The Curtis Institute of Music mourns the loss of H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, who played an extraordinary role in the history of Curtis, and whose vision, generosity, and leadership helped transform the school during his tenure as Board Chairman from 2006 to 2014. He passed away on Sunday, August 5 at age 88.
During Mr. Lenfest’s tenure, Curtis began to create 21st-century opportunities for students, including new programs, artist residencies, and multi-disciplinary, all-school projects; a campus that doubled in size with the opening of Lenfest Hall, with state-of-the-art facilities and a home for our magnificent orchestra; a specialized fitness and conditioning program and enhanced student services; housing for half the student body; and expanded global outreach through Curtis on Tour, online courses and videos, and a new menu of summer programs.
Chairman of the Curtis Board of Trustees Mark E. Rubenstein commented Sunday, “Gerry was a role model to any responsible citizen of our community. He represented the best in giving back, but also strongly encouraged others to follow his example. It is because of his reaching out that I now consider him my mentor as I serve as Chairman of the Board of Curtis. I will deeply miss his special friendship.”
Curtis President and CEO Roberto Díaz said “Gerry was inspirational to the community at large, not just to the trustees, but to all of us —students, faculty, and staff. He was a wonderful example of what it’s all about, which is giving back. His legacy is about so much more than Curtis, however. Through all of the institutions and causes that he and Marguerite were willing to support, directly and indirectly, he set an example for us all in his commitment to improving the lives of others. I can’t imagine anybody more dedicated to improving their community.”
Curtis owes a profound debt of gratitude to Mr. Lenfest and extends deepest condolences to his wife and partner in all things, Marguerite, and his children, Diane, Chase, and Brook.