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Curtis Mourns the Loss of Karen Tuttle, Emerita Faculty

(December 18, 2010) Curtis mourns the loss of Karen Tuttle, who passed away on Thursday, December 16 after a long illness. She was ninety years old. Ms. Tuttle had a long association with Curtis, both as a student and as a faculty member.

Ms. Tuttle first toured the United States as a violin virtuoso at sixteen. She later studied viola at Curtis with William Primrose and became a member of the Curtis faculty from 1944 until 1955. In that year she performed and studied chamber music with Pablo Casals at the Prades Festival. In 1958 Ms. Tuttle introduced the viola to native audiences in the villages of Fiji, Samoa, and Tahiti. She made her New York debut in 1960. One of the first women to play in major string quartets, Ms. Tuttle was a chamber music pioneer as a member of the Schneider, Galimir, and Gotham string quartets.

Ms. Tuttle rejoined the Curtis faculty in 1986, teaching viola and chamber music until her retirement in 2004. She was much admired as a teacher and in addition to her long service to Curtis, taught at the Juilliard School, the Banff Festival, and in master classes throughout North America and Europe. Karen Tuttle was selected as the American String Teachers Association’s 1994 Artist Teacher, and received an honorary doctorate from Curtis in 2005.

She will be remembered with gratitude and respect by everyone in the Curtis community. The Curtis Institute of Music extends its heartfelt condolences to Ms. Tuttle’s family, friends, colleagues, and students.

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