Rehearsing Philadelphia, new commission by Ari Benjamin Meyers

Curtis Institute of Music
Drexel University Westphal College


Symphony 80, Ari Benjamin Meyers, 2017. Photo by Andrea Rossetti.


Forecast, Ari Benjamin Meyers, 2020. Photo by Joachim Koltzer.


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

A citywide music-based project will explore the social properties of music and performance. Jointly produced and presented by Curtis Institute of Music and Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Rehearsing Philadelphia (working title) will be led by Berlin-based composer and artist Ari Benjamin Meyers. Through four performative modules—Solo, Duet, Ensemble, and Orchestra—the newly commissioned work will bring live performance encounters to a variety of public and private locations across Philadelphia and the digital space. The events will unfold as a series of public rehearsals exploring new forms of collectivity, public accessibility, and agency. Rehearsing Philadelphia will draw from Meyers’ previous projects, such as Moscow Solos (2019) and Staatsorchester (2018), and will include a new staging of his work Duet (2014). International and local artists will be invited to create new time- and site-specific solo works. In Duet, professional and amateur performers will invite their fellow Philadelphians to sing with them in spontaneous interactions. Meyers will also convene small ensembles of performers for durational performances. Finally, a large group representing the diverse makeup of Philadelphia’s people, musical traditions, and neighborhoods will come together to form a “citizen orchestra.” The orchestra’s open, public rehearsal process will act as a forum for discussion and exchange among the participating artists, musicians, composers, and audiences and will culminate in a large-scale public presentation.

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