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Curtis 20/21 Celebrates the Barber Centenary

Curtis's contemporary music ensemble gives a series of recitals in honor of the famed Curtis graduate's hundredth birthday

Program includes a fragment of Barber's 1928 Violin Sonata, long believed lost

In honor of celebrated Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber, Curtis 20/21 presents a recital on his hundredth birthday, Tuesday, March 9, at 8 p.m. in Field Concert Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music. The recital is free and no tickets are required.

Curtis 20/21, the school's contemporary music ensemble, performs works by Barber, including a fragment of his 1928 Violin Sonata, long believed lost. The recently discovered third movement will be paired with two pieces it inspired: Curtis graduate Jonathan Holland's Sonata Variation and student Chris Rogerson's Lullaby: no bad dreams. The pieces will be presented together to form a complete violin sonata created by three generations of Curtis composers. Other works on the program include Barber's Hermit Songs, Dover Beach, Piano Sonata in E-flat minor, and Summer Music.

Curtis 20/21 also travels to Barber's hometown, West Chester, Pa., and to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. for performances in the composer's honor. The West Chester performance takes place Sunday, March 7 at 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. The Washington, D.C. performance takes place Monday, March 15 at noon, in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress. Both performances are free and tickets are not required.

One of the most important American composers of the last century, Samuel Barber (1910-81) made distinguished contributions to the orchestral, choral, operatic, piano, and chamber music repertories. Among the first students to enter the Curtis Institute of Music when it opened in 1924, he studied composition with Rosario Scalero, piano with Isabelle Vengerova, and voice. It was while studying at Curtis that he met his future collaborator and life-partner, opera composer and librettist Gian Carlo Menotti ('33). After graduating from Curtis in 1934, Barber soon established himself within America's classical community, winning the favor of such important artists as Koussevitzky and Horowitz.

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 conservatories, Curtis is highly selective and provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 160 students. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty.

A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach. This philosophy has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school's founding in 1924, from such legends as Samuel Barber and Leonard Bernstein to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, Leila Josefowicz, Lang Lang, and Time for Three.



Curtis 20/21: Samuel Barber Centenary Celebration
Tuesday, March 9 at 8 p.m.

Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music
1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

HOLLAND Sonata Variation
ROGERSON Lullaby: no bad dreams
BARBER Allegro agitato from Sonata for Violin and Piano
  Dover Beach
  Hermit Songs
  Summer Music
  Sonata in E-flat minor

Free; no tickets required.


Additional performances:
Sunday, March 7 at 3 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church, 130 West Miner Street, West Chester, Pa.
Free admission; donations accepted to benefit First Presbyterian Church.
Information: (610) 696-0554 or

Monday, March 15 at 12 p.m.
Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium, Washington, D.C.
Free admission, tickets not required.


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