Curtis Symphony Orchestra

Alone they create art.
Together they create awe.

Emerging virtuosos all, the musicians of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra meld into an expression of something much greater. Add internationally renowned conductors and sparkling repertoire, and the result is an immersive experience with unique resonance.



Enduring Legacies: A 90th-Birthday Tribute to Gary Graffman (’46)

Sunday, October 28 at 3 p.m.

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
Haochen Zhang, piano (’12)
Yue Bao, conducting fellow

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center  
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Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30
Petrushka (1947)


Pianist Gary Graffman joined the Curtis family at the tender age of seven, when he was accepted as a student. Throughout a celebrated career as soloist, teacher, and administrator, he has left his mark on music through his own performances and those of his students. In celebration of Mr. Graffman’s 90th birthday, alumnus Haochen Zhang returns to perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto, a romantic powerhouse and staple of the Graffman legacy. The program also features Igor Stravinsky’s beloved ballet Petrushka, a house specialty since the days when conductor Leopold Stokowski led the Curtis orchestra; and Brio, a 2018 work exuding vitality and virtuosity by this year’s composer in residence, Augusta Read Thomas. The dynamic Giancarlo Guerrero, a Curtis favorite, returns to conduct.



Additional Performance at Immaculata University on Saturday, October 27 at 3 p.m.

Single Tickets


American Images

Sunday, January 27 at 3 p.m.

Mark Russell Smith, conductor (’87)
Craig Knox, tuba (’89)
Yuwon Kim, conducting fellow

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center  
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HIGDON (’88)
      Suite from Appalachian Spring (1945)
Tuba Concerto
The Unanswered Question
Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70

Diverse voices harmonize in this portrait of American life and experience. Signature works by Charles Ives and Aaron Copland—
The Unanswered Question and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Appalachian Spring—paint a picture of our nation’s emerging musical vernacular in the 20th century inspired by traditional hymns, folk songs, and the transcendental movement. They frame the Philadelphia premiere of the Tuba Concerto by Curtis faculty and alumna Jennifer Higdon, one of today's most popular and widely performed composers, who creates a virtuosic showcase for Curtis tuba faculty and alumnus Craig Knox. The program closes with the haunting Symphony No. 7 by Antonín Dvořák, a champion of Czech folk music who went on to become America’s most celebrated immigrant musician of the 19th century.



Additional Performance at Immaculata University on Saturday, January 26 at 8 p.m. 

Single Tickets


Yannick: Impressionist and Romantic

Sunday, April 14 at 8 p.m.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Yue Bao, conducting fellow

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center 
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      Une Barque sur l'océan
Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major


Throughout his meteoric rise to become a leading conductor of his generation, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has consistently captivated musicians and audiences with interpretations that are engrossing, scintillating, and deeply personal. His musical passions spring to life through the evocative colors and nuance of Ravel’s Une Barque sur l'océan; the steely grays and dusky impressionism of Claude Debussy’s Nocturnes; and the sweeping majesty of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 (“Romantic”).



Additional Performance at Immaculata University on Saturday, April 13 at 3 p.m. 

Single Tickets


Orchestral concerts are supported by the Jack Wolgin Curtis Orchestral Concerts Endowment Fund. 
Guest conductor appearances for each Curtis Symphony Orchestra performance are made possible by the Gustave and Rita Hauser Chair. 

Verizon Hall Seating