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NEWS
August 17, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
It's one of those stories that has lodged in the minds of many for its injustice and irony. Nina Simone - before she was Nina Simone, when she was still an aspiring classical pianist named Eunice Waymon - auditioned for the Curtis Institute of Music and was rejected on grounds of her race. The tale bubbles up every few years, refracted through the times, as it is doing again in our era of Ferguson and Sandra Bland. Simone herself recounted the story repeatedly during her lifetime.
NEWS
December 16, 1989 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
Most artists use Philadelphia to warm up before a New York recital. Such is the caliber of Curtis Institute alumni such as Benita Valente or Richard Goode, a New York stage can serve as preparation for an appearance at Curtis Hall. Goode returned "home" last night to reprise a piano recital of Schumann, Beethoven and Schubert, given two days ago in Manhattan. As Valente did recently, the pianist donated his services to benefit the school's Alumni Society. With only 230 seats to the intimate space and the $13 admission, the benefit may be seen as a minor fund-raiser.
NEWS
July 3, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
A 20-year-old Curtis Institute of Music student is the top winner of the venerable International Tchaikovsky Competition in the violin category. Yu-Chien "Benny" Tseng won the silver medal, second prize, in the Moscow competition, whose results were announced Wednesday. No gold award was given this year, which is not unusual. The Taipei-born violinist came to Curtis in 2008, and the following summer, at age 14, played Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 18, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
School's been in session just weeks, so a few eyebrows arched at the appearance of Ein Heldenleben on the Curtis Institute of Music's first orchestra concert of the season. The score, treacherous and sophisticated, should come with skull and crossbones and the words nicht fur Kinder on the cover. When Carlos Miguel Prieto led the ensemble in the Strauss workout Monday night in Verizon Hall, eyebrows were raised - not in doubt, but with awe. The work features intermittent but extended violin solos, played here by concertmaster Nigel Armstrong.
NEWS
March 2, 2015 | By John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was magical. Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux (pronounced vee-OH ), 41, just won a Grammy for best classical instrumental solo album for Play . At Curtis, where he teaches, he's sitting on stage at Field Concert Hall (the one you see in the TV concerts), tuning up his Gernot Wagner guitar while a photographer gets ready. (You know someone's serious about music when he tunes up for a photo.) Then he breaks into a heartbreaking arrangement of "What a Wonderful World," and suddenly you remember why they call music beautiful: New emotions emerge in the old Louis Armstrong hit, something you already loved, but now you have new reasons for loving it. Vieaux has been at Curtis since 2011, when he and fellow guitar star David Starobin were recruited to start a guitar department.
LIVING
September 13, 1996 | By Annette John-Hall, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Say you're a college student and you're moving. It's a headache, but moving always is. So you grit your teeth and get through it. You sort, pack, clean and fret - about roommates, dorm space, and the $20 you have to stretch before your student loan comes through. But say you're a student at the Curtis Institute of Music, and you're moving. You don't just get a headache. You may get a temple-throbbing, mind-numbing migraine. In the four dignified mansions that make up the institute on Rittenhouse Square, there is no dormitory space.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 4, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
The traits that make the orchestral player do not necessarily translate to chamber music, but you never would have known that from hearing violinist Amy Lee on Friday night at the Curtis Institute of Music. The 2005 Curtis grad is now associate concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, an ensemble whose defining characteristic is its exquisite precision. That Lee reflected the Cleveland philosophy was hardly surprising. The extent of her individualized approach, however, suggested she doesn't need an interpretive assist from the podium.
NEWS
August 9, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
If the Curtis Institute of Music isn't careful, it may disturb Philadelphia's self-satisfied parochialism even more than it has. Summerfest, Curtis' summer camp, has proved how powerfully the city benefits from importing talent beyond the usual sources while folding it into the school's own. Of course, Curtis can have it both ways. Though some of the faculty performing Thursday night at the last in a new series of three Summerfest recitals were from orchestras elsewhere, most were, in a sense, of here - Curtis graduates.
NEWS
August 20, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
PRINCETON JUNCTION - The brass band couldn't make it. The banners outside the studio were for an athletic event at Mercer County Community College. Thus, in its own unglamorous way, did WWFM-FM debut its significant new show on Aug. 4 that takes the Curtis Institute of Music out of its Field Concert Hall headquarters and onto the airwaves every Saturday at noon. You'd think this radio milestone would have been promoted with the best-known piece ever written at Curtis, Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings . "Nah!
NEWS
July 26, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Stephanie Yen-Mun Liem Azar was used to being told she was too young to do something. Too young at age 6 to learn to play a church organ. Too young at 16 to leave her family in Haverford and live on her own in Philadelphia while attending the Curtis Institute of Music. Too young at 20 for medical school. Her parents, Gie and Lisa Liem, discovered early on that they couldn't slow her down. She accomplished those goals, and much more, before she did something that was tragically premature.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 17, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
It's one of those stories that has lodged in the minds of many for its injustice and irony. Nina Simone - before she was Nina Simone, when she was still an aspiring classical pianist named Eunice Waymon - auditioned for the Curtis Institute of Music and was rejected on grounds of her race. The tale bubbles up every few years, refracted through the times, as it is doing again in our era of Ferguson and Sandra Bland. Simone herself recounted the story repeatedly during her lifetime.
