Curtis on Tour: L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale)

A thrilling tale of trickery and magic, Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat comes to life through an ensemble of musicians from the Curtis Institute of Music. “One of the world’s leading music academies” (BBC Culture), Curtis’s performers team up with beloved actor and narrator John de Lancie, who voices the characters, and award-winning performer David Shifrin (Clarinet ’71). The program, designed for audiences in North America, also features From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám by Curtis alumnus David Serkin Ludwig (Composition ’01).



David Shifrin, clarinet

Winner of both the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Avery Fisher Prize, David Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator. 

Mr. Shifrin has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit, Fort Worth, Hawaii and Phoenix symphonies, among many others in the United States; as well as with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. He has also received critical acclaim as a recitalist, appearing at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City; and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

An accomplished chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Guarneri, Tokyo, Emerson, Orion, Dover and Miró String Quartets; as well as Wynton Marsalis, André Watts, Emanuel Ax, and André Previn. An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, Mr. Shifrin served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004. He also served as artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest from 1981 through 2020, and is currently artistic director of the Phoenix Chamber Music Festival. 

Mr. Shifrin was the recipient of a Solo Recitalists’ Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the 2016 Concert Artists Guild Virtuoso Award. He was given an honorary membership by the International Clarinet Association in 2014 in recognition of lifetime achievement, and, at the outset of his career, he won the top prizes at both the Munich and the Geneva International Competitions. In recent years he received the Distinguished Alumni Awards from the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Music Academy of the West, and a Cultural Leadership Citation from Yale University. He was recognized with the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award at the 2018 Chamber Music America Conference and in 2019 was awarded the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Award for Extraordinary Service to Chamber Music.  

Mr. Shifrin performs on a Backun “Lumière” cocobolo wood clarinet made by Morrie Backun and Légère premium synthetic reeds. He is represented by CM Artists New York.

Full roster of Curtis musicians to include:

  • Soprano
  • Bassoon
  • Violin
  • Trumpet
  • Double bass
  • Trombone
  • Clarinet
  • Percussion
  • Conducting fellow       




DAVID SERKIN LUDWIG   From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
STRAVINSKY L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale)
Additional repertoire to be determined    


About From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

“The piece is in every way well-crafted, and yet that only begins to describe how wonderfully satisfying it is.”

—Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer

From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám is a 15-minute song cycle, tailor-made for a mezzo-soprano voice, that sets poems by the famed Persian poet. The work is “tinged with elements from traditional Persian music, including traditional scale forms, microtonal alterations and even a finger-cybmal part for the singer to play,” writes Dave Allen in The Bulletin.

Read the rave Philadelphia Inquirer review from a past tour.  



A student ensemble, featuring faculty member Don Liuzzi on percussion, performed an abbreviated version of L’Histoire du Soldat for WHYY’s On Stage at Curtis in 2019.


View selections from previous touring ensembles



Check out what the press are saying about Curtis on Tour