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Curtis 20/21 Celebrates Joan Tower April 29

Free Recital of Joan Tower's Works Caps Residency at Curtis

Program Repeated May 5 in New York at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University as part of the Composer Portraits series

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(April 15, 2011) Curtis 20/21 celebrates Grammy Award-winning composer Joan Tower with a free concert of her music on Friday, April 29 at 8 p.m. The recital caps off Joan Tower's residency at Curtis, where she will work with students in master classes and coach Curtis 20/21 on her works, which have been described as "expertly wrought, full of character and instantly communicative" (New York Times).

The program includes pieces for a variety of soloists and ensembles, including string quartet, piano trio, percussion ensemble, brass quintet, and solo violin, viola, and piano. The recital takes place in Field Concert Hall at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, and is free and open to the public; no tickets required.

The same program will be performed at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University in New York on May 5 as part of the Composer Portraits series. Tickets and more information are available from

David Ludwig, Curtis composition faculty member and artistic director of Curtis 20/21, will interview Dr. Tower onstage at 7:30 p.m. in Philadelphia and during intermission in New York.

Joan Tower is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. During a career spanning more than fifty years, she has made lasting contributions to musical life in the United States as composer, performer, conductor, and educator. Her works have been commissioned by major ensembles, soloists, and orchestras, including the Emerson, Tokyo, and Muir quartets; soloists Evelyn Glennie, Carol Wincenc, David Shifrin, and John Browning; and the orchestras of Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C., among others. She was the first composer chosen for a Ford Made in America consortium commission of sixty-five orchestras. Leonard Slatkin and the Nashville Symphony recorded Made in America in 2008 (along with Tambor and Concerto for Orchestra). The album collected three Grammy awards: Best Classical Contemporary Composition, Best Classical Album, and Best Orchestral Performance.

Dedicated to the music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Curtis 20/21 frequently collaborates with guest artists and composers, including eighth blackbird, Lucy Shelton, Charles Dutoit, Peter Serkin, Fred Sherry, and Matthias Pintscher, as well Curtis faculty and alumni. In addition to Joan Tower, guest composers-in-residence include John Corigliano. Curtis 20/21 often appears in major venues outside of school and is committed to performing and commissioning works from Curtis students, faculty, and alumni.

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 164 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 Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang.


Friday, April 29 at 8 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia
Free; no tickets required.

Thursday, May 5 at 8 p.m.
Miller Theatre at Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, New York
Tickets: $25; available from

TOWER Copperwave
Kai Cataldo, trumpet
George Goad, trumpet
Katherine Jordan, horn
Brian Santero, trombone
Nathan Lodge, bass trombone

TOWER String Force
Nikki Chooi, violin

TOWER Ivory and Ebony
Andrew Hsu, piano

TOWER Angels (String Quartet No. 4)
Jeoung-Yin Kim, violin
Rebecca Anderson, violin
Marina Thibeault, viola
Jeong-Hyoun Lee, cello

TOWER Trio Cavany
Rebecca Anderson, violin
Andrew Hsu, piano
Natalie Helm, cello

TOWER Simply Purple
TOWER Wild Purple
Amanda Verner, viola

Ted Babcock, percussion
Yi Fei Fu, percussion
Michael Sparhuber, percussion
Mari Yoshinaga, percussion
Don Liuzzi, percussion (Curtis faculty)

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