Registration is now closed for Curtis Summerfest 2014. Check back in the fall for information regarding Curtis Summerfest 2015.

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David Ludwig, Artistic Director
Amy Yang, Program Director

Composers, instrumentalists, pianists and vocalists: experience conservatory-style living with a rigorous musical schedule and opportunities to perform with peers in an intimate, challenging and supportive learning environment. The three-week course features personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. Students rehearse and perform alongside their musical peers and select Curtis students through:

  • Choir
  • Orchestra
  • Composition Seminar
  • Chamber music rehearsals
  • Private instruction
  • Sectional coachings
  • Performance classes
  • Master classes with celebrated faculty
  • Weekend recitals (orchestra, chamber and solo)

Participants live, share meals, and practice in Curtis’s beautiful Lenfest Hall. The program is designed for instrumentalists and composers ages 14 to 19, and vocalists and conductors ages 14 to 22. Orchestral instruments, pianists, composers, and conductors who have studied privately at the intermediate to advanced level are invited to register. In lieu of auditions, a sample of playing and/or composition samples is required. This will inform our decisions on ensemble assignments. Please inquire at summerfest@curtis.edu or (215) 717-3167.

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Participants rehearse and perform alongside Curtis students in orchestra, sectionals, and ensembles coached by Curtis Artist Teachers and distinguished faculty. Instrumentalists have opportunities for classes such as conducting and theory in the afternoon. In response to last year’s requests, lessons with lead faculty and Curtis Artist Teachers are included.
Pianists have an opportunity to learn four-hand and chamber ensemble repertoire with coaching’s by lead faculty and Curtis Artist Teachers. Conducting and theory classes are available in the afternoon.
Learn vocal technique and improve diction, phrasing, and interpretation in the mornings. In the afternoon, classes cover practicing for auditions and performances, communicating to your audience, and expressing emotion. Opportunities are available for choral singing and collaboration with instrumental ensembles.
Composers take a weekly private lesson, with the opportunity to hear their works in progress. A daily seminar for composers features discussions about the past and future of composition; advice from performers about how to write for their instruments; and conversations about commissions, competitions, publishing, and other issues facing composers today. Participants will also receive a performance and recording of one of their works by Curtis musicians. Composition students are encouraged when possible to participate in additional opportunities as a member of the orchestra or other instrumental groups, playing piano, and in vocal activities.
Conducting students are encouraged to enjoy additional opportunities for performance and study through ensemble work, either as a member of the orchestra or playing four-hand piano repertoire. Conductors will work with faculty on score-reading and technique and will have the opportunity to conduct in a performance.
Expense Resident amount Non-resident amount
Tuition $3,175 $3,175
Registration fee Early: $65
Late: $125
Early: $65
Late: $125
Residential cost $1,995 $609 (optional meal plan)
Total $5,235 $3,870

*Registration fee: $65 (through February 28) $125 (March 1—April 1)

  • Non-resident costs exclude Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Non-residents can participate in optional evening and weekend activities at an additional cost. Please inquire at summerfest@curtis.edu.
Residential Check-in (Sunday, July 6)
3-6 p.m. Check-in, Dinner
6:30-9:30 p.m. Orientation (non-residents required to attend)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Morning Choir, Lesson and Practice time for solo works
Afternoon Master Class, Sectionals, Lieder, Chamber Music Rehearsal and Coaching, Theory Class
Evening Orchestra, Four-Hand Duos, Opera Scenes
Morning Choir, Studio Class (solo works)
Afternoon Master Class, Chamber Music Rehearsal, Sound Check for Saturday Afternoon Concert
Evening Faculty Concert
Morning Sound Check for Evening Concert, Practice, Master Class
Afternoon Warm Up, Student Recital
Evening Warm Up, Student Recital
Residential Check-out (Sunday, July 27)
8-11 a.m. Check-out, Breakfast

Curtis Summerfest does not offer scholarships. Students and parents are urged to seek financial assistance from local sources such as school music organizations; county, state, or national music education organizations; youth orchestras and bands; music clubs; service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanas, etc.); businesses; local churches; and foundations.

Is the camp for instrumentalists only?

We encourage composition, conducting and vocal students to apply.

Is it possible to attend the camp for less than three weeks?

This is not recommended but may special circumstances may be considered. Please inquire at summerfest@curtis.edu or (215) 717-3167.

Is an audition required?

No audition is required for admission, but we will ask students to submit a sample of their playing. This will inform decisions on chamber music and orchestra seating assignments.

Are scholarships available?

Curtis Summerfest does not offer scholarships . Students and parents are urged to seek financial assistance from local sources such as school music organizations; county, state, or national music education organizations; youth orchestras and bands; music clubs; service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanas, etc.); businesses; local churches; and foundations.

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

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.

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

Parents are welcome to stay on campus at a rate of $95 per night, per person. This fee includes three meals per day in our Dining Hall, as well as linens. To maximize your child’s experience, however, accommodations for parents and students are in separate suites.

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

The only 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 $30. In special cases, Summer Program Assistants may be available to meet students at the airport and escort them in a taxi to campus. Adult students may wish to explore other ground transportation options.

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, and a standard door key to lock/enter their bedroom. Visitors will not be allowed during the duration of the program.

Is there co-ed living?

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