Composer David Serkin Ludwig, who joined the Curtis Institute of Music nearly two decades ago and has held various leadership positions at the school, is leaving to become dean and director of the Juilliard School’s music division.
Ludwig, 48, a Bucks County native, has deep ties to Curtis. He attended the conservatory from 1997-2001, and his grandfather, pianist Rudolf Serkin, was director in the 1960s and ’70s.
“I’ve loved my time at the school and feel like I’ve been able to get good work done with the students and be an advocate for new music and for the students as well,” Ludwig said. “But this is an opportunity to have a really big impact on the field and to make a difference.”
At Curtis, he has served in various roles, including dean, and is currently a composition teacher, adviser to the president, chair of composition studies, and director of Curtis’ Ensemble 20/21. He holds degrees and certificates from Juilliard, the Oberlin Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Pennsylvania, in addition to Curtis.
He has been a prolific and visible composer. His works have been played by major orchestras, ensembles like the Borromeo and Dover string quartets, and he has worked in film, scoring the 2014 feature film Cymbeline starring Ethan Hawke and Dakota Johnson.
In Philadelphia recently, he was commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society to write a sextet slated to be premiered by the Aizuri Quartet, clarinetist Anthony McGill, and flutist Demarre McGill in January.
Juilliard’s music division, with about 700 students, is several times the size of Curtis.
“Advocating for this music on this scale and this scope in New York with this school is incredibly appealing to me,” Ludwig said.