Back to Top
Events Calendar
Loading Events...
View full calendar

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conducts the Curtis Symphony Orchestra at the Kimmel Center October 18

Preview performance led by Curtis conducting fellows at South Philadelphia High School October 17

[PDF format]

PHILADELPHIA,PA—October 12, 2015—The Curtis Symphony Orchestra brings a program of 20th-century masterworks to Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center on Sunday, October 18 at 3 p.m., led by Philadelphia Orchestra music director and Curtis mentor conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Debussy's impressionistic La Mer opens the concert, followed by Ravel's Shéhérazade featuring mezzo-soprano Lauren Eberwein. In contrast with these lush and lyrical works, the bracing neo-classical Symphonies of Wind Instruments by Stravinsky and Prokofiev's monumental Fifth Symphony round out the program. Curtis Institute of Music conducting fellows Connor Gray Covington and Edward Poll are both featured.

On Saturday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m., a shortened preview performance, led by the Curtis conducting fellows and including soloist Lauren Eberwein, will take place at South Philadelphia High School for an audience of students and their families, teachers, and community partners. Committed to bringing arts access and education to Philadelphia communities, Curtis has partnered with South Philadelphia High School to help rebuild their once legendary music program with help from students and an ArtistYear Fellow, supported by Wells Fargo.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012, has been described as "phenomenal" by the New York Times. His highly collaborative style, deeply rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, has been heralded by critics and audiences alike. As mentor conductor for Curtis, Mr. Nézet-Séguin provides musical and professional guidance to the conducting fellows, working one-on-one with them throughout the season.

This concert is the first of the 2015-16 season to be inspired by Curtis's All-School Project focusing on the Darmstadt school of composition. Since 2007, Curtis has leveraged an annual all-school project--hailed by the New York Times as the "best teaching idea" of 2008--to serve as a focal point for artistic programs and the academic curriculum. This year Curtis delves into the Darmstadt school as well as the counter-cultural reactions to it: exploring the history, politics, and artistic concepts that shaped the music of this turbulent era.

Join the Curtis Symphony Orchestra for all three upcoming Kimmel Center performances with a subscription, priced $15 to $110 and available from the Curtis Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or Single tickets are $5 to $50 and are available at the Kimmel Center Box Office at or (215) 893-1999. This concert is part of the 2015-16 series of Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin triumphantly opened his inaugural season as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Fall 2012. Widely recognized for his musicianship, dedication, and charisma, Mr. Nézet-Séguin has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most exciting talents of his generation.

Mr. Nézet-Séguin is music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain. He also continues to enjoy a close relationship with the London Philharmonic, which he has served as principal guest conductor. He has appeared with the world's most revered ensembles, including the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and all the major Canadian orchestras, among many others. His talents extend beyond symphonic music, with critically acclaimed performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera, Milan's La Scala, London's Royal Opera House, and the historic Salzburg Festival. In July 2012 Mr. Nézet-Séguin and Deutsche Grammophon embarked on a major long-term collaboration, including a recently released recording of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

A native of Montreal, Mr. Nézet-Séguin attended Montreal's Conservatory of Music and continued his studies with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini; he also studied choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College.

Connor Gray Covington, from Maryville, Tenn., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2015. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Covington is the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow. Mr. Covington recently completed his tenure as assistant conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program. He has also served as assistant conductor of the Memphis Symphony Chorus, guest conductor for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and cover conductor for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has competed in the Malko Conducting Competition in Copenhagen, where he was the youngest participant to advance to the third round; and the Tokyo International Conducting Competition.

Mr. Covington holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Texas-Arlington, where he studied with Clifton Evans; and a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Neil Varon. He has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, the Salzburg Festival, and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan.

Among his many honors and awards are an Ansbacher Fellowship for young conductors from the American-Austrian Foundation; a study scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service; and the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize from the Eastman School of Music.

Edward Poll, from Bryn Mawr, Pa., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2014. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Poll is the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow. Mr. Poll was a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2015 and 2014, and recently made his debut with the Buffalo Philharmonic at the invitation of JoAnn Falletta. He has conducted workshops of new compositions for Opera Philadelphia and Washington National Opera.

