Curtis Institute High School Summer Music Program | Ages 15-18

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Play and perform at the Curtis Institute of Music

You're invited to be part of the High School Summer Music Program on campus at Curtis Institute of Music. This is an exciting three-week performing arts experience for high school students in Center City Philadelphia — right on Curtis’ Rittenhouse Square campus and new state-of-the-art living and learning facility, Lenfest Hall. From sectional coaching and private instruction to chamber music rehearsals, you will enhance your technical and musical abilities while learning at the music world's most prestigious conservatory.

Learn, create & perform

Grow your musical abilities this summer as you sample college living and the life of a professional musician and symphony orchestra member. Each day is stimulating as you play, compose or conduct with other young instrumentalists. This summer, take advantage of the resources you need to develop your potential and love of music. You’ll enjoy:

  • learning from Curtis faculty members and other world-renown musicians

  • ensembles

  • chamber groups

  • master classes

  • performing weekend recitals open to other students and parents

  • optional evening practice and other activities

  • private lessons (additional fee may apply)

View Weekly Schedule (PDF)

Immerse Yourself 

Enjoy an educational and performance experience in Lenfest Hall. You’ll be working in a group of international students at your skill level, and learning from distinguished Curtis faculty, guest master instructors, alumni and upperlevel students. You’ll learn key techniques for audition preparation and relaxation. Plus, each performance gives you the opportunity to expand your repertoire.    

Your choice of Saturday trips

Two trips are offered each Saturday. You chose one. We leave after breakfast and return in the evening. See Weekend Trips and Destinations for this summer’s schedule, subject to change.

Take a Tour

If you are near Philadelphia and would like to tour the Curtis facilities, please let us know and we'll be happy to meet with you.  

Instruction in Music, Composition or Conducting

Learning from the world's most inspiring musicians and faculty, summer music program students may study the following:

  • Composition

  • Conducting

  • Bassoon

  • Cello

  • Clarinet

  • Double Bass

  • Flute

  • Horn

  • Oboe

  • Piano

  • Timpani & Percussion

  • Trumpet

  • Viola

  • Violin

If you wish to study another instrument at Curtis this summer please email [email protected] 


Faculty Biographies

David Ludwig, Artistic Director

Composer David Ludwig's music has been performed internationally by leading musicians in some of the world's most prestigious locations. His music has been called “entrancing,” and that it “promises to speak for the sorrows of this generation,” (Philadelphia Inquirer). It has further been described as “arresting, dramatically hued…” (The New York Times) and has been noted for “a yearning, poetic quality” (Baltimore Sun). The New Yorker magazine calls him a “musical up-and-comer” and the Chicago Tribune says that he “deserves his growing reputation as one of the up-and-comers of his generation.” He has had performances in such venues in as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Library of Congress, and has been played on PBS and National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. NPR Music listed him as one of the Top 100 Composers Under Forty in the world in 2011.

Ludwig has written for many prominent artists and ensembles, including soloists Jonathan Biss and Jaime Laredo, ensembles like eighth blackbird and Network for New Music, and orchestras including the Philadelphia, Minnesota, National Symphonies. He has held residencies with many arts institutions like Meet the Composer and the Isabella Gardner Museum, and with summer festivals that include the Marlboro Music School, and the MacDowell and Yaddo artist colonies. He has won numerous awards and honors from nationally recognized arts organizations.

Born in Bucks County, P.A., Ludwig holds degrees from Oberlin, The Manhattan School of Music, Curtis, and Juilliard, as well as a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.  Ludwig is on the composition faculty of the Curtis Institute where he serves the Artistic Chair of Performance and as the director of the Curtis 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble. Website and Interview with David Ludwig.


Amy Yang, Pianist & Program Director

Hailed by Harris Goldsmith of The New York Concert Review as "a magnificent artist and poet–everything she touches turns to gold”, pianist Amy Yang is a seasoned performer and collaborator. A rising star who, “artistically, has fully arrived” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Ms. Yang’s performances “elevate joy to the edge of rapture” and “convey the exuberance and enthusiasm of youth” (Star-Telegram). 

