More change at Curtis: new chair, new board

More change at Curtis: new chair, new board


norman lebrecht

December 04, 2015

There’s a lot of movement in Philly, most of it for the good.

We reported exclusively this week a shakeout in the woodwinds.

Now, there’s action on the board front. Press release below.



Board of Trustees Elects Mark E. Rubenstein Next Chair of the Curtis Institute of Music

A member of the Board of Trustees since 2009, Mr. Rubenstein brings a deep knowledge of the school and extensive national connections, succeeding Nina Baroness von Maltzahn on June 1, 2016

Chiona Schwarz and William R. Stensrud join the Board of Trustees, reflecting Curtis’s continued commitment to broadening the reach and expertise of its volunteer leadership

PHILADELPHIA, PA— December 4, 2015 —The Curtis Institute of Music Board of Trustees announces the election of Mark E. Rubenstein as its new chairman, effective June 1, 2016. He succeeds Nina Baroness von Maltzahn, who will remain on the board of trustees upon completing a two-year tenure marked by an expansion of worldwide touring and international exposure for the school.

“Mark is a highly respected trustee whose dedication to Curtis has already impacted our community in significant ways,” said Curtis President Roberto Díaz. “His energy, demonstrated leadership, and experience building successful organizations from the ground up have served the school well during a time when we have expanded our facilities, grown our programs, and engaged new audiences through global touring and online initiatives.”

Mr. Rubenstein is a passionate and influential supporter of the school who played a crucial role in Curtis’s two recent major real estate acquisitions: the purchase and construction of Lenfest Hall and the purchase and renovation of the Rubenstein Centre at 1620 Locust Street to house the school’s expanding Advancement offices. A resident of Gulf Stream, Florida, he and his wife, Robin, have also hosted numerous Curtis on Tour programs in Nantucket and Florida, chaired special events in Philadelphia, including Curtis’s 2013 Season Finale Gala honoring Marguerite and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, and attended Curtis performances in New York.

Having served as an active trustee since 2009, Mr. Rubenstein is uniquely qualified to continue the work begun by Nina von Maltzahn. During her tenure as board chair, the Board has approved and begun implementation of a new strategic direction pointing toward the school’s centenary in 2024. Baroness von Maltzahn’s leadership during the 90th anniversary season was further distinguished by expansion of Curtis on Tour; performances featuring renowned artists and world premieres; and exceptional student, faculty, and alumni achievements.

“It has been an extraordinary honor to lead a school that develops such remarkable young artists,” said Baroness von Maltzahn. “As I continue to champion the unparalleled music-making that happens here I am thrilled to have a successor like Mark who cares as deeply about our students as I do. I look forward to working side-by-side with him in the years to come.”

An ad-hoc committee chaired by Board Vice Chairman Edward A. “Ned” Montgomery Jr. led the process to recommend a successor to Nina von Maltzahn to Curtis’s Governance Committee, which unanimously recommended Mr. Rubenstein for the role of board chair. The full board of trustees approved the appointment.

“Mark quickly emerged as the clear choice during the nomination process,” said Ned Montgomery. “He is not only a respected thought leader, but also an action-oriented trailblazer who is uniquely qualified to help us continue to implement our new strategic direction.”

Mr. Rubenstein has been a longtime leader in the commercial real estate industry. He began his real estate career in 1965 and in 1969 founded The Rubenstein Company, which he developed over the next thirty-five years into a full service real estate company with capacity for acquisition, development, construction, leasing, management, and financing of substantial real estate projects. Mr. Rubenstein sold the Company in 2004 and retired. At that time The Rubenstein Company was the largest private office REIT in the Eastern United States. Mr. Rubenstein is currently special senior advisor to Rubenstein Partners.

Other recent changes to the Curtis Board of Trustees include the addition of two new members,Chiona Schwarz and William R. Stensrud, whose appointments reflect Curtis’s ongoing commitment to broadening the reach and expertise of its volunteer leadership.

A native of Greece who lives in Munich, Germany, Chiona Schwarz heads the Schwarz Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to fostering the exchange between various cultures through projects and initiatives focusing primarily on music and fine arts. The Schwarz Foundation presented Curtis on Tour in Athens in summer 2015 and awards fellowships to artists within a wide range of pursuits.

William Stensrud from Reno, Nevada, is president and founder of InstantEncore, the world’s leading provider of web and mobile technology to the performing arts, and principal at Interactive Fitness Holdings, LLC, a company founded in 2009 and based in Sunnyvale, Calif., that designs, manufactures, and distributes virtual reality-enhanced cardio fitness equipment to the health, sports, and fitness industry.