Recognized as one of the world's leading conservatories, Curtis Institute of Music (Curtis) educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. Curtis provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its students, ensuring that admissions are based solely on talent and artistic promise. Curtis students hone their craft through more than 200 orchestra, opera, solo, and chamber music offerings each year and programs that bring arts access and education to the community. The Center awarded Curtis a 2015 Advancement grant to design and implement a comprehensive new curriculum that provides graduates with the entrepreneurial and business skills necessary to forge effective careers within the rapidly changing classical music field. Other Center grants have supported Curtis’ productions of Leoš Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen and Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra, as well as the world premiere presentation of a new organ concerto by composer Eric Sessler. A 2019 Project grant supports a new commission with composer and artist Ari Benjamin Meyers, a collaborative project with Drexel University Westphal College that brings together artists from various creative practices for a large-scale public event.
The Curtis Institute of Music mounted a fully staged production of Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra, performed by the Curtis Opera Theatre. Maestro George Manahan conducted three performances at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, featuring soprano Layla Claire, mezzo-soprano Tammy Coil, baritone Kevin Ray, tenor Joshua Stewart, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, and choristers from the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Chas Rader Shieber directed, Mark Barton designed the lights, and David Zinn created sets and costumes. Antony and Cleopatra was presented in collaboration with Opera Philadelphia and Kimmel Center Presents.