The Kennedy Center

The Curtis Institute of Music


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 is highly selective and provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 165 students. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach. This philosophy has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school’s founding in 1924, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang.

The contemporary music ensemble of the Curtis Institute of Music, Curtis 20/21 is flexible in size and scope. The group performs a wide range of music of contemporary composers and composers from the recent past, often collaborating with guest artists. Recent and upcoming offerings include centenary programs for Samuel Barber, Elliott Carter, and Olivier Messiaen; a collaborative performance with eighth blackbird; and tribute concerts for resident composers John Corigliano and Joan Tower. Curtis 20/21 is committed to performing and commissioning works from Curtis students and alumni.

Watch Past Performances

Video 2/14/2016: Curtis Institute of Music

Conservatory Project: Students from the Curtis Institute of Music perform Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire, featuring an ensemble of soprano, flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin/viola, cello, and piano.

Free general admission tickets will be distributed in the States Gallery starting at approximately 5:30 p.m., up to two tickets per person

Video 2/15/2015: Curtis Institute of Music

Students perform Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes for sextet, a string quartet by Arensky, and vocal works for bass-baritone by Rachmaninoff. Part of the Conservatory Project.

Video 2/19/2014: Organ Showcase

Students from participating Conservatory Project schools play selections from works by Widor, Schumann, Buxtehude, Smetana, Shostakovich, Demessieux, Litaize, Albright, Dupre, Ellington, Bach, Cochereau, and others on the Rubenstein Family Organ. Part of the Conservatory Project.

Video 2/16/2014: The Curtis Institute of Music

Students play Lutoslawski’s Subito, Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death, and Shostkovich's Trio No. 2 in E minor. Part of the Conservatory Project.

Video 2/19/2012: Curtis Institute of Music

Students play classical works by Higdon, Ludwig, and Richberg. Part of the Conservatory Project.

The Curtis Institute of Music