Curtis Institute
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Curtis Institute of Music
Curtis Institute of Music (logo).png
Type Private
Established 1924
Endowment $110.9 million (2017)[1]
President Roberto Díaz
Director Roberto Díaz
Students 167
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Campus Urban
Website Official website

The Curtis Institute of Music is a conservatory in Philadelphia that offers courses of study leading to a performance diploma, Bachelor of Music, Master of Music in Opera, or Professional Studies Certificate in Opera. It is among the most selective institutes of higher education in the world with a 4.8% admissions rate.[2]


Looking southeast from Rittenhouse Square toward the Curtis Institute's main building at the corner of Locust Street (on the left) and South 18th Street (on the right) (2006)

The institute was established in 1924 by Mary Louise Curtis Bok, who named it in honor of her father, Cyrus Curtis, a notable American publisher. After consulting with musician friends including Josef Hofmann and Leopold Stokowski on how best to help musically gifted young people, Bok purchased three mansions on Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square and had them joined and renovated. She established a faculty of prominent performing artists and eventually left the institute with an endowment of US$12 million ($169,000,000 in current dollar terms) in 1927.[3]


The institute formerly served as a training ground for orchestral musicians to fill the ranks of the Philadelphia Orchestra, although composers, organists, pianists, guitarists, and singers are offered courses of study as well.

All pupils attend on full scholarship and admission is extremely competitive. With the exception of composers, conductors, pianists, and guitarists, admission is granted only to the number of students to fill a single orchestra and opera company. Accordingly, enrollment is in the range of 150 to 170 students. According to statistics compiled by U.S. News & World Report, the institute has the lowest acceptance rate of any college or university (4.8%), making it among the most selective institutions of higher education in the United States.


Past directors

Past directors of the institute have included:

Current administration

Roberto Díaz is President and director of the Institute. Díaz is also a Curtis alumnus and faculty member. He was principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1996 to 2006 and is a member of the Diaz Trio.[4] Paul Bryan started his tenure as interim dean in January 2013.[5]

Notable alumni

Many Curtis alumni have gone on to distinguished careers. See the category for an exhaustive list.


  1. ^ As of May 31, 2017. "The Curtis Institute of Music Financial Statements 2017 and 2016" (PDF). The Curtis Institute. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Curtis Institute of Music". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ Stoddard, Maynard Good (2000). "A Legacy of Music". The Saturday Evening Post. vLex. 272 (1). Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "Roberto Díaz, President". Curtis Institute of Music. Archived from the original on 2010-04-18. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Dobrin, Peter (January 8, 2013). "Curtis Institute dean exits". Interstate General Media, LLC. Retrieved 2013.

External links

Coordinates: 39°56?56?N 75°10?14?W / 39.9488°N 75.1706°W / 39.9488; -75.1706

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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