Recently in 2011, concerts have taken her across the U.S. to festivals like OK Mozart Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Music in May, and Olympic Music Festivals and to concert halls in New York City (Merkin Recital Hall), Philadelphia, Detroit, West Palm Beach, and Washington D.C.  She was also featured on an exciting new album of chamber music with clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester (iTinerant Records, Spain). In 2012, she will make her debut playing Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with The Great Hall Chamber Orchestra, give two world premieres by Ezra Laderman and Caroline Shaw at Yale School of Music and Princeton University, and appear in solo and chamber concerts throughout the U.S. and Spain. In the summer of 2012, she returns to Music in May and Canandaigua Music Festival, and will serve as Program Director for the Julian Krinsky Classical Music Program at The Curtis Institute of Music. Ms. Yang is also the Founder of The Schumann Project, a special series of concerts to present Schumann’s complete major solo piano, chamber, and vocal works. 

Passionate about chamber music, Ms. Yang has collaborated with extraordinary artists as Richard Goode, David Soyer, Peter Wiley, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, Ida and Ani Kavafian, David Shifrin, Miriam Fried, Ida Levin, Philip Setzer, Judith Serkin, Fred Sherry, Tara Helen O'Conor, Paul Neubauer, Anne-Marie and Kerry McDermott, Marina Piccinini, Cynthia Raim, Joseph Lin, Kim Kashkashian, Andre-Michel Schub, Efe Baltacigil, and Elmar Oliviera. In 2007, she toured with Musicians from Ravinia. An experienced performer, Ms. Yang has concertized at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Gardner Museum, The White House, Perelman Theatre, Steinway Hall, Jones Hall, Bennett-Gordon Hall, Rockefeller University, The New School, Çemal Resit Rey Concert Hall (Istanbul), and Auditorio de Castellón (Spain). 

First prize winner of competitions including the International Corpus Christi Young Artists' Competition and the Kosciuszko National Chopin Piano Competition, she made her debut with the Houston Symphony in 2002. Festival appearances include Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Prussia Cove, Verbier Academy, Music from Angel Fire, Canandaigua Lake Festival, OK Mozart, Chamber Music Northwest, Music in May, and Olympic Music Festivals. 

Ms. Yang is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and The Yale School of Music, where she received the Parisot Prize for an Outstanding Piano Student as well as the Alumni Association Prize. Her principal teachers are Timothy Hester, Claude Frank, Robert McDonald, and Peter Frankl. Passionate about teaching and collaborating, she has been playing chamber music with Curtis students and in particular with the younger talents in Curtis’s Young Artists’ Initiative program since 2011. She currently serves on the piano staff of The Curtis Institute of Music. She was also appointed as a Teaching Assistant for secondary piano at The Yale School of Music and served on the faculty of Center for the Arts, New Haven. Ms. Yang loves literature, psychology, art history, and drawing and painting in her spare time. She often contributes artwork to benefit concert series. Website

Daniel Han, Co-Head of String Department 

Violinist, Daniel Han joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in September 2006 after having been a member of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony, and guest concertmaster of the Daejeon Philharmonic in Korea. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and artist diploma from Boston University, where he was a student of Roman Totenberg and was awarded the prestigious Esther Kahn Award. Mr. Han also served on the faculties of several music schools in Boston. 

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Mr. Han studied with Kurt Sassmannshaus and Dorothy DeLay at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department. While there, Mr. Han was an annual soloist with the CCM-Starling Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra, as well as concertmaster of the Starling Chamber Orchestra, performing with them as soloist at the Aspen Music Festival, and on their tours to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and New York (at Alice Tully Hall). He has also performed solos with the Fort Worth Symphony, the Boston Classical Orchestra, the Boston University Symphony, the Longy Chamber Orchestra, the UK Symphony, and the Northern Kentucky Symphony. An avid chamber musician, he has been a part of various ensembles, most recently performing in Japan and Korea. 

Mr. Han attended the Aspen Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and has also been a guest artist at the Music in the Mountains, Philadelphia International Music and Kingston Chamber Music festivals.  He is also on the faculty of Temple prep. Website 



Sophie Shao, Co-Head of String Department 

Cellist, Sophie Shao received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant at the age of nineteen, and has since performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Winner of top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions, the New York Times has applauded her “eloquent, powerful” interpretations of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Crumb. 

