice” (Harrogate News), and acclaimed interpreter of new music, supplying “deliciously diva performances” (I CARE IF YOU LISTEN). In her September 2021’s performances of Alcina REVAMPED, Ms. Rozsnyai “impresses as Morgana. She attacks the melismatic demands of “Tornami a vagheggiar” (“Come Back to Woo Me”) with practiced ease and accentuates the besotted naiveté of her character…” (Broad Street Review). Her recent engagements include the role of Zina in Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters with Opera Fayetteville, Soprano Soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and Soprano Soloist in Mozart’s Missa Solemnis under the baton of Gregory Geehern of the Princeton Festival with PMSA. Ms. Rozsnyai portrayed the role of Nicole in Jason Cady’s modulated synth-accompanied Candy Corn with Experiments in Opera at the Flea Theatre in NYC, and the role of Zohara in the world premiere of Meira Warshauer’s Elijah’s Violin at the Presidio of San Francisco, under the baton of Jonathan Khuner and direction by Yefim Maizel, George Crumb’s Apparition, performed for George himself, at the Annenberg Center to celebrate the composer’s 90th birthday, and several more world premieres. In May 2021, Ms. Rozsnyai made her debut with Beth Morrison Projects in their Next Gen concert, performing Maya Miro Johnson’s when icarus fell, was there a splash? under the baton of Kamna Gupta. September 2021, she makes her role debut as Morgana in Alcina REVAMPED with Alter Ego Chamber Opera. Ms. Rozsnyai is co-founder, a soprano performer, and librettist with the Philadelphia-based chamber opera company Alter Ego Chamber Opera, whose mission is to tell new stories and old stories in new ways, supporting the creative voices of women, POC, and other underrepresented artists to create brand new opera theatre “without the ego.” Ms. Rozsnyai is managed by Matthew Laifer Artist Management. Ms. Rozsnyai’s funding will support overall career development activities.
    • Alexander Vvedenskiy (Oboe ’14) is principal oboe of the Louisville Orchestra and oboist at the “The Poulenc Trio” (oboe, bassoon, and piano trio). As a soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Vvedenskiy has performed in numerous concert halls and at numerous music festivals in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Highlights of his solo career include performances with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He’s also made multiple appearances as guest principal oboe with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Vvedenskiy’s funding will support overall career development activities.
    • Tyler Zimmerman (Opera ’18) is an American bass-baritone hailing from Abington, Pennsylvania. He received his training at the Juilliard School of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music where he debuted the roles of Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, La Roche in Capriccio, Edward Teller in Doctor Atomic, and Sam in A Quiet Place in co-productions with Opera Philadelphia. He has also been a young artist with the Santa Fe Opera and the Pittsburgh Opera where he sang Colline in La bohème, Masetto in Don Giovanni, as well as Melisso in Alcina. From 2020–22, Tyler was a Stipendiat at the Deutsche Oper Berlin where he was seen in such roles as Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sam in Un ballo in maschera. In the 2022–23 season, Tyler will make his debut at the Teatro Real Madrid in Christof Loy’s production of Arabella and will also return to Deutsche Oper Berlin for a new production of the same opera by Tobias Kratzer under the baton of Sir Donald Runnicles. Mr. Zimmerman’s funding will support overall career development activities.


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.

This real-world training allows these extraordinary young musicians to join the front rank of performers, composers, conductors, and musical leaders. Each season leading opera houses and chamber music series around the world feature Curtis alumni, and they hold principal chairs in every major American orchestra. Curtis graduates are musical leaders, making a profound impact on music onstage and in their communities. To learn more, visit


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Emilie Kealani on WHYY's "On Stage at Curtis"

Season 18 of WHYY's acclaimed On Stage at Curtis series continues with a portrait of rising young soprano Emilie Kealani.

Curtis Announces Expansion of Conducting Program, Providing Unparalleled Training for Emerging Conductors

Renowned conducting pedagogue James Ross (’89) appointed as Director of Orchestral Studies, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin appointed Head of Conducting.

Jessica Lee (Violin '01) Named Chair of Cleveland Institute of Music Violin Department

The acclaimed Curtis alumna will step down from her position at the Cleveland Orchestra to assume this full-time leadership role.