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By the 1930s Curtis was exploring cutting-edge technology to stay in step with new developments in the recording of music. The library was equipped with recording playback equipment; weekly radio broadcasts from a dedicated studio began in 1937; and Radio Class taught students microphone technique, diction, line, style, phrasing, and repertoire. Today Curtis remains in the forefront of recording, with state-of-the-art video recording equipment and courses teaching students to shoot and edit video. On the technology menu are weekly television broadcasts, streaming online video on YouTube, and Coursera MOOCs reaching some 90,000 online learners to date.

1938: Curtis students in Radio Class, taught by Estelle Liebling (in the recording booth).

PHOTO: Curtis Archives/Fritz Henle

“Recording is a new departure for The Curtis Institute. It offers another and excellent method of study … Our equipment is used principally for recording the weekly broadcasts and making records of the students’ singing and playing … The set-up is very complete, and consists of cutting device, turntables for recording and playing records, a radio, amplification units, loudspeakers, and a microphone …”   Overtones, January 1937
2014: Greg Sharrow, who holds the Field-McFadden Chair in Audio-Visual Arts, gives a tour of the video recording and editing suite in Lenfest Hall.

PHOTO: Pete Checchia

Listen to archived radio broadcast performances from the 1930s while viewing images of Curtis photographed for LIFE magazine in 1938.

Listen to a complete radio broadcast of the Brahms Haydn Variations in 1937, featuring Eleanor Blum Sokoloff and Vladimir Sokoloff.

“Beethoven, Unlimited” – Piano faculty Jonathan Biss on his groundbreaking massive open online course

The Curtis YouTube channel regularly adds new streaming video content, and hosts special live-streamed performances.

Curtis on Coursera
Massive open online courses, offered for free.