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David Ludwig

Gie and Lisa Liem Dean of Artistic Programs and Performance
Composition Faculty
Director, Curtis 20/21 Ensemble
Artistic Director, Curtis Summerfest

David Ludwig

David Ludwig is “a composer with something urgent to say” (Philadelphia Inquirer). His music has been described as “arresting and dramatically hued” (New York Times) and “supercharged with electrical energy and raw emotion” (Fanfare). In 2013 his choral work, “The New Colossus,” was selected to open the private prayer service for President Obama and his cabinet held before his second inauguration. In 2011 NPR Music listed him as one of the top 100 composers under 40 in the world.

Dr. Ludwig has written for many prominent artists, including soloists Jonathan Biss and Jennifer Koh, ensembles like eighth blackbird and ECCO, and orchestras including the Philadelphia, Minnesota, and National symphonies. Recent and upcoming commissions and performances include the Dover and Borromeo quartets, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and a seven-orchestra consortium commission of a new violin concerto for his wife, acclaimed violinist Bella Hristova.

An award-winning film composer, Dr. Ludwig recently scored Michael Almareyda’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, produced by Anthony Katagas (Twelve Years a Slave) and starring Ed Harris, Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich, and Dakota Johnson. He has held residencies with Marlboro Music, the Gardner Museum, Music from Angel Fire, the Ravinia Steans Institute, the MacDowell and Yaddo artist colonies, Seoul National University, and the Shanghai International Festival, among others. Dr. Ludwig directs composition programs at the Lake Champlain Festival and the Atlantic Music Festival, and he is the artistic director of Curtis Summerfest’s Young Artist Summer Program.

Dr. Ludwig’s family lineage of musicians includes his grandfather, Rudolf Serkin, and his great-grandfather, Adolf Busch. He holds degrees and diplomas from Oberlin, Manhattan School of Music, Curtis, and the Juilliard School, as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.


Fanfare for Sam
Curtis Symphony Orchestra, October 24, 2011

Learn More

Inspiration, In Person: Composers in residence motivate Curtis’s student performances and creators in new and exciting directions, writes David Ludwig.
Overtones, Spring 2017