Listen! Philadelphia

Curtis Institute of Music
Drexel University Westphal College


Curtis students Abigail Fayette and Jean Kim in a Curtis 20/21 performance. Photo by Pete Checchia.

In a collaboration between Curtis Institute of Music and Drexel University Westphal College, musicians from diverse traditions will come together for Listen! Philadelphia, a series of performances under the direction of British composer and conductor Peter Wiegold. Listen! Philadelphia aims to enhance the listening skills of a wide representation of Philadelphia musicians and audiences, and to highlight the capacity of musical communication to reach across cultures and neighborhoods.

Wiegold will serve as the project’s music director and work with both institutions during a nine-month period of public workshops, rehearsals, and performances. Over the last 35 years, Wiegold has developed a process for creating music that prompts musicians of varying traditions to find commonalities in their practices. For Listen! Philadelphia, Curtis and Drexel will gather individual musicians and both instrumental and choral groups who represent musical genres from classical to popular. Participants will create text and music that will shape new compositions, developed during workshops in “community hubs” located in four Philadelphia neighborhoods. This work will be presented in several informal performances called “club nights” to introduce audience members to various musical styles and allow them to engage with the musicians. The participating artists, a newly formed Curtis Intercultural Ensemble, and members of Wiegold’s own Third Orchestra will perform a culminating “grand oratorio.” A documentary film will tell the story and augment the impact of this wide-reaching project.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.