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Curtis 20/21 Ensemble


Flexible in size and scope, the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble 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 Miller Theatre, as well as internationally. The Curtis 20/21 Ensemble collaborates with some of today’s most prominent artists, including Charles Dutoit, eighth blackbird, and Matthias Pintscher. It has presented concert portraits of iconic composers in residence John Corigliano, George Crumb, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Steven Stucky, among 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 20/21 Ensemble is led by artistic director David Ludwig.


2016-17 SEASON

Composer in Residence Kaija Saariaho*

Sunday, October 30 at 3 p.m. **streamed live at Curtis Performs **

Gould Rehearsal Hall
Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street
Free, no tickets required. Limited seating available. 

Celebrated violinist Jennifer Koh (’02) joins the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble for a portrait concert of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, “one of the most original compositional voices of our time” (Denver Post).

Please join us at 2:30p for a pre-concert talk with David Ludwig and Kaija Saariaho. 

*The 2016-2017 composer in residence program is supported by a grant from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia and The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. 



Saturday, December 3 at 8 p.m.

Gould Rehearsal Hall
Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street
Free, no tickets required

The years around 1948 marked the start of a musical revolution in Modernism and the wildly experimental work of a new generation of rebellious composers. This concert explores the foundation of the early Darmstadt school and the (sometimes electronic) music of the young European avant-garde.

The New Yorkers

Saturday, February 11 at 8 p.m.

Gould Rehearsal Hall
Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street
Free, no tickets required

The American movement of the “New York School” artists of the 1950s and 1960s were just as irreverent as their European counterparts. With John Cage as a ringleader, composers like Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, and Christian Wolff explored new territory, freeing their work from traditional expectations.

Beyond Darmstadt: Part II 

Saturday. March 25 at 8 p.m.

Gould Rehearsal Hall
Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street
Free, no tickets required

As the Darmstadt school exerted an aesthetic dominance over the middle part of the 20th century, a similarly strong reaction grew in response. A new group of American minimalists, neo-Romantics, and “Downtown” composers emerged to create a new ecology of vivid sounds and vibrant rhythm that redefined new music and initiated the post-Modern era of today. 






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