Life at Summerfest 2016-12-20T17:02:50+00:00

About Curtis




About Curtis

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,”one of the world’s finest music academies” (BBC Culture), 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.

Curtis reaches global audiences through Curtis Performs, the school’s dedicated HD performance video site. Online music courses and Summerfest programs offer lifelong learners further ways to listen, explore, and learn. And students hone 21st-century skills through social entrepreneurship programs that bring arts access and education to the community.

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.

Life at Summerfest - Curtis Institute of Music
Life at Summerfest


Lenfest Hall, located at 1616 Locust Street, offers suite-style living with well thought-out design and amenities in line with what students expect in contemporary campus housing. Lenfest Hall includes:

  • Gould Rehearsal Hall, a large rehearsal and performance space
  • classrooms and studios with Steinway pianos
  • a conference room, which hosts the summerfest administrative team during summer months
  • a convenient dining hall
  • an outdoor terrace off of a student lounge
  • secure housing for up to one hundred people in furnished suites
  • central air conditioning
  • free wireless signal
  • handicapped-accessibility
  • 24-hour security attendants and security cameras
Floors five through nine of Lenfest Hall each consist of several suites, with four bedrooms and two full baths per suite. Bedrooms can accommodate one to three people, depending on room size. Suite-mates are made up of participants closest in age to each other. Older participants are given preference for single rooms.

Suite features:

  • a central sitting/ living room with a sofa, coffee table, mini-fridge, and soft armchair
  • front entry double-wide closet
  • individual temperature control
The fifth floor provides several amenities of residence life, including:

  • a spacious student lounge, with sofas, armchairs, ping-pong table, and a large flat-screen television
  • access to a beautifully landscaped roof terrace, with outdoor patio tables, chairs, and teak garden benches, plus wireless signal

What should I bring?

Toiletries, wardrobe essentials for the full program duration, raincoat and umbrella, concert clothes (black shoes, black slacks or skirt for women, black dress shirt), phone and/or calling card, water bottle, writing supplies, camera.

Check out the Preparing Once Enrolled page for a packing list.

If I live in the Philadelphia area, can I commute?

Commuting musicians are welcome. You may pack lunch or purchase any meals in our Dining Hall with cash or credit.

Do you offer a per-day rate for room and board?

Campus housing at Curtis’s Lenfest Hall is $124 per night, per person. This fee includes three meals per day in our Dining Hall. Please contact to inquire on availability.

I am a parent. Can I stay at Lenfest Hall with my child?

If there is room in the Lenfest Hall suites, parents are welcome to stay on campus at a rate of $124 per night, per person. This fee includes three meals per day in our Dining Hall. To maximize your child’s experience, however, accommodations for parents and students are in separate suites. Contact in the spring to inquire on availability.

Are refunds available to those who must withdraw after registering for the workshop?

We offer no refunds of any kind, including for dismissal due to violation of rules or state, federal, or local laws. There are no refunds for early departure. Exceptions may be made only in the event of a documented medical emergency, in which case room and board may be refunded on a prorated basis only. No participant will be admitted until all fees are paid in full.

What is the nearest airport? What are the transport options from airport to Curtis and back?

The local airport with commercial flights is Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Taxis are generally the most efficient way to transfer back and forth and are the recommended option for any student aged 18 or under. The ride to the airport from Curtis takes about 25 minutes and costs about $30.

Read more about transport.

Is Lenfest Hall a safe and secure environment?

The main entrance is at 1616 Locust Street, and is guarded 24/7. (At most times there also is a guard “roving” throughout the building.) Curtis students, staff and faculty may enter using turnstiles activated by swipe cards. Summerfest student residents will have access to private elevators to residential floors. Student residents are issued a personal security key card to swipe/enter their suite. Visitors will not be allowed during the duration of the program. A Curtis Institute of Music Security and Fire Safety Report is available on the main Curtis website.

Read more on the Health and Safety page.

Is there co-ed living?

Students are housed in same-sex suites. Students are not allowed in opposite-sex suites at any time.

Learn about our Code of Conduct.


Life at Summerfest - Terrace


Life at Summerfest - The Commons


Three fresh meals are prepared onsite daily by Parkhurst Dining Services. Cost of dining is included for residents staying overnight in Lenfest Hall; commuters are welcome to pay with cash or credit card in the dining hall or bring food into dining hall. Participants staying in housing have their meal plan added to an ID card for convenient access. From Dave Tolbert , Director of Dining Services:

“Dining is an important part of a well-balanced healthy lifestyle. At Curtis Institute of Music, Gould Dining Hall is always filled with great options ranging from fresh fruit to hand cut vegetables at every meal. We make everything from scratch using fresh ingredients. We grow many of our vegetables in our gardens during the summer season including a wide variety of lettuces , heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes for our salad bar, fresh herbs for seasoning and many varieties of hot peppers to add spice to our menu.  For breakfast we offer yogurt, fruit, cottage cheese and cereal along with potatoes, bacon, sausage, pancakes and eggs or omelets made to order. For lunch and dinner you can enjoy a meat entrée, vegetarian entrée, starch , rice, and fresh vegetables. We also offer a made to order deli sandwich station and a fresh salad bar with 15 toppings and 4 different dressings. Available at all meals are sodas, juices, coffee, tea, specialty ice teas or fresh squeezed lemonades, fresh fruit, cereal, and of course, dessert. We label all menu items indicating vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and common allergens. We are able to accommodate menu needs for food allergies and special diet restrictions as well. Our summer menu is nut free.

If you have specific questions regarding nutrition facts, dietary needs, or any special concerns, please contact Dave Tolbert at (215) 875-4203 or To arrange specific meal plans such as vegetarian or vegan please contact Dave and the Residential Life Director at

Sample menus from previous years:
Chamber Music and Orchestra for Adults 2016 menu.

Jeffrey Khaner Flute Class 2016 menu.

Young Artist Voice Program: week 1 and week 2

Young Artist Summer Program 2016 menu


Just steps from the Curtis Institute of Music campus, stroll through Rittenhouse Square, or sit and people-watch. Enjoy a cappuccino al fresco. Attend a concert or show, indoors or outside. Philadelphia was ranked number one for arts and culture by Travel + Leisure. Center City vibrantly blends arts and culture with commerce, charming residential neighborhoods, and lovely parks.

Mere minutes from Curtis’s campus at 18th and Locust Streets, you’ll find the Avenue of the Arts on South Broad Street, with:

Life at Summerfest - Kimmel Center

It’s a 20-minute walk to Independence National Historical Park, the heart of Philadelphia’s colonial heritage, where you’ll find:

Life at Summerfest - Liberty Bell

Also nearby are

Life at Summerfest - Rittenhouse

Favorite summer excursions beyond Center City include Fairmount Park’s Mann Music Center—a summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra—and Longwood Gardens.

Is eating your pleasure? As a foodie, you’ll feel right at home in Philadelphia with its delectable cuisines and celebrity chefs. Philadelphia boasts more than 900 restaurants in Center City alone. For fresh flavors and regional color, don’t miss Reading Terminal Market.

Baseball fans, you’re a brief subway ride away from Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. And Philadelphia offers plenty of green space to pursue your own recreational activities.

Whatever your taste for culture, you’ll find it in Philadelphia. Explore and plan online with Philly Fun Guide and Visit Philly (Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation).

Life at Summerfest - Baseball