CURTIS PERFORMS NATIONWIDE Spring concerts in New York, Boston, Miami, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. accompanied by live streams and online courses

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Spring concerts in New York, Boston, Miami, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. accompanied by live streams and online courses

World premiere of Higdon Viola Concerto performed by Roberto Díaz with Robert Spano and the Curtis Chamber Orchestra (March 7)

Sold-out premiere at the Library of Congress followed by live stream on Curtis Performs (March 9) and 4 coast-to-coast performances (March 11-17)

Cellist Peter Wiley and the Aizuri Quartet featured in East Coast performances; Curtis On Tour debuts at New York’s Morgan Library & Museum (March 17) and returns to Boston’s Gardner Museum (March 15)

Latest free Coursera offering taught by Arnold Steinhardt and Mia Chung, The World of the String Quartet, adds to roster of free online courses from Curtis that have attracted more than 87,000 combined enrollments in over 145 countries

February 18, 2015, Philadelphia, Pa.—Hear performances from the Curtis Institute of Music across the United States and online this spring. “Both a conservatory and a buzzword…known for taking the best music students in the world” (Washington Post), the Curtis Institute of Music sends touring ensembles of students, faculty, and alumni from coast to coast in March. Online connections extend the school’s reach globally, with live streamed performances and the launch of a new online course.

In March the Curtis Chamber Orchestra embarks on a cross-country tour, exhibiting its “customary vigor and intelligence” (Philadelphia Inquirer) in a program featuring three prominent alumni. Roberto Díaz (’84), president of the Curtis Institute of Music, premieres Jennifer Higdon‘s (’88) Viola Concerto under the baton of renowned conductor Robert Spano (’85). Accompanying the work by Jennifer Higdon, Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition at Curtis, are Mr. Spano’s Hölderlin Songs performed by soprano Rachel Sterrenberg from the Curtis Opera Theatre, as well as Prokofiev’s “Classical” Symphony and Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony.

The chamber orchestra tour kicks off with a sold-out performance on March 7 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., presented as part of the 2014-15 Concerts from the Library of Congress series. For the world premiere of the Higdon Concerto, co-commissioned by Curtis, the Library of Congress, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Nashville Symphony, Mr. Díaz performs on the Tuscan-Medici 1690 Stradivarius, on loan to the Library of Congress from the Tuscan Corporation. Built in 1690, during one of the most skillful and artistic periods of Stradivari’s long life, the tone of the viola has been described as “unsurpassable.” It is in outstanding condition and state of preservation, one of the finest in existence.

Two days later, the Curtis Chamber Orchestra plays for a worldwide audience with a live stream on Curtis Performs ( The performance on March 9 at 8 p.m. from Curtis’s Gould Rehearsal Hall in Philadelphia features the complete Curtis On Tour program. The online stage for the Curtis Institute of Music, Curtis Performs is dedicated to exclusive HD video of student, faculty, and alumni performances. Viewable from any computer, smartphone, or tablet with a high-speed internet connection, Curtis Performs has been viewed in more than 150 countries since its 2013 launch.

Curtis On Tour performances follow in Florida and California, with stops at the University of Miami (March 11), presented by the Friends of Chamber Music of Miami; Mondavi Center at UC Davis (March 13); Sonoma’s Green Music Center (March 15); and San Diego’s Qualcomm Hall (March 17), presented by the San Diego Symphony.

While the chamber orchestra performs on the West Coast, a Curtis string quintet performs in Boston and New York City. The Aizuri Quartet, string quartet in residence at Curtis, is joined by Peter Wiley (’74), renowned cellist of the Guarneri Quartet, for Curtis On Tour performances at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (March 15) and a debut at the Morgan Library & Museum (March 17). The Aizuri Quartet also performs in favorite Curtis On Tour venues in Dresden (February 7)Paris (February 11), and Cape Cod (March 13).

While in residence at Curtis, the Aizuri Quartet appears in venues throughout Philadelphia, including Curtis’s Field Concert Hall and World Cafe Live, among others. In addition to recent performances at the Kimmel Center’s SEI Innovation Studio and the Barnes Foundation, the Aizuri Quartet is featured in the latest Coursera offering from Curtis.

Launching in the spring, The World of the String Quartet ( explores the rich history of the string quartet. Arnold Steinhardt, first violin of the Guarneri Quartet, and respected scholar Mia Chung take students through the history and musical nuts and bolts of string quartets, colored by stories of legendary quartets and insights from the stage. Throughout the course, the Aizuri Quartet will explore interpretation and interaction with Mr. Steinhardt, and casual pre- and post-concert lectures with Ms. Chung and Mr. Steinhardt enhance the Boston and New York appearances by the Aizuri Quartet and Peter Wiley. 

The course also features a livestream digital premiere of David Ludwig‘s (’01) Pale Blue Dot performed by the Dover Quartet on April 13. A group of Curtis alumni which The New Yorker recently called “the young American string quartet of the moment,” the Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. One of the most in-demand young quartets today, the group was quartet in residence at Curtis during the 2013-14 season.

The World of the String Quartet is the third free, online course offered by Curtis through Coursera, a leader in MOOC (massive open online course) education. The first classical music conservatory to utilize a MOOC platform in partnership with Coursera, Curtis has drawn a combined 87,000 enrollments from lifelong learners in over 145 countries for the previous two courses, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas and From the Repertoire: Western Music History through Performance. Taught by the same faculty members who train the world’s finest young musicians at Curtis, the courses are designed specifically for Coursera, and reach more than 4 times the number of people who attend student performances each year in Philadelphia and around the world.

