Curtis Institute Names Violist Roberto D‹az President

Classic Arts News   Curtis Institute Names Violist Roberto D‹az President
Roberto D‹az, principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, will succeed pianist Gary Graffman as president and director of the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The 44-year-old D‹az, a graduate of Curtis and a member of the faculty since 2001, was the unanimous choice of the conservatory's search committee. The full board will vote on his appointment on Wednesday.

D‹az will leave the Philadelphia Orchestra and replace Graffman after the 2005-06 season. He has been a member of the orchestra since 1996.

According to the Inquirer, Curtis officials were split on whether to hire a musician or a more experienced administrator and fundraiser. The school has posted a series of deficits, and will need to raise millions of dollars in order to remain the only leading conservatory that does not charge tuition.

Faculty members and officials said they believed D‹az could learn on the job. "Frankly, when I came I had much, much less administrative experience than he," said Graffman, pointing out that D‹az has served on various committees at the Philadelphia Orchestra.

D‹az is a member of the D‹az Trio, with violinist Andr_s Cšrdenes and cellist Andr_s D‹az, his brother. He has previously taught at Shepherd School of Music of Rice University and the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University.

Other candidates for the position, according to the paper, included violinists Jaime Laredo, Pamela Frank, and Arnold Steinhardt; Ara Guzelimian, artistic advisor at Carnegie Hall; pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn; and Curtis Price, principal of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

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