Nina Baroness von Maltzahn to Conclude Tenure as Board Chair in May 2016
Curtis celebrates Baroness von Maltzahn’s leadership, highlighted by expansion of worldwide touring and international exposure
Baroness von Maltzahn will continue to serve on the Curtis Board of Trustees and remains committed to building the school’s global presence
PHILADELPHIA, PA — September 18, 2015—As the Curtis Institute of Music celebrates a successful 90th anniversary season marked by a newly articulated strategic direction; expansion of Curtis on Tour; performances featuring renowned artists and world premieres; and exceptional student, faculty, and alumni achievements, Nina Baroness von Maltzahn has confirmed completion of her two-year tenure as Board Chair on May 31, 2016, at the end of the fiscal year. She will continue to serve on the board of trustees.
“It has been an extraordinary honor to lead Curtis. The unparalleled students and faculty at this remarkable school are celebrated worldwide as the very finest,” said Baroness von Maltzahn. “I’m grateful to support Curtis’s expanding global presence and remain committed to this cause. When my tenure concludes, I will continue to serve Curtis in myriad ways and support the exceptional work of our committed board of trustees, President Roberto Díaz, and, of course, my successor. As we look to our 100th anniversary, I know this is just the beginning of what we can and will accomplish together.”
As Baroness von Maltzahn works in the coming months with the senior leadership team to implement a new strategic direction driving Curtis toward its centenary, an ad-hoc committee chaired by Board Vice-Chair Edward A. “Ned” Montgomery Jr. will lead the search for a successor.
During Nina von Maltzahn’s tenure as board chair, Curtis on Tour has grown to include stops in nine countries on four continents, including performances in Hong Kong; Seoul; Taipei; Dresden; Berlin; Paris; Bremen; Boston; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Miami; San Diego; Nantucket; Mexico City; Santiago; and Athens. Baroness von Maltzahn helped make connections with prominent presenters in Asia, Greece, and Germany, where a Curtis on Tour ensemble performed at the Henry A. Kissinger Prize Ceremony at the American Academy in Berlin. Her $1.5 million gift made in 2014 through the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation allowed for expanded touring opportunities in Latin America and Asia, as well as a full orchestra tour of Europe planned for 2017.
“I am immensely grateful to Nina for her leadership and the international perspective and connections she has brought to the school,” said Curtis President Roberto Díaz. “Throughout the past year, Nina has demonstrated great faith in the direction of the school, a belief in our shared vision, and a deep commitment to the young musicians studying here. It is leadership like hers that inspires the entire Curtis family—our phenomenal team of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and incredibly dedicated board members and supporters.”
In December 2014, Nina von Maltzahn made a $10 million endowment gift, also through the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, to establish the Nina von Maltzahn President’s Chair, held by Roberto Díaz. Combined with the $1.5 million in support for Curtis on Tour, these gifts from Baroness von Maltzahn are among the largest Curtis has received in its 90-year history.
Baroness von Maltzahn joined the Curtis Board of Overseers in 2008 and the Board of Trustees in 2010. She established two new instrumental programs at Curtis, the guitar department in 2010 and the string quartet program in 2013. Her other gifts include two endowed faculty chairs: the Nina von Maltzahn Chair in Violin Studies, held by Ida Kavafian; and the Fondation Charidu Chair in Guitar Studies, held by David Starobin. Following the distinguished tenure of Gerry Lenfest, Baroness von Maltzahn assumed leadership of the board in June 2014 and committed to a two-year term as chair.
Baroness von Maltzahn’s first season as board chair of Curtis included a number of significant accomplishments. A milestone 90th anniversary season featured the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto, performed by Roberto Díaz; a media residency by America’s most popular classical music program, Performance Today; Curtis joining the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts as its newest resident company; and performances by renowned artists including Osmo Vänskä, Leilia Josefowicz, Jason Vieaux, eighth blackbird, and Jonathan Biss.
Curtis students, faculty, and alumni garnered major awards and honors throughout the season, including top prizes at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, National Chopin Piano Competition, and Singapore International Violin Competition, and two Curtis pianists received the 2016 Gilmore Young Artist Award. Students and alumni advanced to the finals of the Queen Elisabeth Competition and BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and joined orchestras in Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, New York, and Houston. And faculty and alumni took home Grammys for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, and Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble performance.
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.
“One of the world’s finest music academies” (BBC Culture), Curtis reaches global audiences through Curtis Performs (curtis.edu/CurtisPerforms), the school’s dedicated HD performance video site. Online music courses and Summerfest programs offer lifelong learners further ways to listen, explore, and perform. And social entrepreneurship programs, including the ArtistYear Fellowship program, established in partnership with Aspen Institute’s Franklin Project, bring arts access and education to the community.
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.
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