Each season, Curtis On Tour brings the extraordinary artistry of the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music to audiences nationwide, with tomorrow’s leading musicians performing alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. This year the Curtis On Tour ensemble includes eight students and two faculty members: double-bassist Harold Hall Robinson and composer/narrator David Ludwig(pictured). The 2008–09 season of Curtis On Tour begins with a free recital on Wednesday, February 18 in Field Concert Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music.
The program features the world premiere of David Ludwig’s From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, a song-cycle based on the thousand-year-old quatrains of the Persian poet and scholar Omar Khayyám. Written for mezzo-soprano and an ensemble inspired by the instrumentation in Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat, the work combines the sensual nature of Khayyám’s poetry and the spirit of eleventh-century Persia with a contemporary-music setting.
As well as this new work, the program also includes three pieces by Stravinsky: his L’histoire du soldat, with David Ludwig as narrator. The Philadelphia performance and selected tour performances also include Stravinsky’s Divertimento for Violin and Piano and Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo.
Following the February 18 concert in Philadelphia, the 2008–09 Curtis On Tour ensemble will travel for several weeks across the country, performing at the Rockport Opera House in Rockport, Maine on February 21; Minskey Recital Hall in Orono, ME (February 22); Temple Judea in Coral Gables, FL (February 24); the Library of Congress in Washington, DC (February 26); the Samueli Theatre in Costa Mesa, CA (March 7); the Henry Chapel in Seattle, WA (March 15); Community Music School in San Francisco (March 16); and the Mondavi Center for the Arts in Davis, CA on March 21 and 22. Full details of all the concerts are below.
The Curtis On Tour performances embody the remarkable traditions of The Curtis Institute of Music, where individually tailored study with a faculty of leading musicians has nurtured a long line of great performers, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, Leila Josefowicz, and Lang Lang. One of the world’s leading music schools, Curtis provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its students, ensuring that admissions are based solely on artistic promise. Students at this intimate, Philadelphia-based conservatory "learn by doing": performing frequently and often collaborating with their teachers. Curtis On Tour embodies this winning combination of youthful exuberance and seasoned artistry.