RRC Blog

Bernstein at the '75 Golden Anniversary Banquet: a challenge for values

Posted by Barbara Benedett on 4/23/21 11:36 AM

[pictured: Bernstein, back row, 2nd from left, with classmates in Counterpoint and Harmony class, taught by Richard Stöhr]New in the digital library: an excerpt from Curtis's 1975 Golden Anniversary Banquet which includes an address by Leonard Bernstein. Introduced by fellow conducting alum Boris Goldovsky, Bernstein recounts the bright and dark points of his time at the institute. Seen as "too Harvard" and a "smart-aleck", Bernstein had difficulty fitting in with Curtis's more insulated, conservatory-minded culture. His experience at Harvard had fostered his interest in world affairs, political and
philosophical debate, and campus activism. At Curtis, he did not initially find like-minded students, many of whom were much younger than he. Bernstein often gravitated to friendships with faculty, including director Randall Thompson. Interestingly, Thompson also clashed with the institute for his interest in instilling a more holistic, inclusive curriculum. Bernstein remarked,

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Topics: Curtis Archives and Library

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

In Honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day: The Life of Mieczyslaw Munz

Posted by Claire Thai, student archives assistant on 4/8/21 4:16 PM

ph2_munz.mieczyslaw.04Born on October 31st, 1900, in Krakow, Poland, Mieczyslaw Munz’s talent was discovered at the age of three as he began to pick out Polish folk songs on the piano. Only six years later, he was studying at the Krakow Conservatory with Georg von Lalewicz (a former student of Liadov and Rimsky-Korsakov). He became quite famous in Krakow with his debut of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Krakow Symphony Orchestra at the age of twelve; from there, he began study at the Vienna Academy (still with Lalewicz) and then the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik with famous pianist, Ferrucio Busoni. i

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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