Also a composer, Mr. Poll is the winner of an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award and two Singing City prizes. His first opera, based on Lorca's play Yerma, was premiered in New York at the NOMADS Festival. His second opera, in process, is set to religious texts by Auden and Yeats. His works have been performed by NonSequitur and pianist Beth Levin, among others. He was a summer fellow at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris from 2006 to 2008, and studied composition at the Freie Universität in Berlin in 2010 and 2011.

Mr. Poll received a bachelor's degree in composition from Columbia University, where he studied with Fabien Lévy and Fred Lerdahl. He holds a master's degree in orchestral conducting from Mannes College, where he studied with David Hayes and Joseph Colaneri.

Lauren Eberwein, from St. Paul, Minn., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2011 and studies with William Stone, adjunct faculty. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Ms. Eberwein is the Carol S. and Howard L. Lidz Fellow. Ms. Eberwein is the winner of numerous awards, including encouragement awards from the Guilio Gari International Vocal Competition, the Philadelphia District of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation's 2014 International Vocal Competition.

Her roles with the Curtis Opera Theatre include the Composer in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, Baba the Turk in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, Tisbe in Rossini's La Cenerentola, Mother Marie in Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites, the title role in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and the Second Lady in Mozart's Magic Flute. She is a 2015-16 Emerging Artist with Opera Philadelphia and will make her mainstage debut as Olivia in Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain. She has been featured in numerous works by Opera Philadelphia's composers in residence; and has appeared as a soloist with the Maryland Symphony.

In 2015 Ms. Eberwein embarked on a three-year residency as a junior fellow at the Marlboro Music Festival. An avid interpreter of art song, she has been an emerging artist with the New York Festival of Song and received a Colburn Fellowship to attend the Songfest Institute in Los Angeles, where she studied and performed with renowned pianists Graham Johnson and Martin Katz. She gave recitals in Germany, France, and Spain with Curtis on Tour in 2014.

Acclaimed for its "otherworldly ensemble and professional level of sophistication" (New York Times), the Curtis Symphony Orchestra has been called "an orchestra that any city would be lucky to have as its professional ensemble" (Philadelphia Inquirer). Recent visiting conductors include Simon Rattle, Osmo Vänskä, Robert Spano, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Curtis's mentor conductor for the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellowship Program. This professional training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in America's leading orchestras, as well as esteemed orchestral, opera, and chamber ensembles around the world.

Drawing upon 90 years of artistry, the Curtis Institute of Music pairs tradition and innovation, educating exceptionally gifted young musicians as artist-citizens who engage a local and global community through music-making of the highest caliber. Each year 175 students come to Curtis, drawn by a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture. In this intimate environment, they are nurtured by a celebrated faculty and inspired by the school's distinctive "learn by doing" approach, offering more than 200 concerts each year in Philadelphia, as well as performances around the world through Curtis on Tour.

The extraordinary young musicians of Curtis graduate to join 4,000 alumni who have long made music history. Each season leading orchestras, opera houses, and chamber music series around the world feature Curtis alumni. They are in the front rank of soloists, composers, and conductors and hold principal chairs in every major American orchestra. Curtis graduates are musical leaders, making a profound impact on music onstage and in their communities. To learn more, visit

Curtis Symphony Orchestra
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts
Sunday, October 18 at 3 p.m.

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Edward Poll, conductor
Conner Gray Covington, conductor
Lauren Eberwein, mezzo-soprano

RAVEL Shéhérazade
STRAVINSKY Symphonies of Wind Instruments
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 5

Three-concert subscriptions: $15, $30, $55, $82, $110; available from the Curtis Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or

Single tickets: $5, $10, $25, $35, $50; available at the Kimmel Center Box Office at (215) 893-1999 or


South Philadelphia High School performance
Saturday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m.

Shortened preview performance for students and their families, teachers, and community partners. Led by Curtis conducting fellows Connor Gray Covington and Edward Poll with soloist Lauren Eberwein, mezzo-soprano.



Press Contacts

Jennifer Kallend
Managing Director of External Affairs and Patron Engagement
(215) 717-3190

Diana Wensley
Communications Manager
(215) 717-3129

About Curtis

2017–18 Media Calendar of Events

News Archive

Fast Facts

Press Kit

Photo Gallery

Curtis Logos