The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Discover the exciting lineup.

By: Dec. 05, 2023
The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

As the Curtis Institute of Music's 2023–24 season, Time to Discover, continues, additional information is now available for previously announced programming. On Saturday, January 27, 2024, at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra will present Beethoven, Ortiz, and Barber, a celebration of three dynamic composers whose innovative works push the boundaries of harmonic structure, symphonic color, and form. The concert opens with the Philadelphia premiere of Latin GRAMMY-nominated composer Gabriela Ortiz's rhythmically charged work Kauyumari (“The Blue Deer”), a thrilling, peyote-fueled ode to the spiritual guide of the Huichol people of Mexico.

 

The program continues with legendary 20th-century composer and Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber's ('34) soaring First Symphony (in One Movement), Op. 9, a muscular, lyrical work that packs a powerful wallop as it condenses four stirring movements into one. The concert concludes with Ludwig van Beethoven's transcendent Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, highlighting the virtuosity of internationally renowned violinist Pamela Frank ('89) under the baton of conductor Michael Stern ('86).

The Curtis Presents series opens on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, at Field Concert Hall with “Nate's World.” The brainchild of acclaimed bassist Nathan Farrington (ʼ06), principal bassist for LA Opera Orchestra, “Nate's World” promises to be an audience favorite—a unique, genre-hopping concert featuring composer, pianist, and clarinetist Teddy Abrams (Conducting '08), music director of the Louisville Orchestra and the Britt Festival, and percussionist, composer, and educator Gabriel Globus-Hoenich (ʼ08). This eclectic program, featuring unique arrangements—classical to country, Bach to the Beatles, and everything in between—promises a night of crowd-pleasing favorites and unexpected surprises.

The Curtis Presents series resumes on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at Field Concert Hall with a Ned Rorem Celebration Concert to honor the life, legacy, and genius of the late alumnus, longtime faculty member, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, and prolific writer. Praised by Time magazine as “the world's best composer of art songs,” Mr. Rorem wrote nearly 500 of them during his lifetime. Curtis's concert opens with four selected songs and an aria from his three-act opera Our Town, performed by soprano Sarah Fleiss, mezzo-soprano Katie Trigg, and pianist Miloš Repický—Hirsig Family Chair in Vocal Studies at Curtis.

The celebration continues with Rorem's French-inflected Sonata No. 2, featuring celebrated pianist Amy Yang ('06), associate dean of piano studies and artistic initiatives at Curtis. Internationally acclaimed baritone and alumnus Jarrett Ott (Opera '04) returns to the school to perform Mr. Rorem's Santa Fe Songs, set to twelve poems on love, spirituality, and nature by New Mexico poet and essayist Witter Brynner. Mr. Ott will interpret the song cycle alongside a string trio of Curtis students and Mr. Repický at the piano.

The Curtis Presents series closes on Tuesday, April 23, at Field Concert Hall with a retrospective program highlighting iconic Curtis Composers, featuring boundary-pushing chamber works and early-career classics that shaped the landscape of contemporary classical music. Selections include Jennifer Higdon's ('88) Autumn Music for wind quintet; Leonard Bernstein's (Conducting '41) Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; David Serkin Ludwig's ('01) Three Pictures from the Floating World for bassoon and string trio; Samuel Barber's ('34) Canzone (Elegy), for flute and piano; Ned Rorem's ('44) Mountain Song for chamber ensemble; Julius Eastman's ('63) Piano Pieces 1–1V; and recently appointed composition faculty member Jonathan Bailey Holland's ('96) Introit for brass quintet.

The school's cutting-edge contemporary classical music group, Ensemble 20/21, finishes its sold-out year on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Gould Rehearsal Hall with a “Portrait of George Lewis.” A diverse concert of highlights from the MacArthur Fellow, pioneering composer, musical polymath, and trombonist's catalogue opens with The Deformation of Mastery, inspired by African American literary theorist Houston A. Baker Jr.'s influential book Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, a chamber orchestral work composed with the intent to break down and disrupt all notions of authenticity in Afrodiasporic sonic expression. This work is followed by his unnerving, quirkily percussive String Quartet 1.5: Experiments in Living and the striking work Anthem for mezzo-soprano, flute, tenor saxophone, drums, percussion, piano, violin, and electronics, which examines power and image, and how societies assign almost superhuman abilities to artists or bands with the expectation that the masses idolize and worship them.

