7 months ago

Overtones: Spring 2018

Overtones: Spring 2018


NOTEWORTHY FACULTY ANNIVERSARIES Curtis thanks the entire faculty, with a nod to those celebrating landmark anniversaries in 2018. 45 years FORD LALLERSTEDT 25 years MENG-CHIEH LIU 20 years IDA KAVAFIAN 15 years JEFFREY CURNOW EDGAR MEYER 10 years CARTER BREY ROBERT van SICE 5 years EVA SWIDLER THOMAS PATTESON YU XI WANG Contributors to Noteworthy include Jennifer Kallend, Diana Wensley, and Melinda Whiting. Milton Rock and his wife, Connie Benoliel Rock, at the Curtis gala in 2016. PHOTOS: KARLI CADEL In Memoriam Curtis mourns the loss of MILTON L. ROCK, a longtime supporter of the school who chaired the board of trustees from 1989 to 2002. Dr. Rock, who passed away on January 27 at age 96, remained an honorary trustee and also served on the board of the Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation from 2007 until his death. During his chairmanship Dr. Rock played a pivotal role in Curtis’s development, working closely with his dear friend GARY GRAFFMAN (Piano ’46), who was the school’s president and director at the time. This period saw Curtis’s accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the establishment of a reciprocal relationship with the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a concerted effort to grow the Curtis endowment. Curtis students benefit from Dr. Rock’s support every time they enter the Rock Resource Center or use the ROC (Rock Online Catalog) to search for recordings, sheet music, or books. His generosity has made possible the Rock Chair in Composition Studies, held by JENNIFER HIGDON (’88), and a student composition fellowship, which includes an annual commissioning opportunity to write a dance work to be performed by students of the Rock School for Dance Education. An emeritus member of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s board of trustees and former chairman of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Dr. Rock also served many years as a director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a trustee of Temple University, which dedicated Rock Hall in recognition of his support. He will be deeply missed for his generosity and decades-long commitment to Curtis. TOD MACHOVER WORKS WITH CURTIS COMPOSERS Tod Machover Starting in Fall 2017, innovative composer TOD MACHOVER joined Curtis as a visiting member of the composition faculty. Mr. Machover (who is also working closely with the Philadelphia Orchestra on a community-based “crowdsourced symphony,” Philadelphia Voices, premiering in April) brings his unique expertise as an award-winning composer, inventor, and professor within the MIT Media Lab to Curtis composition students through one-on-one lessons, group discussions, and mentorship. Mr. Machover has been encouraging students to think more broadly about the music they know and write, while incorporating his pioneering work with electronics and new technologies. The Curtis 20/21 Ensemble’s May 4 concert, titled Succession, will demonstrate Mr. Machover’s influence through new works by Curtis’s six student composers as performed by the Zorá String Quartet. 4 OVERTONES SPRING 2018

NOTEWORTHY SPRING GALA HONORS JOSEPH AND MARIE FIELD Among the Curtis singers in Opera Philadelphia’s Magic Flute were Ashley Milanese, Siena Licht Miller, and Anastasiia Sidorova as the Three Ladies (above left); and Ashley Robillard as Papagena (above right), seen here with Curtis alumnus Jarrett Ott in the role of Papageno. PHOTOS: KELLY AND MASSA PHOTOGRAPHY/COURTESY OPERA PHILADELPHIA Curtis Students Cast by Opera Philadelphia Curtis opera and voice students have been a frequent presence on stage with Opera Philadelphia over the years. In the 2017–18 season it was announced that the company’s Emerging Artists will now be chosen exclusively from the Curtis Opera Theatre. This year they include five students and one alumnus: sopranos ASHLEY MILANESE (Opera) and ASHLEY ROBILLARD (Voice), mezzo-sopranos SIENA LICHT MILLER (Opera) and Anastasiia Sidorova (Voice), baritone DOĞUKAN KURAN (Opera), and bass-baritone JONATHAN McCULLOUGH (Opera ’17). All have been cast this season in staged productions—including Carmen in May and The Magic Flute last fall—while also singing in community recitals and special events all year. The Carmen cast also includes tenor EVAN LeROY JOHNSON (Opera) and EMILY POGORELC (Voice). Also this season, Curtis is partnering with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts to present Curtis Opera Theatre at the Perelman, a spring series of two operas: A Quiet Place and a double bill of Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel and The Medium. “The combination of young talent and adventurous artistic vision represented by the Curtis Opera Theatre is a perfect fit for Opera Philadelphia audiences,” says Curtis President ROBERTO DÍAZ (Viola ’84). “It also gives our singers the benefit of a wonderful venue for opera: the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater.” The three organizations previously teamed up for nine seasons of annual co-presentations, hailed as “must-see events for serious operagoers” by Opera News. Curtis’s annual gala is scheduled for April 29 at the Bellevue Hotel, in connection with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra’s concert at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The elegant event will honor JOSEPH AND MARIE FIELD, generous supporters of Curtis for several decades who have dedicated countless volunteer hours on Curtis boards and in support of Curtis events. The Fields’ major gift in 2000 to support the restoration of Field Concert Hall has had a lasting influence on several generations of Curtis students, as has their support through the Joseph and Marie Field Annual Student Fellowship, the endowed Field-McFadden Chair in Audio-Visual Arts, and the annual fund. For details, visit Joseph and Marie Field at the opening of the restored Field Concert Hall in 2001. PHOTO: COURTESY MARIE FIELD MUSICAL DAY OF SERVICE IN SOUTH PHILADELPHIA PHOTOS: MARY JAVIAN, JEANNE McGINN In January, Curtis students, faculty, and staff continued their tradition of a day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a visit to South Philadelphia High School. Members of the Curtis community spent the morning painting, cleaning, and decorating. Their activities included a facelift of the music room where Community Artist Fellow NOZOMI IMAMURA (Trumpet ’15) teaches beginning instrumentalists. In the afternoon students in the recently launched band and strings program performed in a concert with Curtis musicians. Pictured here, Curtis student AMIT MELZER (Horn) finishes a painting job (left) and Community Artist Fellow EMILY COOLEY (Composition ’17) displays her handiwork. Today South Philadelphia High School has a band, a strings program, and an annual musical, with Curtis students and alumni teaching regularly in addition to the school’s instrumental teacher and full-time music teacher. To learn more about Curtis’s work in the community, visit OVERTONES SPRING 2018 5

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