Highlights of this season include the opening night performance of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, a performance with Andre Watts in Saratoga Springs, and a tour of New England with “Sophie Shao and Friends” – her popular, flexible chamber ensemble. Highlights of next season include recitals for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Middlebury College, a performance of the complete Bach suites at Union College, and a Sophie and Friends tour including performances from Brattleboro, VT to Sedona, AZ. Ms. Shao recently collaborated with film composer Howard Shore resulting in a commission of “Great Gardens” – a concerto being written for her to be premiered with the American Symphony Orchestra in April 2012.  In 2012-2013, she will appear as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart in performances of the Elgar and Haydn concerti on a two-week tour of the west coast.  

Recent performances include Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony, Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera with Cho-Liang Lin in Indianapolis, the world-premiere of Richard Wilson’s Concerto for cello and mezzo-soprano with the American Symphony Orchestra, and recital and chamber music appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and Music Mountain (with the Shanghai Quartet) among many other presenters across the country.  Ms. Shao’s annual “Sophie Shao and Friends” touring groups have received acclaim throughout New England.  She is also a frequent guest at many leading festivals around the country including Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Bard Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Ms. Shao can be heard on EMI Classics, Bridge Records (for the Marlboro Music Festival’s 50th Anniversary recording), and on Albany Records. Her recording releases in 2009 include Richard Wilson’s Brash Attacks on Albany Records and Howard Shore’s original score for the movie The Betrayal on Howe Records.  She may also be heard on an upcoming release on Koch Records in the music of George Tsontakis.

A native of Houston, Texas, Ms. Shao began playing the cello at age six, and was a student of Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony.  At age thirteen she enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying cello with David Soyer. After graduating from the Curtis Institute, she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale College and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.  She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music and plays on a cello made by Honore Derazey from 1860 once owned by Pablo Casals.  Website 


Mimi Stillman, Head of Woodwind Department 

One of the most highly acclaimed flutists in the concert world today, Mimi Stillman was heralded, “A magically gifted flutist, a breath of fresh air” The Washington Post,“A seasoned artist of spirited, unbridled virtuosity” New York Concert Review, “Technically agile and imaginative in her use of color” The New York Times, “A ball of fire in person and on the stage” The Alexandria Journal. A Yamaha Performing Artist, Mimi Stillman is internationally acclaimed for performances as soloist with orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Bach Collegium Stuttgart, Hilton Head Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Carlos Chávez (Mexico City), Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Texas Brazos Valley Symphony, Orchestra 2001, Ocean City Pops, and Curtis Chamber Orchestra. 

She has appeared as recitalist and chamber musician at venues including The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Bard College, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Bay Chamber Concerts (ME), Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Verbier Festival (Switzerland), and Festival delle Nazioni (Italy). 

Mimi Stillman is a Renaissance woman – consummate artist, entrepreneuse, historian, writer, and educator. A child prodigy, Ms. Stillman was at age 12 the youngest wind player ever admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner, and at 17 she became the youngest wind player ever to win the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Equally at home with the classical canon, contemporary music, and Latin and Sephardic world music, she has performed with Paquito D’Rivera, recorded a film score for Kevin Bacon, and received hearty ovations for her brilliant performance with pianist/harpsichordist Charles Abramovic of the complete flute chamber works of Bach. She has won numerous awards and competitions including the Astral Artists Auditions and has been awarded fellowships from the Earhart and Bradley Foundations.

In her role as Artistic and Executive Director of the Dolce Suono Ensemble, which she founded in Philadelphia in 2005, Mimi Stillman has presided over Dolce Suono’s establishment as a highly regarded and pioneering force in the music world. Dolce Suono Ensemble presents highly acclaimed chamber music concerts on its home series in Philadelphia, performs on tour, commissions important new works, makes recordings, and engages in educational outreach partnerships with Philadelphia public schools. Dolce Suono’s active commissioning program has led to the creation of 23 new works in seven years. Commissioned composers include Pulitzer Prize winners Shulamit Ran and Steven Stucky, Grammy winners Richard Danielpour and Steven Mackey, and guest composers have included George Crumb and Ned Rorem. Dolce Suono Ensemble has garnered extensive praise in the media and been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project, and other organizations. Ms. Stillman is a founding member of the Dolce Suono Trio, with her longtime duo pianist Charles Abramovic and cellist Yumi Kendall.