The program continues with The Mangle of Practice, a delightfully volatile piece for violin and piano—inspired by a 1984 article of the same title written by renowned British sociologist of science Andrew Pickering—that explores the unpredictable nature of change and how human interactions transform situations, or, in this instance, music. Born Obbligato, which lifts textural and structural ideas from Beethoven's Septet, Op. 20, and enhances the fourth movement with percussion, closes the concert.

The 2023–24 season, Time to Discover, includes orchestra, opera, chamber music concerts, and recitals, totaling more than 150 performances in Philadelphia through May 2024. Throughout the season, Curtis students—some of the world's finest young musicians—move from the classroom to the stage, sharing their immense passion for classical music through exhilarating performances alongside internationally renowned guest artists and esteemed alumni. Curtis's thrilling season combines beloved repertoire favorites—such as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 (“Pathétique”) and Leoš Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen—with exciting new works—including compositions by Angélica Negrón and Tyshawn Sorey, and world premieres by Steven Mackey, James Ra ('04), and Dmitri Tymoczko—and much more.

Single tickets and subscriptions are available now for Curtis's 2023–24 season: Time to Discover


 

2023–24 MEDIA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
For season highlights and the latest performance information, visit Curtis.edu/Calendar.
 

Student Recital Series and Graduation Recitals

Recitals are held Monday, Wednesday, Friday evenings and some weekends at 7:00 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Curtis's promise of “learn by doing” is on full display in the school's acclaimed Curtis Recital Series. Starting in mid-October, more than 100 free chamber, ensemble, and graduation recitals are held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings, as well as many weekends, at Field Concert Hall, with additional performances in the spring. This exciting series offers audiences an opportunity to experience the unparalleled artistry of Curtis's gifted young musicians. After years of study, members of the class of 2024 share their talents and passion through final graduation recitals.

Highlights from the Student Recitals Series are featured year-round on YouTube and WHYY's ongoing series, On Stage at Curtis. Recitals are free, but advance registration is required. For a complete listing of the week's performances, visit Curtis.edu/Calendar. View Friday live streams at Curtis.edu/YouTube.

 

The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Curtis Symphony Orchestra
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts

Beethoven, Ortiz, and Barber
Saturday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m.
Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center; Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Michael Stern, conductor ('86)
Pamela Frank, violin ('89)
Curtis Symphony Orchestra

GABRIELA ORTIZ Kauyumari   Samuel Barber ('34) First Symphony (in One Movement), Op. 9   Ludwig van Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

 

Acclaimed conductor Michael Stern ('86) leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in an evening of extraordinary emotional contrasts. The program opens with the Philadelphia premiere of Latin GRAMMY-nominated composer Gabriela Ortiz's kaleidoscopic Kauyumari (“The Blue Deer”). A rhythmic tour-de-force, this thrilling work follows the hoofed blue spiritual guide of the Huichol people of Mexico on a peyote-fueled journey through the invisible world as they communicate with their ancestors, heal the wounds of the soul, and serve as guardians of the planet.

The concert continues with legendary 20th-century composer and Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber's ('34) soaring First Symphony (in One Movement)—a muscular, lyrical work that packs a powerful wallop within the span of twenty minutes, condensing the dramatic intensity, delicacy, and sweeping grandeur of a traditional four-movement symphony into one. The final piece of the concert, Beethoven's transcendent Violin Concerto in D major featuring internationally renowned violinist Pamela Frank ('89), opens with a quiet whisper. One of classical music's most intimate, impassioned masterpieces, this revolutionary work combines blazing virtuosity with the elegance of a traditional symphonic structure.

