Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern (’86) Leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on April 17 at the Kimmel Center, Additional performance in Allentown, Pa. on April 16

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Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern (’86) Leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on April 17 at the Kimmel Center

Additional performance in Allentown, Pa. on April 16

PHILADELPHIA—April 13, 2016— Michael Stern, music director of the Kansas City Symphony, returns to lead the final Curtis Symphony Orchestra concert of the season. The Philadelphia performance takes place on Sunday, April 17 at 8 p.m. in Verizon Hall, with an additional performance in Allentown on Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Symphony Hall.

Conducting fellow Edward Poll opens the concert with Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune. The Impressionist composer’s iconic dreamscape stands in stark contrast to Varèse’s Amériques, inspired by the urban clamor of that composer’s adoptive home. Brahms’s First Symphony – one of the most beloved and oft-performed works in symphonic history – showcases the orchestra’s youthful exuberance in a spirited conclusion to the concert.

Single tickets are $5 to $50 and are available at the Kimmel Center Box Office at kimmelcenter.org or (215) 893-1999. This concert is part of the 2015-16 series of Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts.

An additional performance presented by the Allentown Symphony Association takes place on Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown, Pa. Tickets and more information are available at (610) 432-6715 or www.allentownsymphony.org.

The Curtis Symphony Orchestra has been called “an orchestra that any city would be lucky to have as its professional ensemble” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Recent visiting conductors include Vladimir Jurowski, Marin Alsop, Osmo Vänskä, Simon Rattle, Robert Spano, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Curtis’s mentor conductor for the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellowship Program. This professional training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in America’s leading orchestras, as well as esteemed orchestral, opera, and chamber ensembles around the world.

Conductor Michael Stern is the music director of the Kansas City Symphony, which has been hailed for its remarkable artistic growth and development since his tenure began. Together they have released five recordings for the Reference Recordings label, as well as additional recordings for Naxos. He is founding artistic director and principal conductor of the IRIS Orchestra, recognized for its virtuosity and programming and its emphasis on American contemporary music.

Mr. Stern has served as chief conductor of Germany’s Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, permanent guest conductor of the Orchestre National de Lyon, and principal guest conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille. In North America he has conducted the New York Philharmonic; the Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Indianapolis, Montreal, National, Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Louis, and Toronto symphonies; and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras. He appears regularly at the Aspen Music Festival and has served on the faculty of the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. His international conducting engagements have included the London Symphony; the Helsinki, Israel, London, Moscow, and Royal Stockholm philharmonics; the National Symphony of Taiwan; the Budapest and Vienna radio symphonies; and the NHK Symphony (Tokyo).

Mr. Stern is a 1986 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where his major teacher was the noted conductor and scholar Max Rudolf. He edited the third edition of Mr. Rudolf’s textbook, The Grammar of Conducting, as well as a volume of his collected writings and correspondence. Mr. Stern also holds a degree in American history from Harvard University.

Edward Poll, from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2014, and is the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow. He was assistant conductor at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2014 and 2015 for Ariadne auf Naxos, Macbeth, Catone in Utica, and Carousel; and also led Trouble in Tahiti. He recently made his debut with the Buffalo Philharmonic at the invitation of JoAnn Falletta, and has conducted workshops of new compositions for Opera Philadelphia and Washington National Opera.

Also a composer, Mr. Poll is the winner of an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award and two Singing City prizes. His first opera, based on Lorca’s play Yerma, was premiered in New York at the NOMADS Festival. His second opera, in process, is set to religious texts by Auden and Yeats. He was a summer fellow at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris from 2006 to 2008, and studied composition at the Freie Universität in Berlin in 2010 and 2011. He has been commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the Theodore Presser Foundation to compose a string quartet for performance in the 2017-18 season.

Mr. Poll received a bachelor’s degree in composition from Columbia University, where he studied with Fabien Lévy and Fred Lerdahl. He holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Mannes College, where he studied with David Hayes and Joseph Colaneri.

Drawing upon 90 years of artistry, the Curtis Institute of Music pairs tradition and innovation, educating exceptionally gifted young musicians as artist-citizens who engage a local and global community through music-making of the highest caliber. Each year 175 students come to Curtis, drawn by a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture. In this intimate environment, they are nurtured by a celebrated faculty and inspired by the school’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach, offering more than 200 concerts each year in Philadelphia, as well as performances around the world through Curtis on Tour.

The extraordinary young musicians of Curtis graduate to join 4,000 alumni who have long made music history. Each season leading orchestras, opera houses, and chamber music series around the world feature Curtis alumni. They are in the front rank of soloists, composers, and conductors and 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 www.curtis.edu.

Michael Stern with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts
Sunday April 17 at 8 p.m.
Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

DEBUSSY  Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
VARÈSE  Amériques (1929, rev. 1973)
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1

Tickets: $5, $10, $25, $35, $50; available from the Kimmel Center Box Office at (215) 893-1999 or kimmelcenter.org

Additional performance: 
Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Presented by the Allentown Symphony Association, Inc.
Miller Symphony Hall, 23 North 6th Street, Allentown, Pa.
Tickets: $38, available from the Allentown Symphony Box Office at (610) 432-6715 or www.allentownsymphony.org

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