Curtis Institute of Music in the News: Grammy wins, movie premiere, Curtis On Tour, and more

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Curtis Institute of Music
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Curtis in the news

The past few months have included diplomatic visitsinnovative performances in new venues, and high praise for studentsfaculty, and alumni. See how the worldwide press have covered the many activities at Curtis his past quarter. 

Lifelong Learning
On Disc and On Screen
Grammy wins and movie premieres
for Curtis faculty

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards brought good news for Curtis: Guitar faculty member Jason Vieaux took home the Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for his album Play (Azica Records). Press in Philadelphia and Cleveland took notice, with newspaperradio, and television features. Grammys also went to double bass faculty Edgar Meyer and alumna Hilary Hahn (Violin ’99); other faculty and alumni were honored with nominations as well.

Alumnus Vinay Parameswaran (Conducting ’13) was profiled by India’s Mumbai Mirror for his work with the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble on the Grammy-winning Two X Four (Cedille Records), featuring performers Jennifer Koh (Violin ’02) and Jaime Laredo (Violin ’59), plus a work by David Ludwig (Composition ’01).

The music of composition faculty member and Dean of Artistic Programs David Ludwig  is also featured in director Michael Almereyda’s new film Cymbeline, with a powerhouse cast that includes Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich, John Leguizamo, Penn Badgley, and Dakota Johnson. His feature-length film score debut was recently highlighted in the Huffington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and on WHYY (90.9 FM).

Lifelong Learning
Career Success
Illustrious appointments and major recognition for students and recent graduates

Just a few years after leaving Curtis, alumni are appearing on stages across the country and around the world. Joshua Gersen’s (Conducting ’10) recent appointment as assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic was covered by the Wall Street Journal and WQXR. J’nai Bridges (Opera ’12), at left, was among the top 20 international young vocalists competing in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015, as reported by the BBC. And Amanda Majeski (Opera ’09) earned stellar reviews from the Chicago Tribune and other Chicago press for her role as Marta in the holocaust opera The Passenger at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Current cello student Oliver Aldort will join the Boston Symphony Orchestra this fall as its youngest member, as reported by Musical America and Symphony Magazine. The Philadelphia Inquirer covered Oliver’s win and other major Curtis appointments, including Robin Kesselman, new principal double bass of the Houston Symphony; Corbin Stair, who joins the oboe section of the Cleveland Orchestra; and  Keith Buncke (Bassoon ’14) who was named principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, succeeding David McGill (Bassoon ’85).

In competition news, Curtis piano student Eric Lu was awarded first prize at the Ninth National Chopin Piano Competition, and Curtis violinists swept the inaugural Singapore International Violin Competition. Current student Benny Tseng won first prize and Richard Lin (Violin ’13) won second prize and the audience prize.  Read more in Singapore’s Straits Times.

Performance Today
Coast to Coast
From New York to San Diego, Curtis On Tour performs nationwide

The Curtis Chamber Orchestra is fresh off a U.S. tour with renowned conductor Robert Spano that drew enthusiastic audiences in Washington, D.C.; Florida; California; and online in a livestream broadcast to viewers in more than 20 countries. Previews in the Miami Herald and popular new music blog I Care If You Listen eagerly anticipated the world premiere of Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition Studies Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto, performed by Roberto Díaz, who holds the Nina von Maltzahn President’s Chair and the James and the Betty Matarese Chair in Viola Studies at Curtis.

Praise followed from the Washington Post (“an incisive and convincing introduction to an appealing piece that deserves to be heard — a lot”), Philadelphia Inquirer (“The concert’s stealth surprise was Spano conducting his own Hölderlin Songs…soprano Rachel Sterrenberg gave herself over completely”), and Miami Herald (“a bright and polished performance, far above the student level”).

Meanwhile, renowned cellist and faculty member Peter Wiley (’74) joined the Aizuri Quartet for Curtis On Tour performances on the East Coast. They performed to a full and enthusiastic house at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum before heading to New York for Curtis On Tour’s debut at the Morgan Library & Museum.

The New York Times
Musically Fit
Signature Program at Zarett Fitness Garners National Attention

The personal training program for students at Zarett Fitness, uniquely customized to their needs as musicians, was profiled on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s health section.

Coverage of this exceptional program was picked up across the country, by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Seattle Times, and more than fifteen other newspapers across the country, including the Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionAkron Beacon Journal (Akron, OH), The Forum (Fargo, ND), The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), The Bulletin (Bend, OR), and Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA). The program at Zarett Fitness was established in 2010 with generous pilot funding by H.F. “Gerry” and Marguerite Lenfest.

US Airways
A dynamic new series from WHYY features Curtis faculty, alumni, and students

WHYY’s newest arts television program Articulate, hosted by Jim Cotter, explores the variety, quality, and heritage of creativity in the region and how art speaks to us in our everyday lives. Episodes feature Neubauer Family Chair in Piano Studies Jonathan Biss (watch online and on WHYY’s Channel 12 March 26 at 10:30 p.m. and March 29 at 1 p.m.), Gie and Lisa Liem Artistic Chair of Performance Studies David Ludwig (online and April 16 at 10:30 p.m. and April 19 at 1 p.m.), and guitar faculty Jason Vieaux (online preview of episode to air later this spring). Cello student Tessa Seymour and alumnus Stanford Thompson (Trumpet ’09) are also featured.


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