 

The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Curtis Presents
Nate's World
Wednesday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Nathan Farrington ('06), Double Bass
Teddy Abrams ('08), Conducting
Gabriel Globus-Hoenich ( '08), Timpani and Percussion

 

The 2023–24 Curtis Presents series kicks off with the return of acclaimed alumnus Nathan Farrington (ʼ06), principal bassist for LA Opera Orchestra, as he takes listeners on an adventurous musical safari through Nate's World. He is joined by composer, pianist, and clarinetist Teddy Abrams (Conducting '08), music director of the Louisville Orchestra and the Britt Festival, and New York City-based percussionist, composer, and educator Gabriel Globus-Hoenich (ʼ08) for an evening of unexpected surprises. This genre-hopping concert features a diverse landscape of styles, with a program written, arranged, and performed according to the trio's current musical passions, from classical to country and everything in between.

 

The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Curtis Presents
String Sextets
Tuesday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Benjamin Beilman ('12), violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt ('10, '11, '14), viola
Oliver Herbert ('19), cello

Richard Strauss  Sextet for Strings from Capriccio, Op. 85   ALBAN BERG  Piano Sonata in B minor, Op. 1
 (Transcribed by Heime Müller)   ALYSSA WEINBERG ('16)  Illuminating Arches (commissioned work)   JOHANNES BRAHMS  String Sextet No. 2 in G major, Op. 36  

 

Curtis on Tour presents an evening with acclaimed violinist and Curtis faculty member Benjamin Beilman ('12), former Dover Quartet violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt ('10, '11 and String Quartet '14), award-winning cellist Oliver Herbert ('19), and emerging professional artists from Curtis for the memorable evening of chamber music. This phenomenal sextet presents Richard Strauss's richly scored Sextet from his luminous final opera Capriccio, Alban Berg's colorful and chromatic transcription of his Piano Sonata in B minor, Johannes Brahms's ethereal String Sextet No. 2 in G major, and Illuminating Arches, a newly commissioned work composed by Curtis alumna Alyssa Weinberg ('16).

 

The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Curtis Symphony Orchestra
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts

Ra, Mackey, and Tchaikovsky
Saturday, March 9 at 3:00 p.m.
Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Robert Spano ('85), conductor
JIJI ('15), guitar
Curtis Symphony Orchestra

JAMES RA ('04) Te Deum, premiere   STEVEN MACKEY Aluminum Flowers, for solo electric guitar and orchestra (world premiere)   Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 (“Pathétique”)

 

Renowned conductor Robert Spano ('85) leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in the final concert of the series in Curtis's ambitious 2023–24 season, a remarkable program featuring two exhilarating world premieres and a late-Romantic era classic. The afternoon opens with Te Deum, a newly commissioned work by ('04). Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “a composer to watch,” Ra's compositions have been described as “coursing with adrenaline-pumping energy.” The program continues with GRAMMY Award-winning Curtis composition faculty member Steven Mackey's Aluminum Flowers for solo electric guitar and orchestra, featuring the jaw-dropping virtuosity of guitarist Jiji ('15), followed by Tchaikovsky's impassioned, intensely personal Symphony No. 6 (“Pathétique”).

 

The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Curtis Opera Theatre
Les Mamelles de Tirésias & The Seven Deadly Sins
Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m
Sunday, March 17 at 2:30 p.m.
Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Michelle Rofrano, conductor
Eve Summer, stage director
Members of the Curtis Opera Theatre

Francis Poulenc, music and libretto  Les Mamelles de Tirésias   Kurt Weill, music
Bertolt Brecht, libretto  The Seven Deadly Sins  

 

The Curtis Opera Theatre's exciting series continues with a double bill featuring Francis Poulenc's outrageously funny farce, Les Mamelles de Tirésias, alongside Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's darkly satirical “ballet chanté,” The Seven Deadly Sins, at the Philadelphia Film Center. Poulenc's surreal opéra bouffe features a delightfully fizzy cocktail of opera, cabaret, and jazz, with a tale as consciously arty, feminist, and political as it is insightfully witty. Weill's sardonic tale of sacrifice draws on the classic pop song and dance numbers of the 1920s and '30s, blended with that quintessential Weill sound and a timeless commentary on values, virtues, and the “almighty dollar.”

Les Mamelles de Tirésias is sung in French with English supertitles.
The Seven Deadly Sins is sung in German with English supertitles.