This season’s Curtis courses are sponsored by Linda Richardson in loving memory of her husband, Dr. Paul Richardson.

An embodiment of the school’s “learn by doing” philosophy, Curtis On Tour offers students real-world, professional touring experience alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. In addition to performances, students frequently offer master classes, in-school demonstrations, and other community engagement activities. Since Curtis On Tour was established in 2008, students, faculty, and alumni have traveled to more than 50 destinations in Europe, Asia, and North and South America, with new venues added each year.

The Curtis Chamber Orchestra has recently performed at the Miller Theatre (New York), the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), and the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia) with renowned violinists Jaime Laredo and Jennifer Koh. The orchestra was also featured alongside Mr. Laredo and Ms. Koh on the album Two X Four (Cedille Records), honored with a Grammy this month for the work of Judith Sherman, named Classical Producer of the Year. In 2011 the orchestra traveled to Asia through Curtis On Tour, performing in Beijing and Seoul under Mark Russell Smith. Praised for its “great elegance and style” (Washington Post), the orchestra appears regularly in Philadelphia on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s concert series and at home at the Curtis Institute of Music.

One of the world’s finest and most selective conservatories, the Curtis Institute of Music offers a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture to 175 students from all corners of the world. Nurtured by a celebrated faculty, its extraordinary young musicians graduate to join 4,000 alumni who have long made music history. From Leonard Bernstein to Alan Gilbert, Samuel Barber to Jennifer Higdon, Anna Moffo to Eric Owens, Richard Goode to Jonathan Biss, Curtis alumni personify the school’s commitment to excellence—onstage and in their communities—inventing careers with impact. Recent graduates forging 21st-century careers include violinist Adrian Anantawan, a performer and teacher dedicated to helping young people with disabilities make music; Joseph Conyers, director and founder of Project 440 and assistant principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Jennifer Koh, a violin soloist recognized for both her dazzling virtuosity and impassioned musical curiosity, dedicated to performing repertoire of all eras, from traditional to contemporary.

A busy schedule of performances, including more than 200 a year in Philadelphia and around the world, is at the heart of Curtis’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach. Dedicated to a tradition of excellence and innovation since its founding in 1924, Curtis is looking toward its centenary in a flexible and forward-thinking way, evolving strategically to serve its time-honored mission.

Robert Spano, conductor (’85)
Roberto Díaz, viola (’84)
Rachel Sterrenberg, soprano
Curtis Chamber Orchestra

PROKOFIEV                      Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25 (“Classical”)
HIGDON                              Viola Concerto (world premiere)
SPANO arr. LUDWIG      Hölderlin Songs
MOZART                             Symphony No. 41 in C major, K.551 (“Jupiter”)

This project is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Presser Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Celebration Special Projects Grant, and the Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy.

The Higdon commission was supported by a grant from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, as well as generous funding from John J. Medveckis and the family of Cameron and Jane Baird.

Washington, D.C.
Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. *SOLD OUT*
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress
6:30 p.m. Pre-concert conversation with Jennifer Higdon (Whittall Pavilion)
Rush tickets and more information:

Live Stream on Curtis Performs 
Monday, March 9 at 8 p.m.

Coral Gables, Fla.
Wednesday, March 11 at 8 p.m. 
Presented by the Friends of Chamber Music of Miami
Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, University of Miami
Tickets and more information:

Davis, Calif.
Friday, March 13 at 8 p.m.
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis
7 p.m. Pre-concert conversation with Curtis students and Don Roth, Executive Director, Mondavi Center, UC Davis (Jackson Hall)
Tickets and more information:

Rohnert Park, Calif.
Sunday, March 15 at 3 p.m.
Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
Tickets and more information:

San Diego
Tuesday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Presented by the San Diego Symphony
Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall
Tickets and more information:

Peter Wiley, cello (’74)
Aizuri Quartet
Miho Saegusa, violin
Zoë Martin-Doike, violin (’13)
Ayane Kozasa, viola (’12)
Karen Ouzounian, cello

Saturday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber

Tuesday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Presented by The Arts Arena
Hôtel de Talleyrand

MOZART             Quartet in D major, K. 575
JANÁČEK            Quartet No. 1 (“Kreutzer Sonata”)
BEETHOVEN    Quartet No. 9 in C major, Op. 59, No. 3 (“Razumovsky”)

Aizuri Quartet

Falmouth, Mass. 
Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Highfield Hall
Tickets and more information:

HAYDN                                Quartet in B-flat major, Hob. III:67
JANÁČEK                            Quartet No. 1 (“Kreutzer Sonata”)
MENDELSSOHN              Quartet No. 4 in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2

Aizuri Quartet

Sunday, March 15 at 1:30 p.m.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Post-concert talk hosted by Curtis faculty member Mia Chung, inspired by the latest Coursera offering from Curtis, The World of the String Quartet.
Tickets and more information:

New York
Tuesday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Morgan Library & Museum
6:45 p.m. Pre-concert talk hosted by Curtis faculty member Arnold Steinhardt, inspired by the latest Coursera offering from Curtis, The World of the String Quartet.
Tickets and more information:

HAYDN                Quartet in B-flat major, Hob. III:67
JANÁČEK            Quartet No. 1 (“Kreutzer Sonata”)
SCHUBERT        Quintet in C major, D. 956

Aizuri Quartet
Peter Wiley, cello

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