Curtis Institute of Music Announces First-Ever Young Alumni Fund Grant Winners

By Francisco Salazar

The Curtis Institute of Music has announced its first-ever Young Alumni Fund grantees.

The fund will provide recent graduates of Curtis with financial awards to remove barriers to their success as emerging performers and advance their personal artistic visions.

Among other notable proposals, these awards will support community and non-profit organizations founded by alumni, production of new commercial film and audio recordings, training in non-musical skills beneficial to the field of music, and general artistic development, such as audition travel, promotional materials, and instrument purchases.

This year the grant was awarded to two opera graduates Ashley Milanese (Voice ’15, Opera ’17, Opera ’18) and Joshua Stewart (Voice ’09, Opera ’12).

Stewart has performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Opera Company, Rossini in Wildbad, Hamburg State Opera, Opéra de Lausanne, and Opéra de Fribourg as well as the Toldeo Opera and Opera Carolina.

Meanwhile, Milanese has appeared with the Teatro Regio Torino, Komische Oper Berlin, Mostly Mozart Festival, Opera Philadelphia, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, among others.

Other grant winners included Tessa Ellis (Trumpet ’17, Community Artist Fellow ’18), George Xiaoyuan Fu (Piano ’16), Joshua Halpern (Cello ’19), Natalie Helm (Cello ’11), Oliver Herbert (Cello ’19), Lyman McBride (Trombone ’18), Sonora Slocum (Flute ’11), Jahleel Smith (Bass Trombone ’18), and Tania Villasuso (Clarinet ’19).

All grantees were selected from 41 applicants through a competitive review process and proposals were evaluated closely by an anonymous panel of Curtis alumni.