 

The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Ensemble 20/21
Intersection
Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Gould Rehearsal Hall, Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia

ANNA MEREDITH   Tuggemo   Edgar Meyer   Concert Duo for Violin and Bass   COURTNEY BRYAN   Soli Deo Gloria   DMITRI TYMOCZKO   Nerds (world premiere, commissioned work)   ANGÉLICA NEGRÓN   Dóabin   TYSHAWN SOREY   For Fred Lerdahl   GYÖRGY LIGETI   Six Bagatelles  

 

“Intersection” features music by composers who explore the terrain between traditional genre boundaries. The program features Anna Meredith's astonishing 1980s electronica meets '90s clubland composition Tuggemo; the first movement of Edgar Meyer's virtuosic Concert Duo for Violin and Bass; Courtney Bryan's gospel and jazz-flavored fusion of the sacred and secular, Soli Deo Gloria for two guitars; and the world premiere of Dmitri Tymoczko's Nerds, for chamber ensemble. The evening concludes with Angélica Negrón's dóabin, inspired by the invented language of a pair of twins; acclaimed composer Tyshawn Sorey's shimmering, lyrical work, For Fred Lerdahl; and avant-garde icon György Ligeti's minimalist composition, Six Bagatelles, for woodwind quintet.

This event is currently sold out. Join the waitlist to be notified should additional tickets become available.

 

The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Curtis Presents
Ned Rorem Celebration Concert
Tuesday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Sarah Fleiss, soprano
Katie Trigg, mezzo-soprano
Jarrett Ott (Opera '04), baritone
Miloš Repický, piano

Ned Rorem ('44)  “Early in the Morning”
 “I am Rose”
 “The Serpent”
       Emily's Aria: “Take me Back up the Hill” from Our Town
       "On an Echoing Road" from Evidence of Things Not Seen
       Piano Sonata No. 2
       Santa Fe Songs
 Sonnet
 Santa Fe
 Opus 101
 Any Other Time
 Coming Down the Stairs
 He Never Knew
 El Musico
 The Wintry-Mind
 Water-Hyacinths
 Moving Leaves
 Yes I Hear Them
 The Sowers

The Curtis Institute of Music honors the life, legacy, and genius of alumnus, longtime faculty member, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and prolific writer Ned Rorem ('44) with a concert at Field Concert Hall. Mr. Rorem received a GRAMMY Award and wrote three symphonies, four piano concerti, ten operas, choral works, ballets, song cycles, and numerous orchestral works in his lifetime. Revered faculty members, rising stars of the Curtis Opera Theatre, and some of the school's gifted musicians pay tribute to one of the greatest American composers of the twentieth century and a cultural luminary who inspired generations of young artists and composers.

 

The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Ensemble 20/21
Portrait of George Lewis
Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Gould Rehearsal Hall, Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia

George Lewis  The Deformation of Mastery
 String Quartet 1.5: Experiments in Living
 Anthem
 The Mangle of Practice
 Born Obbligato

 

Ensemble 20/21 celebrates this year's composer in residence with a “Portrait of George Lewis,” featuring works by the award-winning composer, musicologist, author, computer-installation artist, and trombonist. Since the early 1970s, Mr. Lewis has expanded the frontiers of experimental music with wildly inventive works that bridge traditions of acoustic and electric, American and European, rhythmic and free form. This final concert of the series honors the MacArthur Fellow and pioneering legend who continues to sit at the vanguard of contemporary musical expression.

This event is currently sold out. Join the waitlist to be notified should additional tickets become available.

 

The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Curtis Presents
Curtis Composers
Tuesday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

JENNIFER HIGDON ('88)  Autumn Music, for wind quintet   Leonard Bernstein (Conducting '41)  Sonata for Clarinet and Piano   DAVID SERKIN LUDWIG ('01)  Three Pictures from the Floating World, for bassoon and string trio   Samuel Barber ('34)  Canzone (Elegy), for flute and piano   Ned Rorem ('44)  Mountain Song   JULIUS EASTMAN ('63)  Piano Pieces I–IV   Jonathan Bailey HOLLAND ('96)  Introit, for brass quintet  

 

The third concert of the Curtis Presents series builds upon the school's longstanding tradition of innovation, inspiration, and artistic excellence as it celebrates eight of its distinguished composition alumni. As Curtis looks to its centenary in 2024–25, this retrospective program highlights iconic Curtis composers Jennifer Higdon ('88), Leonard Bernstein (Conducting '41), David Serkin Ludwig ('01), Samuel Barber ('34), Ned Rorem ('44), Julius Eastman ('63), and recently appointed composition faculty member, Jonathan Bailey Holland ('96), in an evening of boundary-pushing chamber works and early-career classics that shaped the landscape of contemporary classical music.