Ms. Stillman has recorded for EMI, Innova, Albany, DTR, Dolce Suono and Centaur Records. She is regularly featured in the national press, as guest on NPR, “Performance Today,” WGBH Boston, WRTI Radio, and WHYY TV Philadelphia’s “On Canvas” show, and is host and performer on the “Musical Encounters” TV show and video “The Magic Flute.” Mimi Stillman has taught masterclasses and performed recitals for the National Flute Association, New England Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Flute Society of Washington, D.C., Texas Flute Society, University of California, Music for All Festival, and other universities and flute societies throughout the United States. She received an MA in history and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. A published author on music and history, her articles have appeared in the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, The Flutist Quarterly, and other journals. She is the author of Nuits d'Étoiles: 8 Early Songs, an award-winning book of arrangements of Debussy's songs (Theodore Presser). Orchestrally, Ms. Stillman has performed as substitute flutist in The Philadelphia Orchestra, and has worked with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Wolfgang Sawallisch, André Previn, Kurt Masur, David Zinman, Christoph Eschenbach, Yuri Temirkanov, Marin Alsop, and Robert Spano. Ms. Stillman’s 2011-2012 engagements include recitals and chamber music performances at Princeton University, Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Ocean Grove Summer Stars Series (NJ), Music for All National Festival (IN), and San Diego Flute Guild; as soloist with the Spartanburg Philharmonic (SC) and Delaware County Symphony (PA); Dolce Suono Ensemble’s New York debut at Symphony Space, the Dolce Suono Ensemble Presents series in Philadelphia, and the launch of “Odyssey: 11 American Premieres for Flute and Piano,” Stillman and Abramovic’s 2-CD set for Innova Recordings. Website


Adam Unsworth, Head of Brass Department 

Associate Professor of Horn at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor since 2007, Unsworth was Fourth Horn of The Philadelphia Orchestra from 1998 to 2007 and Second Horn of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 1995 to 1998.  He has performed as a guest Principal horn of the St. Louis Symphony, Principal horn of the Colorado Music Festival, and played as a guest with the San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Chicago symphonies.  A former faculty member at Temple University, Adam has appeared as a recitalist and clinician at many universities throughout the United States, and has made several solo and chamber appearances at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall.  

Unsworth received his formal training at Northwestern University, where he studied with former Chicago Symphony Orchestra members Gail Williams and Norman Schweikert.  He continued with graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Douglas Hill.  He later recorded Jazz Set for Solo Horn, released in 2001 as part of 'Thoughtful Wanderings', a compilation of Hill's works for horn.  In 2006 Adam released his first jazz CD entitled Excerpt This!, which features five of his original compositions for jazz sextet and three unaccompanied works.  Since then he has completed a second jazz CD, Next Step, and released Just Follow Instructions, a recording of the chamber music of crossover saxophonist/composer Daniel Schnyder.  In April 2010 the University of Michigan Symphony Band featured Adam as a soloist on the premiere recording of Dana Wilson’s Concerto for Horn and Wind Ensemble.  He appeared as soloist on this piece with the Aurora Wind Orchestra in Funabashi City, Japan in February 2011. The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music named him their Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2000. Website



Program Conductors

Paul Bryan

Paul Bryan is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Temple University where he studied trombone with Glenn Dodson and Eric Carlson and conducting with David Hayes, Arthur Chodoroff, and Lawrence Wagner. He currently serves as Director and Conductor of Bravo Brass – the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Brass Ensemble, Orchestra Conductor at Drexel University, Conductor and Music Director of Philos Brass, Music Director of Symphony in C’s Summer Symphony Camp, conductor of the Reading Summer Music Institute, conductor of the Philadelphia All-City High School Concert Band, and a faculty member at Temple University and the Curtis Institute of Music.

Paul has also conducted performances with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia wind and brass ensembles, the Curtis Institute of Music Brass and Percussion Ensemble, 20/21 – the Curtis Institute of Music Contemporary Music Ensemble, and numerous district and region honor ensembles.  Previously, he served as Director of Bands at St. Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia.

As a trombonist, Paul has been heard in a variety of groups in the Delaware Valley. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, Reading Symphony, Orchestra 2001, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. 

