In Tuesday’s (4/7) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin reports, “With board chairman H.F. ‘Gerry’ Lenfest acting as a powerful catalyst, the Curtis Institute of Music has raised $65 million for a Locust Street expansion. Funds now secured, the board of the elite conservatory has given its approval to a project that includes the erection of a new 10-story building. Demolition of existing structures on the site is expected to begin in mid-June, and a new building housing dorms, an orchestra rehearsal room, studios, and practice rooms is slated to open in August 2011. … State money is also expected. Curtis officials would not say how much, and declined to identify all of the funders, though most of the $65 million was raised in response to a challenge from Lenfest and his wife, Marguerite, that set the project in motion over a relatively short period of time. … The expansion project is but one slice of an ambitious strategic plan developed by a team led by Lenfest, president [Roberto] Díaz, and executive vice president Elizabeth Warshawer.”

Posted April 8, 2009