RRC Blog

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More

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.

 

Read More

Topics: Curtis Archives and Library, History, Alumni

A language all America should know : composer, William Frederick Cardin "Pejawah"

Posted by Claire Thai, student archives assistant on 2/16/21 9:55 AM

Fred Cardin headshot, circa 1927, Curtis ArchivesWilliam Frederick Cardin, also known as Pejawah (Big Cat), pioneered the recognition of Native American music as an integral part of mainstream American culture. His accomplishments both as a composer and violinist were second to none—but a successful career was not his only ambition; he sought to bring awareness to Native American music and art. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer he stated: “The music of the Indian tells a story of those trees. It talks of flowers and grass and hills and valleys in a language all America should know. It is an important and valuable part of the Nation’s heritage, and it should not be allowed to die.” i

Read More

Topics: Curtis Archives and Library