Birge's Picks

The Curtis Institute's Midwest division

Alumni from the Curtis Institute of Music will perform throughout Minnesota this weekend. Laura C. Kelley/Curtis Institute of Music

November 11, 2021

The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia is legendary for providing free tuition – if you’re talented enough to be admitted. You’ll need a lot of talent. Distinguished alumni from the institute include Leonard Bernstein, Lang Lang and Hilary Hahn. Several of these alums are now on the Curtis faculty, but you won’t find them in Philadelphia this weekend. They’re here in the Upper Midwest playing concerts this weekend.

On Saturday, Elissa Lee Koljonen plays Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto with the La Crosse Symphony.

The Dover Quartet, comprised of Curtis faculty and alums, are in St. Paul for the Music in the Parks series. Their name is from a piece by Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber, Dover Beach. They’re performing that work on Sunday with Sphinx Award-winning baritone Davóne Tines. He trained at Harvard and Juilliard, so he’ll hold his own amid the Curtis crowd.

Burt Hara, an alumnus of Curtis and former principal of the Minnesota Orchestra for 26 years, takes a break from his current gig with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to come back to Minnesota. He will perform chamber music with old friends from the Minnesota Orchestra at the Bethlehem Music Series. This music series has free admission and will be streamed online.

Tell the folks back at Curtis to leave the lights on.