Press Room

Curtis On Tour, February 18 to March 22


Musicians from The Curtis Institute of Music Kick Off North American Tour on February 18,
with Stops in Pennsylvania, Maine, Florida, DC, California and Washington

Tour Program Features World Premiere by David Ludwig

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 (’01). 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.

Curtis On Tour

Josef Spacek, violin
Harold Hall Robinson, bass
Yao Guang Zhai, clarinet
William Short, bassoon
Christopher Stingle, trumpet
Ryan Seay, trombone
Benjamin Folk, percussion
Allison Sanders, mezzo-soprano
Kuok-man Lio, conductor/piano
David Ludwig, narrator

LUDWIG From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (world premiere)
STRAVINSKY Divertimento for Violin and Piano
Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo
L’Histoire du soldat


Wednesday, February 18 at 8 pm
Field Concert Hall, The Curtis Institute of Music
1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA
Presented by The Curtis Institute of Music
Free; no tickets required.

Saturday, February 21 at 8 pm
Rockport Opera House, Rockport, ME
Presented by Bay Chamber Concerts
Ticket information at

Sunday, February 22 at 3 pm
Minsky Recital Hall, Orono, ME
Presented by Maine Center for the Arts
Ticket information at

Tuesday, February 24 at 8 pm
Temple Judea, Coral Gables, FL
Presented by Friends of Chamber Music of Miami
Ticket information at
Program does not include Stravinsky’s Divertimento for Violin and Piano

Thursday, February 26 at 8 pm
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Presented by the Library of Congress.
Ticket information at

Saturday, March 7 at 8 pm
Samueli Theatre, Costa Mesa, CA
Presented by Philharmonic Society of Orange County.
Ticket information at
Curtis student Derek Zadinsky will replace Harold Hall Robinson for this performance

Sunday, March 15 at 5 pm
The Henry Chapel, The Highlands, Seattle, WA
Presented by the Henry Chapel.
Tickets: $35; available at 206-364-2720.
Program does not include Stravinsky’s Divertimento for Violin and Piano or Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo

Monday, March 16 at 6 pm
Community Music School, San Francisco, CA
Presented by San Francisco Performances
Ticket information at
Program does not include Stravinsky’s Divertimento for Violin and Piano or Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo

Saturday, March 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 22 at 2 pm
Presented by the Mondavi Center for the Arts, University of California, Davis, CA
Tickets: $30; available at or 530-754-ARTS.

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