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Curtis Launches The World of the String Quartet, the Latest in a Series of Successful Online Courses

Curtis classes offered through Coursera have reached a global music community of nearly 94,000 lifelong learners in more than 150 countries

Legendary violinist Arnold Steinhardt and esteemed pedagogue and performer Mia Chung lead learners on an accessible exploration across the repertoire: 32 quartets written by 24 composers, performed by 26 professional string quartets

Livestream on April 13 at 7 p.m. features digital premiere of David Ludwig's Pale Blue Dot, performed by "the young American string quartet of the moment" (New Yorker), the Dover Quartet

PHILADELPHIA, PA—April 9, 2015—The World of the String Quartet, the third free online course from the Curtis Institute of Music, is now available on demand via Coursera, a leader in MOOC (massive open online course) education. To date, Curtis MOOCs have reached a global music community of nearly 94,000 lifelong learners in more than 150 countries.
In the World of the String Quartet (, a global community of learners explores the history and musical ingredients of string quartets with legendary violinist Arnold Steinhardt and esteemed pedagogue and performer Mia Chung. Throughout the course, the Aizuri Quartet, quartet in residence at Curtis and recent finalist in the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, will explore interpretation and interaction with Mr. Steinhardt. Taught by the same faculty members who train the world's finest young musicians at Curtis, the course is designed specifically for Coursera.
With insights informed by 45 years as first violin of the Guarneri Quartet, Mr. Steinhardt brings his unique performer's perspective to the course repertoire: 32 quartets written by 24 composers and performed by 26 string quartets. Dr. Chung adds "nuts and bolts" analysis of select quartets, revealing how the composers created unique musical traits. Featuring performances by legendary quartets and emerging artists like the Aizuri Quartet, the repertoire includes selections by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bartók, Debussy, Ravel, Schoenberg, and Ives, among others. 

A course highlight is a livestream on Monday, April 13 at 7 p.m. on Curtis Performs ( David Ludwig's Pale Blue Dot receives its digital premiere by the Dover Quartet, "the young American string quartet of the moment" (New Yorker) and 2013-14 quartet in residence at Curtis. David Ludwig, who holds the Gie and Lisa Liem Artistic Chair of Performance Studies at Curtis, will be joined by Dr. Chung and the Dover Quartet for a pre-concert conversation discussing the piece and its relationship to the quartet repertoire. The livestream will remain online following the performance on Coursera and Curtis Performs, for those unable to tune in live. 
Presented in a new on-demand format that makes it easier to listen and learn at your own pace, the World of the String Quartet comprises seven programs that contain brief video presentations, conversations, and demonstrations, as well as related resources, performance excerpts, and optional quizzes. Each program should take an average of 90 minutes to complete. The course is designed to sharpen listening and descriptive skills and to increase the engagement of concert-goers, as well as to inform the performance of amateur musicians. It offers discoveries and conversation for everyone, regardless of musical background.
As the first classical music conservatory to utilize a MOOC platform in partnership with Coursera, Curtis has offered Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas, currently available on demand on Coursera, and From the Repertoire: Western Music History through Performance. This season's courses are sponsored by Linda Richardson in loving memory of her husband, Dr. Paul Richardson.
One of the world's finest and most selective conservatories, the Curtis Institute of Music offers a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture to 175 students from all corners of the world. Nurtured by a celebrated faculty, its extraordinary young musicians graduate to join 4,000 alumni who have long made music history. From Leonard Bernstein to Alan Gilbert, Samuel Barber to Jennifer Higdon, Anna Moffo to Eric Owens, Richard Goode to Jonathan Biss, Curtis alumni personify the school's commitment to excellence—onstage and in their communities—inventing careers with impact.
A busy schedule of performances, including more than 200 a year in Philadelphia and around the world, is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach. Dedicated to a tradition of excellence and innovation since its founding in 1924, Curtis is looking toward its centenary in a flexible and forward-thinking way, evolving strategically to serve its time-honored mission.
The Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation supports Curtis's lifelong-learning initiatives.

Funding for Curtis's Quartet in Residence program is provided by Henry Arnhold, Robert Mundheim, 
Nina Baroness von Maltzahn, and Phil and Eli Taylor.
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