Curtis Symphony Orchestra's season finale gala

May 15, 2013 8:54:52 AM PDT
The Curtis Institute of music is known for training the world's most gifted musicians. And next weekend, the school is throwing a big party to celebrate its successes.

It's the Curtis Symphony Orchestra's season finale gala and, for the first time ever, it is being held at the Kimmel Center with dinner by Chef Jose Garces, dessert, cocktails and of course a concert by the Curtis Symphony.

The concert is a parade of Curtis talent with all of the musicians either current students or Curtis alum. At the top of the ticket are singers Eric Owens and Heidi Melton.

Kensho Watanabe,Conductor, Curtis Symphony Orchestra said, "They're one of the biggest stars in opera right now. It's almost like getting Chase Utley and you know Cliff Lee to come in and play with, you know play baseball with your college teams. That's how we're feeling it."

3rd year graduate student Kensho Watanabe will conduct the first piece.

"This will be my third time on stage with the Curtis Symphony in Verizon Hall and so I would like to say that I'm getting used to it but it's still uh, you know you get a lot of butterflies when you're stepping on that stage where the Philadelphia Orchestra plays," said Watanabe.

The concert is an all Wagner program. Watanabe will lead the symphony in the Overture to the Flying Dutchman.

"I think it's like the precursor to Pirates of the Caribbean in a way so it's about a ghost ship and its leader, the Dutchman, and under a curse he can't be released from the curse unless he's found true love," added Watanabe.

1987 Curtis grad Mark Russell Smith will conduct the rest of the program.

"I'll tell you about the one that I'm most looking forward to listening to is the Siegfried's Rhine Journey, it's probably the closest you can get to feeling like a super hero when you're playing that piece," said Watanabe.

The Gala concert is next Sunday evening , May 5th.

For tickets, go to the Curtis Institute of Music.