In addition to his trombone students at Temple, Paul has an extensive private studio. Trombone students of his have sat first chair in the Pennsylvania All-State Band and Orchestra, Pennsylvania All-State Jazz Band, New Jersey All-State Wind Ensemble and Orchestra and New Jersey All-State Jazz Band, as well as many other honor ensembles. Paul's students have gained acceptance to the finest schools including the Eastman School of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Peabody Conservatory and the music schools of Northwestern University, Indiana University, Boston University, Catholic University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Michigan.

One of Paul Bryan’s graduating students writes, “More than anything, I admire his passion and commitment to music. Paul has always helped me see farther and deeper into the music. He has shown me the infinite possibilities of any given note or phrase, and he is constantly pushing me to take risks and to “make music” as opposed to just playing it.”

Following a Curtis Brass and Percussion Ensemble performance of his Symphony in Brass, composer Eric Ewazen wrote, “I was thrilled – genuinely thrilled – with your performance of my piece!  Your interpretation was stunning!  The energy – the riveting momentum and heartfelt lyricism that you brought out was a joy for me to hear!”

Paul is the Registrar and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Curtis Institute of Music.


Petko Dimitrov

Petko Dimitrov is currently the Music Director of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra and Conductor of the WCYO Symphony Orchestra.  Maestro Dimitrov also serves as Assistant Conductor of Symphony in C and Assistant Conductor of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra. In July 2010, Dimitrov was appointed to be the Artistic Director of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra at the Lasdon Park Concert Series in Katonah, New York. He also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of The New Symphony Orchestra, in his native Bulgaria. In 2007, the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation awarded Petko the prestigious Fellowship, which recognizes accomplished young conductors and provides them with a monetary award to further develop their career.

In performances with WCYO, Maestro Dimitrov had his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2007, and Avery Fisher Hall in 2008. In the spring of 2007, Mr. Dimitrov led the orchestra on tour in Austria and performed in concert venues such as Haydnsaal in Eisenstadt and Schlossberg in Graz. In July 2009, Petko was appointed the conductor of Excalibur – The Celtic Rock Opera, which toured major cities in Germany in January of 2010. Mr. Dimitrov has been selected twice among the finalists of the George Solti International Conducting Competition.

In 2004, Mr. Dimitrov completed his Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under the direction of Prof. Kenneth Kiesler. In 2006, he completed his studies with Prof. Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory, John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where he pursued a Graduate Performance Diploma in Orchestral Conducting. Interview with Petko.


Emily Threinen

Emily Threinen serves as Director of Bands, Associate Professor of Music, and Artistic Director of Winds and Brass in the Department of Instrumental Studies, Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. She conducts the acclaimed Wind Symphony, guides the instrumental conducting program, and provides administrative leadership for all aspects of Temple University Bands.

Prior to her appointment at Temple University, Threinen served as Director of Bands, Assistant Professor of Music, and Instrumental Division Chair at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia; Director of the Duke University Wind Symphony in Durham, North Carolina; Director of the Concordia University Wind Ensemble in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Conductor of the Dodworth Saxhorn Band in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Director of Bands and Instrumental Music at Harding High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, receiving the Outstanding Teacher Award.

Threinen works closely with composers, arrangers, and performing artists of varied disciplines and she is published in multiple volumes of the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band book series. She is an active guest conductor, clinician, conference presenter, adjudicator and performer.

Threinen received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Michigan under Michael Haithcock; a Master of Music degree in Conducting from Northwestern University under Mallory Thompson; and a Bachelor of Music dual degree in Clarinet Performance and K-12 Instrumental Music Education from the University of Minnesota. While teaching at Harding High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, Threinen performed as a clarinetist in the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and semi-professionally in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Threinen currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Conductors Guild and she is an active member of these organizations: College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), World Association for Symphonic Band and Ensembles (WASBE), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Pi Kappa Lambda, and Kappa Kappa Psi as an honorary member. Interview with Emily. Interview with Emily.



Residential Day
July 8 – July 28 July 9 – July 27




Residential $4695
Day $1850




Registration Fee: $50 before April 30, $100 May 1 and later

How to Register

Register Now - Various Instrument Positions Still Available