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Curtis Offers Repeat of Jonathan Biss's Popular Coursera Class, 'Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas', in March 2014

Registration opens today at

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(January 6, 2014) The Curtis Institute of Music, the first classical music conservatory to utilize a MOOC platform in partnership with Coursera, reached students in more than 135 countries with the first two courses offered on the platform. Due to popular demand, with over 10,000 people on Coursera's waiting list, Jonathan Biss's Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas will begin a second session on March 13, 2014 with the same lecture videos and fresh assignments. 

Registration begins today at

Pianist and Curtis faculty member Jonathan Biss's successful Coursera class, Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas, attracted over 35,000 registrants for its first five-week session. The free online course was created for students from a variety of backgrounds, encouraging anyone with a desire to learn more about Beethoven to take the class.

Curtis's first two course offerings on Coursera reached students, from teens to lifelong learners, in countries from Australia to India to Brazil. A global community emerged as participants engaged in forum discussions about the course content and their own discoveries in classical music. Faculty directly interacted with students in online chats and live Q-and-A sessions.

"With Coursera, we can use the power of technology to reach audiences we couldn’t have conceived of just a few years ago," said David Ludwig, Dean of Artistic Programs at Curtis. "We can share both our newest music and most cherished performance traditions to help develop the next generation of music lovers."

Inspired after the first run of the course, Jonathan Biss remarked on the "number of people who have told me, in one way or another, that being exposed to a performer's relationship to the music he plays, with all its layers and complexities, has allowed them to hear music in a way they hadn't been able to previously." Since 2011 Mr. Biss has been on a journey to record all of Beethoven's thirty-two piano sonatas. His third volume will be released on January 14, 2014.

Jonathan Biss has appeared with the world's foremost orchestras and has performed recitals and chamber music throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Widely regarded not only for his artistry and poetic interpretations, but also for his deep musical curiosity, he performs a diverse repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven, through the Romantics to Janáček and Schoenberg as well as works by contemporary composers such as Gyorgy Kurtág and including commissions from Leon Kirchner, Lewis Spratlan, and Bernard Rands.

Mr. Biss has a noted recording career. His recordings include an album of Schubert sonatas and two short Kurtág pieces that NPR Music named as one of the best albums of the year. His recent albums for EMI won Diapason d'Or de l'année and Edison awards. In January 2012 Onyx Classics released the first CD in a nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of Beethoven's complete piano sonatas.

Mr. Biss studied at Indiana University and at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he joined the piano faculty in 2011 and was appointed the Neubauer Family Chair in Piano Studies in 2012. Biss's bestselling eBook, Beethoven's Shadow, published by RosettaBooks in 2011, was the first Kindle Single written by a classical musician. For more information, go to

Coursera is on a mission to change the world by educating millions of people, offering classes from top universities and professors online, for free. Coursera's comprehensive education platform combines mastery-based learning principles with video lectures, interactive content, and a global community of peers, offering students from around the world a unique online learning experience. Coursera has partnered with top-tier universities to provide courses across a broad range of disciplines, including medicine, literature, history, and computer science, among others and is backed by leading venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates. For more information, visit

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 provides its 168 students with full-tuition scholarships and personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. Its distinctive "learn by doing" approach has produced an impressive number of notable artists, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Jonathan Biss, Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang. Curtis alumni hold principal chairs in every major American orchestra, and each season they are featured as guest soloists with the world's leading orchestras, opera houses, and chamber music series. 

Curtis's innovative programs encourage students to perform often and hone 21st-century musical skills. The school's facilities offer superb spaces for music-making, as well as state-of-the-art technologies to enhance learning. In addition to more than 200 performances in and around Philadelphia each year, students perform internationally with Curtis On Tour. When they graduate, they become musical leaders, making a profound impact on music around the globe. To learn more, visit


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