David Shifrin, John de Lancie and Soovin Kim

'Curtis on Tour'
Featuring David Shifrin, clarinet; John de Lancie, narrator; Soovin Kim, violin

7 p.m. Sunday, March 26, 2023 | Polsky Theatre

Tickets start at $25.

Individual Tickets

Pre-show talk with Paul Laird, 6 p.m. in MTC 211.


The Nina von Maltzahn Global Touring Initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music, Performing Stravinsky’s ‘L’Histoire du soldat’ and more


A thrilling tale of trickery and magic, Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) comes to life through an ensemble of musicians from the Curtis Institute of Music.


The program, designed for audiences in North America, also features works by Penderecki, Poulenc, and Curtis alumnus Viet Cuong.

Repertoire includes (subject to change): 

  • Well-Groomed for solo snare drum – Viet Cuong (b. 1990)
  • Sonata for clarinet and bassoon, FP 32a – Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)
    • Allegro
    • Romance
    • Final
  • Duo Concertante for violin and double bass – Krzysztof Penderecki (1933–2020)
  • Commissioned Work for Curtis on Tour – Title TBD – Nicholas DiBerardino (b. 1989)
  • L’Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) – Igor Stravinsky (1882­–1971)

Curtis performers team up with beloved actor and narrator John de Lancie, who voices the characters, award-winning performer David Shifrin (clarinet ’71) and prominent recitalist Soovin Kim (violin ’99).

Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn Global Touring Initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music. Grounded in the school’s “learn by doing” philosophy, tours feature extraordinary emerging artists alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. In addition to performances, musicians offer master classes, educational programs, and community engagement activities while on tour.

Curtis on Tour also manages solo engagements for Curtis artists with professional orchestras and presenters. Since the program was established in 2008, Curtis on Tour ensembles have performed more than 375 concerts in over 100 cities in Europe, Asia and the Americas.


John de Lancie (narrator) is an American actor, director, producer, writer, sailor, educator and father. He is known for roles in countless TV shows: Q in “Star Trek,” Discord in “My Little Pony” and Donald Margolis in “Breaking Bad,” to name a few. De Lancie also wrote, produced and directed numerous shows for symphony orchestras and operas, in addition to being the host of children’s concerts at Disney Hall.


David Shifrin (clarinet), winner of both the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Avery Fisher Prize, is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator. Shifrin has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit, Fort Worth, Hawaii and Phoenix symphonies, among many others in the United States, as well as with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. He has also received critical acclaim as a recitalist, appearing at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

An accomplished chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Guarneri, Tokyo, Emerson, Orion, Dover and Miró String Quartets, as well as Wynton Marsalis, André Watts, Emanuel Ax, and André Previn. An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, Shifrin served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004. He also served as artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest from 1981 through 2020 and is currently artistic director of the Phoenix Chamber Music Festival.

Shifrin was the recipient of a Solo Recitalists’ Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the 2016 Concert Artists Guild Virtuoso Award. He was given an honorary membership by the International Clarinet Association in 2014 in recognition of lifetime achievement, and, at the outset of his career, he won the top prizes at both the Munich and the Geneva International Competitions. In recent years, he received the Distinguished Alumni Awards from the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Music Academy of the West, and a Cultural Leadership Citation from Yale University. He was recognized with the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award at the 2018 Chamber Music America Conference and in 2019, was awarded the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Award for Extraordinary Service to Chamber Music. 

Shifrin performs on a Backun “Lumière” cocobolo wood clarinet made by Morrie Backun and Légère premium synthetic reeds. He is represented by CM Artists New York. 


Soovin Kim (violin) enjoys a broad musical career regularly performing Bach sonatas and Paganini caprices for solo violin, sonatas for violin and piano ranging from Beethoven to Ives, Mozart and Haydn concertos and symphonies as a conductor, and new world-premiere works almost every season.

When he was 20 years old, Kim received first prize at the Paganini International Violin Competition. He immersed himself in string quartet literature for 20 years as the first violinist of the Johannes Quartet. Among his many commercial recordings are his “thrillingly triumphant” (Classic FM Magazine) disc of Paganini’s demanding 24 Caprices, and a two-disc set of Bach’s complete solo violin works, to be released in 2022.

Kim is the founder and artistic director of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival (LCCMF) in Burlington, Vermont. In addition to its explorative programming and extensive work with living composers, LCCMF created the ONE Strings program through which all third through fifth grade students of the Integrated Arts Academy in Burlington study violin. The University of Vermont recognized Kim’s work by bestowing an honorary doctorate upon him in 2015.

In 2020, he and his wife, pianist Gloria Chien, became Artistic Directors of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Kim devotes much of his time to his passion for teaching at the New England Conservatory in Boston.