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Curtis Institute of Music Online

Our shelter in place is still in place, as it must continue to be right now, in order for us to get the COVID-19 threat behind us and keep us all safe. 

Better times will come, I know — but sports fans and culture fans alike may very well have to wait the longest to gather and return to what we love. As I have been reporting in some of our IRIS ORCHESTRA MUSIC MINUTE broadcasts these last few weeks, this pandemic has interrupted our routines, but there is no reason to distance ourselves from music, or to ignore our essential need for it. 


Today, I want bring the spotlight back to Beethoven, whose 250th birthday celebration this calendar year was a highlight for musicians and orchestras all over the world. I was fortunate that I received my musical training at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, one of the pre-eminent conservatories of music in the world. I spent five post graduate years at Curtis, as a player and as a fledgling conductor, and from the day I got there I immediately realized two things. First, the depth of knowledge and artistry of the faculty was unmatched. But beyond that, the level of my fellow students was awe inspiring. Happily, that pool of talent continues, and the school is making available, as part of their series "Curtis is Here”, their ongoing Beethoven celebration, with marvelous performances by their gifted students and faculty. You absolutely must check out their concerts — go to YouTube.com/CurtisInstitute, or get more information on their website, www.curtis.edu, or on their FaceBook page. The range of chamber music repertoire you will find there is wonderful; but even more happily, hearing the extraordinary promise so clearly shown by these young artists will give anyone hope for our musical future — and we need hope now more than ever.

Michael Stern is the music director of IRIS Orchestra of Germantown, Tennessee and the Kansas City Symphony. Tickets and more information can be found at IRIS orchestra dot o-r-g.