 

The Curtis Institute Of Music Unveils Updates For 2023–24 Season: Time To Discover

Curtis Opera Theatre
The Cunning Little Vixen
Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 4 at 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 5 at 3:00 p.m.
Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Vinay Parameswaran ('13), conductor
John Matsumoto Giampietro, stage director
Members of the Curtis Opera Theatre

LEOŠ JANÁČEK, music and libretto                  The Cunning Little Vixen

 

Curtis's exciting 2023–24 season concludes with Leoš Janáček's masterpiece, The Cunning Little Vixen, one of the most vivid and colorful operatic works of the 20th century. Led by a plucky heroine, this poetic parable celebrates the eternal cycle of life and death as it spins a comical yet bittersweet tale of Vixen Sharp Ears. Captured by a gamekeeper, the mischievous young fox cub grows up to become a strong, independent vixen, escaping into the wild, where she embarks on an adventurous journey. Janáček's stirring adaptation of the beloved Czech novella features a lushly orchestrated, folk-infused score bursting with boundless invention and an imaginative array of dazzling colors.

Widely acclaimed director John Matsumoto Giampietro places the opera in a world of magical realism, in a fusion between the forest and a contemporary rehearsal studio. Under the baton of internationally renowned conductor and Curtis alumnus Vinay Parameswaran ('13), The Cunning Little Vixen features the rising young stars of the Curtis Opera Theatre in collaboration with the GRAMMY-nominated Philadelphia Boys Choir. This innovative new production focuses on the journey we all take through the seasons, walking side by side with nature.

The Cunning Little Vixen is sung in Czech with English supertitles.

 

Ticketing Information
Single tickets and subscriptions are available now for Curtis's 2023–24 season: Time to Discover. Purchase today to secure your seat for a season of amazing performances, including Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 and Leoš Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen, alongside exhilarating new works—compositions by Angélica Negrón and Tyshawn Sorey—and world premieres by Steven Mackey, James Ra ('04), and Dmitri Tymoczko.

Single tickets for the 2023–24 season start at $19. The flexible Choose Your Own subscription option offers 25% off ticket prices when purchasing tickets to two or more performances. To order a subscription, visit Curtis.edu/Subscribe, call (215) 893-7902, or email tickets@curtis.edu.

 

Philanthropic Support for Curtis's 2023–24 Season
Guest conductor appearances for each Curtis Symphony Orchestra performance are made possible by the Rita E. and Gustave M. Hauser Chair in Conducting Studies.

Orchestral concerts are supported by the Jack Wolgin Curtis Orchestral Concerts Endowment Fund and the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.

The Curtis Opera Theatre is generously supported by the Ernestine Bacon Cairns Trust, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation.

Generous support for Ensemble 20/21 is provided by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Foundation.

The Curtis Institute of Music received funding from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

About the Curtis Institute of Music

At Curtis, the world's most talented young musicians develop into exceptional artists, creators, and innovators. With a tuition-free foundation, Curtis is a unique environment for teaching and learning. A small school by design, students realize their artistic potential through intensive, individualized study with the most renowned, sought-after faculty. Animated by a learn-by-doing philosophy, Curtis students share their music with audiences through more than 100 performances each year, including solo and chamber recitals, orchestral concerts, and opera—all free or at an affordable cost—offering audiences unique opportunities to participate in pivotal moments in these young musicians' careers. Curtis students experience a close connection to the greatest artists and organizations in classical music, and innovative initiatives that integrate new technologies and encourage entrepreneurship—all within a historic campus in the heart of culturally rich Philadelphia. In this diverse, collaborative community, Curtis's extraordinary artists challenge, support, and inspire one another—continuing an unparalleled 100-year legacy of musicians



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