NEWS
August 9, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
If the Curtis Institute of Music isn't careful, it may disturb Philadelphia's self-satisfied parochialism even more than it has. Summerfest, Curtis' summer camp, has proved how powerfully the city benefits from importing talent beyond the usual sources while folding it into the school's own. Of course, Curtis can have it both ways. Though some of the faculty performing Thursday night at the last in a new series of three Summerfest recitals were from orchestras elsewhere, most were, in a sense, of here - Curtis graduates.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 4, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
The traits that make the orchestral player do not necessarily translate to chamber music, but you never would have known that from hearing violinist Amy Lee on Friday night at the Curtis Institute of Music. The 2005 Curtis grad is now associate concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, an ensemble whose defining characteristic is its exquisite precision. That Lee reflected the Cleveland philosophy was hardly surprising. The extent of her individualized approach, however, suggested she doesn't need an interpretive assist from the podium.
NEWS
July 31, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Simon Pegg? A big star At 45, Simon Pegg finally has arrived! He costars with Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation , opening Friday. He'll reprise his role as Scotty in Star Trek Beyond , and he's been cast in the forthcoming megablockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens . The fifth Mission film has Cruise jumping, punching, etc., while Pegg does the real heavy lifting as tech genius Benji. The thesp landed his first TV show in '95 and won a cult following in his native Britain as co-writer and star of the 1999 sitcom Spaced and the 2004 zombie apocalypse action comedy Shaun of the Dead . "I tend to play regular guys," he says, "because I am one. " Time for 'bye Little Bit Country fiddler Zach DePue is leaning back toward the classical, phasing out of Time for Three to focus on being concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
NEWS
July 19, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
PRINCETON - The summertime campus here is annually overrun with pianists (and a few violinists) when the Golandsky Institute welcomes artists young and old to learn healthy techniques that allow them to play well for as long as they love music. There's also a piano festival (ending Saturday) showcasing faculty and students expressing themselves without extraneous effort. The exception of sorts was a Thursday recital at Taplin Auditorium of Chinese pianist Wei Luo, the latest Chinese wonder to hit the Curtis Institute.
NEWS
July 17, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
If audiences in New England end up hearing anything like Tuesday night's recital at the Curtis Institute of Music, they will be struck by the meticulous approach of violinist Bella Hristova and pianist Steven Lin. The two young Curtis grads tried out their program amid the comforts of home - Field Concert Hall - before taking it on the road. The concert, strung loosely along the idea that folk tunes can and do seep into classical, was built to announce the virtues of technical solidity.
NEWS
July 3, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
A 20-year-old Curtis Institute of Music student is the top winner of the venerable International Tchaikovsky Competition in the violin category. Yu-Chien "Benny" Tseng won the silver medal, second prize, in the Moscow competition, whose results were announced Wednesday. No gold award was given this year, which is not unusual. The Taipei-born violinist came to Curtis in 2008, and the following summer, at age 14, played Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center.
NEWS
June 24, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
He was born in South Philadelphia, married Franco-Russian royalty, and reigned for five decades as one of the great violists of the 20th century. Joseph de Pasquale, 95, died Monday, June 22. Mr. de Pasquale, of Merion, was principal violist of two of America's golden-age ensembles - the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1947 to 1964, and then, sitting alongside three of his brothers, the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1964 until retirement in 1996. He is credited with raising the standard of viola playing so dramatically that it remade the instrument's image, said Curtis Institute of Music president Roberto Díaz, a one-time de Pasquale protégé.
NEWS
June 24, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
HE WAS A South Philly kid who made good. Joseph de Pasquale set new standards for the viola, playing for the Boston Symphony and, more famously, for the Philadelphia Orchestra in a career of performing and teaching that began at age 15 and ended with his retirement in 1996. He died yesterday at the age of 95. He lived in Merion Station. Joseph and his brothers, three of whom would comprise the world-renowned De Pasquale String Quartet, were born in South Philadelphia with the sound of classical music ringing in their heads.
NEWS
June 5, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
In terms of choosing a calling card to send out into the world, the Curtis Institute of Music could hardly do better than the Aizuri Quartet. Curtis' quartet-in-residence played a recital Tuesday night previewing a tour that begins Friday in Mexico City, continues to Costa Rica and Chile (including a stop at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago), and ends with a different program in Germany and Austria. Whatever else it does for diplomacy, the Aizuri Quartet planted a flag in rare artistic soil at its Field Concert Hall recital.
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