Chamber Music Series Presents:
Curtis on Tour
The Nina von Maltzahn Global Touring Initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music
Roberto Díaz, viola
Kwan Yi, piano
Friday, March 11th
6:30pm Cocktails | 7:30pm Concert
Day of Concert | $50
Chamber Music Series Tickets | $185
GA: Student Price | $10*
*Students must show valid student ID at box office or at will call
GA = First come, first served seating
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Call the box office for more info:
Generously underwritten by: Rob Diefenbach in loving memory of Ruth DeNoyelles Diefenbach
subject to change
Suite Populaire Espagnole, trans. Manuel Díaz Manuel de Falla
El Paño Moruno (1876–1946)
Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 120, No. 2 Johannes Brahms
Allegro amabile (1833–1897)
Andante con moto — Allegro
Suite for Viola and Piano, B. 41 (“1919”) Ernest Bloch
Lento — Meno lento — Allegro (1880–1959)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Roberto Díaz, viola
A violist of international reputation, Roberto Díaz is president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, following in the footsteps of renowned soloist/directors such as Josef Hofmann, Efrem Zimbalist, and Rudolf Serkin. As a teacher of viola at Curtis and former principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Díaz has already had a significant impact on American musical life and continues to do so in his dual roles as performer and educator.
As a soloist, Mr. Díaz collaborates with leading conductors of our time on stages throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He has also worked directly with important 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki—whose viola concerto he has performed many times with the composer on the podium and whose double concerto he premiered in the United States—as well as Edison Denisov, Jennifer Higdon, Ricardo Lorenz, and Roberto Sierra. His recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2018.
As a frequent recitalist, Mr. Díaz enjoys collaborating with young pianists, bringing a fresh approach to the repertoire and providing invaluable opportunities to artists at the beginnings of their careers. In addition to performing with major string quartets and pianists in chamber music series and festivals worldwide, Mr. Díaz has toured Europe, Asia, and the Americas as a member of the Díaz Trio with violinist Andrés Cárdenes and cellist Andrés Díaz. The Díaz Trio has recorded for the Artek and Dorian labels.
Mr. Díaz’s recordings on the Naxos label with pianist Robert Koenig include the complete works for viola and piano by Henri Vieuxtemps and a Grammy-nominated disc of viola transcriptions by William Primrose. Also on Naxos are Brahms sonatas with pianist Jeremy Denk and Jonathan Leshnoff’s Double Concerto with violinist Charles Wetherbee and the Iris Chamber Orchestra led by Michael Stern. Mr. Díaz’s live performance of Jacob Druckman’s Viola Concerto with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra is available on New World Records. He has also recorded the Walton Viola Concerto with William Boughton and the New Haven Symphony for Nimbus Records, and works for viola and orchestra by Peter Lieberson with Scott Yoo and the Odense Symphony Orchestra and for Bridge Records.
Since founding Curtis on Tour in 2007, Mr. Díaz has taken this successful initiative to North and South America, Europe, and Asia, performing chamber music side-by-side with Curtis students and other faculty and alumni of the school. His tenure as president of Curtis has also seen the construction of a significant new building which doubled the size of the school’s campus; the introduction of a classical guitar department and new conducting and string quartet programs; and the launch of Curtis Summerfest, summer courses open to the public. In the fall of 2013 Curtis became the first classical music conservatory to offer free online classes through Coursera.
Also under Mr. Díaz’s leadership, Curtis has developed lasting collaborations with other music and arts institutions in Philadelphia and throughout the world and established a dynamic social entrepreneurship curriculum, supported by a prestigious Advancement Grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Designed to develop the entrepreneurial and advocacy skills of young musicians, this curriculum includes the project-based Community Artist Program (CAP) and the post-graduate Community Artist Fellowship program, which gives recent Curtis graduates the opportunity to dedicate a year of arts-based service to the community.
Mr. Díaz received an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin College and was awarded an honorary membership by the National Board of the American Viola Society. In 2013 he became a member of the prestigious American Philosophical Society founded by Benjamin Franklin. As a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he was selected by then-music director Christoph Eschenbach to receive the C. Hartman Kuhn Award, given annually to “the member of the Philadelphia Orchestra who has shown ability and enterprise of such character as to enhance the standards and the reputation of the Philadelphia Orchestra.” He received a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Burton Fine; and a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teacher was his predecessor at the Philadelphia Orchestra, Joseph de Pasquale. Mr. Díaz also holds a degree in industrial design.
In addition to his decade-long tenure as principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he performed the entire standard viola concerto repertoire and gave a number of Philadelphia Orchestra premieres, Mr. Díaz was principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. He plays the ex-Primrose Amati viola.
Kwan Yi, piano
Pianist Kwan Yi has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kimmel Center, Kennedy Center, Chicago Symphony Center, Mann Performing Arts Center, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Library of Congress, Metropolitan and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museums, Großer Sendesaal des Hessischen Rundfunks, Auditorium du Louvre, Suntory Hall, and Seoul Arts Center.
Yi has appeared as a soloist with the Russian National Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the Brevard Festival Orchestra under the batons of Hans Graf, Julian Kuerti, and Mikhail Tartanikov. As a recitalist and masterclass instructor, he has completed residencies at the BGSU College of Musical Arts, MSU College of Music, and the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Miriam Fried, and Roberto Diaz on national tours and was invited to perform at the Kronberg, Ravinia, Trondheim, and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern festivals as well as Carnegie Hall Presents, Curtis Presents, CIM Mixon Hall Masters, Harriman-Jewell and Peoples’ Symphony Concert series. He has recorded for Hänssler and FHR labels with violinist Itamar Zorman.
A recipient of many honors and prizes, Yi’s awards include Mieczyslaw Munz Prize, National Federation of Music Clubs Award, and major prizes at the Fourth Sendai International Piano Competition.
Yi is a graduate of the Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, and the Peabody Institute where he worked with Leon Fleisher and Robert McDonald. He currently serves as assistant professor of piano at the ECU School of Music.
The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. For nearly a century Curtis has provided each member of its small student body with an unparalleled education alongside musical peers, distinguished by a “learn by doing” philosophy and personalized attention from a faculty that includes a high proportion of actively performing musicians. To ensure that admissions are based solely on artistic promise, Curtis makes an investment in each admitted student so that no tuition is charged for their studies.
Curtis students hone their craft through more than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings each year and programs that bring arts access and education to the community. This real-world training allows these extraordinary young musicians to join the front rank of performers, composers, conductors, and musical leaders, making a profound impact on music onstage and in their communities. To learn more, visit Curtis.edu.
ABOUT CURTIS ON TOUR
Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music. Grounded in the school’s “learn by doing” philosophy, tours feature extraordinary emerging artists alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. In addition to performances, musicians offer master classes, educational programs, and community engagement activities while on tour. Curtis on Tour also manages solo engagements for Curtis artists with professional orchestras and presenters. Since the program was established in 2008, Curtis on Tour ensembles have performed more than 375 concerts in over 100 cities in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
All sales are final. There are no refunds or exchanges on tickets except for cancelled events that are not rescheduled. SBDAC does not offer refunds on purchased ticket. In rare circumstances when a performance may be cancelled (due to extreme weather, artist absence, or other unavoidable situations) we offer refunds or replacement tickets for another performance.