Curtis On Tour Brings Extraordinary Artistry of Curtis Musicians to European Audiences

Tour Begins May 15 With Two Free Performances at Curtis Institute of Music
Program Features World Premiere of Richard Danielpour’s Come up from the fields, father

Curtis On Tour kicks off its 2009 European tour with two free recitals of American music on Friday, May 15 at 5:15pm and 8pm in Field Concert Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music. The programs feature the world premiere of a new vocal work by Curtis composition faculty member Richard Danielpour, as well as songs by Curtis alumni Samuel Barber (’34) and Ned Rorem (’44) and chamber works by Irving Fine, Stephen Hartke, and Charles Ives. Both concerts are free and no tickets are required.

Each season, Curtis On Tour brings the extraordinary artistry of the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music to audiences nationwide and in Europe, with tomorrow’s leading musicians performing alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. The Curtis On Tour ensemble for the 2009 concerts in Europe pairs three students with faculty members Roberto Díaz, violist and Curtis President, and pianists Mikael Eliasen and Robert McDonald. After performing at Curtis on May 15, the ensemble will tour from May 23 through June 3, with stops in Ischia ( Italy ), Berlin , and Copenhagen. Curtis faculty members on the tour will also teach master classes in Berlin and Copenhagen.

Richard Danielpour’s Come up from the fields, father, written for baritone, viola, and piano, is the setting of a text by Walt Whitman. Mr. Danielpour said, “It involves the narrative of a family that discovers through a letter that their only son has been killed in the war. While in this instance Whitman was referring to the Civil War, the narrative is remarkably timely, and he is able to imbue it with the universal, largely through the presence of the silently suffering mother in the poem. I was attracted to the idea of this setting after seeing in the New York Times the faces of recently killed soldiers in the war in Iraq .” The work was commissioned for Curtis On Tour by the Curtis Institute of Music with generous support from Nancy, Alan, and Shirley Manocharian.

In addition to the repertoire performed in Philadelphia on May 15, Curtis On Tour’s European concerts will feature songs by Charles Ives and by Curtis alumnus Leonard Bernstein (’41).

The Curtis On Tour performances embody the remarkable traditions of Curtis, 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 side-by-side with their teachers. Curtis On Tour embodies this irresistible meeting of youthful exuberance and seasoned artistry.

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