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The Curtis Institute of Music Meets $30 Million Challenge to Expand Campus

More than 60 donors respond to challenge grant fromH.F. "Gerry" and Marguerite Lenfest

Roberto Díaz, president of The Curtis Institute of Music, has announced that the world-renowned music conservatory has completed a challenge from Board Chairman H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest and Curtis Overseer Marguerite Lenfest to support the construction of a new facility in the 1600 block of Locust Street. The challenge campaign has raised $60 million which, when added to $5 million previously raised, completes a $65 million campaign to fund the building's construction.

"Marguerite and I are inspired to see the enthusiastic response to this challenge," said Mr. Lenfest, who has served as chairman of Curtis's Board of Trustees since 2006. "This will allow Curtis to create the added space for rehearsal and learning that it has needed for so long, while also providing a residential facility for our wonderful music students."

"Meeting this challenge is a transformational step for Curtis," said Mr. Díaz. "It makes possible a facility that will reaffirm and strengthen the school's worldwide reputation as a leading conservatory. We're grateful to Gerry and Marguerite for their vision and generosity and offer our deepest appreciation to all who contributed to this successful campaign."

The new building, which the Board of Trustees has named Lenfest Hall, will mark the first major expansion of the Curtis campus in more than two decades. Designed by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, the facility addresses Curtis's long-established needs for additional space, including an appropriate orchestra rehearsal room and greatly expanded teaching and practice facilities to relieve excessive pressures on the historic main building at 1726 Locust Street. The building will include residences for 88 students, approximately half the student body, as well as dining facilities to serve the entire Curtis community.

In 2007, Curtis identified an appropriate site, and the Lenfests purchased the properties and funded a subsequent feasibility study and architectural designs. The Lenfests issued their $30 million challenge in Spring 2008, and recently transferred ownership of the properties to Curtis.

Curtis received more than 60 gifts from individual and foundation donors in support of the Lenfest Hall project, including 100 percent participation from the school's Board of Trustees.

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world's leading music schools, Curtis provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 162 students, ensuring that admissions are based solely on artistic promise. A Curtis education is uniquely tailored to the individual student, with personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and unusually frequent performance opportunities. This distinctive "learn by doing" approach to musical training has produced an impressive number of notable artists, 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.

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(215) 717-3190

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