Curtis on Tour is future of classical music - Albuquerque Journal

Curtis on Tour is future of classical music

Horn player Sarah Boxmeyer is one of the Curtis Institute of Music students on tour.
Horn player Sarah Boxmeyer is one of the Curtis Institute of Music students on tour.

Get a glimpse of the future of classical music during Curtis on Tour’s chamber music concert in Santa Fe on Wednesday.

Five students at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and one Curtis alumna stop in Santa Fe during their across the country and Central American tour to perform a selection of new and classic works for winds and piano.

“Our motto at Curtis is learn by doing, which is why a concert tour is important for our students,” said David Ludwig, dean of artistic programs at the Curtis Institute of Music. “We hand-pick students we feel would benefit most from the experience. They have to show maturity and flexibility. We want them to see what life on the road is all about.”

Niles Watson (flute), Corbin Stair (oboe), Slavko Popovic (clarinet), Catherine Chen (bassoon), Sarah Boxmeyer (horn) and Curtis graduate Di Wu (piano) play a group of works selected by Ludwig and other faculty members.

“Our (musical) tradition is important to us, but we shouldn’t get stuck on it,” Ludwig added. “That’s why we program traditional masterworks plus exciting new pieces.”

Curtis on Tour commissioned a wind quintet from Katerina Kramarchuk, who earned an artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2012. While at Curtis, she studied composition with Richard Danielpour and Ludwig. Her works have been performed around the globe in venues including The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Dresden Music Festival.

“Summer Shimmers” by Curtis faculty member Jennifer Higdon also is on the program. Higdon, who received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, is in the process of writing an opera based on Charles Frazier’s book “Cold Mountain.” The opera will be premiered in the summer of 2015 at the Santa Fe Opera.

The masterworks on the program are Summer Music, Op. 31 by Barber, Quintet in E-Flat Major, K. 452 by Mozart and Sextet by Poulenc.

“The students spend a lot of time with the works and do quite a bit of rehearsing before they go on the road,” said Ludwig. “What’s great about this tour is that they get to play these pieces over and over again.”

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