RRC Blog

Wanda Landowska: virtuoso, musicologist, and teacher

Posted by Claire Thai, student archives assistant on 4/10/21 5:57 PM

ph2_landowska.wanda.05Though Wanda Landowska had an incredible influence on today’s perception of performance practice and early music, perhaps nothing was more admirable than her intense love and dedication to the art of music itself. She excelled in every aspect of her career whether as virtuoso, musicologist, or teacher. In her own words: “I think of myself; sometimes I feel that music invades me to the point of that total oblivion when will and intention do not exist anymore. It is because music has penetrated so deeply into me that it alone directs my movements and my inflections.”

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Topics: Curtis Archives and Library

Carlos Salzedo- Keeping Music Alive during the (1918) Pandemic

Posted by Claire Thai, student archives assistant on 3/23/21 1:54 PM

From the personal collection of CIM harp faculty member Elizabeth Hainen: Pictured on the left is Carlos Salzedo, founder of the harp department at the Curtis Institute of Music in 1924. Also pictured (from left to right) is soprano Lucy Gates, cellist Paul Kéfer, California impresario L. F. Behymer and his wife, and flautist Georges Barrère. Together, Carlos Salzedo, Paul Kéfer, and Georges Barrère formed the “Trio de Lutèce”, an ensemble that performed extensively around the United States beginning in 1913. Unfortunately, due to World War I, the group temporarily dissolved and Salzedo was drafted into the French Army as the head cook for his infantry unit. After the war, the group reunited and began to perform again. This photo was taken while the Trio de Lutèce (and Lucy Gates) were on tour in San Francisco during the 1918 influenza pandemic.

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Topics: Curtis Archives and Library

Women's History Month at Curtis: Lucie Stern

Posted by Kristina Wilson on 3/16/21 12:51 PM

In 1925, one year after Curtis's founding, Josef Hofmann accepted 11-year-old  Lucie Stern into his highly competitive piano studio. Even at that young age Stern was an accomplished pianist and many considered her, both at Curtis and the wider music community, a true prodigy. However, Stern’s life was tragically cut short in 1938 and the brevity of her career, though exceptional, has led it to fade over time. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we remember Lucie Stern and bring her legacy back into the light.

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Topics: Curtis Archives and Library, History, Alumni

The Women of the Philadelphia Piano Ensemble

Posted by Claire Thai, student archives assistant on 3/12/21 4:12 PM

The Philadelphia Piano Ensemble

Described as “brilliant” by the Philadelphia Tribune, the Philadelphia Piano Ensemble was an all-female, all-African American group of pianists known for their captivating performances and arrangements of popular classical works.i

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Topics: Curtis Archives and Library

Women's History Month at Curtis: Irra Petina (Voice '35)

Posted by Kristina Wilson on 3/2/21 12:34 PM

A truly versatile singer, Curtis alumna Irra Petina was well known for both her operatic and Broadway roles

ph2_petina.irra.01 Russian-American mezzo-soprano and actress Irra Petina (Voice ’35) was born on April 18, 1908 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The daughter of  wealthy   parents, she and her family were forced to flee to avoid persecution following the 1917 Bolshevik uprising. They made their way to  China where, for twelve years, Petina received her first formal vocal training, largely from fellow Russian emigres.  When she was 21,  Petina traveled to Philadelphia   to audition for admission to Curtis. She was accepted as a voice student of Harriet van Emden in 1930.

 

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Topics: Curtis Archives and Library, History, Alumni