Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Curtis Institute Most Choosy

Elite has become a dirty word, but it's a valuable distinction in the case of the Curtis Institute of Music. We always knew the music conservatory on Rittenhouse Square was choosy, and in its annual ranking, U.S. News & World Report has determined that Curtis is the choosiest school in the land. It accepts just 4 percent of those who apply. Harvard and Yale, by comparison, hovered around 8 percent.

Curtis Institute Most Choosy

Elite has become a dirty word, but it's a valuable distinction in the case of the Curtis Institute of Music. We always knew the music conservatory on Rittenhouse Square was choosy, and in its annual ranking, U.S. News & World Report has determined that Curtis is the choosiest school in the land. It accepts just 4 percent of those who apply. Harvard and Yale, by comparison, hovered around 8 percent.

Curtis' closest music competitor is the much-larger Juilliard School, accepting nearly 8 percent of applicants. The Cleveland Institute of Music came in at 35 percent. New England Conservatory of Music, 31 percent.

I'm not sure the list means all that much, given the fact that colleges and universities with music schools were left off the list - places like the esteemed music school of Indiana University, Eastman (part of the University of Rochester) and Peabody Institute (a little subsidiary of Johns Hopkins). But it's fun to see elitism cast as a desirable quality once in a while.

(The rendering shows the facade of Curtis' new dorm and rehearsal facility, a Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates building under construction on the 1600 block of Locust St.)

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

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